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Aiding Kuffars or Shiite Safavids Against ISIL Is As Impermissible As Aiding ISIL!

 
Obama Admin Gives Cover To Iraq Shiite Militia Abuses: Ex U.S. Official

By Mustapha Ajbaili

A former U.S. official and special assistant to five American ambassadors in Iraq and senior adviser to three chiefs of U.S. Central Command has accused the Obama administration of providing cover to abuses committed by pro-government Shiite militias in Iraq.

In a Foreign Policy article published on Thursday, Ali Khedery describes the Iraqi government as "hopelessly sectarian, corrupt, and generally unfit to govern."

He argues that through its response to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), "The United States is now acting as the air force, the armory, and the diplomatic cover for Iraqi militias that are committing some of the worst human rights abuses on the planet."

"These are "allies" that are actually beholden to our strategic foe, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and which often resort to the same vile tactics as the Islamic State itself," added Khedery, who now runs Dragoman Partners, an international strategic advisory firm.

He blamed the Obama administration for Iraq's implosion and the rise of ISIS by undermining the country's constitution and bypassing the secular winner of the 2010 legislative elections Ayad Allawi in favor of the runner up Nouri al-Maliki, whose sectarian pro-Shiite policies helped boost ISIS presence in the country.

Khedery also accused the White House of having supported brutal pro-Iran Shiite war lords in Iraq, including "Badr Organization commander Hadi al-Ameri — who was welcomed in the Oval Office by Obama in 2011, and is known for favoring power drills to murder his victims."

The former U.S. official also pointed out to Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the suspected mastermind behind the 1980s attacks on American and French embassies in Kuwait.

Khedery wrote that al-Muhandis "was given command of the Kataib Hezbollah (KH) militia, an Iranian-sponsored group responsible for some of the most lethal attacks against U.S. and coalition forces throughout the war."

He argues that these militia leaders and others are "deeply embedded within Baghdad's power structure" and a lot of U.S. military assistance to Iraq actually ends up in the their hands is used to expand their abuses outside central government or Washington's control.

Asked by Al Arabiya News whether the Obama administration is "deliberately" turning a blind eye to Shiite militias' abuses in Iraq, Khedery replied: "Of course."

"Basically again because this White House is not especially interested in foreign policy and is not especially interested in continuing what it believes to be the 'dumb wars' - it was Obama's words - the 'dumb wars' that Bush launched in Iraq in 2003. So what he is desperately trying to do is extract the United States and his administration and his legacy from anything related to Iraq, but he's done so in a very naïve poorly informed poorly executed way," Khedery told Al Arabiya News.

"The more he [Obama] distances himself from Iraq the more he leaves a vacuum that is filled by strategic adversaries like the Iranians or like ISIS, and you will never be able to defeat ISIS with the militias because they will always be abusive, which will always create a Sunni backlash, which will always radicalize millions of Sunnis around the world further and so it's just a vicious cycle," he added.

He said "they know in the White House that this [abuse by Shiite militias] is happening and yet they have not condemned it. They did not say anything about it. All they are doing is further emboldening it which is a strategic mistake."

He said the only way to defeat ISIS is by coopting Sunnis, like U.S. General David Petraeus did when he helped create and support a Sunni force known as Sahwat (or the Awakening Councils) to fight the Sunni-rooted al-Qaeda in 2006.

"You can't defeat a Sunni extremist organization with Iranians and Shiite militia and Peshmerga, you can only defeat it with Sunni Arabs," the former U.S. official said.

Some security experts have expressed similar concerns about relying on Shiite militias to rid Sunni areas of ISIS militants.

"Without a new power-sharing agreement, promises that they will not be mistreated, and a program for reconstruction, the Sunnis may well see Iraqi government forces (and even the Kurds) not as liberators, but as a conquering Shiite army," former CIA intelligence analyst Kenneth M. Pollack wrote in the New York Times earlier this month.

Last week, Human Rights Watch published a report accusing Iraq's pro-government Shiite militias of escalating abuses against Sunni civilians. "Residents have been forced from their homes, kidnapped, and in some cases summarily executed," the rights group reported.

"Iraqi civilians are being hammered by ISIS and then by pro-government militias in areas they seize from ISIS," said Joe Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East and North Africa director. "With the government responding to those they deem terrorists with arbitrary arrests and executions, residents have nowhere to turn for protection."

Arabiya News
 
Exclusive: Pentagon Doubts Its Own ISIS War Plan

That didn't take long. Less than a day after the U.S. military announced its Spring offensive against ISIS, seasoned military officers said the plan was unworkable.
Skepticism about the U.S. and Iraqi military plans for the next phase of the ISIS war begins inside the Pentagon.

Less than 24 hours after U.S. military officials publicly detailed their plans for a spring offensive on ISIS-held Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, many within the Pentagon privately questioned whether that timetable was plausible. They said that they were dubious that their partners in the Iraqi military—the troops supposed to lead the offensive—would be capable of conducting such a campaign by then.

"I really doubt it is going to happen that soon," said one military officer who, like several others, served in Iraq between 2003-2011 and spoke on condition of anonymity. "And if it does, it will take months."

The largely Shiite troops of the Iraqi army are unlikely to risk their lives to win back a Sunni dominated city, several U.S. military officers told The Daily Beast on Friday. Indeed, when ISIS stormed the city last June, Iraqi forces walked away, leading the U.S. and 60 other nations to form a coalition against the terror group.

Even if the Iraqi troops do stand up and fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State, having a Shiite force move in and potentially ravage a major Sunni city in a bid to save it could have adverse affects on the Sunnis in Iraq and broader Sunni Arab world. Sectarian tensions, particularly in Iraq, run that deep.

"I cannot believe that Shiites would fight for Mosul," one officer who served in the restive Sunni province of Anbar during the Iraq War told The Daily Beast.

So far, there is no evidence of a strong Sunni-majority Iraqi Army brigade, and U.S. Central Command has said it will take at least eight brigades to win back the city.

In the absence of such a force, it is not clear that the Sunni-dominated city would welcome those troops. Many Sunnis feel betrayed by Iraq's Shiite-dominated central government, and all indications are that Shiite militias are becoming increasingly powerful in Iraq as the war against ISIS drags on, only confirming Sunni residents fears.

Critics inside the U.S. defense community note that the battle for Mosul could be much harder than the coalition's fights so far to reclaim cities from ISIS. It took 112 days for a capable Kurdish ground force and U.S.-led air campaign to win back the small northern Syria city of Kobani.

In many ways, Kobani was one of the easier fights the coalition could've picked. ISIS wasn't particularly well-entrenched there. And the city had been largely abandoned when the ISIS attempted to take it. In other words: the coalition's airstrikes could be relatively indiscriminate without risk of civilian casualties.

Mosul, on the other hand, is arguably the capital of ISIS's Islamic caliphate in Iraq. ISIS's fighters have moved in and out of the city for the last decade, first as members of al Qaeda in Iraq.

"They will fight for Mosul. This is not like Kobani, which was peripheral," one U.S. military official told the Daily Beast.

Mosul is a heavily populated city, where ISIS forces have already built trenches and barriers. ISIS reportedly maintains security forces, collects taxes, and controls government buildings there. Where Kobani was aspirational for the group, Mosul is key.

"They will fight to the last drop of blood defending Mosul, and for them this battle could define their existence. Losing Mosul means a final defeat for Islamic State in Iraq," a retired army general living in Mosul told Reuters last month.

Before the Syrian civil war in 2011, Kobani had roughly 45,000 people. Around that time, there were roughly 1.5 million souls in Mosul. Kobani was all but destroyed in the aftermath of the ground and air campaign. The broader Sunni Arab world would likely not accept the same fate for a city as important as Mosul.

"The outrage in the Arab world if you do to Mosul what you did to Kobani, primarily with Shiite and Kurdish forces, would create a firestorm. The integrity of the city needs to be protected," said Derek Harvey, director of the University of South Florida Global Initiative for Civil Society and Conflict, and a former advisor to former Iraq commanders Gens. Dave Petraeus and Raymond Odierno.

Just last month, Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said he did not think the Iraqi army would be ready before the fall to take back Mosul. In an interview with Reuters, he said the two best Iraqi divisions are currently protecting the capital and there were not sufficient sources to replace them should a Mosul offensive began.

Asked by Reuters last month about plans touted by Iraqi and U.S. officials for an offensive by June on Mosul, Barzani said: "March, definitely not. June, also I doubt it."

On Thursday, a U.S. CENTCOM official briefed reporters and telegraphed the upcoming Mosul operation. The official, who would not be named as a condition of the briefing, said an Iraqi force of as many as 25,000 troops could launch an offensive as early as April or May. The forces, which would be made up, in part, of six Iraqi army brigades and three Kurdish peshmerga units would take on an ISIS force of as many as 2,000, the official said.

The official called it an Iraqi plan that the U.S. will assist with. But he would not say how the American forces would help.

Defenders of the war plan announcement noted that ISIS has been anticipating a counteroffensive since June 10, when its forces moved in, faced relatively little counterattack, claimed the city, and seized much of the Iraqi army's U.S.-provided weapons and equipment, including tanks and Humvees.

The longer the U.S. and Iraqi forces wait, the more entrenched ISIS becomes in Mosul.

"The stronger the defenses get to be, the stronger their caliphate becomes in Mosul," the defense official said.

There was little cost to telegraphing the operation, this official added. ISIS has already dug trenches and bolstered their forces. Announcing that a counter offensive is imminent does not change what ISIS already is doing. In the last month, U.S. and coalition air strikes have increasingly focused on Mosul. There have been airstrikes every day in the last week, striking at least 19 targets, according to coalition press releases. There were just six airstrikes during the first week of the year.

Defenders of CENTCOM were quick to dismiss concerns of sending a Shiite dominated force to Mosul, calling the military an "Iraqi one, not a Shiite Iraqi Army."

Mosul has been perilous for U.S. and Iraqi forces from the earliest days of the U.S. invasion. In July 2003, Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, were discovered hiding in Mosul. The city quickly became a hotbed for al Qaeda in Iraq, which would eventually become ISIS. The U.S. launched its first campaign to take back the city from Sunni extremists in 2004, and then again in 2008, along with Iraqi forces. The fighting lasted for several months, on and off.

The CENTCOM official told reporters Thursday that if the Iraqi Army was not ready, they would move the date back. But Harvey said there already were costs to announcing the operation.

"The worst thing you could is telegraph it, go after it and fail," Harvey said. And neither [the peshmerga nor the Iraqi security forces] is good at this kind of fighting."

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Warmongering Obama Proposes $51 Billion In War Funds - Killing Women, Children And Vulnerable With Billions That's The Way Of Peace Laurrete

Facing new security challenges in the Middle East and Ukraine, the Obama administration on Monday proposed a $534 billion Pentagon base budget plus $51 billion in war funds as it urged Congress to end spending cuts which it says erode U.S. military power.

In addition to the base budget and war funding requests, the administration proposed some $27 billion in defense spending at other agencies, primarily nuclear weapons work by the Department of Energy.

The Pentagon base budget proposal broke through the $499 billion federal spending cap for fiscal year 2016, setting up a debate in Congress over whether to continue deep cuts to federal discretionary spending or to amend the limits set in a 2011 law that sought to narrow the U.S. budget deficit.

"The geopolitical events of the past year only reinforce the need to resource DoD (Department of Defense) at the president's
requested funding level as opposed to current law," the Pentagon said in a statement.

The budget follows several years of deep spending cuts, also known as sequestration, included in a 2011 law meant to slash government deficits. Projected defense spending was supposed to be reduced by about a trillion dollars over a decade but defense officials say the cuts are eroding military capabilities after 15 years of war.

"As the budget makes clear, a return to sequester-level funding would be irresponsible and dangerous, resulting in a force too small and ill-equipped to respond to the full range of potential threats to the nation," the Pentagon said.

To counter Russian actions in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe, the defense budget includes funding to increase military exercises and training with European partners and to increase U.S. military rotational deployments to the region.

It also includes funding to combat ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria by providing training and assistance to Iraqi military troops and members of the Syrian opposition.

The proposed budget would enable the U.S. Army to fund an active-duty force of 475,000 soldiers, down slightly from its plan to retain 490,000 after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Pentagon has warned that if the 2011 budget limits remained in force, it would have to cut the Army to about 420,000 troops.

The Pentagon again sought approval for several reforms hotly opposed in Congress, including retirement of the A-10 "Warthog" close-air support aircraft, conducting a new round of U.S. base closures and curbing the rising cost of military pay and benefits.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Iran's Shiite Militias Are Running Amok in Iraq

Countless memories haunt me after a decade of service in Iraq, gripping the hands of an assassin-felled member of the provisional government as the life slipped out of her body in 2003; watching al Qaeda's beheadings of American hostages in 2004 and seeing photos of young Sunni prisoners raped and tortured by Iran-backed Shiite militias serving within the Iraqi police in 2005.It took the fall of Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, for Western elites to finally begin to understand what many of us saw firsthand in the years since 2003: The Iraqi government is hopelessl

sectarian, corrupt, and generally unfit to govern what could be one of the world's most prosperous nations. Washington's response to the Islamic State's (IS) advance, however, has been disgraceful: The United States is now acting as the air force, the armory, and the diplomatic cover for Iraqi militias that are committing some of the worst human rights abuses on the planet. These are "allies" that are actually beholden to our strategic foe, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and which often resort to the same vile tactics as the Islamic State itself.

Post-2003 Iraq was supposed to be different. Throughout the past decade, however, countless NGOs and international news organizations have borne witness to the accelerating pace of abuses. The Republic of Fear is being reborn.

Perhaps the most vivid and disturbing evidence that the Iraqi government simply does not share America's core values emerged on Feb. 6. In a grainy video posted on YouTube, a three-minute horror show plays out on the front lines somewhere in Iraq. Iraqi military officers and presumably Shiite militiamen — dressed in black, skull-adorned "Sons of Anarchy" shirts — crowd an ambulance emblazoned with the Iraqi state seal. Inside, a blindfolded and hog-tied man in military fatigues pleads for mercy as the Iraqi vigilantes beat him over the head, taunting him with expletives.

One of the vigilantes picks up a metal toolbox and slams it down on the crying man, as others enter the ambulance to beat and kick the helpless prisoner. A minute into the video, the man is dragged out of the ambulance and onto the ground, still blindfolded, arms bound behind his back. A dozen fighters surround him and begin kicking him until he lays motionless, blood dripping from his head. With some yelling "enough," a man in camouflaged trousers walks up to the prisoner and beats him over the head repeatedly with a sandal, a gesture of monumental insult. Another man, also in camouflaged trousers, leaps up twice and lands with his full weight on the detainee's skull. A third man, in full military uniform, kicks and punches the hemorrhaging man, whose blood spills across the sand below.

In the final horrific minute, the vigilantes carry the man a few feet away and drop him to the ground. Several men armed with U.S.-supplied M4 rifles then empty several magazines — perhaps more than 100 rounds — into the man.

The video concludes with one man chillingly yelling, "Enough! What's wrong with you?"

Any viewer capable of understanding the dialogue overlaying the savage imagery is left in utter shock. But that emotion should soon be replaced by rage, as the realization sets in that countless American lives, families, and taxpayer dollars were sacrificed — and are being risked today — to facilitate such brazen cruelty.

Twitter is abuzz with speculation about the victim's identity. A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter? An Islamic State spy? Regardless, one thing is clear: These were 196 vivid seconds of a lynching, a field execution, an Iraqi government and Shiite militia-orchestrated war crime broadcast around the world. And the sad reality is that this killing was facilitated by the White House.

Since assuming office in 2009, President Barack Obama and his national security team have turned a blind eye toward the growing crisis in Iraq. They seem to have simply hoped that Bush's "dumb war," as Obama once described it, would not distract them from a domestic-driven agenda. Even as the cancer at the heart of the Iraqi government metastasized, senior American officials ignored the countless classified and open sources implicating the Iraqi government in theft, torture, rape, and ethnic cleansing — insisting that the country remained on the right track.

In 2010, Vice President Joe Biden confidently insisted that Iraq "is going to be one of the great achievements of this administration," lauding Iraqis for "us[ing] the political process, rather than guns, to settle their differences."

"At every significant step along the way [of Obama's Iraq policy], many predicted that the violence would return and Iraq would slide back toward sectarian war," then White House aide and now Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in 2012. "Those predictions proved wrong."

In its eagerness to withdraw from Iraq, the Obama administration also undermined the country's central democratic institutions. After preaching the virtues of democracy around the world, Obama chose to bypass the secular, Western-leaning winner of Iraq's 2010 parliamentary elections, Ayad Allawi, in favor of the runner-up, Nouri al-Maliki. Ignoring Maliki's sectarian and autocratic tendencies, the White House then repeatedly lobbied Congress to expedite sales of advanced American military equipment, including F-16 fighter jets, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, and Hellfire missiles — even as the Iranian-allied strongman unleashed a reign of terror and purged his political enemies with less sophisticated American weapons systems.

The administration's cumulative mistakes have played a decisive role in advancing Iraq's implosion, the IS's rise, and Iran's regional hegemony. From the time that Obama took office until today, violence in Iraq has spiked nearly fourfold from the post-surge lows in 2009 — reaching levels not seen since the height of the civil war in 2006 and 2007. The Islamic State has conquered more than a third of the country while the Iraqi military imploded, despite a $25 billion investment in it by American taxpayers.

The White House responded by dispatching thousands of American military, diplomatic, and intelligence personnel to Iraq in a final bid to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. But this desperate, ill-conceived effort will inevitably fail because the administration is employing the chainsaws of Iraq's Iranian-backed Shiite militias rather than the scalpels of American special operations forces in its ground war against IS.

When it became clear that the Islamic State posed an existential threat to Iraq's Shiite-dominated government, the country's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, resorted to a measure not taken in a century: He issued a religious edict calling for all able-bodied men to take up arms to defend the state. Within months, hundreds of thousands of young Shiites responded to the call — and today, virtually all of them have been absorbed into Iranian-dominated militias, whose fundamental identity is built around a sectarian narrative rather than loyalty to the state. Recently, one militia commander estimated their total strength at 800,000 men, dwarfing the official Iraqi Security Forces.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force, Iran's Special Forces unit devoted to operations outside the Islamic Republic's borders has filled the void left by Obama's military and diplomatic disengagement from Iraq. Quds Force commander Gen. Qassem Suleimani has personally led operations from the front lines, buttressing decades-old alliances while at the same time cultivating new proxies.

The staunchly pro-Iranian Badr Organization commander Hadi al-Ameri — who was welcomed in the Oval Office by Obama in 2011, and is known for favoring power drills to murder his victims — has been tasked with leading all Iraqi efforts to secure and pacify the strategically important province of Diyala. Meanwhile, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the alleged mastermind behind the bombing of the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait in the 1980s, was given command of the Kataib Hezbollah (KH) militia, an Iranian-sponsored group responsible for some of the most lethal attacks against U.S. and coalition forces throughout the war. Muhandis and KH pose such a grave risk to Iraqi stability and American interests that they were designated as terrorists by the U.S. Treasury soon after Obama took office in 2009. Qais al-Khazali, the commander of the Iranian-sponsored Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) militia, which kidnapped and killed five American soldiers at Iran's behest in the holy city of Karbala in 2007, proudly shared his recent photo with Suleimani via social media.

This constellation of Iranian-backed militias is eclipsing official Iraqi institutions, and sowing the seeds of conflict for decades to come. During a January 2015 press conference celebrating the "liberation" of Iraq's Diyala province, Ameri stood in front of Iraqi military officers and militia fighters, thanking the Badr Organization and AAH for their efforts — without once mentioning Prime Minister Abadi or the international coalition. One of Ameri's Badr commanders then told the New York Times that Sunni tribes had backed IS, and pledged that "their punishment will be more severe than [IS's]," guaranteeing the continuation of vigilante justice and sectarian bloodletting.

These militia leaders are not only operating outside the Iraqi government's control; many key figures are deeply embedded within Baghdad's power structure. Hakim al-Zamili, an Iranian-backed militia commander notorious for ethnically cleansing Baghdad of its Sunni inhabitants while serving as Maliki's deputy health minister, is now chairman of the Iraqi Parliament's security and defense committee. Ahmad Chalabi, the convicted embezzler allegedly responsible for conspiring to feed false intelligence to Western governments ahead of the Iraq invasion, is now chairman of the Iraqi Parliament's finance committee. Mohammed Ghabban, a top deputy to Ameri in the Badr Organization, is now interior minister, ostensibly Iraq's top law enforcement officer. And Mohammed al-Bayati, another Badr leader, serves as Iraq's human rights minister, with the sacred responsibly of investigating and curtailing the abuses of Iraqi security personnel.

It would be laughable, if it were not so serious. These are the men benefitting today from billions of dollars of American assistance to Iraq.

These Shiite militias' conquests are being aided by millions of dollars in advanced American military hardware. Countless pictures and videos have emerged featuring Iranian-backed Iraqi militias parading with M1A1 tanks, M1113 armored personnel carriers, M16 and M4 rifles, Humvees, and MRAPs. At times, the militiamen launch into sectarian chants, and religious flags adorn other pictures — some have even taken to plastering their vehicles with photos of former Iranian Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini. These actions directly fuel the regional perception that the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have metastasized into a holy war, pitting Islam's billion-plus Sunnis against the minority Shiites — a worldview directly responsible for swelling both the Islamic State and the militias' ranks.

After years of gross neglect, Obama, and the broader international community now face the seemingly impossible task of pacifying and reuniting Iraq. The nation is not only a failed state; it is a shattered one: years of misrule, corruption, and genocide at the hands of Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa Party have totally destroyed the national identity, leaving only tribal, ethnic, and religious affiliations that preceded the founding of the modern Iraqi state in 1932.

It is high time that U.S. officials recognize the Iranian-backed Shiite militias for what they are: a supercharged, multi-headed hydra that represents a clear and present danger to Syria, Iraq, the broader Middle East, and thus to fundamental American national security interests. Although these events occurred less than a decade ago, many in Washington seem to have forgotten that even with 150,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq, these militias operated across Baghdad and southern Iraq much like IS does today: through a deliberate campaign of kidnapping, torture, extortion, and murder that would make Tony Soprano blush.

While pockets of success exist — namely in Iraqi Kurdistan and the holy city of Najaf — by almost any measure, Iraq as a whole today has regressed to a state far worse than it was a decade ago.

The impunity with which the Shiite militias operate is only growing. According to a senior U.S. official with an intimate understanding of the matter, the American Consulate General in Basra recently attempted to ship approximately a dozen used, armored SUVs back to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad for export and disposal, per State Department regulations. En route, the vehicles — still usable, and collectively worth millions of dollars when new — were mysteriously stolen. When senior U.S. diplomats reported the theft to the Basra governor and top security commanders, the locals promised an investigation, but reported little success.

Sometime later, during a routine trip across town, a U.S. security officer spotted one of the vehicles in front of a local garage. Bewildered and shaking his head, the U.S. official told me the Iraqi authorities insisted they could take no action, since that was a garage belonging to Asaib Ahl al-Haq — the very group that had masqueraded as an American diplomatic convoy to kidnap and kill five American soldiers in Karbala in 2007.

It is no wonder, then, that the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, recently insisted to Bloomberg's Eli Lake that the militias "represent enemies of a stable, secure, and inclusive Iraq," and that once the IS threat is defeated, "they will very likely turn on us."

There is no reason to believe that the militias will disarm and disband after IS's defeat. Indeed, with trillions of dollars of Iraqi oil wealth up for grabs, and the U.S. military no longer deployed in large numbers to constrain them, the militias have more incentive than ever to stay in business. And let's not forget that it is in Iran's strategic interest to use these militias to consolidate its gains over Iraq and the Levant, and to advance its ambitions for regional hegemony, which Iranian commanders are now publicly flaunting.

Iraq is the new, much larger, much wealthier Lebanon, and its battle-hardened militias are the new, much larger, much wealthier Hezbollah. They will haunt the world for decades to come on a scale exponentially more lethal and damaging than Lebanese Hezbollah — whose operations already span six continents, and whose operatives grace the FBI and CIA's most wanted lists.

The day after the Islamic State is expelled from Iraq is the day Iraq's next existential struggle for survival will begin. Given the militias' demonstrated sadistic penchant for ethnic cleansing and summary executions, including their joy at beheading enemies — the same savage tactics used by IS — Iraq is destined for endless conflict for the foreseeable future.

It is time to admit that the modern Iraqi state as we have known it is living on borrowed time. Obama's desperate and delusional strategy to defeat IS — which commits to investing only a fraction of the time and resources former President George W. Bush squandered trying to build viable Iraqi security forces — simply will not work, because we do not have a critical mass of Iraqi political leaders willing to put the country's interests before their sect, tribe, party, or creed. The thousands of coalition airstrikes will also not succeed, absent a broader political framework under which all Iraqis can peacefully share power and be treated equitably by their government.

In short, as with Ngo Dinh Diem's government in South Vietnam, no amount of American covert action, carpet bombing, or diplomacy can ever hope to compensate for a fundamentally inept, corrupt, and illegitimate local partner. Despite Washington's delusions and countless Americans' sacrifices, Saigon was eventually overrun by Chinese-backed communists — just as Baghdad has already been overrun by Iranian-backed Shiite militias advancing Islamic rule.

The White House's myopia, along with Obama's empowerment of one strategic enemy, the Iranian-commanded militias, to defeat another strategic threat, IS, is precisely why the dream of a stable, peaceful, prosperous, and pluralistic Iraq increasingly seems doomed. In short, Obama's Iraq strategy is not only morally bankrupt, but operationally bankrupt as well.

Congressional leaders and the White House must stop treating Iraq and other national security matters as arenas for ideological skirmishes. Instead, they must craft a comprehensive Middle East strategy to defend our regional allies and aggressively confront both radical Sunni and Shiite militants, and Iran's malign regional ambitions. By finally admitting that Baghdad is now firmly entrenched in Iran's orbit — and is ideologically and operationally an extension of Tehran — Washington can finally begin to develop plans for how to roll back the new Republic of Fear.

Extract from a Foreign Policy article published by Ali Khedery
 
Washington And Baghdad Publicly Debate About IS

AAt first, Obama, then a number of US officials announced that since September 2014, as a result of air strikes and actions of the allies, Dawla al-Islamiyya/Islamic State (IS) has suffered substantial losses in Syria and Iraq. Advance of the IS was stopped, large areas reclaimed.

According to the US authorities and their representatives, in the course of hostilities 6,000 members of the IS were killed, over one thousand pieces of military equipment were destroyed. This was stated by US ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones in an interview with Al-Arabiya.

Obama claimed that the IS is "degrading", but "more time is needed to win".

US State Secretary Kerry stated 50% of military commanders and other members of senior leadership of the IS were killed. 200 oil and gas facilities, used by the IS to fund its operations, destroyed. "Foreign fighter networks of the IS have been broken up in Australia, Malaysia, Kosovo and in other countries".

In turn, the Kurds announced their successes in Iraq and Syria. According to them, large areas in Iraqi Kurdistan, in Sinjar, were reclaimed from the IS. The command of Peshmerga forces claim they cut the road between Mosul and Tal Afa, and now they "isolate Mosul more every day". The Kurds also claim that they allegedly control 95% of Kobani (aka Ayn al-Arab, renamed by the IS into Ayn al-Islam).

However, Baghdad does not agree with victorious reports of the US-backed vice president of the Shiite regime Ayad Allawi, it said Washington allegations did not correspond to the reality.

According to him, the IS is not weakened but "getting stronger" and continues to threaten Baghdad.

"It's not true that they have lost control in Syria and are losing control in Iraq. Let us face the facts as they are". He said the threat of IS is "rising now in Libya".

Allawi said that in fact there was no necessary coordination among allies, instead there is "chaos and uncoordination".

According to him "the goal should be global and not limited to Syria and Iraq".

In turn, an official of the Saudi regime, Turki al-Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence and former ambassador to the US, speaking in Davos, complained that "the coalition, which includes the Arab countries, is limited in its actions in Iraq". According to him, the Shia regime in Baghdad "doesn't want Arab involvement in Iraq". "They want Iran, but not Arabs", said al-Faisal.

Statements of Ayad Allawi and al-Faisal revealed significant differences in actions between the so-called "allies". Allawi acknowledged that up to now, there was no exchange of intelligence information with Saudi Arabia. "There is no trust. The intelligence is undermined by distrust. Really, the whole region is not equipped to handle the sharing", he lamented.

American press notes that despite continuing air strikes, the IS still controls large areas, and the battle for Kobani also continues.

The IS seeks to enlist the support of the Sunni tribes with a number of social programs and providing foods for the poor.

In turn, officials of Western regimes believe that Iraq has to overcome the "sectarian schism" to achieve "unity of goals".

Meanwhile, the IS command prepares for defense of Mosul, according to Reuters. According to the agency, the IS announced a tender among construction workers on strengthening fortifications to protect the city. For example, for every kilometer of the trench, the IS command is willing to pay $ 4,000.

The western entrance to Mosul is already blocked by giant cement walls.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Former ISIS Supporter And Cleric Saudi Preacher Tells Of Life Under Al-Baghdadi's Caliphate

A Saudi preacher who had escaped the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after having joined it has come out against the group, criticizing its "distorted" version of Islam.

Sheikh Mani'i Al-Mani'i had shocked many last year when he announced on Twitter that he had joined "the land of Jihad" and that he pledged allegiance to ISIS.

After several months the preacher fled the group and surrendered himself to the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

He recently appeared on a Saudi television channel recounting his experience under ISIS.

"I found that instead of freedom, and instead of freedom of belief, they force people to accuse of infidelity those that they think are infidels," the preacher said of ISIS militants.

He added that ISIS militants even regard the people Makkah, the birthplace of Islam, as infidels.

The preacher warns Saudi youth not to listen to ISIS propaganda, saying the religion that the militant group tries to promote is nothing close to the religion of Islam he knows.

"It is not the Islam that I know," he said.

"I was prevented from traveling, my passport was taken away, and I was also forced to pledge allegiance to the organization," he added.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
ISIS Executes Three Of Its Chinese Militants: China Paper

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has killed three Chinese militants who joined its ranks and later attempted to flee, a Chinese state-run newspaper said, the latest account of fighters from China embroiled in the Middle East conflict.

China has expressed concern about the rise of ISIS, nervous about the effect it could have on its Xinjiang region, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But Beijing has also shown no sign of wanting to take part in the U.S.-led coalition's efforts to use military force against the militant group.

Around 300 Chinese extremists were fighting with ISIS after travelling to Turkey, the Global Times, a tabloid run by China's ruling Communist Party's official newspaper, said in December.

The paper on Thursday cited an unnamed Kurdish security official as saying that a Chinese man was "arrested, tried and shot dead" in Syria in late September by ISIS after he became disillusioned with jihad and attempted to return to Turkey to attend university.

"Another two Chinese militants were beheaded in late December in Iraq, along with 11 others from six countries. ISIS charged them with treason and accused them of trying to escape," the official said, according to the paper.

ISIS, which has seized parts of northern and eastern Syria as well as northern and western Iraq, has killed hundreds off the battlefield since the end of June, when it declared a caliphate.

Chinese officials blame separatists from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) for carrying out attacks in Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people. But they are vague about how many people from China are fighting in the Middle East.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei did not comment on the report at a regular press briefing, but said China was opposed to "all forms of terrorism".

"China is willing to work with the international community to combat terrorist forces, including ETIM, and safeguard global peace, security and stability," Hong said.

Human rights advocates say economic marginalization of Uighurs and curbs on their culture and religion are the main causes of ethnic violence in Xinjiang and around China that has killed hundreds of people in recent years. China denies these assertions.

China has criticized the Turkish government for offering shelter to Uighur refugees who have fled through southeast Asia, saying it creates a global security risk.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Three Things We Have Learnt About Ignorant Khawarijite ISIS After Moaz Al Kasasbeh's Execution

By Bilal Abdul Kareem

After the execution video of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive, we have learnt three things about ISIS, writes Bilal Abdul Kareem.

On Tuesday, ISIS released a video of Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Moaz al Kasasbeh who they captured last December being burnt alive. He was locked inside a steel cage wearing an orange jumpsuit that had been drenched with flammable liquid and burned alive.
 
Three Things We Have Learnt About Ignorant Khawarijite ISIS After Moaz Al Kasasbeh's Execution

By Bilal Abdul Kareem

After the execution video of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive, we have learnt three things about ISIS, writes Bilal Abdul Kareem.

On Tuesday, ISIS released a video of Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Moaz al Kasasbeh who they captured last December being burnt alive. He was locked inside a steel cage wearing an orange jumpsuit that had been drenched with flammable liquid and burned alive.

Lt Kasasbeh angered many Muslims around the world when his country Jordan decided to participate in a US-led coalition to bomb ISIS positions, while totally abandoning the Bashar al-Assad regime that has killed more than 200,000 innocent men, women, and children.

ISIS demanded the release of failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi who was convicted in connection to a 2005 terrorist attack in Jordan in exchange for Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. Jordanian authorities offered to release Rishawi in exchange for Kasasbeh. However, negotiations broke down, and in retaliation, Jordanian authorities executed Rishawi yesterday morning.

Now that we've refreshed our minds with what's happened, let's see what we have learned from these recent events.

ISIS are ignorant of the Sunnah

Abu Dawud dedicated a chapter in his Sunan entitled, "The Detestable Nature of Burning the Opposing Forces with Fire". Below are a few relevant hadith.

#2673. It was reported from Muhammad bin Hamzah Al-Aslami from his father, that the Messenger of Allah appointed him as a commander over a military expedition. He said: "So I went along with them, and he (the Prophet) said: 'If you find so-and-so, then burn him with fire.' Then I turned to depart. He called me to come back, so I came back to him. He said: 'If you find so-and-so, then kill him, and do not burn him, for nobody punishes with fire except the Lord of the Fire."

#2675. It was reported from 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Abdullah, from his father who said: "We were with the Messenger of Allah in a journey. He went to relieve himself. We saw a Humrah with two chicks of hers, and we took one of her chicks The Humrah came and started shaking her spread out wings. The Prophet came and said: 'Who distressed her because of her chicks, give her chick back to her. And he also saw an ant colony which we had burnt, so he said: 'Who burnt this down?' We said: 'We did.' He said: 'It is not allowed to punish with fire, except for the Lord of the Fire."

Both of the above mentioned hadith were classified by Shaykh Al Albani as authentic in his checking and review of the book.

In Silsilat al-Ahadith as-Saheehah (#487), he adds a discussion of the authentic narration of when Ali (ra) ordered some people to face the death penalty by fire. When news of this reached Ibn 'Abbas (ra), he disapproved of the decision and relayed a hadith of the Prophet (saw) with a similar wording: "Do not punish with the punishment of Allah!" (Sahih Bukhari #3017).

Imam at-Tirmidhi also collected it in his Jaami' (#1458), adding that when this comment got back to Ali, he said, "Ibn 'Abbas has spoken correctly."

The ruling on this issue is very clear. The Messenger of Allah (saw) did not even accept ants to be killed in this way. How much more so a human being? Perhaps, it is a case that ISIS members and leadership are so ignorant of the Sunnah that they weren't aware of these ahadith. In which case, they should be declared too Islamically ignorant to be carrying out the actions they are undertaking. Worst case scenario, they are fully aware of these ahadith and don't care. If there is a third option, I'd like to know what it is because I do not see what else it could be. I am honestly stuck to find how even the most hardcore ISIS supporter can explain this action.

Thirst for blood takes precedence

By demanding the release of Sajida al-Rishawi they placed a spotlight on her. Surely they must have known that in doing so, they would have potentially exposed her to a reprisal should negotiations fail. ISIS has maintained that the blood of one Muslim is worth the blood of a thousand non-Muslims, or so they have said on numerous occasions. According to their logic, ISIS considered Lt Kasasbeh to have apostated from Islam. Why not make the exchange then if they truly placed such a high value on Sajida Rishawi's life? Or perhaps the group is more bloodthirsty than serious about the very statements they make?

Sajida Rishawi was on death row since 2005 and yet her sentence was not carried out. Now through ISIS' actions, a sentence that had not been carried out for more than nine years was expedited in a matter of hours. Those who support ISIS, how can you defend the handling of this affair? They had to have known that Rishawi would have been killed should they kill Lt Kasasbeh. Did they consider that displaying to the world the burning of this pilot was worth the life of Rishawi? This seems to defy their logic, or is there another perspective?

Who is benefitting from ISIS?

ISIS has succeeded in uniting the world's powers not just against them, but against Muslims in general. At best we could say they are horrible tacticians, at worst we could say that they have done it purposely. It is difficult to imagine how anyone could support a group that displayed the burning of this pilot knowing full well the clear Islamic ruling regarding burning. Unless, that was their objective all along: to turn popular opinion against any just and legal Islamic struggle. They must have known that popular opinion would not discriminate against ISIS or other Islamic groups, thereby hurting every Islamic cause around the world.

Message to ISIS Members and their supporters

ISIS members and supporters, you must listen to reason, Islamic reason. You made a mistake in supporting the unknown Abu Bakr Baghdadi and his group. It is not the end of the world to recognise your mistake. As we read in the hadith mentioned above, Ali (ra) made a mistake and freely admitted it instead of trying to defend it or explain why. The worst mistake is to compound the original one and try to justify and explain away clear violations of the Quran and Sunnah.

Abandoning ISIS doesn't mean abandoning Islam or the desire that Muslims around the world share, which is to see a just and fair Caliphate. So it is now up to you to decide. What will you do now? Accuse the Ummah of being against you because you are "on the truth" and they are not? Spit another takfir laced diatribe about how Muslims really don't want Islam and only you do? Truly this is a time to see who supports Islam and who merely supports Baghdadi.

Bilal Abdul Kareem is an American journalist and filmmaker who spent two years in Syria documenting the rebels.
 
'ISIL Has Nothing to Do With Qur'an'

Spending 10 months as captive for the so-called Islamic State (ISIL), French journalist Didier François said his captors were usually engaged in political discussions and 'didn't even have the Qur'an'.

"There was never really discussion about texts or -- it was not a religious discussion. It was a political discussion," François told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, February 3.

"It was more hammering what they were believing than teaching us about the Quran. Because it has nothing to do with the Qur'an."

"They didn't even have the Quran; they didn't want even to give us a Qur'an."

Francois is one of the few captives who were released by ISIL last April before the militant group's expansion in Iraq.

Though he did not wish to elaborate on how he was treated by ISIL, he stressed that local Syrians and Iraqis faced most of the torture at the hands of their captors.

"We could see some of them in the corridors when we were taken to the toilets," he said, "and we could see some people lying in their blood."

"You could see the chains hanging, or the ropes hanging, or the iron bars."

For François, losing freedom was the worst nightmare he faced during those 10 months.

"Of course we were beaten up. But it was not every day. I mean, it's hard enough -- you don't have to overplay it."

"It's hard enough to lose your freedom. It's hard enough to be in the hands of people who you know are killing hundreds and thousands of local Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Tunisians, can put bombs in our countries."

"It's terrifying enough. The beating is strong, but it's not every day. It happens sometimes."

"If they wanted to wreck you, they could. None of us would have been able to go through if it was beating every day, and torture every day."

Lucky

Francois was released on April 19, 2014, at the Turkish borders where soldiers found them with their hands bound and blindfolded.

He was released just before ISIL made its shocking sweep through Iraq, capturing vast amounts of territory in June 2014.

"So we didn't know the level of the risk, or we didn't realize the level of the risk at the time.

'Plus it was the time when the people from ISIS were still hiding within Jabhat al-Nusra and didn't organize their kind of coup within al Qaeda," he added, using another acronym for the militant group.

Militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been widely condemned by Muslims worldwide who staged several protests to express anger against the terrorist group.

Echoing Al-Azhar Grand Imam condemnation of the group, Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh has urged Muslims to take up arms against the militant group's members, condemning them as aggressors who abuse people's lives, possessions and honor.

Al-Sheikh has described Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State jihadists as 'enemy number one' of Islam.

Months ago, Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam also condemned the militants for atrocities they have been perpetrating in the countries and their violation of principles and teachings preached by Islam.

India Sunni and Shiite Muslims have united against the rise of ISIL, asserting that the actions of destroying holy sites, supporting sectarianism and divisions between Muslim groups cannot be attributed to a true Islamic state.

Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia's largest Islamic group has condemned ISIL, urging the government to take firmer action against the possible spread of the movement in Indonesia.

The Islamic Student Union (HMI) has also condemned Indonesian Muslims condoning and adhering to ISIL's ideology.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Reactions To New ISIS Atrocity - The Gruesome Burning Of The Jordanian Pilot By The Extremists: International Condemnation Of 'Appalling' Execution

Following the 'gruesome' and extremely violent execution of the Jordanian pilot by ISIL, international condemnation of this heinous killing was drawn.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot by Islamic State militants, calling it an 'appalling act.'

Ban labeled the IS group 'a terrorist organization with no regard for human life' and urged world governments to redouble their efforts to 'combat the scourge of terrorism and extremism,' according to his spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The 15 members of the UN Security Council also denounced the apparent killing, saying 'such continued acts of barbarism perpetrated by ISIL do not intimidate them but rather stiffen their resolve' to counter extremist movements.

Obama earlier decried the 'cowardice and depravity' of the Islamic State, saying the brutal killing would only strengthen international resolve to destroy the extremists.

'Today, we join the people of Jordan in grieving the loss of one of their own,' the president added, as his administration reaffirmed its intention to give Jordan $3 billion in security aid over the next three years.

'As we grieve together, we must stand united, respectful of his sacrifice to defeat this scourge,' Obama said after the latest in a wave of grizzly filmed murders.

King Abdullah II, who was visiting Washington as the video came to light, recorded a televised address to his shocked and outraged nation.

The king, who was once in the military himself, described First Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh as a hero and vowed to take the battle to Islamic State extremists, who have executed several captives on camera in recent months, provoking worldwide revulsion.

'Jordan's response will be earth-shattering,' Information Minister Mohammed Momani said on television, while the army and government vowed to avenge the pilot's murder.

'Whoever doubted the unity of the Jordanian people, we will prove them wrong.'

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said that if a video purporting to show the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot is authenticated, it just shows the organization's 'barbarity.'

'Should in fact this video be authentic, it's just one more indication of the viciousness (and) barbarity of this organization,' Obama said.

'This organization is only interested in death and destruction,' he said when asked about the video at a brief public appearance.

In Tokyo, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the apparent execution by the Islamic State group of a Jordanian pilot as 'unforgivable' on Wednesday, days after the murders of two Japanese hostages.

'It was an unforgivable, outrageous act. I strongly condemn it,' Abe said in parliament hours after the jihadists released a video purportedly showing the 26-year-old pilot being burned alive in a cage.

Muslim World Scholars Condemn Ignorant Khawarijite ISIS

Muslim clerics widely condemned the burning to death of a Jordanian pilot by Islamic State, saying such a form of killing was considered despicable by Islam, no matter the context.  Islamic State militants released a video on Tuesday appearing to show captured pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh being burnt alive in a cage. Jordan, which has participated in a U.S.-led military campaign to bomb Islamic State positions, responded overnight by executing two al-Qaida convicts on death row.

Egypt's top Muslim authority, the 1,000 year old Al-Azhar university revered by Sunni Muslims around the world, issued a statement expressing "deep anger over the lowly terrorist act" by what it called a "Satanic, terrorist" group.

The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb, said the killers themselves deserved to be "killed, crucified or to have their limbs amputated."

Saudi cleric Salman al-Odah wrote on his Twitter account: "Burning is an abominable crime rejected by Islamic law regardless of its causes. It is rejected whether it falls on an individual or a group or a people. Only God tortures by fire," he added.

The Islamic State posted a religious edict on Twitter, which ruled that it is permissible in Islam to burn an infidel to death.

Shocking

But even clerics sympathetic to the jihadist cause said the act of burning a man alive and filming the killing would damage Islamic State, an al-Qaida offshoot which controls wide territory in Syria and Iraq, and is also known as ISIL or ISIS.

"This weakens the popularity of Islamic State because we look at Islam as a religion of mercy and tolerance. Even in the heat of battle, a prisoner of war is given good treatment," said Abu Sayaf, a Jordanian Salafist cleric also known as Mohamed al-Shalabi who spent almost ten years in Jordanian prisons for militant activity including a plot to attack U.S. troops.

"Even if the Islamic State says Muath had bombed, and burnt and killed us and we punished him in the way he did to us, we say, OK but why film the video in this shocking way?" he told Reuters. "This method has turned society against them."

SITE, a U.S.-based monitoring service, quoted Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Muhaysini, whom it described as a Saudi jihadi, as saying on Twitter it would have been better if Kasaesbeh's captors had swapped him for "Muslim captives". His killing would make ordinary people sympathetic to Kasaesbeh, he said.

Still, some admirers of Islamic State cheered the killing. In a Twitter message, a user called Suhaib said: "To any pilot participating in the crusader coalition against the holy warriors - know that your plane might fall in the next mission. Sleep well!"

The killing was denounced in the Arab press. The pan-Arab al-Hayat newspaper published the report on its front page under the headline "Barbarity".

Saudi Arabia's Arabic daily al-Riyadh newspaper wrote that the Islamic state had "deepened its savagery and its bloody approach" by burning Kasaesbeh.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Mask Off America-Iran Secrete Collaboration In Fightings In Syria And Iraq: Iran Warplanes Target Mujahidun In Clearest Sign Yet Of US Partnership

When you see a warplane overhead in Iraq, and its backing Assad's Ba'thi army, Baghdad's Shiite millitia and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in a battle against the Mujahidun, especially the Syria resistance power-base of Jabhat An-Nusrah and the Islamic State Of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), you automatically think of the United States. They are, after all, the one with hundreds of planes in the area doing that.

But according to news reporters, including the antiwar's Jason Ditz video released today shows that their "anti-Mujahidun coalition" isn't the only ones, as an Iranian F-4 Phantom is seen backing Kurdish fighters in trying to retake a pair of lost towns.

The plane caught on video backing Iranian staunch ally tyrant Assad and Kurdish Ba'thist party forces clearly confrims that Iran is involved in the ISIS war is hardly news, but the use of a warplane in a traditional US role is a major story, as it is all-but-impossible that Iran would be doing so without direct coordination with the US.

The US is desperate to the point of paranoia to say they "control the airspace" in Iraq, and having other nations' warplanes just flying around willy nilly would make no sense, and would almost certainly make those planes a target. Iran would not be sending warplanes into Iraqi airspace in mid-US war, and in the vicinity of several US warplanes, without the US having confirmed that it was okay with them.

The US continues to deny any coordination with Iran and Syria on the ISIS war, but this denial seems to be primarily a diplomatic ploy at this point, and has no bearing on the policy.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 

Stop the Killing: In Approaching The Nightmare Of Renewed, Expanded U.S. War In Iraq

By Kathy Kelly

On August 9, 1983, three people dressed as U.S. soldiers saluted their way onto a U.S. military base and climbed a pine tree. The base contained a school training elite Salvadoran and other foreign troops to serve dictatorships back home, with a record of nightmarish brutality following graduation. That night, once the base's lights went out, the students of this school heard, coming down from on high, the voice of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

"I want to make a special appeal to soldiers, national guardsmen, and policemen: each of you is one of us. The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a man telling you to kill, remember God's words, 'thou shalt not kill.' No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God. In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people, I beseech you, I implore you; in the name of God I command you to stop the repression."

The three in the tree with the loudspeaker weren't soldiers - two of them were priests. The recording they played was of Archbishop Romero's final homily, delivered a day before his assassination, just three years previous, at the hands of paramilitary soldiers, two of whom had been trained at this school.

Fr. Larry Rosebaugh, (who was killed in Guatemala on May 18, 2009), Linda Ventimiglia, and Fr. Roy Bourgeois, (a former missioner expelled from Bolivia who was later excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church because of his stance on women's ordination) were sentenced to 15 -18 months in prison for the stirring drama they created on the base that night. Romero's words were heard loud and clear, and even after military police arrived at the base of the tree and stopped the broadcast, Roy Bourgeois, who would later found a movement to close the school, continued shouting Romero's appeal as loudly as he could until he was shoved to the ground, stripped, and arrested.

In approaching the nightmare of renewed, expanded U.S. war in Iraq, I think of Archbishop Romero's words and example. Romero aligned himself, steadily, with the most impoverished people in El Salvador, learning about their plight by listening to them every weekend in the program he hosted on Salvadoran radio. With ringing clarity, he spoke out on their behalf, and he jeopardized his life challenging the elites, the military and the paramilitaries in El Salvador.

I believe we should be trying very hard to hear the grievances of people in Iraq and the region, including those who have joined the Islamic State, as regards U.S. policies and wars that have radically affected their lives and well-being over the past three decades. It could be that many of the Iraqis who are fighting with Islamic State forces lived through Saddam Hussein's oppression when he received fierce and unconditional support from the U.S. during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Many may be survivors of the U.S. Desert Storm bombing in 1991, which destroyed every electrical facility across Iraq. When the U.S. insisted on imposing crushing and murderous economic sanctions on Iraq for the next 13 years, these sanctions directly contributed to the deaths of one half million children under age five. The children who died should have been teenagers now, --are some of the Islamic State fighters the brothers or cousins of the children who were punished to death by economic sanctions? Presumably many of these fighters lived through the U.S.-led 2003 Shock and Awe invasion and bombing of Iraq and the chaos the U.S. chose to create afterwards, using a war-shattered country as some sort of free market experiment; they've endured the repressive corruption of the regime the U.S. helped install in Saddam's place.

The United Nations should take over the response to the Islamic State, and people should continue to pressure the U.S. and its allies to leave the response not merely to the U.N. but to its most democratic constituent body, the General Assembly.

But facing the bloody mess that has developed in Iraq and Syria, I think Archbishop Romero's exhortation to the Salvadoran soldiers pertains directly to U.S. people.

Suppose these words were slightly rewritten: I want to make a special appeal to people of the United States. Each of you is one of us. The peoples you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a person telling you to kill, remember God's words, 'thou shalt not kill.' No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God. In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people, I beseech you, I implore you …I command you to stop the repression."

The war on the Islamic State will distract us from what the U.S. has done and is doing to further create despair, in Iraq, and to enlist new recruits for the Islamic State. The Islamic State is the echo of the last war the U.S. waged in Iraq, the so-called "Shock and Awe" bombing and invasion. The emergency is not the Islamic State but war.

We in the U.S. must give up our notions of exceptionalism, recognize the economic and societal misery our country caused in Iraq, recognize that we are a perpetually war-crazed nation, seek to make reparations, and find dramatic, clear ways to insist that Romero's words be heard: Stop the killing.

 
Amnesty International Confirms Current Iraqi Government Openly Endorses War Crimes Agaist Sunnis

Shia militias in Iraq have abducted and killed Sunni civilians with the support of the current government, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

The Shia militiamen number in the tens of thousands and wear military uniforms but operate outside any legal framework and without any official oversight, the London-based watchdog warned in its new report, entitled "Absolute Impunity: Militia Rule in Iraq." It said the militiamen are never prosecuted for their crimes.

Shia militias are ruthlessly targeting Sunni civilians on a sectarian basis under the guise of fighting terrorism, in an apparent bid to punish Sunnis.

Amnesty said the fate of many Sunni abductees remains unknown and that some captives have been killed even after their families paid ransoms of $80,000 or more.

The accusations were based on compelling evidence derived from interviews with families and survivors who confirmed that members of four prominent Iraqi Shia militias — Asaib Ahl al-Haq, the Badr Brigades, the Mahdi Army, and Ketaeb Hizbollah — were behind the abduction and killing of hundreds Sunnis.

The ex-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - in an attempt to ignite the civil war to achieve his will to stay in office for a third term - called on Shia militiamen as volunteers to support the Iraqi army - despite billions spent on building that army - leading several powerful militias - all with links to neighbouring Iran - to defend him not the country, as he was repeatedly alleged .

The revival of the militias has deepened the sense of alienation among the country's Sunnis - seen as a key factor in stabilizing the country - and has raised fears of a return to the sectarian conflict that gripped the country in 2006 and 2007.

Iraq's new designated Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, from al-Maliki's Shia Islamist Dawa party, has pledged to bring the Shia militiamen under control, but Amnesty said the government has not only failed to prosecute Shia militiamen but has openly condoned their actions.

"By granting its blessing to militias who routinely commit such abhorrent abuses, the Iraqi government is giving official approval for war crimes and fuelling a dangerous cycle of sectarian violence that is tearing the country apart," said Donatella Rovera, a senior adviser with Amnesty.

In a new crime committed by government forces, killing 15 civilians from one family in a rocket attack on their house in the village (Albu To'ama) Saturday morning north of the city of Tikrit, as well as a complete destruction of their house and material damage neighboring houses.

In Salahuddin province, as well, two people were killed and five others were injured with various injuries in a bombing Saturday morning nearby mosque Al-Wahab amid district (Tuz), without knowledge who the targeted by the blast.

Whereas, residents of the district (Dujail) south of Tikrit; found the body of the citizen Abbas Mohammed Saleh al-Naimi in a side channel of salt water, a few days after been abducted at the hands of sectarian militias, armed and backed by the current Iraqi government.

Two civilians were killed and five others injured after a government mortar attack on Saturday, on scattered areas of Fallujah, the largest city in Anbar province, private sources reported; that heavy bombarded today on the city of Fallujah, noting that the rockets landed in different districts within the city, wounding nine civilians, including a woman, as well as the huge destruction to buildings and houses there.

In Baghdad, killed two people and wounded six others with various injuries as a result of an improvised explosive device on Saturday, the center of the capital, according to a security source at the current Ministry of the Interior.

In the same context, killed three people and wounded 17 others were injured by the explosion of two bombs in the district (Madain) and area (Sha'ab) Saturday afternoon south and north of the capital.

In a while, one person was killed and nine others were injured; bomb explosion inside a popular cafe on Saturday evening, amid district (Mahmudiyah) south of the capital Baghdad, is likely to be members of sectarian militias had put the bomb there.

To the south of Baghdad, militiamen of the so-called "popular mobilization" who fighting alongside the government army; were dead and wounded; as a result of violent clashes broke out on Saturday evening in the area of the Jurf Al Sakhar in northern Babil province.

Agencies, AMIS, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Turks Tell Where They Plan To Establish So-called 'Buffer Zone' In Syria

By Markaz Kavkaz

Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu told about Ankara's plans to create a so-called "buffer zone" in Syria, bordering Turkey.

"Buffer zone" should stretch from the Mediterranean to Iraq. At the same time Mr. Davutoglu argues that it is not about a war zone, but about a humanitarian zone "under military protection".

In the opinion of Ankara, this area should be a safe zone for civilians and involved the implementation of a no-fly zone.

In an interview with Al Jazeera the Turkish PM reported some of the details of these plans. "Buffer zone", in his opinion, should extend from the Turkish border and further to the north of Latakia, in some areas in Hasaka, and should include Jarabulus, Ayn al-Arab (aka Kobani), Tel Abyad, Idlib and Afrin "to protect local people - Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen".

Mr. Davutoglu said that the so-called "depth of safe zone" may vary depending more or less on "humanitarian situation" in these areas. In this case, the Turkish Prime Minister has confirmed that Turkey would not accept any unilateral action without UN Security Council decisions and support "of the international coalition".

He pointed to the importance of the introduction of a no-fly zone, recalling that this practice had been used in Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

Turkish and Western media are reminded that Turkey has been facing Western pressure and internal protests of Kurds, because of its position of non-interference in hostilities in Syria.

US and its allies urge Turkey to start a ground operation against the Ad Dawla al-Islamiyya/Islamic State (IS). Pressure increased after the IS units took over most of the city of Ayn al-Arab with a predominantly Kurdish population.

Kurds accuse Turkey of inactivity. Western countries are pushing Turks for the invasion. Possible seizure of Kobani has been touted as "a very dangerous precedent with serious consequences".

Ankara responded to claims that it will not allow itself to be drawn into a war in Syria. According to the Turkish government, any military action ought to be done together with NATO and other countries.

PM Davutoglu countered criticism of Turkey, saying: "The fall of Ayn-al Arab could really sadden us, and we will do everything to stop it, but where were they when Raqqa fell? Where where they when Jarabulus, Mosul fell?"

Meanwhile, the fightings on the border with Turkey, in the area of Kobani are continuing. US and its allies continue to bombarding the IS positions. Warplanes of Jordan and Saudi Arabia are also participating in the bombardments.

It is known that the military junta of Egypt sent to Jordan 27 of its pilots to participate in air raids on Syria.
 
Iraqis Opposes All Calls For Deployment Of International Forces

The Association of Muslim Scholars strongly condemned the irresponsible statements of Vice Chairman of the Anbar Provincial Council, Faleh al-Issawi, which published at Alsumaria News site on the deployment of international ground military forces in the province, claiming that the elders and dignitaries of Anbar support this tacky demand.

The Association emphasized in a press release issued by the Section of Culture and Information that (Issawi) represents himself only and the weak people around him, but certainly the Anbar's people disapproves of any foreign military presence on the territory of the province, rejecting this idea totally, and they will protest against that by all means; because they realize the seriousness of the implications of this presence over Iraq and its people.

It explained that this irresponsible request detrimental to the history of the province known to resist the brutal American occupation , as it represented a pursue to a project of tearing Iraq and the complexity of the scene in it, and it falls under the dangerous marketing for reoccupation forces on the ground after returning via air war under the pretext of fighting (terrorism).

The Association of Muslim Scholars concluded at the end of press release to say: "The people of Anbar, as they well known of their pride, can not remain silent concerning such shameful statements, stressing that the invitation of occupation to return to Iraq can not be spoken by any honest Iraqi citizen".

Meanwhile, in another sign of the sectarian militia criminal activities; local residents in the area (Yathrib) of the district Balad south of Tikrit, have found bodies of 13 people, who have been kidnapped by the government-backed militia earlier, dumped at a farm in the area, the victims have been killed by shooting in head and chest, after being handcuffed and blindfolded.

While, a government policeman was killed and 15 others wounded, including civilians, after a bicycle bomb on Monday in the district (Qadisiya) south of the city of Kirkuk, the center of the province of Tamim.

In a related context,the killing of a militiaman of the so-called "Popular Mobilization" and (12) others injured, including members of the government police in two separate attacks Monday morning on checkpoints of those militia in the areas of (Owaynat) and the neighborhood (Mutassim) of Samarra, south of Tikrit, the center of the province of Salahuddin.

Meanwhile, an attack on a government military patrol, killing two soldiers and four more wounded Monday in two bombs, on the farms road in the district (El'ethaim) north of the city of Baquba, capital of Diyala province.

In a similar attack, four people from the same family were injured, including two children, when a bomb exploded on Monday inside an orchard in the village of (Abu Karma) of the district (Abe Syda) northeast of the city of Baquba.

Died his wounds, the member at Qara Teppa Town Local Council, Hussein Abdel-Hamid, where he was seriously injured by the deadliest bombings yesterday amid the town, that killed and wounded more than 156 people, including another member of the town council, Qasim Reza, also killed in the same attack.

In Baghdad, killing at least 22 people, including members of the government police and more than 41 others wounded in a car bomb in Aden Square at the area of ??Kazimiyah.

Whereas, the killing of (12) people and wounding 35 others in simultaneous explosions Monday evening in Sadr City and Habibiya of Baghdad .

Moreover, at least one person was killed, and five others wounded; following the explosion of an improvised explosive device Monday evening in front of a liquor store at Sadoun street in central Baghdad.

In another attack; a car bomb exploded in the center of the city of Samarra, targeted a government headquarters where militia of the so-called "Salam Brigades" stationed there.

Agencies, AMIS, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Iraqi Government Imposes Curfew In The Provincial Capital Of Ramadi Friday, Fearing Militants

In another messy measures of the current government, press sources at the city of Ramadi said Friday, the government authorities there have imposed a curfew on numerous districts of the city.

The sources pointed out that the government army troops and the Awakening forces, as well as the so-called "Anbar Provincial Council," announced in a joint statement published in the local media; impose the curfew starting one hour after midnight last night until further notice, noting that this decision comes because of fear of possible attack waged by insurgents who control almost the Anbar province.

Meanwhile, as a confirmation of the international occupation intention to deploy ground forces in Iraq, the Italian government sent (280) soldiers and three reconnaissance planes to Baghdad and Erbil, and in the framework of the new war waged by the international forces in Iraq and Syria, as press sources and news agencies confirmed on Friday.

The sources pointed out, quoting Italian Secretary of Defense (Roberta Pinotti) said in a press statement; The Rome sent (200), who were described as "advisers" to the province of Arbil northern Iraq, in addition to three reconnaissance planes, adding that her country intends also - in this context - to send (80) others to Baghdad.

In continous air raids by the government warplanes, was bombed on Friday morning civilian areas in Salahuddin province, killing nine people and injuring 14 others, while they were performing Friday prayers; in a mosque in the area (Albu-Ajeel) east of the city of Tikrit, as well as damages and material losses.

As winter comes the suffering of the displaced increases, where sources in Diyala province on Friday; informed that the camps for the displaced in the district (Khanaqin) north of the province; threatening of a serious humanitarian disaster due to heavy rains over the past few hours.

Members of sectarian militias supported by the government security agencies have killed a farmer and his wife on Friday evening, when they were working at their field in a village of the district (Khalis) north of the city of Baquba, capital of Diyala province.

In Diyala as well, Members of sectarian militias wearing government army uniform; have carried out abduction of five citizens from the province on Friday in different parts of the city of Baquba, and took them to an unknown destination.

The sources indicated that this kidnapping happened while the security checkpoints of government agencies not only were watching, but providing them information about the areas and the people who they live there, pointing out that these practices became a repeated incidents , as well as most of the people who have been kidnapped killed after being tortured.

A new wave of car bombings rocked parts of the capital, where a car bomb exploded in the area (Baladyat) east of the capital killed 15 people and wounded 33 others, whereas killed and wounded 21 people in a similar blast in the area (Karrada) , while six people were killed and 19 others wounded in a third car bomb nearby a government police checkpoint in Sadr City, moreover three civilians have been killed and 11 others injured in a bombing of another explosive-laden car in the area (Suleikh) northeast of the capital.

Bomb Kills Anbar Police Chief, As The Militants Are Just A "20-minute Drive" From The Capital Baghdad

The police chief of Anbar province, Major General (Ahmed Saddag al-Dulaimi) has been killed in a roadside bomb targeted his convoy Sunday morning in the area Albo Richa northern the provincial capital of Ramadi.

After that, deadliest bombings struck town (Qara Tappah), killing at least 22 people and wounded more than 134 others, including leading figures in the political parties and members of the security, the result of three simultaneous bombings, a car bomb and two explosive belts, on Sunday targeted government departments and the police station, amid the town that located northeast of the city of Baquba, Diyala province.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and injured five others from the same family in a bomb explosion Sunday morning in the area (Shiftah) the center of the city of Baquba.

In the capital, three people were killed, including a government soldier and wounded ten others, including four soldiers as a result of two bombs one in the area Latifiya and the other in the district Sha'ab Sunday morning south and north of Baghdad.

Unidentified gunmen have killed a government policeman in an attack targeted him Sunday afternoon in the area of ??Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad, while two bodies of men have also been found north of Baghdad.

The killing of a member of the so-called "Popular Mobilization" and nine others were wounded, including two government policemen in three bombs, one of them an adhesive in the districts of Dujail and Samarra on Sunday morning south of the city of Tikrit, the province of Salahuddin.

In related context, two people were killed, a government police sources said they were civilians, and wounded three members of the militias called "Popular Mobilization" on Sunday in a blast on the road leading to the Bakr Air Base near the district (Balad) and also during clashes in the Dujail area south of the province of Salahuddin .

In Salahuddin province, as well, killing four people from one family, including two children; due to the fall of a mortar shell fired by the government army on their home on Sunday evening in the area (Albu Ajil) east of the city of Tikrit, while a car bomb exploded at a government checkpoint in Samarra, leaving material damage only.

Whereas, a civilian was killed and eight others wounded wounded; result of renewed barrel bombs dropping practiced by government forces and artillery shelling on Sunday evening on the city of Fallujah, the largest city in Anbar province.

Agencies, AMIS, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Opposition Accuses Turkish Government Of Supporting ISIS

By Markaz Kavkaz

Turkey opposes the Assad regime and the Ad Dawla al-Islamiyya/Islamic State (IS), said Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, reported Turkish media. According to him, the main reason for all the problems in Syria is the Assad regime.

He denied the words of the head of the opposition Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi/Republican People's Party (RPP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu that Turkey's government supports the IS.

According to Davutoglu, if Kilicdaroglu has evidence that the Turkish government "supports terrorists", he must show it to the public.

The head of the opposition RPP said on the eve that the government of Turkey supports the IS in Syria and Iraq.

Earlier on Wednesday, Davutoglu said that Turkey is "the only force that will be able to protect the rights of residents of the Syrian city of Kobani".

Meanwhile, the fightings for Kobani (aka Ayn al-Arab) is continuing. Information reported from the place is highly controversial. On Wednesday, the command of the Kurds has acknowledged that the IS units captured 30% of the city. On Thursday, they said, as a result of air strikes, IS units retreated, retaining only a few houses on the outskirts of Kobani.

However, on Friday a number of Arab media and the "Syrian monitoring group" reported that the IS units again moved to the center of the city and captured the headquarters of the Kurdish group Yekineyen Parastina/People's Protection Units (PPU). According to Al-Arabiya, the IS controls up to 40% of Kobani.

Meanwhile in Turkey, the actions of Yazidi Kurds and supporters of the Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan/Kurdistan Workers' Party (KWP) are continuing. KWP and Yazidis demand from Ankara to send units to Syria to protect Kobani.

Mass pogroms are taking place in the Turkish provinces of Diyarbakir, Mardin, Siirt, Mus, Van and Batman. Yazidi Kurds and supporters of the KWP attack the Muslim Kurds, who in turn are organized into self-defense units.

Classes suspended in the schools of the Turkish provinces of Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Van, Batman and Tunceli. In addition, all flights to the province of Diyarbakir in south-eastern Turkey of the aircraft belonging to Turkish Airlines have been suspended due to the worsening situation.

A statement on the situation in the regions where there have been riots was made by Interior Minister of Turkey Efkan Ala, reported the news agency Anadolu.

The victims of the riots in Turkey became 31 people, 221 injured. According to him, during the riots, were killed two police officers and 139 were injured.

Completely destroyed or damaged: 1113 buildings - 212 schools, 67 police stations, 25 buildings administrations, 29 offices parties, children's shelters, blood donation centers of the Turk Kizilayi/Turkish Red Crescent (TRC), 780 municipal and other facilities.

Private cars, vehicles belonging to administrative bodies, ambulances and police cars have been also burned down, a total of unusable cars reached 1177.

Agencies, AMIS, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Khan Dhari Disapproves of Government-backed Militia Crimes

Residents of the area (Khan Dhari) in the district (Abu Ghraib) of Baghdad; began an open general strike on Saturday; protest against the crimes that committing by the sectarian government-backed militias against civilians there, which was not the last, the abduction of a muezzin - a person who call for prayer - of a mosque in the area.

According to press sources from the district, the militiamen of the so-called "Popular Mobilization" proceeded to kidnap (Majid Hameed Mrair) the muezzin "Al-Habib Al-Mustafa Mosque", within the framework of the ongoing crimes committed against citizens there .. noting that the militia insist on demanding a big sum of money as a ransom for his release.

In a related development; reports from (Khan Dhari) and its surrounding areas; confirmed that the militia of "popular mobilization" committed another crimes by stealing shops and private buildings, as well as the theft of citizens' cars, in addition to crimes of kidnappings and bargaining .

According to the reports; payment demanded after each crime of kidnapping was no less than two hundred thousand dollars, pointing out that the abducted civilians this way - so far - exceeded (17) people.

Meanwhile, three car bombs have killed at least 43 people and injured 87 others; the explosions were simultaneously on Saturday evening in the areas Kazimiyah and Shu'la of the capital, Baghdad.

In central Baghdad, two people were killed and four others wounded in an adhesive bomb was installed inside a minibus type (Kia) exploded Saturday as it passed in the area (Bab Sharqi) downtown the capital.

In a second incident of its kind in the capital today, one person was killed and five others injured in a bomb explosion on Saturday morning in the area (Adhamiya) north of Baghdad.

In the same context, at least 7 people have been killed and 27 others injured in an explosive belt on Saturday, unknown person was worn, blew himself up amid a popular market in village of (Mishahda) of the district (TARMIYA) north of the capital Baghdad.

Two people were killed and two others wounded critically in a bomb explosion on Saturday in the Ummal neighborhood south of the city of Baquba, capital of Diyala province.

In the framework of the continuous targeting of journalists, the killing of the journalist (Ra'ad al-Azzawi) and three of his brothers in an armed attack targeted his house on Saturday in the area (Rwbaitha) east of the city of Tikrit, the center of the province of Salahuddin.

Furthermore, at least three militiamen of the so-called "Popular Mobilization" have been kille , and nine others injured, some of them in a critical condition; by the explosion of a booby-trapped home on Saturday in the area (Alzla'ah) south of the city of Tikrit.

Following a noisy altercation with weapons, four people were killed and another wounded, was seriously injured on Friday in the area (Albujasm) south of Falluja, the largest city in Anbar province.

Moreover, two civilians were killed and three wounded, seriously wounded by the continued governmental shelling, which targeted residential areas in Fallujah on Saturday.

In Ramadi, killing two members of the government police and seven others were injured, including two members of the Awakening forces, in an armed attack by unknown militants targeted a joint checkpoint Saturday afternoon in the vicinity of the island (Albu Risha) north of the city, the capital of Anbar province.

To the northern of Iraq, an officer of the Peshmerga forces was killed and three other members of those forces wounded following armed clashes with unidentified gunmen on Friday night in the area (Mariam Beck) south of the city of Kirkuk, the capital of the province of Tamim.

And to the south of Iraq, medical sources at the governorate of Basra announced on Saturday evening; found of a body of a woman had been killed by shooting, it has believed that members of sectarian militia backed by the current government have committed the crime of assassination.

Agencies, AMIS, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
US To Send 500 Troops To Iraq, For The First Time Since The Withdrawal Of Military Personnel In 2011 :The Times

The Times newspaper of UK, said that the United States has decided for the first time since the withdrawal of its troops from the occupied Iraq three years ago, sending 500 troops stationed at a military base there.

The newspaper said Wednesday that Washington's decision came after a meeting held yesterday at the base (Andrews) attended by the chiefs of staff of the armies of 21 countries around the world, to discuss the mechanism and ways to counter the insurgency in Iraq and Syria.

The newspaper indicated that the President (Barack Obama) attended the meeting, held talks with military leaders of those countries, where announced his intention to send 500 infantry soldiers from the first Division to Iraq inorder to support the collapsed government forces there.

Meanwhile, foreign minister in the current government (Ibrahim al-Jaafari), yesterday, expressed his refusal to deploy any foreign ground forces in Iraq .. stressing that Iraq did not send a request to the United Nations in this regard.

Continous raiding on Anbar cities, killed nine civilians, including women and children, and wounded 16 others as a result of intense airstrikes carried out by government aircraft and the International Coalition Wednesday morning the center of Fallujah, the largest city in Anbar province.

Witnesses in Fallujah: "The warplanes launched seven raids on several locations near the old bridge downtown, caused the deaths of nine people on the spot, including four women and two children, and wounding 16 others, as well as the burning and destruction of five civilian cars .. pointing to spread a state of fear and panic among citizens due to heavy and continuous shelling; prompting a large number of residents to flee the city again .

At the same time, eight members of the so-called "popular mobilization" were injured as a result of armed clashes in the area Alzlayah and the village of Ouja Wednesday afternoon south of the city of Tikrit, the center of the province of Salahuddin.

In Samarra, two members of the so-called "popular crowd" have been killed and 15 others wounded as a result of fierce clashes Wednesday evening.

Two civilians were killed as a result of two separate armed attacks Wednesday evening in areas of Khachiyah and Hay al-Damouk north and northeast of the city of Kut, Wasit province, without knowing the reasons and motives of the attacks.

Whereas, sectarian militias backed by the current government assassinated Omar Abdullah Najim, aged (25) years in front of his home on Wednesday in the village (Elebat) amid spend (Khalis) north of the city of Baquba, Diyala province.

In the capital, Baghdad, three people were killed and 14 others wounded in two bombs in the area of Sydea and the area Al-Neairia subsidiary of New Baghdad Wednesday evening.

In addition, dozens of employees of Al Hussein Teaching Hospital in the city of Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar province on Wednesday morning, organized a sit-in in front of the hospital to protest against a government officer's assault on one of the employees of the hospital on Tuesday.
News releases from the province said that the sit-in participants demanding the officer to apology for whom have been subjected to the unprovoked attack, and to hold the aggressor and pledge not to repeat such abhorrent acts, which has become hallmark of the security services, which grew up under the brutal occupation.

Moreover, a person was killed and another suffered condition of suffocation due to the outbreak of a fire in a very large market (Al-Ashar) Tuesday evening downtown Basra, governorate center.

In another evolution reflects the confusion of the current government due to successive blows has had recently, the Anbar provincial council confirmed the dismiss of the commander of the so-called "Anbar Operations Command," Major General Rashid Falaih, and naming Lt. Gen. Tariq al-Azzawi to replace him, as it was the appointment of Major General (Kazim Fahdawi) chief of the provincial police, to take over the position of Major General (Ahmed Saddag al-Dulaimi), who was killed in an IED attack two days ago.

Citing (Ahmed Humaid Sharqi) the head of the so-called security committee in the Anbar provincial council, as saying in a statement published today: The Council issued in coordination with the competent authorities in Baghdad, a decision to dismiss Gen. (Rashid Flaih) from his position, after his failure in the management of the battles against the militants, and also the Council decided to appoint Lt. Gen. (Tareq al-Azzawi) instead of him. "

In Salahuddin province, the ongoing violence killed four people, including two members of the so-called popular mobilization in two separate incidents Tuesday afternoon south of the northern city of Tikrit, where a sniper open fire from a machine gun on the two members in the area (Awainat ) south of Tikrit, which resulted in death of both on site, while one civilian and his daughter were killed after a mortar attack on their home in the neighborhood of Baiji, north of Tikrit.

While, in vague circumstances a government security force has found Tuesday afternoon (30) bodies of unidentified people were killed by shooting north of the city of Hilla, Babil province, a government security source said that a security force has found the bodies, dumped in a sewer of a military units in the old Camp of Mahaweel north of Hilla. "

Meanwhile, at least 14 people have been killed and 29 others wounded in a car bomb was driven by an unknown person near the Abdul Mohsen al-Kazimi Square in the area Kazimiyah Tuesday afternoon north of the capital Baghdad, it was among the dead (Ahmed al-Khafaji) member of the current parliament for the Basra province within a block of Badr of the State of Law, it is noted that this is the second blast of its kind the area within the last 24 hours, where the region witnessed Saturday evening, the killing of nine people and wounding 31 others, by a similar attack in the Yard of Aden.

In Baghdad, as well, three people were killed and nine others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded Tuesday evening near a popular market in the neighborhood (A'mil) southwest of the capital.

In a similar attack, two civilians were killed and seven others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded Tuesday evening near a popular cafe in the neighborhood (Zahra) east of the capital Baghdad.

In a fourth incident of its kind today, a civilian was killed and eight others wounded when a roadside bomb on Tuesday evening in the area (Bab Mu'zam) in central Baghdad.

Furthermore, killing of a government soldier and 18 others wounded, including members of the so-called "popular mobilization" by the clashes broke out Tuesday evening in (Latifiyah) south of the capital.

Agencies, AMIS, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
How ISIS Is Using Enemies Iran And US Ammunitions In A Flow Supplies

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden apologized to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday over recent remarks he made suggesting Gulf states had supported extremist groups in the region. Saudi Arabia is the third state Biden has apologized to over remarks he made at Harvard University last week. He apologized to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates last weekend for having said U.S. allies in the region were partly to blame for the rise of ISIS in Syria.

However since the Vice President's gaffe, many commentators have noticed America's usual policies of looking the order way during weakness and defeats, pointing out that the ISIS do not need much help from the neighbouring Muslim states. Ammunitions reach the Mujahidun at ease. "Ending up arming the brave on the battlefields and at friends' backyards is what happens naturally when you chose to arm the cowardly," no observed.

Where Does ISIS Get Its Ammunition? New Report Finds Arms Manufactured in Over 20 Countries

Hanna Sender writes:

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are firing American bullets. An investigation by the European Union-funded Conflict Armament Research group found the Sunni militant group, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS, primarily used ammunition manufactured in the United States, China and Russia.

Investigators recovered more than 1,700 small-caliber munitions from the Kurdish regions of northern Iraq and northern Syria from July 22 to Aug. 15 to determine the origin of ISIS ammunition.

Of the 1,730 cartridges in the sample, 73 percent were manufactured in China (445), the Soviet Union (338), the United States (323) and the Russian Federation (154). Cartridges dated from 1945 to 2014, with 10 percent manufactured after 2010.

The presence of recently manufactured Iranian ammunition, if transferred deliberately, is an indication Iran violated a 2006 U.N. Security Council Resolution that prohibits Iran's export of ammunition. Ten cartridges manufactured in Iran after 2010 were recovered as part of the sample.

Nearly half of the recently manufactured ammunition used by ISIS are 7.62 x 54R mm-caliber ammunition used in PKM-pattern general-purpose machine guns and rifles; 5.56 x 45 mm-caliber ammunition, a standard NATO caliber used by Iraqi defense and security forces, was the second-most-popular caliber recovered. Despite its popularity, the 7.62 x 39 mm-caliber ammunition used in Kalashnikovs made up only 5 percent of the sample. Turkish 19 mm pistol ammunition, however, comprised a sixth of the sample and was found in both Iraq and Syria.

The Center for Public Integrity said between capturing arms on the battlefield and using oil sales revenue to purchase weapons, ISIS has had little trouble procuring large quantities of ammunition. "The fact that the armaments have such disparate sources -- some were even made at a major U.S. munitions plant in Missouri -- provides a cautionary note as Washington prepares to undertake expanded shipments of military supplies, including small arms, to rebel groups in Syria and to a revived Iraqi Army force."

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

We Campaigned for Release of Aid Worker Alan Henning!

ISIS Guide Explains How To Shoot Down US Apache Helicopters

Just days after the United States began using Apache helicopters against the Islamic State group in Iraq, ISIS has responded by producing a guide to shooting down the iconic aircraft. The guide, which has been circulating on social media, explains in minute detail how to use portable surface-to-air missiles, such as the Russian-made SA-16 and SA-18 and the American FIM-92 Stinger, against the attack helicopter.

The Stinger was heavily used during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, when the shoulder-fired missiles provided by the U.S. to mujahideen fighters proved very effective at shooting down Soviet helicopters. They also saw use against Russian aircraft during the first and second Chechen wars, which took place from 1994 to 1996 and 1999 to 2009, respectively. The guide will serve as a reminder for the ISIS fighters who took part in those conflicts before joining the ranks of the Sunni extremist group in Iraq and Syria. For new recruits, the guide is a detailed primer on how to target successfully the Apaches by defeating their countermeasures.

The introduction of the Apaches in Iraq comes at a time when ISIS is being buoyed by the major advances it is making in Syria, where it is close to capturing the strategically important town of Kobane, and Iraq's capital Baghdad, where ISIS has come within shooting distance of the city.

But perhaps what makes the use of the aircraft most significant is that it represents a significant escalation of the risk being taken by U.S. forces.

"Fixed-wing aircraft flying at 30,000 feet are completely immune from the type of weapons that Islamic State fighters have, but a helicopter is not," said Christopher Harmer, a former U.S. Navy aviator who is now an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, a think tank. "When you're flying a helicopter 150 feet above the ground, that helicopter can be shot with a rocket-propelled grenade or a heavy machine gun … so yes, it is much more dangerous."

The Boeing-made aircraft, known as the AH-64, is particularly accurate and adept at operating in enemy territory at night, and has countermeasures to defeat missiles that home in on the heat generated by its exhaust. However, the guide points out each of the Apache's weak spots in order to inflict the most amount of damage on the aircraft and ensure that the pilot and navigator are killed. At least 10 Apaches have been shot down in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to a tally from several published reports.

The guide, posted by an ISIS supporter using the name Nasser Al-Sharia, says that the aircraft should be ambushed at a distance of 1,500 meters or slightly less than one mile, while the helicopter is in the clear line of sight of the shooter. It then says that a sniper should shoot the crew as they try to bail from the aircraft.

Another aircraft vulnerable to small arms and shoulder-fired missiles is the A-10, whose introduction to Iraq may also be cause for concern; the shooting down of one of the slow, low-flying jets may result in U.S. pilots being taken hostage by ISIS.

International Business Times Christopher Harress
 
Revolutionaries Manage To Control Most Of Anbar Territory Despite The Non-stop Mortar Shelling By The Government Army On Civilian Areas

According to reports from Anbar province on Sunday; citing of a high-level military source, saying, after fierce fighting; the government troops forced to retreat in front of the advance of the gunmen in the city of Ramadi, the center of the province.

The source explained in remarks; that the government army units that were deployed in a number of neighborhoods of the city of Ramadi, withdrew from all their positions, and were stationed at the headquarters of the so-called "Anbar Operations Command," which is located in the region of the presidential palaces northern the city.

The source did not disclose the reasons for such withdrawal; admitted that Ramadi now under the control of armed men, while local sources confirmed that the advance of the militants led members of the military to escape, who have suffered losses in lives and equipment, but did not know the details yet.

At the same time, the government army and its pro-militias continued bombing of the cities of Anbar province yesterday evening, by mortar and artillery, as well as missiles, what caused the deaths and injury of civilians is not yet known.

In this context, dozens of families forced to flee their homes in the district Heat, western Anbar province, within the last few hours; result of violent aerial and artillery bombardment implemented by government forces as well as the heated battles near the district few days ago.

According to another reports; the government army forces along with militias and the Awakening; suffered a new defeat after clashed with gunmen seized control of the center of the district of Heat earlier, what made these forces take retaliatory action against residents after its inability to withstand attacks by insurgents.

In Tamim province, eight members of the forces "Peshmerga" were wounded, some of them in serious condition; due to the fall of a number of mortar shells at the headquarters of gathering Sunday afternoon in the village (Al-Abada) of the district (DAQUQ) south of the city of Kirkuk.

As a government soldier was wounded when a roadside bomb targeted a military patrol in Salahuddin province.

While, two civilians were killed including a child, and wounded six others with various injuries; result of a bomb explosion on Sunday near a popular park in the (al-Jihad neighborhood) in which families gather to celebrate Eid south west of the capital Baghdad, in the fourth accident since yesterday.

As mortar shells landed on a checkpoint of the Awakening forces on Sunday evening in the region (Arab Jabour) of the area (Dora) south of the capital Baghdad, killing and wounding four policemen, also wounding four civilians who were near the place.

In continued to target the competencies, a university professor was seriously wounded, and his son was killed in an adhesive bomb in his car on a Sunday evening in the area (Saydea) southwest of the capital Baghdad, which is witnessing a new wave of bombings that killed dozens.

One person was killed and eight others wounded as a result of the non-stop mortar shelling by the government army on civilian areas in Falluja, the largest city in Anbar province, on Monday.

At the same time, 18 civilians were killed, including three women and eight children as a result of airstrikes by the fighter jets of the international coalition that targeted three houses in the city (Heat), Monday afternoon west of the city of Ramadi, Anbar province.

In related context, (11) members of the so-called popular crowd were injured as a result of armed clashes Sunday evening in the village (Hethera) of the district (Balad) south of the city of Tikrit, the center of the province of Salahuddin.

It also killed six government policemen and militiamen of the so-called popular crowd and wounded nine others following armed clashes on Monday evening in the area (Aziz Balad) of the district (Balad) as well.

To the south of Baghdad, two government policemen were injured after a roadside bomb targeted their patrol on the main road in the district (Jurf Al-Sakhar) Monday morning north of the city of Hilla, Babil province.

Furthermore, two government policemen were killed, and three more wounded when a roadside bomb targeted their patrol on Monday in the area (Radwaniyah) west of the capital Baghdad.

Whereas, two incidents led to the killing of two members of the Awakening forces and one civilian and wounded 13 others, including six members of the government security agencies when an armed attack on a joint checkpoint in the village (Mishahda) of the district (TARMIYA) and an adhesive bomb was installed in a (Kia bus) while passing in the area (Bayaa) Monday afternoon north and south of the capital Baghdad.

While three people were killed, including an officer with the rank of captain at the current Interior Ministry and wounded ten others as a result of two separate blasts Monday evening in the area (Adhamiya) and the district (Madain) north and south of the capital Baghdad.

In the east of the capital, unidentified gunmen assassinated an engineer works in the Ministry of Science and Technology during an armed attack targeted him Monday evening as he was passing in his car on the high-way Mohammed Al-Qasim eastern Baghdad.

Agencies, AMIS, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Bush Man Panetta Says '30-Year War' Against ISIS While Biden Suggests Panetta Should Wait Until Obama Leaves Office to Say That

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was harshly critical of President Obama's handling of the new ISIS war, saying the US could have sustained the 2011 Iraq occupation and started arming Syrian rebels even sooner than they did.

But perhaps the most eye-opening comment in has new book tour was that he believes the conflict is a "30-year war" that will extend across the world, including campaigns in Nigeria, Somalia, and Libya, among other places.

Panetta's new book, entitled Worthy Fights, argues that the Obama Administration repeatedly erred by not taking more hawkish positions, including says the US should've invaded Syria outright in 2013 instead of making the deal for Syria to scrap its chemical weapons.

He went on to argue that the 30-year world war he envisions is a chance to "repair the damage" caused by lot launching massive wars in the previous few years, calling the lack of wars "missed opportunities."

Vice President Joe Biden was quick to criticize Panetta, although not on the content of his hawkish comments. Rather, Biden said it was "inappropriate" for Panetta to criticize Obama at all, on anything, until after 2016, and that he should "at least give the guy a chance to get out of office."

It is unclear how far afield, however, Panetta's assessment of a 30-year war actually is from the Obama Administration's own vision of an open-ended conflict, as officials have talked up the conflict lasting many years, and Obama himself said the decisions of the war were to be made by the next president "and probably the one after that."

Iraq Clears Aussie Troops for ISIS Ground War: PM Ruled Out Any Foreign Troops in Iraq Only Last Week

Less than a week ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi insisted that no foreign ground troops would be welcome in his nation, and that he was confident the Iraqi military could defeat ISIS with Western air support alone.

Today, Australian officials confirmed they've been given approval by the Abadi government for the deployment of their special forces ground troops into Iraq to fight against ISIS.

Australian officials familiar with the situation say that the approximately 200 troops will be "bolstering local forces on the ground," and that part of their mission will be spotting for US airstrikes.

The terms of the agreement with Iraq were not made public, but officials say that the troops were given needed legal cover in case they end up killing Iraqi civilians in the course of the conflict.

US Helicopter Strikes Against ISIS Increase Shootdown Risk: Low-Flying Apache Helicopters Could Be Easy Targets

On Sunday, the Pentagon had announced that its air war against ISIS in Iraq was now including attacks by AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, operating out of the Baghdad airport and carrying Hellfire and other missiles.

Officials are presenting the helicopters as likely to be more accurate than the warplanes flying 30,000 feet overhead, in spite of a long line of civilian casualties caused in helicopter attacks during the last Iraq war.

The big difference, rather, is that the Apaches are far more likely to be shot down by ISIS, flying at much lower altitudes more readily reached by the shoulder-fired missiles ISIS is awash in, provided to target Syrian helicopters doing the exact same thing

The eventuality of such a shootdown is likely to mean US ground troops sent on rescue missions to try to recover the downed pilots. This could end up being the pretext for launching a ground operation against ISIS, and such an incident seems only a matter of time.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets - Antiwar Jason Ditzo Contributed To This Report

 
US Airstrikes Kill 22 Civilians in Iraqi Market - Attack Hit Apartments Around Marketplace

A Monday US airstrike against the ISIS-held town of Hit has killed at least 22 Iraqi civilians, and wounded many more, according to locals. The strikes hit a marketplace, along with apartments alongside the market.

Locals say they believe the intended target was a building containing ISIS fighters, just down the road, but the indications are that that building wasn't hit, with locals saying it was likely a "mistake."

Centcom's own statement on the matter simply mentions an airstrike west of Ramadi hitting a "ISIS-held building," but offered no details on casualties.

The Pentagon further claimed the incident of civilian deaths was "false" and that they had seen no evidence of any civilians killed, the same blanket statement they've made for every other airstrike in Iraq and Syria, even after they've been confirmed to kill civilians.

The lack of decent intelligence on what the US is actually hitting in airstrikes is likely to give way to more such incidents in the weeks, months, and years to come, as officials continue to ratchet up the air war.

Syrian Kurds: Airstrikes Against ISIS Aren't Working: Strikes Focus on Ayn al-Arab, But Aren't Stopping ISIS Advance

Since the US began its air war against ISIS in Syria last week, the majority of the strikes have centered around the Kurdish town of Kobani, trying to stop ISIS from taking the key town along the Syria-Turkey border.

The Kurdish forces still trying to defend the town, however, warn that the airstrikes aren't working, and that ISIS is simply evading the strikes and continuing its advance against Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic).

The Kurdish fighters on the ground tried to spin this as proof that they need ground troops and heavy weapons to fight ISIS, adding to a chorus from Congressional hawks like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R - SC) demanding an immediate ground war in Syria.

The reality, though, is that this is just one more sign that the ISIS war in general was ill-conceived and not going to work, and while some factions on the ground might squeeze near-term benefits out of a dramatic further escalation, the war itself seems to be continuing on in spite of its own failing nature, with a momentum all its own.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets - Antiwar Jason Ditzo Contributed To This Report

 
180 Islamic State Fighters Released By Turkey In Prisoner Swap For 46 Turkish Workers - That's A Nice ISIS Bargain

Turkey released 120 Islamic State militants in exchange for 46 Turkish consular workers and their families kidnapped by the Islamic State in Mosul in June.

Israel's Haaretz reports:

Officials in the British Defence Department have confirmed that two British jihadists were released in a prisoner exchange between Turkey and the Islamic State group, the BBC reported Monday.

According to the BBC report, the officials named the two British jihadists that were released as a part of a group of 180 Islamic State militants released by Turkey in exchange for 46 Turkish consular workers and their families kidnapped by the Islamic State in Mosul in June.

The British newspaper The Times reported, based on documents it has obtained, that among the jihadists released were three Frenchmen, two Macedonians, two Swedes, a Swiss national, and a Belgian. According to the report the jihadists were either held in Turkish hospitals and prisons, or were held by moderate Syrian rebels.

The details of the prisoner swap, which took place last month, had gone unreported until now. Two weeks ago, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was asked about the prisoner swap, he did not confirm the swap took place, but didn't deny that it took place either.

Israel's Haaretz

 
In Jihadist-ruled Iraqi City, Residents Fear US Airstrikes - And Sectarian Revenge

Mosul is the largest city in northern Iraq and its capture in June by Islamic State was a major blow to Baghdad. Some Sunni residents welcomed their new rulers, but tensions are rising over a future assault by US-backed troops.

By Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor

Four months after a band of Sunni jihadists captured their city with shocking ease, residents of Mosul are bracing for possible US-led airstrikes. As the US and its allies have stepped up a bombing campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State, Sunni residents of Mosul say militants have lowered their profile and switched up tactics.

For these residents, some of whom cheered the retreat of Iraq's unpopular Shiite-led military, the risk of a bombing campaign - and the limits of its effectiveness - is playing on their nerves, along with lingering fears of what could happen to them if the same Shiite-led forces recapture their city.

"In the past 10 days, the presence of the Islamic State has changed in the streets. The Arabs who came in the beginning are back in more numbers, moving in normal cars rather than four-wheel drives to escape aerial detection," says a Mosul-based journalist.

Yet the US envoy coordinating the anti-IS coalition said Friday that a full-bore offensive to retake Mosul could be up to a year away. Gen. (ret.) John Allen, a former Marine, told reporters in Baghdad that it would be a protracted task. "It's not a single battle. It's a campaign," he said.

Foreign fighters made up the striking force that swept into Mosul in June. But after taking the city, and looting US-supplied military hardware from abandoned bases, many of them pushed on towards Baghdad. Others returned to Syria, where IS also controls large chunks of territory. Iraqis loyal to the group, which has its roots in an al-Qaeda resistance to the US occupation, were left in charge to run everyday affairs.

"Nobody forced us to join the Islamic State but many people joined voluntarily," says Sheikh Abu Abdelrahman, a tribal leader living in the city. "We have more freedom now - no curfew, no more checkpoints and no more anti-blast walls. The hospitals run all day. They relaxed things. Mosul looks as it did under Saddam Hussein's time. We're free."

Many other Mosul tribal leaders have sworn loyalty to Islamic State. Refusing to do so is a risky move, as the group has been ruthless in silencing dissent, even within its own sectarian base.

An Imam was allegedly executed on Sept. 9 in western Mosul for failing to swear allegiance to IS. The group has also targeted former policemen and army officers to preempt potential threats, the United Nations said last week in a report.

This month alone, the group executed sixty men in Mosul, all sentenced to death by their self-appointed Islamic court. On Sept. 5, three Sunni women were executed, allegedly for refusing to treat IS fighters, and two more were summarily killed on Sept. 9, according to the UN report.

City spared by airstrikes

Airstrikes by Iraqi Security Forces and the US-led coalition have hit areas in the outskirts of Mosul but so far spared the city itself. Sunni militants there are still taking precautions. Mosul residents say they now move on bicycles to blend in with civilians.

Internet connections were cut after President Barack Obama's Sept. 24 speech at the UN General Assembly where he pressed world leaders to join America in the fight against IS. He said "it is time for the world - especially Muslim communities - to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of Al-Qaeda and [IS]."

The effectiveness of US-led airstrikes in Iraq is still up for debate. While Iraqi security forces and Shiite and Kurdish militia have made gains on some fronts, militants have also captured towns close to Baghdad. And the Iraqi Army hasn't made any push on cities like Mosul, the largest in northern Iraq with a population of up to 3 million, of which some half million are estimated to have fled since June.

A former Iraqi intelligence officer aligned with Sunni insurgents downplays the impact an air campaign could have on IS in the long term. "They know this strategy, it was used against them in Iraq and Chechnya. It is very easy for them to adapt to air strikes. They just stop using network connections and cell phones. It is easy to avoid them."

When IS forces entered Mosul, sending the Shiite-commanded Iraqi Army fleeing without a fight, there was talk of a Sunni revolution in the predominantly Sunni city. There was also relief as military checkpoints were abandoned. The deal made with former officers of the Saddam Hussein regime and other militants in the city was that IS would leave locals in charge.

Militants ruled by night

Sunni tribal leader Mohammed Faris Al-Duleimi says it was easy for the group to take Mosul because its sympathizers were already there. "Daash (IS), which was then called Al-Qaeda, has been present in Mosul since 2005. The government ruled by the day and Al-Qaeda ruled by the night," he says.

The ex-intelligence officer in Baghdad says sleeper cells were ready to move months before the June offensive. He claims his warnings to the government in Baghdad - that Mosul would fall unless Sunni demands were met - went unheeded.

Yet the intolerant ideology of IS, particularly its ruthless treatment of religious and ethnic minorities has also stirred dissent in Mosul, especially among educated professionals. They say IS is another occupying force, one that has imposed stifling religious rule on the city and destroyed ancient shrines of Christians, Yazidis, as well as Shiite mosques and the shrine of the Muslim Prophet Younes (Jonas).

"The people of Mosul refuse to be put in the same category as IS," says a doctor there. "The media claims there is cooperation between Mosul citizens and the IS and this is simply not true. The problem is that they are occupied. They can't go to battle against IS when soldiers run away and left the city to them."

Fuel and power shortages

For most residents, daily life continues largely as normal. Their main complaints concern the quality and price of fuel, as well as shortages in electricity and water. The best quality fuel from the Baiji refinery is only available to IS. Residents can only buy petrol from Syria, which is lower quality. As a result, they pay at least two times more than Baghdad residents to fill their cars.

Others are struggling to survive. Some government employees no longer draw salaries. Women, especially health workers, are under pressure to observe draconian rules of Islamic decorum. IS has banned smoking and ordered all women to wear hijabs.

Children as young as 12 are receiving military training in Mosul City, according to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, cited in the same report released last week.

The Mosul-based doctor says many residents initially hoped that the US air strikes in August heralded the "beginning of the end" for the militant occupation of Mosul. But now they are just concerned that civilian areas will be hit, and that militias from Baghdad will eventually roll in and kill without discrimination.

A lawyer from the city, who recently fled to Erbil, echoes this worry. "Most people are afraid that if the Islamic State is defeated it will be replaced by Shiite militias or the Iraqi army which already has a very bad reputation among the locals. The people of Mosul are stuck between two hells: the Islamic State and the air strikes," he says.

The Christian Science Monitor

 
Heavy Toll In Iraq's "Forgotten" Anbar

IRIN

Ramadi and Fallujah have been reduced to bombed-out wrecks with hospitals, homes, schools and mosques having been utterly destroyed

Nine months of shelling, airstrikes and street battles have taken a heavy toll on Iraq's "forgotten" province of Anbar, the first to be overrun by militants from the group now calling itself the Islamic State (IS).

The cities of Ramadi and Fallujah have been reduced to bombed-out wrecks: hospitals, homes, schools and mosques have been destroyed; bridges blown up; and bullet-pocked residential streets deserted, residents and aid workers told IRIN.

The UN estimates that as many as 500,000 Anbaris have been displaced from their homes since fighting began between IS and Iraqi security forces in late December. More than two-thirds of those families are displaced within the governorate and, due to security issues, receiving little to no humanitarian support. Last week, IS advanced into the city of Heet, which is hosting close to 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Sabah Karhut, chairman of Anbar Provincial Council, told IRIN he believed the province had been "forgotten."

"The international community has done nothing in Anbar. We want them to be more involved and help our people. There are so many displaced people... We need medication, food."

Death from the skies

The start of the US-led bombing campaign in western Iraq last month has yet to ease the humanitarian crisis in the region. As IS militants have claimed huge swathes of territory in recent months, their brutal methods have forced mass displacement.

According to the latest Humanitarian Needs Overview published on 25 September by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are 360,803 IDPs in Anbar as well as 115,000 people in areas under the control of armed groups. In total 63 percent of the 1.6 million in the region are classified as "in need", the highest ratio of any province. Across Anbar, 98 percent of IDPs reported having insufficient access to food.

Some of the displaced are staying with relatives or host communities, but many are sleeping in schools, mosques, unfinished buildings or open-air settlements with limited access to water, food and health care.

Since January, the Iraqi government has been using airstrikes to try to quell the IS advance. Groups such as Human Rights Watch have alleged that the government has also used barrel bombs - crude improvised explosive devices dropped from planes packed with material that spreads on detonation causing significant damage and injury. There has been widespread condemnation of the apparently indiscriminate nature of the Iraqi government's air campaign inside Anbar.

Samir Allawi, 43, has first-hand experience of the strikes. He told IRIN how he and his family left the city of Fallujah in eastern Anbar in July after days of bombardment of their neighbourhood.

"I lost 14 members of my family in one of these random bombs," he said. "I can't forget that horrifying scene. Their bodies were all over the place."

"There were no militants near their house. I don't understand why innocents become the victims rather than militants who [have] never been damaged much by these strikes."

The father of three, now in Sulaymaniyah in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq's north, said he wanted to return but "it's still too risky and I don't want to lose any more of my family."

"The situation here is getting worse and worse every day," a senior doctor from the university hospital in Ramadi, who did not want to give his name for security reasons, told IRIN.

"Recently we have seen a lot more casualties from the airstrikes. Last week, just in my small neighbourhood, [within] one day, two people I know - an engineer and a student - were killed and 12 other people were badly injured in fighting. And then this week my neighbour was shot dead by a sniper."

IS still advancing

Across Anbar the front lines between the government and IS fighters shift almost daily, with conflicting reports about who commands each area. Yet the militants appear to be gaining ground.

In late September, IS attacked Saqlawiyah, a government military base north of Fallujah, reportedly killing more than 300 Iraqi soldiers and later posting photographs of the attack online.

And despite media claims from local government officials that the threat of airstrikes was pushing IS members to retreat, on 2 October the group overran the town of Heet to the northwest of Ramadi and on 4 October seized the town of Kubaisa, posing a threat to Ain al-Asad military base, used by Iraqi forces to send troops and supplies to defend the province's Haditha Dam.

Heet, in the Euphrates river valley, is a significant take for IS, according to Washington-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War, whose experts believe it is part of a longer-term play to move into the Baghdad belt.

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 100,000 IDPs are staying in Heet, many of whom had already been displaced three of four times. The town was one of the few parts of the province to where humanitarian aid has been delivered in recent months.
An aid worker in Heet told IRIN that it seemed IS had been operating in parts of the city carrying out suicide attacks for some time, but on 2 October "stormed various parts of the town and took it", adding that soon afterwards shelling and airstrikes began.

In September, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) reported figures from the Anbar Directorate of Health showing 268 civilians were killed and 796 injured in the governorate during the first eight months of the year.

Some, however, say the number is far higher. Karhut, of the Provincial Council, said he believed as many as 1,000 civilians had been killed, and blamed the Iraqi military for indiscriminate attacks.

In September, following the bombing of a hospital in Fallujah, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for an end to all airstrikes in civilian areas.

Karhut acknowledged there have not been any airstrikes in civilian areas since then, but he said rockets launched by Iraqi army ground forces had recently fallen in residential areas after offensives by IS.

A desperate reality

In Anbar people continue as best they can. The doctor said his area in Ramadi was still under government control but he feared IS would take it soon. "This city is on fire," he said. "The situation is very bad. My own house is covered in bullet holes."

Describing desperate conditions at the hospital due to a lack of drugs, surgical equipment and staff, many of whom have fled, he said: "The hospital has had no mains electricity for four months and we depend totally on generators, but it is hard to get fuel and spare parts."

Food was also in short supply, the doctor said, explaining that basic items were now between 30 and 100 percent more expensive than this time last year. The situation has been compounded by the fact that few people are still working and receiving salaries.

"Another big problem is medical supplies for chronic conditions like diabetes and basic drugs for respiratory conditions," he said.

"Winter is coming and this is a real problem for the children and the elderly because we will not be able to supply them with drugs to cure simple conditions from the cold. I am already seeing patients in my clinic who need surgery because basic infections were not treated because the people cannot afford drugs or to access a doctor."

Due to the security concerns, only a handful of aid organizations, such the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), the Iraqi Red Crescent Society and some local groups, have been able to deliver supplies to people in Anbar.
Last month, the World Food Programme (WFP) re-started its distributions around Heet after a five-month suspension, and more than 3,000 IDPs received core relief kits made up of food, hygiene supplies and other items, which the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) distributed in Ramadi with help from community volunteers and the local authorities.

But access is still very limited. In a report published on 4 October, OCHA acknowledged: "In Anbar Governorate alone there are 400,000 IDPs to which humanitarian actors enjoy only very limited access. While the UN and NGO partners are intensifying their efforts to reach those in need, assistance falls far short of what is required."

This is not the first time Anbar has been caught up in violence. In 2006-2007, the majority Sunni province, which shares a long border with Syria, was the scene of vicious fighting between IS predecessor al-Qaeda in Iraq and US forces who mobilized with local tribal leaders to push the militants out.

Although Jihadist cells remained in Anbar, IS returned in force to Anbar in late December, seizing control of parts of Fallujah and Ramadi. It was out of Anbar that they then moved north to take Mosul and Tikrit in June and declare their so-called Caliphate.

Many analysts have accused Iraq's former Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, a Shia Muslim, of alienating Sunnis and allowing jihadists to gain a foothold in places like Anbar.
"There are people who joined IS just to revenge the government policy and they were tempted by IS under jihad and paradise slogans," said Karhut, chairman of Anbar Provincial Council.

He said the Council backed the US airstrikes in Iraq against IS, but added: "The government must also respond to the constitutional demands of Anbar's people and [fix] the mistakes adopted by the previous prime minister, so that the Sunnis feel justice and that they are part of Iraq."

IRIN

 
Confronting Barbarism: ISIS, The United States And the Consequences Of Torture

By Michael Meurer

In a televised address on August 7, President Obama announced that he had ordered "targeted" US airstrikes in northern Iraq against the self-described Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on the pretext of a humanitarian intervention to help stranded Kurds and US diplomatic staff in Erbil. In his address, Obama said, "I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq." Just 47 days later, on September 23, a new phase in the war on terror had been declared, and US bombing was expanded into Syria.

There is ample reason to believe that Obama's August "humanitarian bombing" of ISIS targets in northern Iraq was equally about the protection of ExxonMobil and Chevron oil and gas production facilities in Erbil. It was a costly action. On August 19, US journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS in retaliation. On September 2, Steve Sotoloff, another US journalist, was beheaded by ISIS in a further act of retaliation. Both murders were accompanied by highly publicized beheading videos, with Foley and Sotoloff forced by ISIS to wear symbolic orange jumpsuits. A beheading video of British aid worker David Haines followed on September 13, with Haines also mockingly clad by his ISIS captors in an orange jumpsuit. President Obama's new war in Syria began 10 days later with full Congressional backing. British Prime Minister David Cameron quickly endorsed US bombing and received parliamentary approval for Britain to join the US campaign in Iraq.

The New Yorker's John Cassidy has labeled this Obama's "YouTube war." The carefully choreographed ISIS beheading videos, with their mocking use of orange jumpsuits, were a major factor driving both public opinion and Obama's decision-making. The actions of ISIS jihadists are barbaric, but they represent something worse than publicized incidents of terrorist inhumanity. Yasser Munif, co-founder of the Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution, believes the moral taunting on the beheading videos was designed to lure the United States into wider war in the Islamic world, thereby elevating ISIS as the primary anti-American force in the region. It is as if the moral compass of the universe has gone tilt as the world descends into barbarism. The vertiginous sense of suspended morality is heightened by tens of millions of TV viewers and YouTube site visitors worldwide witnessing ISIS's open and brutal mockery of the United States and United Kingdom on supposedly moral grounds as they commit murder for the camera.

During September, with the ISIS beheadings and United States drive to war as background, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Obama administration have also been forced into a debate over how to respond to an August 27, District Court decision in New York ordering the release of 2,000 previously unpublished photos of US torture, brutality and death at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison and five other US detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been seeking release of the photos since 2004 in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. Obama and the DOD were opposed to the release of these photos, years before ISIS emerged, on the grounds that the images are so grisly, they would inflame anti-US sentiment in the Islamic world. However, with the ACLU's litigation on the verge of success, the photos and the war against ISIS have clearly become interrelated.

There is already a huge element of the absurd in the Obama administration's new war scenario that should provoke further debate about overall US policy in Central Asia. There are questions about the role that US and European actions played in incubating and arming ISIS in Syria, as well as clear evidence that Sunni distrust of the US-backed Shiite government in Baghdad has driven Iraqi Sunnis reluctantly into the hands of ISIS jihadists. There are open divisions and disagreements among national security experts in both parties and within Obama's military team about threat assessment, tactics, timing and the need for ground troops. Many activists on the ground in Syria question the motivation and potential efficacy of US bombing in their country.

In spite of these lingering uncertainties, Obama seemed to be responding primarily to the ISIS beheading videos in his September 24 speech to the UN General Assembly, when he described ISIS as a "network of death" and noted that their brutality "forces us to look into the heart of darkness." The clear implication is that war policy is being hurriedly thrown together without sober reflection because of a visceral reaction to globally publicized ISIS videos. With the pending court order to release the previously unpublished Abu Ghraib photos, the need for such reflection cannot be easily dismissed.

Should the photos be released? Should the United States openly look into its own "heart of darkness" while confronting ISIS? The timing of this decision follows more than a decade of official denial and obfuscation about the images. An estimated 108 captives died in US prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, including as many as 26 that the DOD has classified as homicides. Obama and Cameron are right to point out that ISIS jihadists are evil and lawless killers. Yet these photos are not about ISIS except to the extent they have tried to co-opt the symbolic imagery of orange US prison jumpsuits to rationalize their barbarity. Before Obama's new war escalates out of control or drags on for months or years with an inevitable need for ground troops, it seems advisable for the United States to finally confront its own barbaric actions and failed strategic decisions in the 13-year-old war on terror - not because of ISIS, but in spite of ISIS.

Orange Jumpsuits and the Alternative Reality of Torture

Nearly every news report explains that ISIS is making their victims wear orange jumpsuits as a mocking reference to the orange jumpsuits worn by prisoners at the US detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. It is seldom mentioned that captives in the entire web of US prisons from Bagram in Afghanistan to Abu Ghraib in Iraq, were also made to wear orange jumpsuits. Further, the photos of torture, humiliation and death that have made it into the public domain from Abu Ghraib are even worse than Guantánamo, making it a more potent symbol of US human rights violations.

While the prison at Guantánamo is universally known, the public was unaware that the secretive prison at Abu Ghraib existed - housed in a torture facility used by Saddam Hussein before the US invasion - until a compact disc of digital photos taken by guards was accidentally discovered and reported in 2003. These images depicting widespread torture and violent abuse of prisoners by US troops were subsequently featured in investigative reports by The New Yorker and 60 Minutes II in 2004. When the story finally broke, Bush administration officials, from then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Bush himself, declared the atrocities at Abu Ghraib to be the work of "a few bad apples."

A total of 11 low-level enlisted Army soldiers were eventually convicted on charges varying from dereliction of duty to human rights abuses. A colonel was relieved of duty and a lieutenant colonel received a reprimand. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the commanding officer at the prison, was cited for "dereliction of duty and shoplifting." In essence, no one was held responsible except a few low-level scapegoats.

The abuses at Abu Ghraib did not happen in a vacuum. It quickly became clear that Abu Ghraib was the end point in a causal chain that led all the way back to the Bush White House and Justice Department, where top administration officials were rewriting US laws defining torture. Following recommendations to President Bush from then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, the United States effectively opted out of the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions on the rights to humane treatment for both prisoners of war and civilians. The Third Geneva Convention "bars torture, cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, as well as outrages against the human dignity of prisoners of war, or POWs."

The Unintended Consequences of Torture

Writing in Foreign Policy, Steven R. Ratner, an expert on international law who has worked as an advisor to both the UN and the US State Department, makes it clear that torture does not work as advertised:

Seasoned interrogators consistently say that straightforward questioning is far more successful for getting at the truth. So, by mangling the [Geneva] conventions, the United States has joined the company of a host of unsavory regimes that make regular use of torture. It has abandoned a system that protects U.S. military personnel from terrible treatment for one in which the rules are made on the fly.

In losing sight of the crucial protections of the conventions, the United States invites a world of wars in which laws disappear. And the horrors of such wars would far surpass anything the war on terror could ever deliver.

The Bush administration also tried unsuccessfully to block the adoption of the UN Convention Against Torture in the General Assembly after more than 10 years of deliberation by UN member states. In spite of this failure at the UN, the United States continued to opt out of the Geneva Convention against torture. This was done by rewriting domestic laws on human rights and defining captured prisoners as "unlawful enemy combatants" who had no legal standing as prisoners of war, a decision that Obama continued to support until after his reelection in 2008. The Washington Post described the new regime of officially sanctioned torture in 2004:

In fact, every aspect of this new universe - including maintenance of covert airlines to fly prisoners from place to place, interrogation rules and the legal justification for holding foreigners without due process afforded most U.S. citizens - has been developed by military or CIA lawyers, vetted by Justice Department's office of legal counsel and, depending on the particular issue, approved by White House general counsel's office or the president himself.

In addition to the fabricated rationale for the invasion of Iraq and the invention of concepts such as "pre-emptive war" and "unlawful enemy combatants," the entire world has become aware of US practices such as extraordinary rendition (sending prisoners to countries outside the United States for torture and interrogation), enhanced interrogation techniques (e.g., water boarding and other forms of torture) and the continued operation of a string of prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq that have been repeatedly investigated for fundamental human rights violations.

Yet in August 2014, a 6,000 page, $40 million report produced by a months long investigation into US torture techniques by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was shelved after being heavily redacted by the CIA. Bowing to the CIA and pressure from the Obama administration, committee chairperson Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) issued a statement that the report is being "held for declassification at a later time."

The Long Road Back

War truly is hell. It always will be. Human rights violations occur in every war. What is new since the dawn of the ill-defined and never ending war on terror in 2001 is that the world's most economically powerful and heavily armed superpower has begun to untether itself from its foundational democratic moorings by making such violations a matter of de facto state policy - unapologetically. When moral outrage was expressed by some US senators during May 2004 hearings on the abuses at Abu Ghraib, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) commented that he was "more outraged by the outrage" than by the overwhelming evidence of abuse, torture and violation of internationally sanctioned human rights.

Recent history in Central Asia makes it abundantly clear that the abandonment of democratic ideals and values by powerful nations such as the United States and Britain does nothing to stop terrorism and runs counter to the self-interests of democracies. The long road back from the past decade of state-sanctioned torture and systematic human rights violations begins with democratic openness.

The ACLU lawsuit is a timely case in point. The US Army still has more than 2,000 unreleased photos that document 400 cases of alleged abuse between 2001 and 2005 in Abu Ghraib and six other US prisons. Senators who have seen these images say that many of the photos are worse than the images that have been leaked from Abu Ghraib to date.

The ACLU won a FOIA suit in federal District Court on August 27, 2014, in which Judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered the Department of Defense (DOD) to hand over the photos unless they can conclusively prove that their release would endanger American lives. If the judge maintains his ruling against the DOD, they will almost certainly be encouraged by the administration to appeal the decision. Obama has said that, "The most direct consequence of releasing them . . . would be to inflame anti-American public opinion and to put our troops in greater danger."

The ISIS beheadings give the Obama administration a seemingly urgent rationale for continued secrecy in their refusal to release inflammatory photos of US war crimes committed in Islamic countries. This argument overlooks the fact that it is not possible to stop a descent into barbarism by consciously ignoring history.

More than 100,000 prisoners have been run through the US complex of prisons in Iraq since the US invasion in 2003. Ignoring this reality is no longer an option. Releasing the photos and openly debating the actions and policies that led to their existence would be a more courageous projection of democratic values at this crucial juncture, sending a powerful signal that the United States stands by its core democratic values even when it is least convenient. It would also provide an opportunity for a much-needed reexamination of the premises for Obama's proposed bombing adventure in Syria, and by extension, of the longer-term war on terror. With Obama harking back to George W. Bush's initial Iraq war authorization in 2002 to rationalize his actions, it is a reexamination that is long overdue.
 
Sentiment Divided At Haj Pilgrimage Over Role Of Islamist Militants

Former Egyptian army officer Suliman Ouda minced no words as he climbed Mount Arafat, denouncing Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq as terrorists.

But Syrian engineer Ahmed Orabi, standing nearby on the hill where Muslims on their haj pilgrimage beg God's forgiveness, disagreed.

"Islam is about peace and kindness, not murder and violence, and I don't consider these fighters in Iraq and Syria to be Muslims," Ouda told Reuters as he joined the mass of pilgrims early on Friday. "They bring shame to the word Islam."

Orabi, in his 40s, served time in Syrian prisons for criticising the government of Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad before fleeing to Turkey. One of his sons was still in jail.

"If the Islamic state, or Nusra, or any other group can fight the government, I'm in full support of them," he said in a hushed voice.

"Bashar is the terrorist here, Iran is the enemy. And although I can't raise my voice today and say that, I'm crying out to God in my heart to give victory to those brave Islamic fighters."

The haj, a hectic journey that brings millions from around the world to Mecca and Mount Arafat, is tinged this year with concerns over the threat posed by Islamist militants who threaten to target allies of the United States, including Saudi Arabia.

In past years, Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims airing political views were the main threat for security forces keen to keep the haj free from politics. But the rise of political Islam since the Arab Spring protests of 2011 has focused attention on Islamist Sunni groups as a new potential source of friction.

While a systematic poll of pilgrims' views at the haj would be impossible, a random sampling indicated sentiment is divided over Islamic State, who have dominated the news since they captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in July.

Abdel-Rahman al-Gahtani, a Saudi haj organiser, said the militants, known in Arabic as Daesh, gave Islam a bad name.

"Our sheikhs told us that Daesh are terrorists and we believe they are. Those who kill in cold blood and make threats to kill innocent people are not Muslims like us," Gahtani, who works at food and water distribution, told Reuters.

The sermon given by the preacher in the local Namira mosque on Friday included a reference to the Islamic State and the pledge that "Islam is innocent of their actions", pilgrims who attended said.

But Mohammed Askar, a Syrian teacher, said militants fired by religious zeal may be the only way to topple tyrant Assad.

"I know America and the Gulf countries see the Islamic state as terrorists, but they should not think that way," Askar said.

"These are the people who can fight to get rid of Bashar, and after Bashar is gone I swear to you no one will want Islamic State. We are just using them."

HEIGHTENED SECURITY

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has funneled cash and arms to rebels fighting against tyrant Assad in a conflict which has raged for three years and killed nearly 200,000 people. But it has also consistently opposed Islamist militants within the insurgency. Last week, Saudi air force planes pounded targets in Syria in U.S.-led air strikes.

Security appeared much tighter than usual at this year's haj, with more men in uniform deployed in holy sites and frequent vehicle checkpoints.

"I came to haj two years ago and I don't remember seeing so many special forces as there are today," said Amr Abdallah, an Egyptian engineer on his way to the summit of Mount Arafat. "They must be worried about the threat of Daesh."

Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour al-Turki said the kingdom has allocated more security personnel and National Guardsmen along its borders with Iraq.

"We have enforced our security readiness at all the border of Saudi Arabia, the northern border and the southern border," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference.

The authorities continue to warn pilgrims against any political protests. Last week Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef told the Saudi state agency (SPA) that Saudi Arabia will have a zero tolerance policy.

"Authorities will deal with all propaganda, intellectual and political slogans because the purpose of haj is worship alone," Prince Nayef said in a statement.

The haj has attracted some 3 million people this year, including 1.4 million from outside the kingdom. To the casual observer there appears to be fewer Iraqi and Syrian pilgrims than last year, and many more visitors from Asia.

Saudi authorities have said that no restrictions have been placed on visas to Syrians or Iraqi for political reasons, however.

"There are over 10,000 pilgrims from Syria this year and I'm not aware of any restrictions placed on Iraqis or Syrians, every country has a quota and we follow that system," said Major General Turki.

Reuters Reporting by Amena Bakr; editing by Sami Aboudi and Sonya Hepinstall
 
Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh' Urges On Arafat Defeat Of Forces Sowing Chaos

Muslim leaders must strike the enemies of Islam with "an iron hand," Saudi Arabia's top cleric said during Friday prayers, in apparent condemnation of the Islamic State jihadist group.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh's comments came after Saudi Arabia and four other Arab nations joined the United States in aerial bombardment of the ISIS militants in Syria.

Speaking to Muslims from around the world in an address during the annual hajj pilgrimage, the mufti called on fellow Islamic leaders to "hit with an iron hand the enemies of Islam."

The ISIS group has declared a "caliphate" straddling Syria and Iraq where they have committed a spate of atrocities including crucifixions and beheadings.

"Your religion is threatened. Your security is threatened," he thundered, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

"These criminals carry out rapes, bloodshed and looting," he said, adding that "these vile crimes can be considered terrorism" and their perpetrators have nothing to do with Islam.

"They are tyrants," he said, warning of "their deviant ideology."

The mufti spoke from Nimrah Mosque at Mount Arafat in western Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites.

Close to two million Muslims from around the world were gathered at Mount Arafat for a day of prayer at the peak of the annual hajj.

The comments were the mufti's latest criticism of the extremists.

In August, he urged Muslim youth not to be influenced by "calls for jihad ... on perverted principles," and he described al-Qaeda and ISIS jihadists as "enemy number one" of Islam.

The kingdom is seeking to deter youths from becoming jihadists after Syria's conflict attracted hundreds of Saudis.

King Abdullah decreed in February jail terms of up to 20 years for citizens who travel to fight abroad.

Agencies

 
Fightings in Iraq - Bombardments, Bombings, Ambushes

By Markaz Kavkaz

A series of powerful explosions rocked Baghdad, Karbala, Babylon and Basra, where 1,500 Iranian soldiers have been recently sent, on Tuesday. Details are not known, but according to preliminary data, dozens of Rafidites were killed or injured.

Meanwhile, aircraft of western alliance with together Arab satellites continue to inflict bomb and missile strikes on Iraq. On Tuesday, French planes attacked positions of Ad Dawla al-Islamiyya/Islamic State (IS) near the Yarubiya north of the city of Mosul. IS units previously captured 11 villages there.

Since August, American-Nato aircraft have carried out more than 4,000 attacks on Iraq and Syria.

Fightings near the city of Ramada continue. Shiite troops suffered losses in battles with the IS. A Shiite military convoy has been neutralized. Shiites began a large-scale assault on Ramada on September 26, but after 3 days, they were forced to retreat, losing control over three quarters of the city.

A powerful explosion occurred on Tuesday on the outskirts of Tikrit against positions held by the troops of the Baghdad regime. A car bomb was set off near the headquarters of Shiite troops. Raafidites suffered heavy fatalities and casualties but exact figures are not known.

Meanwhile, the press office of the IS released a new video with a British prisoner named Cantlie.

Reuters claims that Kurdish gangs Peshmerga with American support were able to drive out IS units from the strategically important border crossing Rabia on the border with Syria, which is the main highway linking Syria to Mosul.

The western alliance also claim that a local Sunni tribe of Shammar, which entered into alliance with Peshmerga after three months of negotiations, is fighting against the IS along with the Kurds. One of the leaders of the tribe, Shammar Abdullah Yawar, allegedly confirmed in an interview with Reuters an alliance with the Kurds against the IS.

It also claaimed that the gangs of Kurdish Peshmerga recaptured from the IS two settlements 40 km from Kirkuk. Kurds said they had been helped by American air attacks

The Americans claimed they had carried out 11 aerial attacks in Iraq, and the same number of air strikes in Syria over the past 24 hours. Local sources reported on an air attack on positions of the IS south of Baghdad. The Fadil district have been subjected to the most fierce bombardments.

Meanwhile, sources of the IS report on fightings in Anbar province, where the IS used heavy artillery against Shiite troops. It also reported about the routing out of a convoy of the Baghdad regime in Albu.
 
Report Of First US Military Death in War Against ISIS Released From From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

U.S. forces in the North Arabian Gulf concluded a search and rescue operation for a missing U.S. Marine Corps aircrew member today at 3:00 p.m. (GMT), after efforts to locate him were unsuccessful. The Marine is presumed lost at sea.

The Marine aircrew member went into the water yesterday when the aircraft he was aboard lost power shortly after takeoff from USS Makin Island (LHD 8). Another air crewman also exited the aircraft at the same time and was safely recovered. He is in stable condition aboard Makin Island.

The pilot of the aircraft, a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey, was eventually able to regain control and safely land back aboard Makin Island. There were four personnel aboard the aircraft when it took off, two pilots and two enlisted aircrew. The lost Marine was one of the two enlisted aircrew who exited the aircraft when it appeared the Osprey might crash into the ocean.

U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel conducted an extensive search of the area using all available assets, which continued throughout the night and the next day.

The Osprey's crew was participating in flight operations in support of its current mission at the time of the mishap.

The Navy and Marine Corps will investigate the cause of the incident. In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the Marine will be withheld until 24 hours after family member notification.

USS Makin Island, with embarked elements of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is currently on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility where it is supporting operations in Iraq and Syria, and throughout the region.

From America's Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs' Website

 
ISIS War a Financial Windfall for US Arms Makers: Companies Surge in Anticipation of Spending Hikes

An open-ended war in Iraq and Syria isn't good for many people. Not the American public, which is paying for it, and certainly not for the Iraqis and Syrians. Arms dealers are salivating at the profits they are likely to make as the war continues to escalate.

The big winner early in the war is Raytheon, who netted a big new Tomahawk cruise missile contract because of all of the missiles the US has been firing into Iraq and Syria.

In the long run, the people who benefit most from the war may not be the ones making the missiles the US fired, however, but rather the companies that made the vehicles the US is trying to destroy.

ISIS' vehicles are mostly US-made vehicles looted from Iraq, and companies that made them, like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, are eventually going to be paid to buy the Iraqi military a whole new collection of gear to replace what they lost and was eventually destroyed.

With expectations for a return to runaway military spending, all of the major military contractors are trading near all-time highs on the stock market, with their prices escalating as the war does.

For Pentagon, ISIS War Funding Likely to Bypass Sequestration: Expects Congress to Put it On 'War Credit Card'

Congress had mostly been ignoring sequestration at any rate when it comes to military spending, but Pentagon officials say they expect Congress to bankroll the entire new ISIS campaign in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which is explicitly treated as separate from the defense budget.

The OCO, which some call a "war credit card," was supposed to be on the way out as the White House Office of Budget Management sought to fold it back into the Pentagon's official budget.

Instead, the OCO now seems likely to grow from its $58.6 billion in FY2015 to a dramatic new second military budget designed just to bankroll the open-ended war in Iraq and Syria.

The administration's use of the OCO as a way to fund operations Congress never approved would normally make it a controversial move to grow it so dramatically, but with so many Congressional hawks champing at the bit to ditch sequestration and fund the military at even higher levels, it seems likely they'll embrace this as a simple way to get around the budget limitations.

Earlier this week, it was estimated that the ISIS war had already cost $1 billion. With the war escalating seemingly every week, the costs are going to continue to surge in the months and years to come.

Several News Outlets

 
Pentagon Finds Targeting ISIS Becoming 'More Difficult'

Fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are changing their tactics and hiding among civilians, making it "more difficult" for the U.S. and allies to target them with airstrikes, a Pentagon official said Thursday.

"We are seeing them change their posture. We're seeing them change their communications. We're seeing them disperse more, to hide more," Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said on Fox News.

"Certainly, it makes targeting a little bit more difficult. No question about that."
Kirby stressed that the military campaign against ISIS "isn't necessarily about … killing individual terrorists" but rather focused on eliminating the terror group's capabilities.

"We are trying to take away from them the ways that they sustain, train and equip themselves," he said. "We're doing a lot more dynamic targeting, which is going after trucks, convoys, armored personnel carriers, artillery positions, trying to take away their ability to wreak havoc and continue violence."

On Monday Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements, told reporters that ISIS forces were adjusting to the U.S. airstrikes.

The terror group, which controls large swaths of Syria and Iraq, still poses a danger to Baghdad, according to Kirby.

"They still threaten Baghdad. They have been threatening Baghdad. But they haven't made any great strides in that regard," he said.

Kirby also hailed Thursday's vote by the Turkish parliament to authorize its military to join the international coalition battling ISIS, calling the outcome a "very positive development."

"We're in consultation with the Turks right now about the details on that, what it is actually going to mean," he said.

Antiwar Coalition Jason Ditz contributed to this article

 
One Cost Of War: U.S. Blowing Up Its Own Humvees

CNN - The United States is spending millions of dollars to destroy U.S. equipment in Iraq and Syria — gear the U.S. gave the Iraqi military that was later captured by ISIS forces.

The U.S has hit 41 Humvees since attacks began in August, according to data from United States Central Command.

The U.S. is sending $30,000-bombs to eliminate these armored vehicles, which cost about a quarter of a million dollars each depending what it is equipped with, according to Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The U.S. Defense Department confirmed the targets to CNN. "In some cases, we have seen instances of ISIL capturing and employing U.S.-made equipment," said a spokesperson. "When we've seen these terrorists employing this equipment, we've sought to eliminate that threat."
Once the U.S. destroys the equipment, it might have to re-supply the Iraqi military.

"If we want them [the Iraqi military] to be able to secure their own borders in the long run, we're going to have to re-equip them," said Harrison. "So we'll be buying another Humvee and sending it back to the Iraqi military.''

This loop is only one small example of the complexities that drive current expenses and how the U.S. may be paying for them in the future.

The overall cost of U.S. operations in Iraq and Syria rose this week with the U.S.'s first strikes inside Syria. That campaign began on Monday evening with the blunt force of 47 Tomahawk missiles, which cost about $1.5 million each.

The U.S. led coalition sent 48 strike-ready aircraft. Those formations included the first combat mission for the F-22 Raptor, which costs about $62,000 an hour to fly, making it the most expensive manned aircraft to operate.

Those aircraft were likely carrying bombs that range in cost from $20,000 to $30,000.

The Tomahawk, which is launched from a ship, is more expensive because it's essentially a disposable plane.

"It is launched out of a tube, its wings deploy, and it has a jet engine that flies it up to 1,000 miles to its intended target," said Harrison. ''The whole thing blows up when it reaches its target, so it only gets used once."

In total, the U.S. has conducted 20 strikes in Syria and 198 in Iraq from August 8 through September 23. Many of those operations weren't included in the Pentagon's daily average spending figure of $7.5 million at the end of last month.

CNN Cristina Alesci and Kate Trafecante contributed to this article
 
Fightings In Anbar Province Ensure Shiite Troops Suffer Losses - French Bomb Kurds

By Markaz Kavkaz

The Washington Post reported that a few hundred soldiers of the Baghdad regime "disappeared" during the fightings in the Anbar province. Meanwhile, social networks publish information about the capture by the IS units of about 400 Shiite soldiers. All of them were then executed.

It is also reported on the defeat of the Baghdad regime army's 8th division and capture of bases in the area of Saqlawiyah.

"The situation is very bad," said Lt. Col. Abdulwahab al-Saidi, head of counterterrorism operations for Anbar.

Meanwhile, French air force carried out air strikes in Iraq. It is reported that French aircraft mistakenly bombed its allies - the Kurds from Peshmerga. In the raid, at least 75 Kurds were killed.

Fierce fightings between Shiite troops and fighters of the IS and local Sunni tribes moved to the west of the city of Ramada.

The fightings continued in the area of Kurdish settlements of Zummar, Sinjar, Jalawla, despite air strikes by America.
 
Red Cross Says US Strikes Add to Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq, Syria: US Strikes Boost ISIS Recruitment in Syria's Aleppo

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned that the US-led airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria have "compounded the humanitarian consequences of the conflicts in both countries."

Even though the US couched the initial attacks in Iraq as a "humanitarian intervention," their focus has since expanded to a full scale war to "destroy" ISIS, in which officials have promised to keep civilian casualties to a minimum, but didn't appear overly concerned about the deaths in the strikes so far.

The Red Cross warns that the situation is continuing to worsen, and warned that all the combatant factions must refrain from harming civilians and must allow humanitarian workers to bring help.

As US strikes have increased, ISIS has moved most of its forces to less conspicuous targets that are less convenient to hit. This has made the US more likely to go after difficult targets, particularly those in populated areas, which means the humanitarian woes of the conflict are likely to grow as the war continues.

US Strikes Boost ISIS Recruitment in Syria's Aleppo: Over 200 Joined Since Obama Announced Attacks

Syrian rebels say that the US airstrikes on ISIS inside Syria haven't helped them. If you're wondering who is benefiting, the answer could well be ISIS.

Since President Obama announced his intention to strike Syria on September 10, ISIS has gained more than 200 new fighters in Aleppo Province alone. That's likely a drop in the bucket compared to what it did for recruitment in provinces where they have a larger presence.

The US couldn't be following the ISIS map more closely if they planned it, as the group is building itself up into a larger and more influential faction primarily on the credibility it gets from being a top US enemy right now, moreso than the territory it gained in the past year.

The administration's answer to ISIS growing increasingly influential has been to hype them even further, and present them as a new, global enemy that needs to be wiped out through force of arms. Unsurprisingly, that has made many of the people in the line of fire of America's newest war stand up and take notice, and is bringing a lot of them to ISIS, where they can resist the incoming US attacks on their homes.

Antiwar Coalition Jason Ditz contributed to this article
 
'Indiscriminate' Iraqi Air Force Bombings Killing Civilians, Watchdog Says

"Indiscriminate" Iraqi air force attacks meant to wipe out Islamic State forces have killed dozens of civilians, including 24 refugee children housed at a school near Tikrit at the start of this month, according to an international rights watchdog.

"This is not an isolated incident. We have documented a pattern of indiscriminate attacks from the air in which civilians have died," Fred Abrahams, special advisor at New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), told Rudaw in a phone interview.

"The death toll is high from these cases. At least 75 civilians have been killed and hundreds of others have been wounded in 17 airstrikes," he said.

HRW has called on the Iraqi government to promptly probe a September 1 airstrike it says hit a school near Tikrit housing refugees. At least 31 civilians, including 24 children, were killed in the raid, which also wounded 41 others, according to the rights group.

The al-Alam Vocational High School was housing displaced people who fled Tikrit after the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants took control of the city in mid-June, HRW says.

"The death toll is high from these cases, at least 75 civilians have been killed and hundreds of others have been wounded in 17 airstrikes," according to Abrahams.

HRW called for a probe a day after Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the army to stop shelling militant-held populated areas to minimize civilian casualties.

"Unlawful" attacks, Abrahams said, have been reported within IS-controlled areas in Fallujah, Beiji, Mosul, Tikrit, and al-Sherqat, with Sunni Iraqis the primary victims.

"The government is trying to fight ISIS but it is going to create more enemies among the Sunni population if it is not more careful and is only targeting compounds," Abrahams said.

Abadi issued on order on September 11 to halt Iraqi air forces strikes on neighborhoods with civilian populations. But the bombings have continued in Anbar province, where a hospital was hit.

Iraqi officials have given "a very weak explanation" for the questioned air attacks, Abrahams said. He added that, while subsequent airstrikes have not been investigated yet, they are "definitely concerning."

Iraq's government has told HRW that the explosion that hit the school was from a vehicle nearby that was transporting militants. The strike on the vehicle caused an explosion that was "far larger than normal," the government said, because of the explosives the car was apparently carrying.

"All of the witnesses we've interviewed, people in the school and in the neighborhood, nobody spoke about a car and actually the witnesses said the missile hit in the middle of the courtyard, not on the outside where there was any car," Abrahams said.

The civilian casualties by the Iraqi air strikes reveal "a level of unprofessionalism that puts civilians in danger," Abrahams said. He added that orders to shoot, when it was unclear whether the targets were military or civilian, was "unacceptable."

HRW has called on all governments supporting the campaign against IS to pressure the Iraqi government to follow the rules of war.

"We have unconfirmed reports of some civilian casualties in Syria, from US airstrikes," Abrahams said, adding that those are being investigated.

American strikes in Iraq over the past month successfully targeted individual IS targets, patrol boats and trucks. On Tuesday, the United States and its allies launched the first rounds of airstrikes against Sunni militants in Syria. Several allies have signed up to the US-led air raids.

EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
With Focus on Syria, US Escalation in Iraq Continues Apace: Over 200 More Troops Headed to Iraq From Fort Riley

Antiwar Articles

With all of the attention this week on the US expansion of its ISIS war into Syria, one might expect that the war in Iraq is on the back-burners, simply treading water for the time being. That's not the case.

The Syria strikes indeed put coverage of Iraq on the back-burners, but the escalations of that war have continued, with Fort Riley today announcing over 200 troops from the 1st Infantry Division will be heading to Iraq, operating out of both Baghdad and Arbil.

The new deployments are above and beyond the 1,600 US ground already in Iraq, and will only add to speculation that the administration is slowly but surely building up to the ground war that they have repeatedly promised isn't being considered.

The US has been adding troops to its force in Iraq on a weekly basis, though it seems to be less public about that fact this time, leaving it up to the fort to announce the planned deployments.
 
The Campaign Against ISIL Could Cost $1.5B a Month

By Emerson Brooking

On September 22, the air campaign against ISIS expanded into Syria in a coordinated attack that included 47 Tomahawk missiles and nearly 50 coalition aircraft. This action had been all but inevitable since the commencement of overflight reconnaissance in Syria on August 26. Significantly, these strikes also included targets of the Khorasan Group, an al-Qaeda affiliate unrelated to ISIS. Also significantly, five Arab militaries—Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Qatar—participated in the operation. At this stage, there are three important questions to address: the targeting of the strikes, the implications of this action, and potential challenges that might await the operation moving forward.

What was hit?

The primary targets of the initial bombing in Syria were ISIS training bases, military vehicles, headquarters, and resupply facilities. These were clustered in the Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqa. Although the Pentagon is in the midst of a battle damage assessment (BDA), officials have stated that initial reports suggest a high strike effectiveness. Preliminary estimates place the number of ISIS fighter casualties at a minimum of 70—and likely more. 95 percent of expended munitions were precision-guided, suggesting a clear awareness of the strategic peril of unconstrained bombardment and collateral damage. This also marked the first combat deployment of the F-22 Raptor

It is important to distinguish the "hard target" strikes against ISIS from the targeting of high-value individuals that has often characterized the global war on terror. Unlike most "traditional" terror networks, ISIS has amassed significant amounts of conventional military equipment, including U.S. made equipment abandoned by the Iraqi army that they have been putting to good use. Destroying these stationary targets, along with training sites, supply and munitions depots, etc, will significantly degrade ISIS's ability to conduct lethal military operations.

For many Americans, this will be their first time hearing of the Khorasan Group, a small group of roughly 50 "seasoned al-Qaeda veterans" who had based themselves amid the chaos of the wider Syrian Civil War in order to plot attacks beyond the region. The decision to include strikes against Khorasan with the wider anti-ISIS effort was based on intelligence about an "imminent," spectacular attack, to take place in either the United States or Europe. Eight Khorasan targets were destroyed in the bombardment.

What are the wider implications?

Most immediately, the enlargement of the anti-ISIS campaign's zone of operations demonstrates an understanding that ISIS has long been twisting international boundaries to its own advantage. As one senior White House official stated in a September 23 media call, "We're fighting an organization that operates irrespective of borders—we have to look at it that way." It is a worthwhile question, however, if a quicker expansion into Syria might have been more strategically impactful.

The conduct of these strikes also shows a keen awareness of the optics of the whole anti-ISIS effort. Even a 26-nation coalition will be insufficiently compelling if it remains constrained to paper. The Pentagon was careful about not revealing exactly which regional nation conducted what parts of the military operation, saying that it will be up to each partner nation to make such announcements. Regional partners should be as open as possible about their support and contributions in order to refute the perceptions that this is an American-only effort. The visibility and active participation of these nations will be critical in stemming and rolling back the ISIS threat.

Domestically, there is now broad-based American public support for strikes against ISIS, likely prompted by the resonating impact of the James Foley and Steven Sotloff execution videos. 79 percent of Americans reported in a CBS News/New York Times poll conducted September 12-15 that they viewed ISIS as either a major or minor threat. 71 percent favored air strikes against ISIS in Iraq; 69 percent supported expansion of air strikes into Syria.

What are the questions to ask moving forward?

The effort against ISIS has now expanded enough to have a substantial effect on ongoing debate over the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act and the Overseas Contingency Operations account (the means through which ongoing operations are funded). Although anti-ISIS air strikes had cost an average of $7.5 million per day through August, recent events suggest a considerable escalation. Consider, for example, that the fully burdened cost of a new Tomahawk cruise missile is roughly $1.6 million. Gordon Adams, professor of U.S. Foreign Policy at American University and a specialist in defense budgeting, has suggested the costs of anti-ISIS operations could climb as high as $1.5 billion monthly.

If the anti-ISIS coalition's mission enlarges further, it will also become increasingly necessary to consider the laws by which this use of force has been authorized. On September 22, the White House sent two War Powers reports to Congress: one for actions against ISIS, the other for actions against the Khorasan Group. The U.S. military is currently operating against ISIS under the powers granted by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that authorized operations against the original Al-Qaeda network and affiliates.

Finally, it must be asked how the anti-ISIS coalition can transition from simply stopping the Islamic State's momentum to ultimately destroying it. In order to achieve this broader objective, there must be locally-designed and implemented economic and political initiatives that accommodate the myriad interests and drivers of conflict in the region.

These efforts must be actively led by the leaders in the region. The United States may be able to support and coordinate the fight against ISIS—but it cannot unilaterally, nor through purely military means, defeat the terrorist group or bring lasting stability to the region.

Emerson Brooking is a research associate for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.
 
US Airstrikes in Syria Don't Slow ISIS Offensive: ISIS Continues to Press Into Kurdish Area

Antiwar Articles

US and coalition airstrikes continue to pound ISIS in Syria, with the latest attacks focusing on ISIS fighters advancing into the Kurdish area around Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria.

Despite that area being the new focus of the airstrikes, the attacks do not appear to be slowing ISIS even a little, as the group continues to press ahead into more Kurdish villages, and civilians continue to flee into neighboring Turkey.

"Those air strikes are not important," noted one of the refugees, who called for US troops on the ground to retake the villages for the Kurdish factions there.

The ISIS battles with Syrian Kurds seem to be a major source of pressure for US involvement in Syria, with influential Kurdish factions trying to paint Ayn al-Arab with the same false narrative of humanitarian calamity as Mount Sinjar, which was the initial pretext for the US attacks in Iraq.

In Iraq, the US airstrikes are being done nominally to aid Kurdish fighters on the ground, and that's had little success either. Officials continue to insist the US isn't considering ground operations, though they continue to escalate the war in ways that are adding to pressure to commit boots on the ground, pointing to a lack of planning or an intention to eventually renege on the promise of no ground troops.

ISIS Surrounds Another Iraqi Army Camp in Anbar: 200 Trapped - Troops Cornered Just South of Ramadi

Despite the addition of US airstrikes complicating their operations, ISIS continues to have the advantage on the ground in Iraq, and for the second time in less than a week has cornered a large camp full of Iraqi soldiers.

Over the weekend, ISIS overran the Saqlawiya base, near Fallujah, killing 40 soldiers and capturing 70 others in an offensive that led over 100 trapped soldiers to flee into the countryside. This time, the troops are trapped at a base just south of Ramadi.

"There was an army group in front of us whom ISIS destroyed completely six days ago," reported one soldier from inside the camp. ISIS has surrounded the site and mined the roads to prevent more Iraqi forces from reaching them.

This was the same strategy in Saqlawiya where, after wearing out the out-of-supply soldiers, they launched a suicide attack that sparked a panic and picked off the troops along the roads, capturing large numbers.

200 soldiers are believed to be in the Albu Etha camp, and they report that they have begun to run low on food and ammunition. Despite Iraq's claims of progress against ISIS since the US strikes began, the losses seem to be mounting.

Pentagon: ISIS Will Rebound from US Airstrikes: Monday Night Attacks 'Only the Beginning'

Pentagon officials downplayed the chances of last night's airstrikes against Raqqa, the ISIS capital if Syria, having a serious impact on the group's day-to-day operations, with Lt. Gen. William Mayville Jr. saying ISIS will quickly adapt to the air war and rebound from any losses suffered overnight.

"We have seen evidence that they have already done that," Mayville confirmed. The strikes were the first on ISIS in Syria, after six weeks of airstrikes against the group in Iraq which have, similarly, yielded very little.

Reports on the strikes in Raqqa suggest a handful of buildings were hit, and around 70 ISIS fighters were among the slain. Civilian casualties are unclear.

Indeed, last night's strikes seem to just be the administration going through the motions, with no real expectation for a meaningful change on the ground, and the "rebels" this is supposed to be supporting a year away from being trained and ready.

If anything, officials seem to be doing what they can to add to the hawks' call for boots on the ground, while continuing to deny that they are even considering that, at least not yet.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby insisted that despite the estimates that they would quickly recover, last night's attacks on ISIS were "very successful," and were "only the beginning" of a long, drawn out conflict.

That seems to be the one thing everyone agrees on, whatever their opinions on the chances for success. The war is not only open-ended, but seems likely to span many, many years. What happens in the next two months before the mid-term election doesn't seem to be of particular concern, and unpopular escalations can be launched thereafter with less political fear of repercussions.

EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Struggle Against ISIS Shields US Oil Grab

By Jean Shaoul

Seven years ago, US Senator Chuck Hagel, now Obama's defence secretary, said of the occupation of Iraq, "People say we're not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America's national interest. What the hell do you think they're talking about? We're not there for figs."

President Barack Obama and Hagel's talk of going after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which its regional allies have financed as a proxy force to topple the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, is a cover for their plans to overthrow Assad. But an additional issue at stake is the control of Iraq's vast energy resources and the supply routes through its territory.

Iraq has the fifth largest proven oil reserves in the world and Washington and its allies have no intention of surrendering the oil contracts now controlled by Western companies. The US is seeking to preserve its unimpeded access to oil and gas, while determining how much of these vital energy resources are available to other countries—especially to its rivals China and Russia.

ISIS has taken control of vast swathes of eastern Syria and north-western Iraq, including Iraq's second city Mosul, and their oil infrastructure. It now threatens Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), whose reserves, were it a separate country, would position it tenth in the world, and the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

The ISIS advance into western Iraq and the Sunni Triangle means that it controls parts of two main pipelines. The first, the 500-mile Kirkuk-to-Banyas (a port in Syria), was largely destroyed by US airstrikes during the 2003 war, although the stretch between Ain Zalah and Suweidiva is operational. The second pipeline runs from Kirkuk to Ceyhan, Turkey. While ISIS has stopped the flow through to Syria, it has allowed the flow to Turkey to continue.

US air strikes on ISIS and its Sunni tribal allies, alongside the KRG's Peshmerga forces and Kurdish fighters from Syria and Turkey on the ground, prevented ISIS from taking control of one of Iraq's largest oil fields in Kirkuk, which the KRG had earlier seized from the Iraqi forces. The Iraqi Army drove ISIS out of Baiji, home to Iraq's largest oil refinery and power plant. The US also provided air cover to enable Iraqi security forces to regain control of the K3 Refinery in Haditha, northwest of Ramadi in Anbar province, and the site of a key dam downstream of the recently recaptured Mosul dam.

Energy companies such as Genel, the British-Turkish company run by former BP CEO Tony Hayward, and Oryx Petroleum, a Canadian firm, said that their Taq Taq, Tawke and Hawler oilfields were now secure, and it was safe for staff to return.

As yet, the giant oilfields in southern Iraq, a largely Shiite area, controlled by BP, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, the Russian Lukoil, Angola's Sonangol, Italy's ENI and the Norwegian Statoil, as well as other smaller companies, have not been affected by fighting, although there have been attacks on pipelines. This has led a number of the firms and their contractors to sell at least part of their stakes, while others have turned their attention to the KRG's oilfields.

Following the defeat of the regime of Saddam Hussein in the 2003 war, US oil bosses moved in to run Iraq's oil industry. While they were unable to ensure the passage of the hydrocarbon law that would have given them complete control of Iraq's oil, they were able to open up Iraq's oil to Western companies, after an absence of three decades, on very favourable terms.

These have included long-term concessions and large ownership stakes. There are no restrictions on the export of oil or the remittance of profits overseas and no requirements that the companies hire a majority of Iraqi workers or invest in the local economy.

The industry is now run by international corporations such as BP, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Chevron, the French company Total as well as Russian, Chinese and Malaysian and a raft of smaller companies.

Earlier this year, Russian oil giant Lukoil started production at the giant oil field of West Qurna-2, south of Basra, which is possibly the world's largest untapped field, with oil reserves believed to be about 20 billion barrels. While initial production is 120,000 bpd, this is set to rise to 400,000 bpd next year and possibly 1.2 million bpd in a few years' time.

Exploitation of the oil field, discovered by the Russians in the 1980s, was blocked first by US sanctions in the 1990s and later by the occupying forces, despite a 2004 agreement in exchange for Russia's forgiving Iraq's $13 billion debt. After the Iraqi government, under pressure from Washington, was forced to cancel the original deal, Lukoil beat BP for development rights in 2007. Lukoil's CEO Vagit Alekperov, who is close to President Vladimir Putin, has so far escaped US sanctions over Ukraine.

In the Kurdish autonomous region, the oil fields that were largely neglected before 2003 have come into play. The corrupt regional government--dominated by the rival Barzani and Talabani families who in turn control the two main Kurdish parties--has awarded contracts that permit it to sell up to 25 percent of its stake in the oil projects to private companies in defiance of the federal government. As well as Genel and Oryx Petroleum, four big oil companies - Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Hess and Total - and 30 smaller companies have signed deals with the KRG. Production in KRG, which is set to rise further, accounts for 10 percent of Iraqi oil.

The KRG has sought to use a newly opened pipeline within KRG territory to link to the pre-existing pipeline to Ceyhan and export oil directly. This is deemed illegal by Baghdad. As a result, Kurdish oil is used in Turkey and not sold on the world markets for fear of lawsuits brought by the Iraqi government. The KRG has also allowed Genel to send 700 tanker trucks a day to Turkey, thereby avoiding the pipeline whose throughput is monitored at Mosul. The US is opposed to the KRG's sale of oil independently of Baghdad, but it is using the KRG as a pawn to bully the federal government into acceding to its dictates.

The oil industry has now largely recovered from the 2003 war and the deliberate destruction carried out during the US occupation. Oil production has reached about 3.3 million bpd, just below the 3.5 million bpd under the state-owned enterprises in 1979, making Iraq the world's seventh largest producer.

About half of all Iraqi oil is exported to China, which recently became the world's largest oil importer. Last year, PetroChina, one of China's four state-owned energy corporations, bought a stake from Exxon in the southern Iraqi oil field West Qurna and bought into three other large fields. Sinopec and CNOOC also have concessions in Iraq. The Chinese typically partner with the major Western oil companies or take low-margin contracts. China has built its own airport in the south near the border with Iran to transport 10,000 workers to the oil fields.

The Iraqi people have seen little benefit from the oil boom. The oil and gas industry employs less than 2 percent of the employed workforce, because the international companies bring in their own staff. Eighty percent of the oil (2.7 million bpd) is exported, leaving little for the domestic market. Fuel shortages and power shutoffs are rife. According to the World Bank, poverty is on the rise, with 28 percent of families--more than 9.5 million Iraqis--living below the poverty line. Thousands of families look for food in the garbage and live in landfills and slums.

The government has failed to pass social security legislation to provide unemployment benefits, despite revenues rising from $50 billion in 2010 to more than $100 billion in 2013. The $50 billion increase, if used for the benefit of the Iraqi people, could have provided benefits and services worth $10,000 for each of the 5 million families. Such infrastructure and service improvements that did take place were in Shiite not Sunni areas. This was one of the factors driving Sunni militants who have, since December 2012, targeted the local Shiite and oil facilities in the Sunni areas, in order to gain control of some of Iraq's oil proceeds.
 
Turkey: Oppressing Sunnis In Iraq And Syria Lead To Chaos

Turkey warned the international community that the former Iraq government's exclusion of Sunni's would lead to problems in the region, said Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Monday evening in an interview broadcast by private channels, NTV and Star.

Davutoglu stressed that neither Syrian president Bashar al-Assad , nor former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki "listened to us while we pleaded for nine months" and that the "current chaotic situation" could have been avoided had the international community also listened to Turkey's warnings.

Sunni politicians were sidelined one by one Davutoglu said, "[former Iraqi Vice President] Tariq Hashimi, Rafi Isavi, Nujaifi... there was no Sunni politician left, Where does a non-political formation go? It tends to this kind of actions to protect itself."

In several diplomatic attempts Turkey pleaded with Maliki to include Sunnis and all other groups in his government, however, consistent dissociation of Sunnis from the political process, resulted in a strong insurgency in the form of Islamic State (IS) militants.

"I am telling it to international community: Turkey does not have to prove anything. Turkey has always displayed a determined approach around the facts it believes in," said Davutoglu.

"If some people have to prove anything to move international community, the United Nations should prove it before these oppressed people (of Syria and Iraq), 350 thousand people have been killed, there are 4 million refugees, if anyone has to prove something, international community should prove its existence first."

Syria's civil war has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 191,400 people since it began three years ago, and displaced roughly half of the country population, according to the UN.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement that the figures had doubled in the past year but "tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed."

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, more than 158,000 civilians have been killed in Syria.

It said that, in the operations carried out by Assad forces, 124,752 men, 17,139 children and 15,278 women had been killed.

A total of 831 men, 137 children and 81 women died in attacks carried out by IS militants in the country.

It added that 5,644 people had been exposed to torture under the Assad government, and 13 had been tortured by IS militants.

Syria's war began in March 2011 as a peaceful protest movement demanding Assad's ouster, but morphed into a brutal war after pro-Assad forces unleashed a massive crackdown against dissent.

Fightings In Anbar Province As Shiite Troops Suffer Losses While French Bomb Kurds

The Washington Post reported that a few hundred soldiers of the Baghdad regime "disappeared" during the fightings in the Anbar province. Meanwhile, social networks publish information about the capture by the IS units of about 400 Shiite soldiers. All of them were then executed.

It is also reported on the defeat of the Baghdad regime army's 8th division and capture of bases in the area of Saqlawiyah.

"The situation is very bad," said Lt. Col. Abdulwahab al-Saidi, head of counterterrorism operations for Anbar.

Meanwhile, French air force carried out air strikes in Iraq. It is reported that French aircraft mistakenly bombed its allies - the Kurds from Peshmerga. In the raid, at least 75 Kurds were killed.

Fierce fightings between Shiite troops and fighters of the IS and local Sunni tribes moved to the west of the city of Ramada.

The fightings continued in the area of Kurdish settlements of Zummar, Sinjar, Jalawla, despite air strikes by America.

EsinIslam.Com & Several News Outlets

 
Iraqi Muslim Scholars Voices Out On The New America's International Coalition Against The So-Called Terrorism

The Association of Muslim Scholars

In the name of Allah the Most Merciful the Compassionate

Statement concerning the new international coalition against the so-called (terrorism)

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, companions and allies. And after:

In hotly global pursuit, alliances has been formed and conferences have been held in the context of joint action and held military alliances to hit the so-called (terrorism) in all of Iraq, Syria, and periods put to this international war, by the accounts of a number of Western and Arab officials, ranging from three to ten years, without reveal till now what this coalition holds of surprises, and what its activities will excrete as repercussions on the region and the world.

Besides, if the militants number of the targeted organization does not exceed thirty thousand at top expectations, according to reports and CIA, does not possess modern and lethal weapons, such as those owned by its opponents; It is unreasonable to mobilize all the energies against it only, and this raises a lot of questions about the real objectives behind this coalition, and the fate which will be to Iraq and Syria, and the region, after this long-term conflict, and the combat violent activities?

Based on the above, we record openly and frankly what is to come:

First, the insistence of the international community to start from the results, ignoring address the root causes and its developments that it shows concern of them; will not settle the matter, The situation existing in Iraq and Syria created and contributed to the composition of several factors, including: the unspeakable injustice upon the two peoples, especially in Iraq after the American occupation, then Iranian influence, the first beneficiary of the occupation and collaborating with it over the past years, through the tools of political and security situation in the country, a policy that Iranians continued to adopt sectarian cleansing by killing, arresting, torturing and exclusion; and unless remedy this injustice done, the international community will not be able _ If intentions true _ to handle the results.

Second: The targeting of the organization by bombing, its members are scattered among civilians; will lead to the raise of the death toll of civilians, who will be the number of the victims were the greatest, this would generate a sense at the side of the Sunnis of Iraq that the international community targeted them primarily base on component, the culture and doctrine, that take the war as a cover for it; this will lead to the reaction of a strong and growing feelings of injustice, and to strengthen the influence of the choice of resistance; because people will be rushed instinctively to maintain themselves and their beliefs and culture, and will engage more volunteers from the Muslim world to the region and involve with the struggle for the same reasons, and if what tricks between him and it, they will hurt scorn, and dispels desires revenge in targeting the interests of the countries participating in the coalition, internally and externally, and this would not be in the interest of any one, and this will complicate the scene, and it will sap the last bit of hope of the just and lasting solution, and keep the region and the world in the case of an unstable situation.

Third: It is so strange that countries resort to the longer and the highest cost way, in dealing with this issue, while have a shortcut route, and less expensive, and does not need a cost prohibitive international coalition, the paved road will be achieved by the followings:

A- The recognition of the disability of the ongoing political process in Iraq since ten years to achieve the needed solution to the abnormal situation in Iraq, which has contributed its establishment, its components from the parties and elements loyal to the State of neighboring Iran, a country that is known to have a major interest in the continuing chaos across Iraq, and to keep the allies on the helm, and in military institutions and the security services, not to mention its militias that support these devices to work within the plans put by it, which exclusively serve its national and expansionist intentions in the region.

B- Renounce the sectarian and ethnic quota system "Muhasasah", that caused to tear Iraq apart and turn it into a weak state, easely penetrated by urgent organizations and security services and military institutions of the States, as well as the global mafia and others, and in particular the implications of this system; now reflected negatively on the international community because of the complexities of the historical, social and geopolitical on the region.

C- Open the way for Iraqis to rebuild their country, on the correct basis, and away from sectarian quotas and ethnic groups, to help set the strategic balance in the region, and to achieve peace and social security in the region and the world, although we are fully aware that there are major powers and minor ones dislike this solution ; because they build their strategy on the disintegration of Iraq and the region, and developed scenarios to accommodate surprises and possibilities in order to ensure the success of this strategy, but it is clear that these countries made ??mistakes that each one costs a price should be paied in many cases, Iraq's site for the region and the world is extremely sensitive, which was a point of balance across the histroy, and what happened after 2003 is the manipulation of this balance; where overlap at home players from everywhere and considerable disruption happened, the world began to suffer from it now and the defect will remain unless it is bring Iraq back to its normal status as an independent stable country returns to the region and the world this point of balance, and alleviate compete internationally on it.

The observer of the Iraqi affair finds no trouble in the stand on the fact that the repercussions began to spin out of control, and began to push the international and regional poles to to be fault and enter into an international conflict, no one can speculate what would disclose in future, and in our appreciation that as we posed, the international community - if it will - has an opportunity may not be repeated to fix things and to stop the dangerous developments, and has Forewarned is forearmed.

General Secretariat
22 / Thul-Qadah / 1435 AH
17/ September / 2014 AD.
 

We - The Awqaf, Awqaf Africa And Awqaf Asia - Plead For Release Of British Aid Worker Alan Henning In Support Of CAGE's Appeal

The Awqaf, Awqaf Africa and Awqaf Asia hereby confirm on their publications including EsinIslam.Com and IslamAfrica.Com the plead to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leadership in Syria for the safety of British aid worker hostage Alan Henning threatened with beheading.

This, therefore, is to confirm that Sheikh Abu-Abdullah Adelabu and the council of the Awqaf endorse and seek to award credibility from the Ulamaa and their Mujahidun to the plea to secure the safety and release of British Aid Worker Alan Henning.

Initial positive sentiments and generous approaches from the senior members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) among whom had studied at same establishments in Syria has been promising for all efforts for the release of Alan Henning.

Following the Awqaf's direct appeal, the senior members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leadership have expressed their satisfaction over that Alan Henning is a humanitarian aid worker who went to Syria to help victims of the civil war and indicated the readiness of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to show him some mercy to Alan Henning.

Sheikh Abu-Abdullah Adelabu and his Awqaf have related to the leadership of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) their responsibilities to stop all possible damages to the amiable efforts of the Islamic scholars and Du'at (the preachers) in propagating Islam in the West and beyond after the latest threat to Henning's life in a new video released Saturday which showed him in the hands of the kidnappers who might have been the beheaders of British captive David Haines and two American journalists.

Upon their request and release to EsinIslam.Com and IslamAfrica.Com, which they described as the most effective alternative media outlet that reaches the very hearts of Alan Henning's kidnappers and the true audience of the leadership of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), CAGE an independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror which the aid worker was helping in relieving the Syrian people from the brutes of Tyrant Assad's regime. Below is the CAGE's appeal as released:

CAGE's Editor Calls For Release Of British Aid Worker Alan Henning

CAGE [1] condemns the arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment of anyone without cause and without being afforded their right of due process. This is the case whether the denial of these rights takes place in Egypt or Iraq - as is the case of Alan Henning - or by Western forces around the world in prisons or through drone strikes.

For ten years now, CAGE has been advocating respect for the principles of justice, due process and the rule of law in the War on Terror. We have documented hundreds of cases of abuse and torture by western countries and brought to the attention of the world grave rights violations through our research and casework.

Asim Qureshi, Research Director of CAGE, had the following points to make:

1. Alan Henning should not to be considered a prisoner of war: "Alan Henning went to Syria with Muslims and is known to have been helping the people of Syria. He is not involved in any hostility to Islam or Muslims. Therefore, he cannot be considered a prisoner of war under Islamic law and should be released immediately. We believe there are no grounds for holding Mr Henning prisoner or executing him."

2. Western Intervention in Iraq is the root cause: "The recent spate of be-headings of Western individuals caught in conflict zones in Syria and Iraq appears to be a direct consequence of current Western intervention in Iraq and Syria. Prior to recent events there was no killing of Western hostages."

3. The West has set the worldwide example of arbitrary detentions: "Since 9/11, Western policy has developed a process of arbitrary detentions, torture and extrajudicial killing. It is an example which others around the world now appear to be following. It goes without saying that many of the men now perpetrating rights abuses in Iraq and Syria were themselves victims of rights abuses in places such as Abu Ghraib.

4. The UK Government has put aid-workers at risk: "The UK Government coupled with irresponsible media reporting have created significant difficulties for Muslim charities by stigmatising them and labelling them as extremists/terrorists. This has put aid workers at great risk."

5. Fundamental principles of due process must be respected by all: "The only way forward is a world which respects fundamental principles of due process, a concept central to the Islamic legal framework as well as that of all civilised societies."

Majid Freeman, an aid worker who accompanied Alan Henning on his last convoy to Syria, said to CAGE:

'Alan is a selfless man who was moved by the suffering of the Syrian people. He understood the risks of going into Syria and, despite our protestations against it, he felt compelled to help the orphans and widows he had met on an earlier trip. I am full of admiration for his courage and bravery and am hopeful that he will soon be released.'

Notes:
1. CAGE is an independent advocacy organisation that works to empower communities affected by the War on Terror and to highlight abuses of due process.
2. The plea for the release of Alan Henning by British aid workers can be viewed above https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qftTf0itVm4
3. The last known recorded footage of Alan Henning, on the Greece-Turkey border can be seen here: http://youtu.be/YfB8RnukCM8


About CAGE:

CAGE is an independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror. The organisation highlights and campaigns against state policies, striving for a world free from oppression and injustice.

CAGE has been campaigning against the War on Terror for more than a decade. Its work has focussed on working with survivors of abuse and mistreatment across the globe. Its website is one of the leading resources documenting the abuse of due process and the erosion of the rule of law in the context of the War on Terror. CAGE has delivered more than 750 lectures across the UK, produced cutting edge reports and provided a voice to survivors of the War on Terror through its media work.

CAGE says its vision is to see a world free from oppression and injustice.

CAGE says its mission is to highlight and campaign against state policies developed as part of the War on Terror.

Contact: Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
Phone: +(44) 207 377 6700
Email: press@cageuk.org
Web: www.cageuk.org
CAGE
27 Old Gloucester Street
London
WC1N 3XX

 
How Turkey Refuses Fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant (ISIL)

Turkey will refuse to allow a US-led coalition to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant (ISIL) or the Ad Dawla al-Islamiyya/Islamic State (IS) in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against IS, a government official told AFP Thursday.

"Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations", the official said on condition of anonymity.

The decision echoes the country's refusal to allow the US to station 60,000 troops in Turkey in 2003 to invade Iraq from the north, which triggered a crisis between the two allies.

Ankara then also refused Washington permission to use its air bases to attack Saddam Hussein's regime.

Ankara's Western allies and Arab countries accuse Turkey "in the indirect encouraging the formation of IS", and the Assad regime believes that the Turkish authorities directly support the "jihadist groups operating in Syria". Ankara denies all charges.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was to hold talks in Saudi Arabia on Thursday to drum up support from 10 key Arab nations and Turkey, after President Barack Obama announced Washington's new strategy against IS, which will include air strikes in Syria.

The government of Turkey declared that the IS is a threat to the security of the country and pointed out that IS held hostage 49 Turkish citizens, including children, who had been kidnapped from the Turkish consulate in Mosul in Iraq on June 11.

Ankara is therefore reluctant to take a stronger role in the coalition against IS in apparent fear of aggravating the hostage situation.

"Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages", the official told AFP.

Turkey can open Incirlik Air Base in the south for logistical and humanitarian operations in any US-led operation, according to the official who stressed that the base would not be used for lethal air strikes.

"Turkey will not take part in any combat mission, nor supply weapons", he said.
 
Jordan Doesn't Enters NATO Coalition Against the Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant (ISIL)

Jordan has decided not to participate in the coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant (ISIL) or the Ad Dawla al-Islamiyya/Islamic State (IS), said prime minister of Jordan, Abdullah al-Nusur, adding, that Amman is not going to interfere in affairs of other countries.

The coalition was created at the NATO summit in Wales on American suggestion. It includes 10 countries - America, England, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Turkey, Canada, Poland and Australia.

Abdullah al-Nusur, in his speech at the Center for Political Studies in occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem), noted that the information about Jordan joining the coalition did not correspond to reality.

He said that Jordan was not going to interfere into internal affairs of other countries.

With regard to a threat allegedly posed by the IS for Jordan, the prime minister of this country said that they were "ready to defend their country, but they would not get involved in a war on the territories of other countries."

The Association Of The Muslim Scholars In Iraq Renews Rejection Of The Current Political Process

The Association Of The Muslim Scholars In Iraq has issued a statement numbered 1022 concerning the formation of a new government, in which the Association renewed its rejection of the current political process, and warned the Iraqi people of the risks of the intention that the new government and those who stand behind it to lead a new war against the revolutionaries and the uprising areas, under the pretext of counter terrorism.

The statement said that at a time when the current Prime Minister seemed happy while delivering a speech, Iraqis are accustomed to hear at the beginning of each stage of the political process, which filled with false promises and pseudo pledges, the government army warplanes were dropped barrel bombs on the city of Fallujah, joining a number of children, women and elderly to the caravan of Death, and they complain to God Almighty the injustice of the government of tyranny, which used to lie on the people, and exercised hypocrisy in front of the world.

The Association emphasized that the formation of this government reminds the Iraqis the formation of the first government of occupation, because of whose in charge of that process in 2003, they themselves charge of it in 2014, under the same sponcers America and Iran based on the government of sectarian and ethnic bases.

The Association suggested in its statement that the right place for many who have been entrusted to them ministerial portfolios in the new government is prisons and jails and fair courtrooms, not honoring their attribution by new positions to them, regarding crimes they have committed over the past years against Iraq and innocent Iraqis.

The Association of Muslim Scholars, draw attention that the politicians of (Sunni Arabs) who claim to represent the uprising provinces; ignored requests for the masses who were elected them hoping to lift or lighten the injustice they are suffering from, and it was their top concern to achieve political interests of their blocks and their parties, regardless all the cries of the detainees, and the groans of the displaced, not to mention of those who received the barrel bombs every day which demolishing homes and tearing bodies.

 
Cleric And Jihad Ideologue Abu Qatada Slams IS For Beheading Of US Journalists Declaring The Extremist Group "Dogs Of Hellfire"

Jordanian cleric and Mujahidun's ideologue Sheikh Omar Mahmud Othman Abu Qatadah, has denounced the beheading of US journalists by the Islamic State group, calling IS fighters "dogs of hellfire" as he denounces the beheading of U.S. journalists by Islamic State militants, calling ISIS a "killing machine".

Speaking to reporters from the dock at a Amman courthouse Sunday, Sheikh Abu Qatada was once described by European politicians and agents as the right-hand man in Europe of al-Qaeda terror network founder Osama bin Laden Abu Qatada repeated his condemnation of IS that controls swathes of territory in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

Asked about the beheading claimed by IS of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, he said: "Journalists should not be killed because they are messengers of the truth."

He lambasted IS, branding it "a killing and demolition machine" and likened its fighters to "dogs of hellfire".

Following his victory in several terror charges in June 2014 when he was acquitted of plotting a 1999 attack on the American school in Amman Abu Qatadah, who has repeatedly criticized ISIS, urged other Muslims against joining the Sunni jihadist group. He wrote and published another scholastic and authoritative 21-page paper titled: "The announcement of a caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) Is Void And Meaningless Because It Was Not Approved By Mujahidun In Other Parts Of The World."

Speaking to reporters from the dock at a Amman courthouse Sunday, Abu Qatada repeated his condemnation of ISIS that controls swathes of territory in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

Asked about the beheading claimed by IS of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, he said: "Journalists should not be killed because they are messengers of the truth."

He lambasted ISIS, branding it "a killing and demolition machine" and likened its fighters to "dogs of hellfire".

Nevertheless Abu Qatada said he opposed plans by the United States to set up an international coalition to destroy the jihadist group, saying: "I am against any coalition opposed to any Muslim."

Abu Qatadah remains fearless and outspoken against the western aggression in the Muslim World depsite still being tried on another terror charge of conspiring to attack tourists in Jordan during millennium celebrations which trial the court had postponed to September 24.

Abu Qatada had previously denounced IS for declaring an Islamic caliphate calling the declaration "void".

"This group does not have the authority to rule all Muslims and their declaration applies to no-one but themselves," said Abu Qatadah.

"Its threats to kill opponents, sidelining of other groups and violent way of fighting opponents constitute a great sin, reflecting the reality of the group," wrote the Palestinian-born preacher.

In July, Abu Qatada joined fellow Jordanian Mujahidun's ideologue Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Maqdessi denouncing ISIS for declaring an Islamic caliphate in the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria.

"The announcement of a caliphate by the Islamic State (ISIS) is void and meaningless because it was not approved by militants in other parts of the world," Abu Qatada echoed scholars astance against the ISIS.

"Its threats to kill opponents, sidelining of other groups and violent way of fighting opponents constitute a great sin, reflecting the reality of the group. They are [also] merciless in dealing with other Mujahidun (or the Holy Warriors). How would they deal with the poor, the weak and other people?" he added.

"They are merciless in dealing with other Mujahidun. How would they deal with the poor, the weak and other people?"

On May 2, 2014 EsinIslam published an official letter from Sheikh Omar Mahmud Othman Abu Qatadah which was released via an official media outlet of Jabhat an-Nusra. Titled "A Letter to the People of Jihad and Those who Love Jihad", the text has since appeared on and along with several other Muslim and Arab world Mujahidun related denunciation of ISIS.

See Also April 28, 2014 official letter from Sheikh Abu Qatadah to the Muslim World, the Mujahidun as published earlier on EsinIslam


A growing number of al-Qaeda figures have denounced ISIL's so-called caliphate, with senior Mujahidun scholars and ideologues warning against collaborating with the extremist "caliphate".

According the statement posted on social media, North African group confirmed its allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, rejecting the Ibn Muljam caliphate (of assassination) declared by ISIS, the militant Islamist group in Iraq and Syria.

Meanwhile on his part, Sheikh al-Maqdessi, once mentor to Iraq's now slain al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said ISIS must "reform, repent and stop killing Muslims and distorting religion".

 
Saudi's Grand Mufti Sanctions Muslims To Fight Against IS - The "Enemy Number One" Of Islam

Saudi Arabia's leading religious leader has urged Muslims to confront the "oppressive" Islamic State group if it fights Muslims.

"If they fight Muslims, then Muslims must fight them," Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said in a response to a request from an Iraqi for a edict on fighting IS.

"This group is aggressive and oppressive. It sheds blood,"

"They have been killing ever since they began their fight. Their killing is filled with mutilations and hideousness that distort [the image of] Muslims," Sheikh said.

Afetr the last Ramadan, the Grand Mufti blasted militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as "enemy number one" of Islam.

"The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism ... have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam," the kingdom's top cleric said in a statement last month.

He cited militants from ISIS, which has declared a "caliphate" straddling parts of Iraq and Syria, and the global al-Qaeda terror network.

The scholar's verdict on the millitants and its leadership came as US launches strikes around Iraq's Haditha Dam deploying fighter jets to - according to the US officials - carry out air assaults against the ISIL fighters near the strategic dam which was under threat from Islamic State group.

Last month, IS fighters tried to capture the Haditha Dam, which has six power generators located alongside the country's second-largest reservoir. Iraqi forces backed up by local Sunni tribes were able to hold them off.

The IS group was able to take control of the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq last month, but persistent US air strikes helped Kurdish and Iraqi forces retake the dam.

US officials say that while the Anbar Province dam remains in control of the Iraqis, the US offensive is an effort to beat back fighters who have been trying to take over key dams across the country.

Last month Islamic State fighters tried to capture the Haditha Dam, which has six power generators located alongside Iraq's second-largest reservoir.

Iraqi forces backed up by local Sunni tribes were able to hold them off.

US President Barack Obama says he will unveil a strategy to go after the Islamic State group on Wednesday.

Obama told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that his speech on Wednesday will "describe what our game plan's going
to be."

"I just want the American people to understand the nature of the threat and how we're going to deal with it and to have confidence that we'll be able to deal with it," Obama said.
 
Barbaric Hezbollat Terrorists Torture, Execute Muslim Civilians In Iraq

Various social networking sites published the graphic video below which shows Hezbollat terrorists torturing and executing Sunni Iraqi civilians in the areas of Jurf al Sakhr on the first day of Eid al-Fitr.

The video was recovered from a mobile device found with one of the Hezbollat terrorist militiamen who was ambushed by terrorists from the organization of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant near the village were the executions occurred, Jurf al Sakhr, which is located North of Babil. Most members of this Hezbollah unit were killed or captured by ISIL.

Iraqi News sites has reported extensively about Hezbollat terrorist activities in Iraq since evidence of their presence first emerged:

  • URGENT: 1st Hezbollat terrorist leader killed in Iraq while fighting ISIL
  • Hezbollat militiamen harass 2 Sunni Iraqi civilians, demanding to know the whereabouts of hidden weapons, before executing them on the first day of Eid-al Fitr in the Jurf al Sakhr area, located north of Babil.
  • Hezbollat terrorists opening fire on Sunni Iraqi civilians on the first day of Eid-al Fitr in the Jurf al Sakhr area, located north of Babil.
  • The horrific aftermath of the Hezbollat terrorist executions of Sunni Iraqi civilians on the first day of Eid-al Fitr in the Jurf al Sakhr area, located north of Babil.
  • Hezbollat terrorists beating an injured Sunni Iraqi civilian with their shoes and filming the torture on mobile devices on the first day of Eid-al Fitr in the Jurf al Sakhr area, located north of Babil.
 
Fighting In Provinces Of Nineveh And Diyala As Iran Threatens With 'Sending (More) Troops'

Western and Arab sources report that in the northern Iraqi province of Diyala local tribes rebelled against the Ad Dawla al-Islamiyya/Islamic State (IS). Fightings in the area has been non-stop for a few days now. Both sides suffered losses.

The representative of the tribe of al-Anbaki told reporters that previously the collision had occurred in the district of Indjana in the northeast of Baquba - the administrative center of the province of Diyala, and that all the dead were local tribesmen. According to him, the local tribes intend to continue to fight against the IS.

The tense situation persists in Nineveh province, where the IS retain control over significant areas.

Information sources of IS reported that an attempt of an offensive had been made by Kurdish Peshmerga forces with the support of American aviation at the forefront of the IS units.

According to sources, the Kurds were repulsed by IS. During the counterattack, 40 members of the Peshmerga were killed and several armored vehicles destroyed. IS did not inform about their losses.

Meanwhile, according to Arab media, US aircraft fired two missiles against the IS who had besieged the city of Amerli in northern Iraq. In turn, the Pentagon spokesman said that yet another airstrike was implemented in the area of the dam near Mosul. It is reported that since the beginning of American air attacks, the total number of air strikes reached 120 on the positions of the IS in Iraq.

Arab sources claim that as a result of the offensive by the Shiite and Kurdish groups with the support of the United States they managed to break the siege of Amerli, which is inhabited by Shiite Turkmen. Al Arabiya reported that on Monday the city of Sulaiman Bek, located near Amerli, was retaken. IS were forced to leave the city.

It is also claimed that the Shiites and Kurds captured villages of Habesh, Lokum, Hafriya and Yengidja and IS units were forced to retreat after suffering heavy losses. IS sources have not commented on these reports.

Meanwhile, Iran has threatened to "send the troops" to Iraq, if there is any kind of threat to Shiite "holy places" in Karbala and Najaf. In Tehran they declared that "the deployment of troops would be coordinated" with the puppet Baghdad regime.

Iranian media reports that the large scale military exercises are taking place aimed at "special forces training for emergency intervention in neighbouring Iraq using air support and drones".
 
Bombing The Caliphate: Why US Airstrikes Will Only Strengthen ISIS

By John Feffer

The last Islamic caliphate ended in 1924. Claimed by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the caliphate saw its fortunes rise and fall with those of its imperial protectors.

When the Ottoman Empire expired at the end of World War I, the caliphate's days were numbered. Never recognized in far-flung areas like Somalia or Malaysia or by the Shi'a and other minority communities, the Sunni caliphate didn't represent the entire Muslim world any more than the Vatican spoke for all Christians. But it had great symbolic value, promising a kind of universal Muslim order that fused the religious and political spheres.

The weakened caliphate was no match for the modernizing nationalism of Kemal Ataturk, who built Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. Ataturk drove a stake through the caliphate as one more proof that he intended to banish religion to the periphery of Turkish society. In 1924, The Economist declared the end of the caliphate with typical Eurocentric triumphalism.

"The repudiation of the Caliphate by the Turks marks an epoch in the expansion of Western ideas over the non-Western world, for our Western principles of national sovereignty and self-government are the real forces to which the unfortunate 'Abdu'l Mejid Efendi has fallen a victim," the magazine editorialized. "Both by tradition and by theory, the Caliph is an absolute monarch over a united Islamic world, and it is therefore almost impossible to find a place for him in a national state (whether it be called a republic or a constitutional monarchy) in which the sovereignty is vested in the parliamentary representatives of the people."

The Economist spoke too soon. True, Turkey managed to hold together as a nation-state in the ensuing decades, preserving its territorial integrity by using considerable military force against its perceived enemies at home and abroad (including the "dirty war" against the Kurds and the battle with Greece over Cyprus). But the rest of what was once the Ottoman Empire continues to struggle to maintain traditional nation-states. Syria is trapped in a devastating civil war. Iraq has effectively broken into three or four parts. Israel and Palestine have fought for decades over borders and sovereignty. Western colonialism, followed by a counter-surge of Arab nationalism, failed to turn the Middle East into a durable patchwork of Westphalian states.

Meanwhile, the caliphate has returned with a vengeance. In what seems an impossibly short time, the Islamic State (IS) has challenged the borders of three nation-states—Syria, Iraq, and now Lebanon—and established its own caliphate in this territory. It has no patience for "our Western principles of national sovereignty and self-government" that The Economist proclaimed victorious 90 years ago. It doesn't even subscribe to the de facto multiculturalism that intermittently held sway during the previous Ottoman caliphate, under which Shi'ites, Christians, Jews, and members of other faiths lived in some approximation of tolerance for long stretches of time. Even al-Qaeda, which shares IS's contempt for existing governments in the Middle East, hesitated to declare a caliphate because it hadn't yet prepared the necessary groundwork. IS is nothing if not presumptuous.

IS doesn't care what al-Qaeda thinks. Nor does it give a fig for the opinions of prominent Sunni scholars like the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which declared its caliphate "null and void." And it certainly doesn't pay attention to the blathering of infidels, a rather large category of humanity that includes Muslim apostates, all non-Muslims, and, naturally, that inheritor of "our Western principles," the United States.

Now, if the United States doesn't do something stupid—like bombing this newly declared caliphate and its army—IS will likely be consumed by the fires of its own extremism. All manner of groups fought alongside IS in order to defeat their common enemy—the woefully corrupt and dangerously sectarian leader of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki. But IS signaled its inability to maintain a popular front of Maliki haters by recently rounding up former Baathists that had been fighting on their side and forcing them to swear allegiance to the new entity or risk execution.

With Maliki finally on the way out, further splits will take place within IS. Again, if the United States doesn't do something stupid like…

Oh.

The United States did something stupid.

The Obama administration's newly restated doctrine—don't do stupid shit—has just gone up in smoke. I'm not sure why Hillary Clinton has just chosen just this moment to observe that not doing stupid shit doesn't constitute a foreign policy strategy. After all, what's her alternative? The Hippocratic oath—first, do not harm—is a more politely stated version of the Obama doctrine. So, Clinton's anti-Hippocratic approach logically amounts to: first, do some stupid shit. Now, with bombs falling again on Iraq, Clinton and Obama can be on the same page.

Let me be clear. I have zero sympathy for IS. I'd love to read its obituary and that of its cardboard caliphate as well. I also value what remains of the confessional diversity in the Middle East and do not doubt the genocidal urge of IS to wipe out anyone and anything that challenges its totalitarian views. But a campaign of U.S. aerial strikes to save one such pocket of diversity, in this case the Yazidis, is just the kind of outside force that will keep ISIS strong and unified in the absence of an obvious focus of hatred, as Maliki was.

I understand the pressure the Obama administration is under to do something to help the beleaguered Yazidis, not to mention the anemic Kurdish army to the north and all the Shi'ites and Sunnis in Iraq that want to push IS back into the Syrian petri dish that spawned it. The Republican opposition, of course, would like the Pentagon to apply even more force since it believes that IS, as John McCain opined, "is a threat to America." (Has anyone commented on the irony of McCain making this statement from Vietnam, which for more than a decade was deemed a threat to America only to evolve, after years of senseless U.S. bombing, into a semi-ally in the cordon sanitaire against China?)

IS, like al-Qaeda before it, would love to be considered an actual threat to the United States. Such posturing, backed up by the use of unilateral force, elevates IS's status to legitimate combatant. It changes the tagline of Uncle Sam's terrorist recruitment poster into: I Want You to Join IS! It draws the U.S. government even further into a tangle of political and sectarian disputes that it only dimly understands.

Did Obama have a choice in the matter? Politically, he could have resisted Republican calls for the use of force by reiterating that the solution to Iraq's problems cannot be military. He could have relied on the polls suggesting deep-seated American aversion to putting boots back on the ground in Iraq (though Americans seem to support air strikes). He could have ignored the near-unanimous consensus among Beltway pundits—i.e., the Washington Post's editorial pages—that he was not providing sufficiently strong leadership on foreign policy issues. He could have swatted away the concerns of oil companies and their "national security" enablers worried about restricted U.S. access to Iraqi oil, particularly in the Kurdish north.

Well, it's tough to imagine Obama pushing against this tide. Even more difficult to imagine would be the president taking real leadership by spearheading a UN effort to provide humanitarian relief to the trapped Yazidis and all the others who have been dispossessed by IS.

The United States, like other wealthy powerful countries, has a responsibility to act on behalf of civilians in perilous conditions. I don't agree with those who point to all the other victims around the world to undercut any argument to extend assistance to some subset of sufferers. Internationalists have to come up with something better than such dilute relativism.

How about this: every time the United States allocates $1 in emergency aid for a specific group of people, another $1 goes to the overall foreign assistance pot until we finally get up to the 0.7 percent of GDP level adopted as the Millennium Development Goal for the industrialized world (currently, the United States spends less than half that amount).

Be realistic, you might object. What's the point of dropping food and blankets into what could very well be merely a holding tank for those about to be executed? What about the use of force?

But even the generals are cautious about the use of unilateral force. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently stated that IS will ultimately be defeated "because pressure is placed on it from multiple directions and with multiple partners. So this isn't about us deciding that ISIL is the latest in a series of threats and taking it on unilaterally."

But surely the atrocities committed by IS offer one of the strongest cases for the use of multilateral force for humanitarian purposes. Virtually no one is willing to go to bat for IS, and Iraq is welcoming outside intervention. If the Obama administration really wants to prove its leadership chops, it would help create a truly international mechanism, like a UN standing army, that can apply force to protect civilians. To get the support of all those concerned about anything that would compromise sovereignty, this mechanism would have to be explicitly stripped of any "regime change" aspirations.

But even if the option were available to use multilateral force to save civilian lives, the problem ISIS poses is not, as the administration previously insisted, a military one. The underlying problem is political: the blatant Shi'ite favoritism of the government in Baghdad and the long simmering Sunni grievances. It's not the U.S. role to pick and choose governments for the Iraqis. But putting pressure on the new government to maintain a confessional balance in the distribution of political offices and public goods is something Obama can usefully do.

At this point, with the bombs already falling on the caliphate, it's best to remind the administration that IS is like one of those creatures in a horror movie that only grows stronger the more drone strikes or artillery shells that it absorbs. The IS blob thrives in an environment of violence and conflict. Unless we remove the sources of that conflict—political and sectarian grievances—IS will only grow larger. And we will face that inevitability of the horror movie genre: an unfortunate series of endless, bloody sequels.

John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus.

Quiz: Obama Said Isis Has No Place in the 21st Century for Killing 1 Journalist: What Place for Bibi in the 21st Century for Murdering 11 Journalists in Gaza?

Civilians Killed in US and Iraqi Raids in Northern Iraq

More than 20 people were killed, more than half of which were children in both US and Iraqi raids in northern Iraq in two regions, Kerkuk and Nineveh to the north of Iraq on Friday alone, at a time when US president Barack Obama said that raids on the ISIS strongholds will keep on happening.

Sources in the Huweija Hospital which is situated south West of Kerkuk (almost 150 kilometers to the north of Baghdad), that 11 children were killed and another 30 were injured among which were women and children as well in a raid completed by Iraqi fighter jets. Such sources added that the strikes hit household buildings in the populated neighbourhood of Al-Salam in the Huweija region and added that building of the Bank of Huweija taken by the organization as its HQ was hit as well. According to sources in Huweija, today's raids have caused the death toll in the city to increase from 20 to more than 30 people.

It is important to note that ISIS organization controls towns in the Ta'mim gouvernorate region (Kirkuk) as well as other towns in Salah El-Din situated to the north of Baghdad, in addition to most of Nineveh governorate and parts of the Al-Anbar in the western part of the country.

Since IS has controlled cities and regions in Ta'mim, Salah El-Din, Nineveh, and Anbar governerates last june, Iraqi airforce is doing almost on daily basis raids and bomings which cause civilian deaths in cities such as Fallujah (Anbar) in addition to Biji and Tikrit (Salah El Din).

Simultaneously, activists claimed the killing of 5 members of one family because of air raids by the Iraqi airforce which hit the Tajnid neighbourhood in the Jlola' town in Dyala in the north east of Baghdad at a time when ISIS has taken over the town after the latter was under the control of the Kurdish Pershmerga forces.

US Bombing

In the Nineveh governorate 11 Iraqis were killed in a raid completed by a US fighter jet in the Sinjar area west of Mosul.

Eye witnesses have also said that missiles launched by US planes hit houses of civilians by mistake.

For more than a week, US airforce has been launching airstrikes which targeted IS positions in an attempt to prevent it from reaching Iraqi Kurdistan. US president Barack Obama has already announced that airstrikes against IS will continue and invited Iraqis to form a united government inclusive of all Iraqi parties. Sources in Mosul said that the city's hospital received more than 20 bodies since the US airstrikes in Iraq started in the north of Iraq.

US said that the aim of those airstrikes was to protect thousands of the Yazidis refugees which left their native regions in Nineveh governorate.

The USSD admitted that airstrikes have slowed the advance of IS towards Kurdistan but has not weakened it."

 
Iraqi Muslim Scholars React To New Political Climates In Baghdad and America's Involvements

The Association of Muslim Scholars

An open letter to the Iraqi people and the heroes revolutionaries, and new prime minister and Sunni politicians and others

((Consider not that Allah is unaware of that the wrong-doers do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror)) [Ibrahim: 42]

Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, companions and allies, and after:

O our great people of Iraq

Thanks to God, an idol of the current political process has been fallen, that created to service the major goals of the two countries U.S and Iran, where both countries have been forced to take this step under the pressure of the Iraq's popular revolution, after both of them were insisting on him, and this is just the beginning, many collapses will be continued, God willing.

What happened in compatibility with the key players in the fate of Iraq and the Iraqis by choosing another figure from the same party (Dawa) for the fourth time respectively, a step indicates that no of the brute powers that controlling Iraq - depending on the great services done by this party for them - want to waive it.

Although we believe that the game is still in the hands of the colonial powers, however, they have not yet abandoned its goals in Iraq; but any newcomer who wants to turn the page of injustice, and starts a new era in Iraq; So he can manage - if willing - to do the following:

First: Relieve the oppressed, and stop the criminality of government against the uprising provinces, and others, by prevention the dropping of barrel bombs on civilians in Fallujah, Garma, Hawija and others, and stop the targeting of the cities with heavy artillery and fighter jets, which still ongoing until now.

Second: Release hundreds of thousands of prisoners of men, women and children and the elderly, who imprisoned years ago wrongfully without trials.

Third: Prevent militia activity which practiced sectarian killings and displacement, which did not cease throughout the rule of predecessors.

Fourth: Ending the policy of exclusion and marginalization of the people of Iraq, and to preserve what's left of their money as much as he could.

Fifth: Hold a trial of all who committed crimes against the Iraqi people and has carried out killing, displacement and theft of public money.

VI: Re-displaced the displaced persons to their homes safe and secure from the oppression of the powerful militia.

But the important question is : Is the newcomer today can do so, or it is a new episode in a series of death which is not meant to be finished till eliminate all that is good in Iraq; because the required today is not changing faces, but what is needed is to change the conditions to achieve justice for all Iraqis, and preserves the unity of Iraq and its social fabric, and this is what will be revealed by the coming days.

But you, Sunni politicians; what you will do now .. We warn you from falling into the sins affecting the people's rights and their future, as what many of you did with the previous government and the former ones, by betrayal the revolution, or instigation of it, or involvement in the fight against it, this is the revolution of an oppressed people, you claim that you represent his issue, also we warn you of exploiting of what you think that it is an opportunity to push the country to the danger of division, this time you will not find tolerant of your people, nor forgiveness.

And you, politicians all, what you will do after an era was filled with blood and corruption, and damage to Iraq and its people, and you are before any others know very well that Iraq will not witness any stability, or interruption of the bloody bombings and painful assassinations, and dangerous conditions at the political, economic, social and other; so long as the political process which made ??by the American occupation and built on the same foundations, the people will not enjoy its wealth or minima of the necessities of life, if the big thieves still at the helm, or still having the reins of wealth, a fact many people may refuse to hear from us now, and consider it as unjustified pessimism, but the day will come - as it happens every time - where these themselves say to us you are saying the truth.

But you, the heroes revolutionaries of Iraq whom give your lives cheap in the way of Allah, then for the sake of freedom and dignity of your people, you have to know that, ousting a tyrant who tasted his people over the torment, is a celestial medal honoring you, that many others were unable to get it, even though they were named him the dictator and the corrupt , and the glosser over the killers and robbers the people's money, and we asking you not to waive any of the rights of your people, that you have revolted - and still - in order to achieve them.

We know, ye revolutionaries, that there are who harmed your revolution, and deviated in some fields off track, and also there is a new international coalition is about to take various pretexts; as a gateway to nip this revolution, and wasting the rights of the oppressed, and wasting a golden opportunity had people waiting indeed for salvation from injustice and suffering; but these obstacles will be gone, God willing, and the history of the popular revolutions had this pattern of surprises; so should not let wasting your efforts, do not stop your march, and as successfully your revolution to overthrow a dangerous idol, it is able to make a lot of achievements to your people, and as for the people who hurt the people and got him, the nation will not forgive them, and will punish them, and there is no right lost when a demander exists.

On this occasion, the Association confirms that the fundamentals of the stance from the occupation and its political process does not vary with changing shapes and governments, nor by words and wishes; but it varies by changing deeds and facts, and by sincere efforts on the ground and in the fact, and it warns the Iraqi people and the other of dangling by honeyed promises of newcomers, they will be tested at the first opportunity and the closest position requires the criterion between what is right and what is wrong, and the right step is to transfer of all Iraqis of all sects and components, to safety and state-building through a project represents all of them, not a project limited to the imposed tyrants, away from their real choices.

The Association also alerting all who welcomed the arrival of the new governor to the Green Zone; should beware of exploiting the Iraqi scene for the application of the policy (impunity) for the interest of the former prime minister, and all those involved with crimes against the Iraqi people, namely, (war crimes), that has been committed in the framework of general plans and policies and is not as a personal or partial, as well as being (genocide) and (crimes against humanity); because it targeted - by total or partial destruction - a certain groups of the population for overlapping reasons : national, racial and religious, and has been done under widespread and systematic attack against a large sector and well-known of the population.

May Allah save a united Iraq and save Iraqis and bring them back to safety and security, certainly He is The All-Hearer.

General Secretariat

21 Shawal 1435 AH

17 August 2014 AD.

The Association of Muslim Scholars

 
ISIS Is Enemy Number One Of Islam - Saudi Grand Mufti Echoes Scholars Stance On The Erratic Dawlah

Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda were blasted by Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh on Tuesday as "enemy number one" of Islam.

"The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism ... have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam," the kingdom's top cleric said in a statement

He cited militants from ISIS, which has declared a "caliphate" straddling parts of Iraq and Syria, and the global al-Qaeda terror network.

Last Wednesday, Saudi Arabia donated $100 million to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) to help combat terrorism.

"Terrorism is an evil that must be eradicated from the world through international efforts," Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir said during a ceremony at the United Nations in the presence of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"The [UNCCT] is the only center in the world that has the legitimacy to combat terrorism," added al-Jubeir.

Jubeir was joined by Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.N. Abdullah Al-Mouallimi who said that the UNCCT combats the kind of thinking "that stands behind terrorism."

The United States, Germany and Britain have also donated to help run the U.N. center. ISIS has seized large parts of Iraq and drawn the first American air strikes since the end of the U.S.-led occupation in 2011.

On Monday, ISIS warned the United States it will attack Americans "in any place" if the raids hit its militants.

The video, which shows a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq and victims of snipers, featured a statement which said in English "we will drown all of you in blood."

Al Arabiya.
 
Iraq: The Stance From The Occupation and Its Political Process Does Not Vary With Changing The Governments' Shape Only

The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq emphasized in an open letter addressed to the Iraqi people and the revolutionaries and others, that the fundamentals of the political situation of the brutal U.S led occupation and the current political process does not change with varying the shapes of the governments, and neither by words nor wishes; but only by changing deeds, facts, and the sincere efforts and acts on the ground.

The Association urged Iraqi people not to dangle by honeyed promises of the newcomers, which will be revealed by a first opportunity and closest position requires the criterion between right and wrong, or truth and falsehood .. pointing out that the right step is to transferring all Iraqis to a safety site and state-building project that represents all Iraqi components, not a limited project for only those imposed rulers who have been designated away from the real choices.

The Association of Muslim Scholars demanded who wants to turn the page of injustice, and claims to start a new era in Iraq, to do the following urgent measures :

Give up the ongoing policy of exclusion and marginalization of the people of Iraq.

Stop the brutal crimes committed by the government security agencies troops and Iran-backed sectarian militias against the people of Iraq's provinces, particularly uprising ones, and end militias activity that practiced kidnapping, murdering, extrajudicial killing and forced displacement on sectarian basis.

Immediate prevention of dropping "barrel bombs" on civilian areas in uprising provinces, and stop targeting Iraq's cities with mortar attacks, heavy artillery bombardment and fighter jets, at once.
Release of hundreds thousands of innocent prisoners, as soon as possible, who are still languishing in government prisons for years wrongfully.

The Association of Muslim Scholars asked in its letter by saying: Can who came today to do so, or he is a new episode in a series of death that not meant to be finished till eliminate all that is good in Iraq? .. Stressing that what is required today is not changing faces only, but changing conditions in order to bridge sectarian divide and preserve Iraq's unity and social fabric by providing justice to all Iraqis, at the time it warned all who welcomed the arrival of the new governor to the Green Zone from the exploitation of the Iraqi scene for the application of the policy of (Impunity), for the interest of the head of the former government, and all those involved in crimes against the Iraqi people, a war crimes, as well as crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity.

At the end of its letter, the Association of Muslim Scholars, drew attention that the Iraqi people will not enjoy its rewards, as long as the political process that made by the American occupation is exist on the same basis, and the big thieves still at the helm, or still having the reins of wealth .. praising the heroic epics written by the brave Iraq's revolutionaries who give their lives in the way of Allah, then for the sake of freedom and dignity for their people, and asked them not to waive of any of the people rights, they revolted for them.

Abadi Will Fail To Face Sectarianism Pursues Same Maliki's Policies

The British newspaper (The Guardian) confirmed that (Haider Al-Abadi), the designated PM to form a new government, faces a big dilemma because of the urgent need of the country to confront sectarianism, which caused many Iraqi crises since 2003.

The Guardian in an article published recently under the title (Iraq 'doomed' if new prime minister Abadi fails to bridge sectarian divide) said that "Iraq is in danger of division because of the war and sectarian divisions among Iraqis unless (Abadi) reunites the country again and adopts new policies are different from that the ousted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has used".. pointing out that under Maliki, the central government's authority has been so compromised that many Iraqis have lost faith in any leader's ability to reunite the country two months after the revolution, that overran more than two thirds of the country.

Senior politicians and observers say Haidar al-Abadi faces near-impossible task of trying to form unity government.

Regional and Iraqi officials have encouraged Abadi to start by revitalising the demoralised national military and overhauling state institutions that have been co-opted by warlords and political blocs over the past decade. Many barely function.

At the end of the essay, an Iraqi political analyst said: "But only if Abadi changes the way that Maliki used to operate and doesn't follow in his footsteps." He added: "Iraqis are optimistic about al-Abadi but they are worried that the new government will use the same policy of allocating ministries to political parties and based on ethnicities. If this happens again, it will sap the last bit of hope of changing to a better Iraq."
 
Iraq And The American Cult Of Bombing: Why You Should Expect More Bombs To Be Dropped Everywhere

By William J. Astore

When you do something again and again, placing great faith in it, investing enormous amounts of money in it, only to see indifferent or even negative results, you wouldn't be entirely surprised if a neutral observer questioned your sanity or asked you if you were part of some cult. Yet few Americans question the sanity or cult-like behaviour of American presidents as they continue to seek solutions to complex issues by bombing Iraq (as well as numerous other countries across the globe).

Poor Iraq. From Operation Desert Shield/Storm under George H.W. Bush to enforcing no-fly zones under Bill Clinton to Operation Iraqi Freedom under George W. Bush to the latest "humanitarian" bombing under Barack Obama, the one constant is American bombs bursting in Iraqi desert air. Yet despite this bombing -- or rather in part because of it -- Iraq is a devastated and destabilized country, slowly falling apart at seams that have been unraveling under almost a quarter-century of steady, at times relentless, pounding. "Shock and awe," anyone?

Well, I confess to being shocked: that US airpower assets, including strategic bombers like B-52s and B-1s, built during the Cold War to deter and, if necessary, attack that second planetary superpower, the Soviet Union, have routinely been used to attack countries that are essentially helpless to defend themselves from bombing.

In 1985, when I entered active duty as an Air Force lieutenant, if you had asked me which country the US would "have" to bomb in four sustained aerial campaigns spanning three decades, among the last countries I would have suggested was Iraq. Heck, back then we were still helping Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, sharing intelligence that aided his military in pinpointing (and using his chemical weapons against) Iranian troop concentrations. The Reagan administration had sent future Bush secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld there to shake Saddam's hand for a photo op. We even overlooked Iraq's "accidental" bombing in 1987 of a American naval vessel, the USS Stark, that resulted in the death of 37 American sailors, all in the name of containing Iran (and Shia revolutionary fervor).

It's said that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but Saddam didn't remain a friend for long. Emboldened by US support in his war with Iran, he took Kuwait, only to initiate the first round of devastating US air raids against his military during Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991. As these and subsequent bombing campaigns damaged and debilitated Iraq, contributing to Saddam's overthrow in 2003, the Shia majority in that country found common cause with Iran, strengthening one branch of militant Islam. At the same time, the general destabilization of Iraq from a generation of air war and invasion has led to a Sunni revolt, the strengthening of an al-Qaeda-style movement, and the establishment of a "caliphate" across significant parts of Iraq (and Syria).

Now, given that less-than-stellar record, does anyone want to hazard a guess about the next American response to peoples and leaders our government doesn't like in Iraq or the rest of the Middle East? My money is on more bombing, which surely requires explanation.

Cranking out bombers

If one weapon captured the image of the former Soviet Union, it was the main battle tank. From T-34s during World War II to T-72s near the end of the Cold War, the Russians cranked them out like sausages. And if one weapon captured the image of the US, then and now, it has surely been the bomber, whether of the strategic or heavy variety (think B-52) or the tactical or fighter-bomber variety (think the F-105 in the Vietnam years, the F-15 "Strike Eagle" in Iraq, and for the future, the most expensive weapons system of all time, the F-35). As the richer superpower, the US cranked out high-tech bombers like so many high-priced sausages.

"The bomber will always get through." That article of faith, first expressed in 1932 by Stanley Baldwin, thrice Prime Minister of Britain, was seized upon by US airpower enthusiasts in the run-up to World War II. Despite decidedly mixed and disappointing results ever since, bombing remains the go-to choice for American commanders-in-chief.

What we need in 2014 is a new expression that catches the essence of the cult of US air power, something like: "The bomber will always get funded -- and used."

Let's tackle the first half of that equation: the bomber will always get funded. Skeptical? What else captures the reality (as well as the folly) of dedicating more than $400 billion to the F-35 fighter-bomber program, a wildly over-budget and underperforming weapons system that may, in the end, cost the American taxpayer $1.5 trillion. Yes, you read that right. Or the persistence of US plans to build yet another long-range "strike" bomber to augment and replace the B-1 and B-2 fleet? It's a "must-have," according to the Air Force, if the US is to maintain its "full-spectrum dominance" on Planet Earth. Already pegged at an estimated price of $550 million per plane while still on the drawing boards, it's just about guaranteed to replace the F-35 in the record books, when it comes to delays, cost overruns, and price. And if you don't think it'll get funded, you don't know recent history.

Heck, I get it. I was a teenager once. In the 1970s, as an Air Force enthusiast and child of the Cold War, I hugged exotic and therefore pricey bomber jets to my chest. (Well, models of them, anyway.) I considered them to be both uniquely American and an absolute necessity when it came to defending our country against the lumbering (but nevertheless menacing) Soviet "bear." As a result, I gasped in 1977 when President Jimmy Carter dared to cancel the B-1 bomber program. While I was a little young to pen my outrage, more mature critics than I quickly accused him of being soft on defense, of pursuing "unilateral disarmament."

Back then, I'd built a model of the B-1 bomber. In my mind's eye I still see its sexy white body and its rakish swing wings. No question that it was a man's bomber. I recall attaching a firecracker to its body, lighting the wick, and dropping the plane from the third-floor porch. It exploded in mid-air, symbolic to me of the plane's tragic fate at the hands of the pusillanimous Carter.

But I need not have feared for the B-1. In October 1981, as one of his first major acts in office, President Ronald Reagan rescinded Carter's cancellation and revived the mothballed program. The Air Force eventually bought 100 of the planes for $28 billion, expensive at the time (and called a "turkey" by some), but a relative bargain in the present budgetary environment when it comes to bombers (but these days, little else).

At that point, I was a young lieutenant serving on active duty in the Air Force. I had by then come to learn that Carter, the peanut farmer (and former Navy nuclear engineer), was right. We really didn't need the B-1 for our defense. In 1986, for a contest at Peterson Air Force Base where I was stationed, I wrote a paper against the B-1, terming the idea of a "penetrating strategic bomber" a "flawed strategy" in an era of long-range air-launched cruise missiles. It earned an honorable mention, the equivalent of drawing the "you have won second prize in a beauty contest" card in Monopoly, but without the compensatory $10.

That "penetrating," by the way, meant being loaded with expensive avionics, nowadays augmented by budget-busting "stealth" features, so that a plane could theoretically penetrate enemy air defenses while eluding detection. If the idea of producing such a bomber was flawed in the 1980s, how much more is it today, in an age of remotely-piloted drones and missiles guided by GPS and in a world in which no country the US chooses to bomb is likely to have air defenses of any sophistication? Yet the Air Force insists that it needs at least 100 of the next generation version of them at a cost of $55 billion. (Based on experience, especially with the F-35, you should automatically double or even triple that price tag, cost overruns and product development delays being a given in the process. So let's say it'll cost closer to $150 billion. Check back with me, God willing, in 2040 to see whether the Air Force's figure or mine was closer to reality.)

Idols for worship, urges to satisfy

Obviously, there are staggering amounts of money to be made by feeding America's fetish for bombers. But the US cult of air power and its wildly expensive persistence requires further explanation. On one level, exotic and expensive attack planes like the F-35 or the future "long range strike bomber" (LRS-B in bloodless acronym-speak) are the military equivalent of sacred cows. They are idols to be worshipped (and funded) without question. But they are also symptoms of a larger disease -- the engorgement of the Department of Defense. In the post-9/11 world, this has become so pronounced that the military-industrial-congressional complex clearly believes it is entitled to a trough filled with money with virtually no accountability to the American taxpayer.

Add to that sense of entitlement the absurdist faith of administration after administration in the efficacy of bombing as a problem solver -- despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- and you have a truly lethal combo. Senator John McCain was widely mocked by progressives for his "bomb Iran" song, warbled during the 2008 presidential campaign to the tune of the Beach Boys's "Barbara Ann." In fact, his tuneless rendition captured perfectly Washington's absolute faith in bombing as a solution to... whatever.

Even if the bombs bursting over Iraq or elsewhere don't solve anything, even when they make things worse, they still make a president look, well, presidential. In America, land of warbirds, it is always better politically to pose as a hunting hawk than a helpless dove.

So don't blame the Air Force for wanting more and deadlier bombers. Or don't blame only them. Just as admirals want more ships, flyboys naturally want more planes, even when strategically obsolete from scratch and blazingly expensive. No military service has ever willingly given up even a tiny slice of its share of the prospective budgetary pie, especially if that slice cuts into the service's core image. In this sense, the Air Force takes its motto from King Lear's "Reason not the need!" and from Zack Mayo's "I want to fly jets!" (memorably uttered by that great Shakespearean actor Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman).

The sad truth runs deeper: Americans evidently want them, too. More bombers. More bombs. In the movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise's Maverick got it all wrong. It's not speed Americans feel a need for; they have an urge to bomb. When you refuse to reason, when you persist in investing ever more resources in ever more planes, use almost automatically follows.

In other words, fund it, build it, and, as promised in the second half of my equation, the bomber will always get used. Mock him all you want, but John McCain was on to something. It's bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb if not (yet) Iran... then Iraq, or Pakistan, or Libya, or Yemen, or (insert intransigent foreign country/peoples here).

And like cults everywhere, it's best not to question the core belief and practices of its leaders -- after all, bombs bursting in air is now as American as the "Star Spangled Banner."

-William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), is a TomDispatch regular who edits the blog The Contrary Perspective.
 
Barrage Of Barrel Bombs Still Hitting Iraq's Cities, U.S Occupation Army Launches 68 Airstrikes

Sources at the American ministry of war (Pentagon); said in a statement issued on Monday; that the air force of the occupation army carried out 68 airstrikes affected several areas in the provinces of (Nineveh) and (Erbil) northern Iraq.

According to the statement; the Air Force of the American occupation army launched a total of 68 air raids since the 8th of August.; and bombing different sites in the two provinces mentioned, pointing out that the purpose of these intensified strikes come in the context of "protecting American citizens" in Iraq.

In pursuing of al-Maliki's war against Iraqi people, especially in the uprising provinces; the current government is raining high explosive barrel bombs on civilians in defiance of international calls that urged to end the conflict in Iraq and to stop the notorious indiscriminate use of barrel bombs and other weapons in populated areas.

It has documented major new damage sites consistent with barrel bomb impacts on neighborhoods, hospitals and mosques of the cities of Falluja, Garma, Tikrit, Hawija, Jurf Al-Sakhar, Al-Taji and other areas held by opposition armed groups.

Month after month - on daily basis - new barrel bomb attacks on Iraqi civilians, as well as hospitals and mosques; leaving scores dead and injured as well as demolishing civilian areas, that go unpunished by world dominating countries especially U.S, which need to show the same resolve and unanimity it brought to the elsewhere issues of humanitarian aid to call a halt to the deadly attacks on civilians.

Witness statements and video and photographic evidence obtained by Human Rights Watch indicate that government forces have maintained and even increased their bombardment rate of Falluja, Garma and Jurf Al-Sakhar since the beginning of last June, Human Rights Watch identified many distinct damage sites in areas of those cities, including hospitals, mosques and certainly residents' homes and other private property.

A substantial majority of these damaged sites strongly consistent with the detonation of barrel bombs. Barrel bombs, and other high explosive unguided bombs, tend to create larger zones of building destruction than is typically seen with other types of air strikes and artillery fire, often with irregularly shaped blast craters of shallow depth with scalloped edges.

These unguided high explosive bombs are cheaply made, locally produced, and typically constructed from large oil drums, gas cylinders, and water tanks, filled with high explosives and scrap metal to enhance fragmentation, and then dropped from helicopters. The damage to a small number of the identified sites was probably caused by other explosive weapons, either bombs delivered by conventional aircraft or prolonged artillery shelling. There is also strong evidence that government forces on the ground have fired hundreds of mortars and heavy artillery shells during this period, international human rights organization said.

By using barrel bombs on densely populated areas, forces loyal to Nuri al-Maliki and the designated prime minister Haider Al-Abadi are using means and methods of warfare that do not distinguish between civilians, who are accorded protection under the laws of war, and combatants, making attacks indiscriminate and therefore unlawful.

Companies and individuals that provide arms, ammunition, or materiel to the current government and sectarian militias, or to Iran-backed terrorist groups that have been implicated in crimes against humanity or war crimes, risk complicity in these crimes, NGOs warned.

Under international law, providing weapons to forces or armed groups in Iraq knowing that they are likely to be used in the commission of war crimes or crimes against humanity may amount to assisting in the commission of those crimes. Any arms supplier could bear potential criminal liability as an accessory to those crimes and could face prosecution, NGOs said.

"So far, barrel bombs and indiscriminate mortar fire have killed hundreds of Iraqi civilians, most of victims were women and children", a medical source at Falluja General Hospital said.

Local provincial sources stated that the barrel bombs dropped and random shelling on the civilian areas by the deployed government troops outside Anbar's cities pushed hundreds thousands citizens flee their home.

It is worth mentioning that the pro-government militias " Iran-backed terrorist groups " participate in indiscriminate attacks across the country as well, including mortar attacks, abductions and forced disappearances, decapitated and charred corpses, sectarian revenge killings, extrajudicial executions of prisoners and detainees, forced displacement, car bombings in both Sunni and Shiite areas, all those crimes intensified over the last seven months in uprising provinces, particularly in Baghdad, Babil and Diyala provinces.

An Iraqi political analyst said, regarding the designation of the new prime minister Haider Al-Abadi : "Abadi must change the way that Maliki used to operate and doesn't follow in his footsteps." He added: "Iraqis are optimistic about al-Abadi but they are worried that the new government will still proceeding with the war against Iraqi people - that led to displacement hundreds thousands of unarmed residents - and keep on supporting sectarian militias and the unconstitutional paramilitary groups; if this happens, it will sap the last bit of hope of changing to a better Iraq."

The UN strongly condemned these crimes against civilians in Iraq, and demands Baghdad authorities promptly to full stop indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas to preserve the lives of unarmed residents there, and to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access for local and international humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners. But al-Maliki's government had deliberately failed to comply with that demand of keeping delivery of humanitarian assistance to the displaced families, that have become homeless and suffered from hard living conditions. It seemed that al-Maliki's successor tends to follow in his footsteps.
 
Obama Ego Has Landed, Finally, As He Orders New Bombings Of Iraq: American Dreams, Again?

In the middle of a speech vowing the US wouldn't be dragged into another war in Iraq, President Obama laid about exactly how the US indeed will be dragged into the ongoing ISIS war in Iraq, revealing that he has ordered bombings of northern Iraq and other operations.

As the attention of the world focused on Ukraine and Gaza, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) captured a third of Syria in addition to the quarter of Iraq it had seized in June.

But in his most desperate measure to date to curb the advancement of ISIS Obama announced during the Thursday speech he had authorized targeted air strikes against Sunni fighters in Iraq, saying the measure was meant to avert what he called genocide in the country, referring to a religious minority group besieged by fighters from the so-called Islamic State.

Presenting the new US offensive as entirely humanitarian in nature, Obama vowed to see the US save the Yazidis whose faith is said to include worshipping of Tawus Sahytan (The Devil Jin Or 'Devil Angel') who fled into the mountains, declaring another "America's help" for the Iraqis after a decades of violence of the US invasion and killings that had made the current crisis possible. The war on terror for which civil liberties have been curtailed and hundreds of billions of dollars spent has failed miserably.

"I therefore authorized targeted air strikes if necessary to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege and protect the civilians trapped there," he said.

The frontiers of the new Caliphate declared by Isis on 29 June are expanding by the day and now cover an area larger than Great Britain and inhabited by at least six million people, a population larger than that of Denmark, Finland or Ireland.

Obama did not, however, confirm or deny whether the US had already carried out air strikes in Iraq as claimed by a spokesman for the Kurdish peshmerga force.

"F-16s first entered Iraqi airspace on a reconnaissance mission and are now targeting Daash (Islamic State) in Gwer and in the Sinjar region," Holgard Hekmat told the AFP news agency earlier.

The Kurdish official said: "They just struck the bridge linking Mosul to Gwer. The bridge had been used by Daash to channel reinforcements and ammunition to Gwer."

Obama's announcement came hours after the United Nations Security Council condemned the recent attacks by the Islamic State group in Iraq and called for international support for the country.

"The members of the Security Council call on the international community to support the government and people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the population affected by the current conflict in Iraq," Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, president of the council for August, said after a meeting of the 15-member body on Thursday.

Obama claimed to have a "mandate" for such operations from the Iraqi government, and cited US diplomats and civilians stations in Arbil as part of the justification for the new US military involvement, adding that the troops already sent weeks ago would support the Iraqi and Kurdish military in their ongoing fighting.

The Pentagon denied reports earlier Thursday of US airstrikes against ISIS targets, and recent reports have suggested that Turkish warplanes have carried out bombing strikes against ISIS, and those may have been mistaken for US airstrikes. The US air campaign is coming, but exactly when it will begin is thus far unclear.

In a few weeks of fighting in Syria Isis has established itself as the dominant force in the Syrian opposition, routing the official al-Qaida affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, in the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor and executing its local commander as he tried to flee.

In northern Syria some five thousand Isis fighters are using tanks and artillery captured from the Iraqi army in Mosul to besiege half a million Kurds in their enclave at Kobani on the Turkish border. In central Syria, near Palmyra, Isis fought the Syrian army as it overran the al-Shaer gasfield, one of the largest in the country, in a surprise assault that left an estimated three hundred soldiers and civilians dead. Repeated government counter-attacks finally retook the gasfield but Isis still controls most of Syria's oil and gas production. The Caliphate may be poor and isolated but its oil wells and control of crucial roads provide a steady income in addition to the plunder of war.

The belief that Isis is interested only in 'Muslim against Muslim' struggles is another instance of wishful thinking: Isis has shown it will fight anybody who doesn't adhere to its bigoted, puritanical and violent variant of Islam. Where Isis differs from al-Qaida is that it's a well-run military organisation that is very careful in choosing its targets and the optimum moment to attack them.

For the Iraqi Sunnis, opposing Isis is very dangerous and, for all its brutality, it has brought victory to a defeated and persecuted Sunni community. Even those Sunnis in Mosul who don't like it are fearful of the return of a vengeful Shia-dominated Iraqi government. So far Baghdad's response to its defeat has been to bomb Mosul and Tikrit randomly, leaving local people in no doubt about its indifference to their welfare or survival. The fear will not change even if Maliki is replaced by a more conciliatory prime minister.

A Sunni in Mosul, writing just after a missile fired by government forces had exploded in the city, told me: 'Maliki's forces have already demolished the University of Tikrit. It has become havoc and rubble like all the city. If Maliki reaches us in Mosul he will kill its people or turn them into refugees. Pray for us.' Such views are common, and make it less likely that Sunnis will rise up in opposition to Isis.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several Media Outlets

 

Islamic State Lashes Out At The Coalition Of Tribalistic Peshmerga And The Safavid (Khomeinist Shiites)

A huge assault the Islamic State launched on Kurdish positions in the province of Mosul on 2 August was a response to reports of newfound military and political cooperation between Baghdad and the Kurds, says the militant group. The reports follow hints at a political reconciliation between Erbil and Baghdad seen in the Iraq's parliament successful election of a Kurdish president on 24 July.

"The [Kurdish] coalition with the Safavid Shia [Shiites] and the cross worshippers [Christians] to attack the Sunni Muslims to stop them from their 'project' to create an Islamic state resulted in all the Mujahideen standing up and fighting back," read an IS statement posted online on 6 August after they attacked Peshmerga positions in the religiously diverse town of Gwer and Makhmour. The IS attacks, which were just 50kms from the Kurdish capital of Erbil have raised concerns among the residents of Erbil with some fleeing in the directions of the mountainous areas in the tourist resort of Shaqlawa and Maseef.

When the Islamist militants launched lightning attacks on Mosul and across army in the beginning of June, the Kurds promised help to secure Mosul. However, Baghdad refused, according to a testimony of US deputy secretary Brett McGurk. After Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts in the face of the IS advance, Kurdish forces secured several areas - including the oil-rich, disputed province of Kirkuk - that lie outside of the official autonomous region. Kurdish president Masoud Barzani announced for plans a referendum, and further angering Baghdad, said the Kurds would independently export oil from Kirkuk that used to be under the control of Baghdad.

However, both Iran and the US have since strongly warned Erbil against seeking any form of independence, while pressuring the Kurds to work with Baghdad against the IS. Former US intelligence officer Jessica D Lewis has suggested in a report for the Institute for the Study of War that the Islamic State would exploit any Kurdish moves towards independence and minimize "opportunities for a joint military effort involving the Peshmerga, the Iraqi Security Forces, and external allies to defeat the Islamic Caliphate. Therefore, the IS did not launch any major attacks on the Kurds after 10 June".

Baghdad's initial response to what it saw as Kurdish intransigence was to accuse Erbil of becoming a shelter for ISIL fighters, with Shiite militias also harassing the Kurds. Halgurd Hikmet, a spokesperson of the Peshmerga Ministry, had said on 15 June said the Kurds would only defend areas they had secured after the Iraqi army fled. "The Peshmerga forces are ready to be killed for their land, but not for Arab land," he said.

When asked if the Iraqi army could take back these areas, he suggested it would be impossible without the Kurds. "No, if we don't help them, they can't. Off course we are not going to help them for free," he told the regional media.

The Islamist militants assumed the Kurds would not move towards cooperation with Baghdad without recognition of their demands - such as the recognition of disputed areas as Kurdish and allowing independent oil exports. Erbil is also seeking delayed payments of the Kurdish budget and Kurdish armed forces which it says Baghdad has been withholding for months.

But since the Iraqi president was elected in July, there are increasing news reports that the Kurds will attack the IS - and the language of the Kurdish officials has started to change. On 1 August, the Kurdish NRT TV-channel reported a decisive war could be waged against the IS by Sunni insurgents inside Mosul by the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

Senior Kurdish commanders have also said they had received weapons from Western countries, among them the United States, to attack IS militants in Mosul.

"We have re-organized ourselves and are ready. We have received the heavy weaponry we need to fight IS and will attack Mosul shortly and won't stop until we control it," said Major General Abdulrahman Kawreni to Bas News in August.

Meanwhile, the Iranians have ended a media campaign against Kurdish president Masoud Barzani. In the past they accused him of dividing Iraq and attempting to create a Kurdish state with the support of Israel.

On 3 August, Hoseyn Amir-Abdollahian, deputy foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs, in an interview with IRNA, suggested Barzani had ended his hostilities towards the Baghdad government.

"Barzani who is one of Iraq's old and experienced leaders, believe that all issues and initiatives progress according to the framework of the constitution and with coordination with the central government," Amir-Abdollahian said.

When the IS launched attacks on 2 August against Kurdish positions in the Zummar and Kesik military bases, the Peshmerga withdrew to make room for Iraqi air force bombardments. And last Monday, the Iraqi PM ordered the Iraqi air force to help the Kurds.

Kurdish media reported that the Peshmerga already carried out operations in the Mosul city on 5 August in the neighbourhoods of Bu'eweza, Qahira, Gokjalil and Mosul Radio.

Kurdish officials denied that there is any deal with Baghdad and only on the ground cooperation despite of increasing reports of cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil against the growing threat.

Full of this article as written by Wladimir van Wilgenburg was published by the Middle East Eye

 

ISIS Withdraws From Iraq's Second Largest City, Mosul, Handling Over Its Gains To Saddam-era Ba'athists

The Guardian

Isis fighters have partially withdrawn from Iraq's second city, Mosul, where another militant group - closely linked to former members of Saddam Hussein's regime - has taken over large areas, according to the city's governor.

In an interview with the Guardian the governor, Atheel Nujaifi, who escaped from Mosul last month, said the Islamic State's main "strike force" had withdrawn from the city to fight the Iraqi army further south in Tikrit, he said. A smaller number of local Isis supporters remained in Mosul's western part, known as the right bank, he said.

Last month Isis staged a stunning advance, seizing Mosul and Tikrit, and raising the spectre of Iraq's collapse. On Tuesday the Iraqi army was forced to retreat from Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's birthplace, 100 miles north of Baghdad, after its latest attempt to retake the city met heavy Isis resistance.

But according to Nujaifi, most of the eastern half of Mosul is now dominated by the Naqshbandi Army, a group led by high-ranking Saddam-era Ba'athists including Izzat al-Douri, the king of clubs in the US deck of "wanted Iraqi" playing cards. Naqshbandi militants had taken down Isis flags from "a lot of buildings" and replaced them with their own, he said. Other sources inside Mosul confirmed that Isis fighters began to withdraw from the city about a week ago.

The lightning Isis offensive, which swept Iraqi government forces from swaths of the country's north, is thought to have been partially enabled by an alliance with the Naqshbandi group - known in full as the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order which emerged around 2007. The group is believed to be under the control of Douri, the most senior of Saddam's commanders to evade capture after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. His whereabouts is unknown, though many think he is in Syria.

"They [the Naqshbandi group] have a direct relationship with al-Douri," the governor said. "It's a Sufi group. Al-Douri is himself a Sufi."

Nujaifi said the only way out of Iraq's current violent turmoil was a political solution involving talks not with Isis but with the "six or seven" other Sunni groups fighting in different parts of the country. All are opposed to Iraq's Shia-led government, and its prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. "The solution must be without Maliki. Nobody trusts him," the governor said.

Residents in Mosul, meanwhile, say Iraqi aircraft are regularly bombarding the city, and on Tuesday night hit its main power plant, next to Mosul University. Water supplies have already been cut. Electricity - previously available for a couple of hours a day - is now down to just a few minutes, forcing people to rely on generators. Prices for basic foodstuffs and petrol have risen dramatically.

The northern city of around two million is by far the biggest to have fallen into the hands of Isis. When jihadi fighters swept into Mosul on 10 June, many initially welcomed their arrival: the city is predominantly Sunni, and the Shi-dominated Baghdad government and its local police force in Mosul were deeply unpopular. Locals described how Isis militants attempted to win over locals, using army cranes to remove Mosul's numerous checkpoints, for example. One shopkeeper said that before the militants' arrival it had taken one hour to cross the city; now it took just 15 minutes.

Gradually, however, Isis began imposing its own Salafist rules - pulling down municipal statues of Mosul singer Mala Osman and poet Abu Tamam. Fighters asked shops not to stock western-style women's clothes. They told female public-sector employees - doctors, teachers, nurses - to stay at home. According to residents, Isis promised to give male street cleaners and other workers 30% of their salaries to keep essential services going - but failed to pay anything.

One resident said most Isis fighters had vanished late last week. They were now largely invisible, with only a few low-key checkpoints inside the city. "They left their houses. You only see them now in on patrol at night, a couple of cars. Before in the same neighbourhoods I saw hundreds of fighters celebrating their victory," the resident said.

So far, there has been no conflict between the Naqshbandi Army and Isis, who are now facing off in Mosul on opposite banks of the Tigris river. But the governor said that a struggle was inevitable. "Logically, they will confront each other," he said. Local Sunni factions in several Iraqi provinces were stronger than Isis, he added. The faultline was between "nationalist" groups and hardline Salafist outfits, he said, which had emerged from a rigid "ideological, Islamic background".

Nujaifi said he reluctantly left Mosul on the advice of his security officers on 10 June, as the Iraqi army fled. He initially stayed at his farm outside the city, but left that too as Isis rolled forward.

His son Abdullah said Isis had stolen the family's 200 pure breed Arab horses, adding: "One third of them will be dead by now."

The governor hinted there could be a deal over control of Mosul in the near future. "With Naqshabdni it's easier to get a solution," he said. "The ideological people [from Isis] aren't interested in the city. They've left."

For the moment, though, Isis militants are killing about five or six people a day, the governor said, citing sources inside the city's mortuary.

The group had also taken prisoners, including two high-ranking Ba'athists: Sayf al-Din al-Mashhadani, a Ba'ath party commander and the three of clubs in the US "most-wanted" deck, and his cousin Fadhil. According to Reuters, Isis militants last week rounded up between 25 and 60 senior ex-military officers and Ba'ath party members in Mosul, taking them away in SUVs for questioning.

The governor said he believed the man who appeared in a video making a speech from Mosul's al-Nuri mosque on 5 July was indeed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Isis's leader. In the footage, Baghdadi proclaimed a new Islamic caliphate stretching from Iraq to Syria, with himself as its ruler. "I think he is a simple man," the governor said. "It wasn't a high-level speech."

Nujaifi said the choice of the 900-year-old mosque, known for its wonky minaret, and elaborate brickwork, was deliberate. It evoked a historical war against the Shia, he said: in the 12th century Nur al-Din set off from the mosque to defeat the Shia Fatamid caliphate in Cairo.

One former Saddam-era general, now in Kurdish Irbil, said he had shared a cell with Baghdadi back in 2004. Both were imprisoned by the Americans in Abu Ghraib, in camp C, just outside Baghdad, he said. The general said the prison become a training school for Sunni militants who would go on to take part in the growing insurgency against US forces. "I would give lectures on special forces training," he said wryly.

He described Baghdadi as an "average guy". "He was a normal fighter, one of thousands who fought the Americans. He smoked a lot. Strange to think he is now leading Isis."

Mohammad Moslawi is the pseudonym of an Iraqi journalist working in Mosul

EsinIslam Has Received A Solicited Pledge From ISIS Senior Figures To Stop Attacks On Fellow Mujahidun, Especially Al-Nusra. The Message Sent To The Leadership Of The Awqaf Revealed ISIS New Approaches To Cooperate With The Mujahidun And The Scholars It Described As Reliable And Beloved In An Effort To Defeat Tyrants Like Assad And The Khomeinists. We Hope This Message Is Not Just Empty Words As We Pray Both ISIS And Al-Nusra Are Able To Keep To This Honourable Commitment And Channel Sacred Efforts In The Right Way. The Awqaf Thanks ISIS For Its Respectful Sentiments, Particularly To Our Sheikh, And The Appreciation Of - As They Put It - Our 'Humble Honest Efforts'.

Al-Qaeda In The Islamic Maghreb (North & West African) ~ The Year of Jam'a - The Hope of The Ummah (The Muslim World)

Yesterday EsinIslam run exclusively as below a statement posted online by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb rejecting the self-declared "caliphate" of the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) following reports and analysis in the mainstream Western and Arab media including Al Arabiya reported Tuesday (July 15th).

Of course the damning denunciation by Al-Qaeda in The Islamic Maghreb against ISIL and Al-Baghdadi's 'caliphate' has not come to many, especially the Mujahidun leaders and leading Islamists as a surprise days after the proclamation of the Islamic State or Caliphate by the Islamic State in Iraq and as-Sham. In fact the statement posted on social media, North African group which confirmed its allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and rejected the Ibn Muljam caliphate (of assassination) declared by ISIS, the militant Islamist group in Iraq and Syria was another strong evidence of outlawed al-Baghdadi and his heretic organizations are becoming.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is right to rejects everything ISIS of Assad stands for after a growing number of al-Qaeda figures have denounced its practices of al-Gulu` (extremism), especially against the Mujahidun which senior Mujahidun scholars and ideologues like Sheikh Abu Qatada and Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi among the most recent have correctly condemned and refuted accordingly.

al-Baghdadi's ISIS now calling itself the Islamic State or IS announced last month it was creating a caliphate on lands it has captured in Syria's civil war and during a rapid advance through swathes of Iraq.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) condemnation of Baghdadi's group and its failure to practice ethics of true Jihad as warned by the Mujahidun leaders has come at a time many ignorant young Muslims and nationalistic Arabs need better information about the danger of the ISIS and its propaganda.

Read below the full transcript of the official communiqué from Al-Qaeda In The Islamic Maghreb:

Translation:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

**The Year of Jama'ah … The Hope of the Ummah**

Praise be to Allah, who said in His Holy Book: "And do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient." (Al-Anfal, 46). Peace and prayers be upon he who was sent as a mercy upon mankind, who said: "Allah's Hand is with the Jama'ah" (Ibn 'Abbas), and on his pure family and his companions and those who followed them cheerfully to the Day of Judgment… And henceforth:

We begin this statement by congratulating our Muslim brothers everywhere on the holy month of Ramadan, praying to Allah to make it a victorious month for the Muslims and for this month to lessen the agonies of the Muslims and heal their wounds. We ask You O Allah to grant victory to the Mujahideen and to free the captured and imprisoned, amen.

We followed and did not overlook the recent incidents in Sham and why would we not do that since Sham is the land of the believers and the angels of the Gracious have spread their wings over it, and on its land the Muslim epics will take place.

We remained silent all this time not because of our inability to speak, nor a lack to be upfront, but we feared that our words will add fuel to the inflamed fire, as many who lie in wait for the Jihad of the Muslims in Sham have done, and many added flames to the fire of fitna, and there is no power but from Allah. We feared that the enemies of Allah would take advantage of our words and distort them against a group of the Mujahideen, as we hoped that the rift would mend and the ordeal would ease. We were not content with hope and silence, but we secretly tried to mend the situation with the help of other Jihadi groups, believing that conflict among the Mujahideen should be resolved secretly away from the eyes and ears of the lurking media enemies. Allah allowed incidents to accelerate and we were not successful as Allah commanded before and after.

Today, while standing in front of the most serious of these incidents, it became necessary to stipulate our position, record our words, and advise our Ummah and our brothers, and we seek help and steadfastness from Allah, may His glory be glorified.

We heard as the Mujahideen and Muslims have heard the words of the official spokesman of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham announcing the restoration of the Caliphate and pledging allegiance to Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a Caliph to the Muslims. With such an announcement, we say:

First: The establishment of the Caliphate based on the prophetic platform which governs by the law of Allah in Muslims and unifies their word and preserves their noble deeds, is the effort of every truthful Mujahid and every organizations and Jihadi group that is known for their speaking the truth and the validity of their approach, and sacrificed and continues to sacrifice the soul and blood, and spends money for that cause.

Second: It is obvious to all Muslims and Jihad organizations with a truthful approach that such an announcement (about the Caliphate) cannot come without Shura, in accordance with the command of Allah the Glorious to His believing slaves: "Those who conduct their affairs with Shura" (Ash-Shura, 38). And He said to His Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: "and consult them in affairs" (Al-Imran, 159). We speak before everyone when we say that when the signs of fitna appeared in Sham, the brothers in the Dawla brought to our attention what happened, and we thank them for this and their trusting us.

So how today when the affliction and issues greater do they make such an announcement without the advice of the leaders of the Mujahideen, whose honesty has been proven and who have advised their Ummah and pursued the establishment of Khilafat-e-Rashida.

O our brothers in the Islamic State what is your position on the command of the Taliban and their Emir Mullah Muhammad Umar, may Allah protect him, who sacrifice his state for a group of Muhajireen, including the founder of the Islamic State in Iraq, Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, may Allah have mercy on him? What is your position on Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, who hardly gave a speech without commending your heroism in Iraq, even though you disagreed with him recently? What is your position on the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus? What is your position on the leaders of al-Qaeda branches in other areas and others from the Mujahideen?

This, let alone the scholars and callers, the people of truthfulness who proved thier dedication to Islam and called for the establishment of the Caliphate, and did not settle for the tyrants who rule with positive law in loyalty to the enemies of their Ummah. Most notable are the Lion of Tawhid Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Sheikh Abu Qatada al-Falastini, Mujahid Sheikh Abu al-Walid al-Gazzi, the renewing Sheikh Suleiman al-'Alwan, who spent so many years in prison because of his support for Jihad in Iraq. The matter is greater than to be bounded by jurisprudential or political differences, for it is the Caliphate which all Muslims desire, the devoted and the wicked.

Fourth: In light of the new reality, we call upon those responsible ones, scholars and emirs, especially Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Sheikh Abu al-Walid al-Gazzi, Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Mullah Muhammad Umar, Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, Sheikh Nasir al-Wuhaishi, Sheikh Abu al-Zubair, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Julani, among other scholars and Mujahideen commanders to agree on one statement, mend the flow inside the unified house away from media so they can achieve the purity of Islam and unity of Muslims and to prevent bloodshed.

Fifth: We clearly declare that we will be at the forefront to abide by what they decide. As we await this honorable decision, we reiterate that we still pledge allegiance to our Sheikh and Emir Ayman al-Zawahiri, as our allegiance to him is firm and we do not see a reason to disaffirm it as it is an allegiance to Jihad to liberate Muslim lands and affirm Islamic Shariah law in it and bring back the Caliphate that is based on prophetic principles.

Sixth: We put our position in front of the scholars of our Ummah, head by the leading sheikhs of the Mujahideen and their references, to state their opinion very clearly on this calamity, and to make right our position if they see it to be distorted. Truth is our demand. This is the right time to mend the rift and direct the Mujahideen.

And we cannot fail in this regard to direct the following messages:

We call upon all the Jihadi groups fighting with the Dawla, head by our brothers in Jabhat al-Nusra, to stop their incitement against it, and to commit to the orders of Sheikh Ayman, may Allah protect him, as we call on our brothers in the Islamic State to commit to them. All this is to prepare the reconciliation between them, as a truthful believer does not rejoice for the fighting among the Mujahideen, and none finds joy in it but the malevolent enemy or envious hypocrite.

We hope the Jihad groups contribute to this endeavor and refer it to the scholars in order to collect the word of the Mujahideen and make the lurking enemy miss the opportunity.

We remind all the Jihadi media outlets that any announcement or position that does not come from al-Andalus Media Foundation does not represent al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, as we point out the need to verify and investigate the credibility of the carrier.

Finally: We emphasize that the Islamic Caliphate is our demand, and we strive for that through our Jihad and our fight against the enemies of the Ummah who are conspiring night and day to prevent its establishment, and want the Caliphate based on the prophetic platform and based on Shura, and that strives to unite Muslims and preserve their blood. We also emphasize that there is still time to mend the issues in this announcement, through involving the symbols of knowledge and Jihad in this decision and taking their opinion, as they are the first to be described as the people of resolution and agreement.

O Allah! Conclude for this Ummah the righteous matter that glorifies the people who obey You and humiliates the people who disobey you!

O Allah! Unify the ranks of the Muslims and disappoint the enemies who lie in wait for them and overturn the plotting of the hypocrites and the rumor-sowers!

Our last prayer is praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Al-Andalus Foundation for Media Production

6 Ramadan 1435H, Corresponding: 4 July 2014M.

 

Giving ISIS Bai'ah - Your Allegiance To Assad: Tyrant Bashar al-Assad And The Devil's Gambit - Has The Syrian Tyrant Used ISIS To Become A de facto U.S. Ally?

The Evidence:

In a response to Al Qaeda Emir Sheikh Ayman al Zawahiri's latest attempt at reconciliation (see below) with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al Adnani made a startling admission: Al Qaeda has ordered its fighters and branches to refrain from attacking the Iranian state in order to preserve the terror group's network in the country. (Long War Journal May 2014)

ISIS was established on April 8, 2013, when its subsidiary organization, Jabhat Al Nusra, merged with the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which itself was a successor to what suppose to be Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The organization's leader is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who recently announced the Islamic Caliphate. The group announced on 30th June that it was now called the "Islamic State". An official document was also released, in English and several other languages.

According to the statement, the new caliphate stretches from Iraq's Diyala province to Syria's Aleppo. "The words "Iraq" and " Levant" have been removed from the name of the Islamic State in official papers and documents."

Many believe that this an Iranian inspired step to frighten the West that Bashar Al Assad regime is the only bulwark against the new Islamic bugaboo. ISIS clashed with its former Al-Qaeda sister branch, already active in Syria, Jabhat Al-Nusra or Al-Nusra Front headed by Abu Mohammad Al Golani.

The clash between ISIS and Al-Nusra sparked accusations that the former (i.e ISIS) was nothing but a means for the Syrian Military Intelligence Directorate, along with the Iranians, to plant agents of the Assad regime and of Iran within the Syrian opposition, thereby spreading confusion in its ranks and diverting it from the fight against Assad into internecine struggle, according to a report published by the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs in June 2014.

During the invasion of Iraq, Syria would send ISIS purportedly affiliated to Al-Qaeda operatives to Iraq to attack US forces. Syrian intelligence in full coordination with Iran recruited the ISIS to infiltrate the ranks of the Al-Qaeda Salafis now fighting in Syria. Once free, they broke into Iraqi prisons to liberate their comrades, thereby creating the basis for expanding ISIS.

Iran's Motivation and Collusion:

What would Iran's motivation be to support a Sunni jihadist organizations like ISIS? In Syria, ISIS has forced the West to choose between the regime of Bashar al-Assad or a religious outfit. Given that choice, it was assumed that the West would back Assad, as did the Russians and the Chinese.

Cynically Iran is exploiting the Western fear of terrorism to make common cause with the West against ISIS.

ISIS suddenly emerged in Syria, at a time when the collapse of Assad's regime seemed imminent. The emergence of ISIS saved the Syrian regime by threatening the world with an alternative fighters regime would replace Assad's.

The same scenario happened in Iraq. Nouri al-Maliki, who is an Iranian puppet as most Iraqis believe, was about to lose his position as Prime Minister, especially that Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurds leaders unanimously refused to renew his term. Suddenly again, ISIS emerged. The ISIS connection with the Syrian leadership, and hence with Iran, raises serious questions.  It was recently noted that President Assad released ISIS operatives from his prisons and for the most part left it alone, sparing it from attacks by the Syrian army. Two leading American analysts just wrote in the Washington Post, "The non-jihadist Syrian opposition insists that ISIS is a creation of Iran."

David Butter, a leading expert on Syria and an associate fellow at think-tank Chatham House, told Channel 4 News recently that the links between ISIS and Syrian intelligence date back to the aftermath of the Iraq war of 2003.

"The leaders of ISIS have already worked hand in glove with Syrian intelligence, whether supplying them with weapons or supplying money flowing from their racketeering activities around Mosul. "Assad has a long history of supporting terrorist groups and activity in the region. There have been pictures of ISIS flags on buildings that have escaped shelling and reports of supposed collusion on oil and gas deals".

When ISIS was formed in April last year, Syrian activists claimed it served the interests of President Bashar Al-Assad and his main ally, Tehran. A report in the Economist magazine 21st June 14 explained how ISIS was less interested in toppling the Assad's regime than fighting other groups. ISIS has been criticized for its attacks on civilians and rival opposition groups. It has never targeted Al Assad's regime and not a single barrel bombs has been dropped by the regime on ISIS.

The Iranian ISIS/ISIL connections:

According to Al-Shorfa.com a web site sponsored by USCENTCOM  "The Iranian regime's continued interference in Syrian affairs is rooted in preserving its economic and political interests in the region "Iran's current goal is to abort the Syrian revolution and portray the ruling Syrian regime as waging a war on terrorism". The connection between the Iranian regime and ISIL is evident.

"Since the outbreak of the Islamic Revolution, Iran has worked to establish external bases through some of the armed groups that follow its policy directly, such as Hezbollah's branches in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria".

"The first organisation born of the womb of the Iranian intelligence [services] was the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI), which later became ISIL/ISIS under the leadership of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi,"

These contradictions raise questions about how far Iran is willing to go in using ISIS and its leadership groups to implement its policies.

The Iranian regime's support of groups such as ISIL aims to "project a dark image of the Syrian opposition as nothing but Al-Qaeda-affiliated religious groups," said Sami Gheit, an economist and researcher with Al-Sharq Centre for Regional and Strategic Studies.

Many of ISIL's practices, including field executions, assassinations and beheadings, aim to tarnish the image of the Syrian revolution, said Mohammed Abdullah, a Syrian journalist residing in Cairo who is documenting the Syrian war, with a focus on the Iranian file. FIGHTING the Free Syrian Army INSTEAD OF SYRIA'S REGIME, ISIS has never engaged the Syrian army or Hezbollah. "In al-Raqa, for example,ISIL spared strategic Syrian regular army positions, despite the fact it controls the bulk of the territory in the province." The three positions are the airport and [the headquarters of] the 17th Division and 93rd Brigade.

Iranian Documents Found In ISIL's Possession:

Other evidence of the Iranian regime's involvement with ISIL includes the discovery of official documents and passports issued by the Iranian authorities at ISIL's headquarters in rural western Aleppo earlier this year, said Syrian journalist Mohammed Abdullah.

These documents include Iranian passports and several other documents belonging to fighters from Chechnya and Kazakhstan, in addition to many Iranian SIM cards, he said.

This points to a connection between ISIL leaders and Iranian intelligence, he said. The brain-washed rank and file of ISIS are ignorant of the political alliances between ISIS, Tehran and Damascus.

Iran is Syrian President Bashar Assad's strongest ally, providing military, financial and diplomatic, and propaganda support. The U.S. has repeatedly accused Iran of using its Revolutionary Guards to train and deploy Shi'ite fighters to bolster Assad's forces.

In June the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) humiliated the Iraqi army and focused world attention on Iraq again. What the world does not recognize is the role played by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad helping and strengthening ISIS.

ISIS has long been at war with the moderate opposition groups like the Islamic Front and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who have successfully driven it out of much of its former turf in the north. Alex Rowell writing on 17th June in Now Media Me ""Blame Assad for ISIS Rise"". He gives examples of the collaboration between ISIS and the Syrian regime.

-ISIS bases have never been targeted by the Syrian regime

A government adviser told the New York Times' Anne Barnard this was indeed a deliberate policy, designed to "tar" the broader opposition and "frame [the] choice" as either Assad or the religious groups.

-As one ISIS defector told The Daily Telegraph, "We were confident that the regime would not bomb us. We always slept soundly in our bases.

-According to the same Daily Telegraph report, both ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra have raised millions of dollars through sales of crude oil from fields under their control to the regime.

- Nawaf al-Fares, the defected former Syrian ambassador to Iraq, has claimed the regime ordered a series of suicide bombings in Syria in 2012, carried out by the very jihadists he himself had sent to Iraq years previously.

Yet more recently the siege of Deir ez-Zor has been maintained by the army of Bashar al-Assad in the south and by ISIS to the north and east. Among the forces that have been trapped in the middle are the Free Syrian Army (FSA), raising the question of whether ISIS was colluding with the Syrian government and its Iranian allies to defeat the more mainstream elements of the Syrian opposition. Also at the time of writing we read reports of collusion between ISIS and Assad's army in Aleppo.

As the conflict in Syria and Iraq continues, more facts about the collaboration between Iran, ISIS and the Syrian regime will emerge.

 

Al-Qaeda In The Islamic Maghreb Rejects ISIL And Al-Baghdadi's 'Caliphate'

In a statement posted online, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb rejected the self-declared "caliphate" of the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL), Al Arabiya reported Tuesday (July 15th).

According the statement posted on social media, North African group confirmed its allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, rejecting the Ibn Muljam caliphate (of assassination) declared by ISIS, the militant Islamist group in Iraq and Syria.

A growing number of al-Qaeda figures have denounced ISIL's so-called caliphate, with senior Mujahidun scholars and ideologues like Sheikh Abu Qatadah and Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi among the most recent.

Sheikh Abu Qatadah wrote a scholastic and authoritative 21-page paper titled: "The announcement of a caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) Is Void And Meaningless Because It Was Not Approved By Mujahidun In Other Parts Of The World."

"This group does not have the authority to rule all Muslims and their declaration applies to no-one but themselves," said sheikh Abu Qatadah.

"Its threats to kill opponents, sidelining of other groups and violent way of fighting opponents constitute a great sin, reflecting the reality of the group," wrote the Palestinian-born preacher.

al-Baghdadi's group calling itself the Islamic State announced last month it was creating a caliphate on lands it has captured in Syria's civil war and during a rapid advance through swathes of Iraq.

In a direct challenge to al Qaeda, its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi assumed the title of caliph and issued a message seeking to assert authority over Muslims everywhere and rally them for jihad, or holy war. The Islamic State is an offshoot of al Qaeda, whose global leadership has disowned it.

In the statement, Africa's al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb announced its continued allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri and scolded ISIL for its unilateral declaration.

In the last few weeks ISIS leadership had tried to provoke and displayed clear lack of Adab (immoral) in one of his savage verbal attacks on several Mujahidun leaders like Sheikh Az-Zawahiri, Sheikh Al-Jolani, Sheikh Adam al-Ameriki and Sheikh Mullah Omar.

After personal and public attacks on one of the most influential Jihad ideologues and respectable scholars Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, ISIS Ghulu` (extremism) receives another strong and timely refutation.

Shaykh al-Maqdis representing the true and worthy leaders of the Mujahidun and their struggles described ISIS and al-Baghdadi as deluded. "We refuse to be silenced by the extremist Jama't Ad-Dawlah (or the Islamic State) despite their plenty Ibn Muljam, the Khawarijite Assassins", he said.

The statement attributed to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) criticized Baghdadi's group for failing to consult with jihadi leaders, according to SITE, an authoritative U.S.-based organization that monitors Islamist militant communiques.

"We confirm that we still adhere to our pledge of allegiance to our sheikh and emir, Ayman al-Zawahri," the statement said, referring to the Egyptian who took on al Qaeda's leadership after U.S. special forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

AQIM was originally based in Algeria, but has expanded more widely across the Sahel region of North Africa. Its leader Abdelmalek Droukdel has been loyal to the core al Qaeda leadership alongside other Islamist militant groups in the region.

 

Sheikh Abu Qatadah Denounces ISIS, Voids Its Caliphate: A Message Of Sheikh Omar Mahmud Otman Abu Qatadah - A Letter to the People of Jihad

This week Sheikh Omar Mahmud Othman Abu Qatadah wrote and published another scholastic and authoritative 21-page paper titled: "The announcement of a caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) Is Void And Meaningless Because It Was Not Approved By Mujahidun In Other Parts Of The World."

"Its threats to kill opponents, sidelining of other groups and violent way of fighting opponents constitute a great sin, reflecting the reality of the group. They are [also] merciless in dealing with other Mujahidun (or the Holy Warriors). How would they deal with the poor, the weak and other people?" he added.

"This group does not have the authority to rule all Muslims and their declaration applies to no-one but themselves," said Abu Qatadah.

Abu Qatadah, who has repeatedly criticized ISIS, urged other Muslims against joining the Sunni jihadist group.

"They are merciless in dealing with other Mujahidun. How would they deal with the poor, the weak and other people?"

Abu Qatadah's latest liquidation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its 'Ibn Muljam's caliphate' mirrored an earlier denunciation of the so-called Islamic State and its Caliph al-Baghdad by another respected Jihadist ideologue Sheikh Abu Mohammad al-Maqdessi (see below), who condemned ISIS leaders earlier this month, calling on al-Baghdadi and his folowers to "reform yourselves, repent and stop killing Muslims and distorting religion."

On May 2, 2014 EsinIslam published an official letter from Sheikh Omar Mahmud Othman Abu Qatadah which was released via an official media outlet of Jabhat an-Nusra. Titled "A Letter to the People of Jihad and Those who Love Jihad", the text has since appeared on and along with several other Muslim and Arab world Mujahidun related denunciation of ISIS.

For better understanding of his timely total and elaborative denunciation of ISIS and its Al-Baghdadi leadership of mercilessness against fellow Mujahidun, the poor, the weak and other people, below is a rerun of April 28, 2014 official letter from Sheikh Abu Qatadah to the Muslim World, the Mujahidun as published earlier on EsinIslam:

Official English Translation By Jabhat an-Nusra

A Message to the People of Jihad and those who Love Jihad By Sheikh Abu Qatadah Al-Filistini (my Allah keep him firm and free him)

In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the most Merciful. And His aid we seek… All praises are due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon the Messenger Muhammed, the truthful one, his family and companions.

This is a letter that I write with deep sorrow, and if it were not for the covenant that Allah took upon the creation, I would have not rushed to writing this letter. By Allah, I struggled with myself not to release this letter as much as I could. However, I could not do so, fearing that I would conceal the truth that I believe. I tried my utmost in private and in public to repel all harm from all those affiliated with Jihad and the people of Jihad, however some of them are drowning in falsehood, evil and misguidance. Their main priority is to ruin the Jihad and not to do good towards it. The onus these words should be held by the command of the Islamic State of Iraq and their branch in the land of Ash-Shaam (Syria).

It has become clear for me with certainty and without a shadow of doubt that this group with its military and Islamic leadership, and whose actions testify that they are 'the dogs of Hellfire'. And they are most deserving of the description of the Prophet (peace the peace and blessings be upon Him): "They kill the people of Islam and they leave the people of the idols [idol worshippers]. By Allah! If I live to see them, I will kill them like the people of 'Aad were killed."

I do not hesitate to pass this judgment, because of their evil actions. I tried as much as possible to forward advice to them until they stopped listening to the word of truth, advice and guidance. I say these words of mine to those who remain ascribed to them who have an ounce of Sunnah, Deen or Taqwa, fearing to spill the blood of the Muslims, and this is the Prophetic saying regarding such people.

This Prophetic description regarding such contemporary people leaves no need to research another name for them. Some will say that the Islamic definition of the Khawarij is not fitting to their creed, for the [Khawarij] believe that the one who performs a major sin is an apostate. However, the Prophetic description guided us to their attributes without consideration of their motives. The attributes of their leaders at the time of 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) are the same attributes today. Therefore, no one should debate except regarding the Prophetic ruling. Examples of such people are those who fight the people of truth, like Jabhat Al-Nusra may Allah protect them, their commanders and scholars, ameen.

Those that blame the leaders and command of Jihad, like [the wise] Al-Zawahari, or those that claim that he has changed [his manhaj] are those who play with words. This is because they have no experience regarding the path of Jihad, nor do they understand the belief of the people of Jihad, their words or method. It is strange that those claiming that Dr. Ayman (may Allah protect him) has a different ideology to Abu Abdillah [Osama] Bin Laden. Nobody listens to these people except those similar to those making such claims, who do not know the history of people or their achievements.

As for those that accuse others of misguidance because of their words and their terminologies, they are more deserving of being described as misguided, liars and ignorant. Even though all of this didn't affect me much, their crime is what makes it incumbent upon us to announce our innocence and our disavowal, because the Prophetic description fits them.

I know that there will be insignificant men who will say many things. The least of this being "the man is in prison and knows nothing". I say: "By Allah! I know more than what they know". The case is not the lack of information I am receiving, but the lack of information that I can release. I am in a situation that I am not able to release statements every day, like others. For this reason the field has been left for the minors and the fanatics clinging to the Dawla like the ignorant clings to his tribe without understanding or awareness. I am not addressing these people in particular in this statement. If the innovation in the religion spreads amongst the people, it is like the sickness of a dog weakening it and blinding his sight and insight. I thank Allah because from a different perspective, the matter reached this stage so the truth appears and the ranks are distinguished, and so the difference between the Jihadi groups and the extreme innovative groups is made known. I feel sympathy for our Mujahideen brothers in the land of Ash-Shaam for all the pain they feel as a result of the crimes committed at the hands of those who were once fighting the tyrants alongside them, but their madness led them to regard that the blood of their former comrades as Halal, out of ignorance and extremism.

I call upon all the Mujahideen and those who love them to carefully study the hadith of the Prophet (may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon Him) "there will remain a group of my Ummah…". This is so they can know that the continuous chain of this group is that which the criminals are trying to break by means of slandering the leaders of Jihad and their commanders and those who nurtured the Jihad with their efforts, sweat and blood. Nay! They even sacrificed their families, children and time. After this, these criminals come forth with such disastrous statements. Therefore, I thank the beloved students of knowledge in Jabhat Al-Nusra such as Dr. Sami Al-Oradi, Abu Maryiya Al-'Iraqi and Abu Abdillah Ash-Shami, as well as others like Al-Mohaisni, for their patience and their efforts in clarifying the truth and repelling the ignorant statements of the ignorant. I know that I cannot mention here all of the people of knowledge in Syria, Ash-Shaam.

This Jihad is affected by the hating enemies just as it is affected by ignorant ones who love Jihad. [Those who love Jihad but are ignorant] harm the Jihad just as much as the enemies. Let the people of truth be patient with the pain they have faced from the crimes of these people. Let the people of knowledge and insight ponder upon the hadith of the Prophet regarding these people: "I will kill them like the people of 'Aad were killed". This saying was not implemented upon the Jews in Khaybar, in Bani An-Nadeer nor Bani Qaynuqa'. It was not implemented with Quraish. And they were all his worst enemies. This is because the madness of their dog can never be rectified, and the one who survives amongst them is harmful upon the Ummah of Mohammad (may the please and blessings from Allah be upon Him). This is the case with the history of this group. In some cases one or two men would survive and quickly spread their misguidance in the deserts and the places where knowledge is scarce, which results in them returning to what they were once upon. These people today are the same group that existed in the past. There is not the slightest difference between the two. If a questioner asks about the ruling regarding them or the proof for this, they should refer to the people of Jihad. It is shocking that they have reached a level where they have taken the people of Jihad to be their enemies, ascribing the attributes of murtaddeen (apostates) to them, assassinating their leaders, considering their wealth Halal. After all of this, what is there left for the questioner to hesitate about!

These are my words regarding them. I will meet Allah with this stance, and if it were not for the benefit of Jihad, and if I could have kept quiet, I would have done so. By Allah, I only seek to advise you with these words. I only seek to uphold the Sunnah, repel the ignorant and claim the innocence of Jihad from them. These are my words which I say in a position that I cannot respond to the questions of the people, nor can I respond to those who oppose me or have doubts. One has little life left to worry about other than pleasing Allah as much as one can. The aforementioned is the opinion of other scholars who stem from the same roots. However, each individual has his excuses and his way.

May Allah guide all to what is pleased and beloved to Allah. May Allah give victory to Jihad and its people. Ameen, ameen.

And all praises is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Your brother,
Abu Qatadah
Date of publishing:
28 Jumada Al Ukhra, 1435 28th April, 2014

Official Letter From Sheikh Abu Qatadah To The Muslim World, the Mujahidun As Published Earlier On EsinIslam

 

Is Al-Baghdadi's Caliphate Ibn Muljam State (The State Of Khawarijite Assassins)? Mujahidun Scholar And Leader Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi Voids ISIS And Its Heretic Caliphate

In his lengthy provocative and clear lack of Adab (immoral) assaults [that a commentator noticed would even put the worst oration of George W Bush or Tony Blair to shame] on several Muslim leaders, particularly scholars and authorities of the Ummah including Mujahidun leaders Sheikh Az-Zawahiri, Sheikh Al-Jolani, Sheikh Adam al-Ameriki and Sheikh Mullah Omar, ISIS leadership responded angrily to a reference of Ibn Muljam mentioned in the correspondences between the ISIS leader and Al-Qaedah.

After personal and public attacks on one of the most influential Jihad ideologues and respectable scholars Shaykh Abū Muhammad al-Maqdisī, ISIS Ghulu` (extremism) receives another strong and timely refutation.

Below is the new scholastic approach to Al-Baghdadi's deluded Caliphate (or the Imamate) from Shaykh Abū Muhammad as the true and worthy leaders of the Ummah refuse to be silenced by the extremist Jama't Ad-Dawlah (or the Islamic State) despite their plenty 'Ibn Muljam, the Khawarijite Assassins':

"And Be Not Like Her who Undoes the Thread which She has Spun, After it has Become Strong" (An-Nahl, 92) - 13 Ramadan 1435H

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All praise be to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. And henceforth…

The Caliphate and the Imamate are among the important positions and great matters for the people of Islam, which the faithful of the people of Islam continue to aspire to restore and establish, and their anticipation of these affected them until a group rose out of haste to establish the Caliphate and install a Caliph. They made the Imam already established on the people of Islam, a man with no authority nor dominion, who sought refuge in London, and they called upon people to pledge allegiance to him and made those who did not pledge allegiance to him sinners… and others narrowed the issue by claiming to be guides for others. Without a doubt this depicts a search for a rightly-guided Caliph whose leadership people would accept.

These attempts and their like were and still come in service of one person, and they have no place in reality among the Muslims. Instead, he is named and elected by his people and group, and he is not the choice of the actual responsible people in the Ummah, its divine scholars, who would always fade and recede without the Muslims being hit with despair or distortion of this great position in their chests…

But a group comes with predominantly extremist rhetoric, and an exclusionary approach in dealing with opposition, and has no consideration for the scholars of the Ummah and its prominent figures, and for it to claim its desire to implement the Shariah upon the Ummah, while it does not accept to be judged by it in disputes of blood and money of others! So it overcomes some aspects of the lands of the Muslims, and before it holds matters firmly, and people and the virtuous scholars agree upon it even in those lands, it declares the obligation to pledge to its Caliph that it named upon the Muslims all over the world, and the obligation upon the Muslims to emigrate to him, and it considers those who do not sinners… until it was necessary for fatwas such as that of Imam Malik about the invalidity of compelled divorce and the pledge of allegiance. I have received questions from women whose husbands gave them the choice between pledging to this Caliph or divorce. I said: Pledge if you hate divorce. This the pledge to something hated and it is not obligatory. The words of Imam Ahmed are known regarding the coercion of a woman by her husband even if it is correct if her husband threatens her with divorce… I categorize such questions and fatwas for the intransigence of the intransigent and their restriction upon the Muslims and intimidating them with the sword and branding them as sinners and infidels, and they exceed this by threatening women with divorce…

More serious than this divorce, and this is what called me to write these words, is what they made as a consequence of divorce among the members of the Mujahideen and their groups and leaders, and what they will spread of chaos in the ranks and destabilization of their structure, when their official spokesman said: "The message to the factions and groups all over the face of the earth, the Mujahideen, and those who work to support the religion of Allah, and raise the slogans of Islam, and to the leaders and emirs, we say: Fear Allah in yourselves, fear Allah in your Jihad… By Allah, we find no Shariah excuse for you in delaying to support this Dawla." And he said: "As for you, the soldiers of the factions and organizations, understand that after this empowerment and the establishment of the caliphate, the legitimacy of your groups and organizations is invalidated, and it is impermissible for any of you who believes in Allah to sleep and not have bear loyalty to the Caliph."

Therefore, reflect on how they invalidate the Jihad of the Mujahideen and incite to follow the followed, and put students over sheikhs… What is this conspiracy to fragment the ranks of the Mujahideen and undermine and weaken their structures…

We say to our brothers, the preachers and the Mujahideen all over the world: Listen to the words of Allah and His appeal, and strike against the wall that which violates them…

Allah the Exalted said: "O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger, and make not vain your deeds!" (Muhammad, 33) And the Exalted said: "And be not like her who undoes the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong." (An-Nahl, 92)

So rally around your leaders, your heads, and your senior figures, and do not be weakened by the calls of those who fragment the ranks of the Muslims, those who see that there is no truth today but with them, and all who are not with them are the enemy…

They have even used and still used - I do not know if it is deliberate or by mistake or nonsense - in achieving the pillars of this heinous plot against this blessed group in particular and against the people of Islam in general… putting on the dress of a genuine Islamic project! And thus a segment of the children of this Ummah were deceived by them, and I do not doubt the sincerity of many of them and their fervor for Islam, but I question the wisdom of their minds and the accuracy of their understanding and knowledge… It is no secret to them that due to the intransigence of the leaders of this organization and their superficiality, haste, and short-sightedness, and their refusal to be guided by the guidance of the scholars, on whose writings they were raised and they are still studying, probably because of their penetration by deviants and extremists or others, that this plot was carried out and is still carried out against the people of this current in many ways, including:

- Eliminating those who oppose them from the veterans of the Mujahideen and those who are relied upon to reap the fruits of Jihad in Syria so that all that remains in the field is the stubborn and the ignorant, or the foolish and the inane.

The atmosphere is clear for you, so make it white and yellow *** and destroy what you wish to destroy

- Taking down the symbols of the jihadi current and its scholars because they did not get caught up with the choices of this organization and did not support its intransigence, its transgressions, and its deviations.

- Corrupting the compass of the current, dispersing the circle of its conflict with the tyrants, and moving the rifle from the chests of the enemies of the Ummah to the chests of its children from the sincere mujahideen or the Muslims in general, citing various excuses and generalizations they are not allowed to make.

- Distracting the people and diverting their attention from the Islamic project and burning any potential popular support and deterring any of the supporters across the Ummah from this current due to their bad practices and their application on the ground, and the ill-dealings with the people in their various strata and religions.

- Distorting the project of the Caliphate and the Islamic State in the chests of the people with their practices, their intransigence, and their extremism and bloodshed. This could deter the people from this project for a period a time after the failure of their experiment that is replete with drawbacks, transgressions, and violations.

- They exceeded all this with their aforementioned declaration: They work to fragment the ranks of those who strive for this religion, and the Mujahideen, and sabotage their groups that strive for the religion of Allah and pit their followers against their emirs, and their students against their sheikhs!

Have you ever seen fruits more ominous than these for this current and its children, than the call for building the Caliphate?! Does building the caliphate in a spot of the earth require taking down Da'wa and Jihad in all the other areas by fragmenting and scattering the jihadi groups and pitting them against their Sheikhs in the various battlefields?!

It is another conspiracy against this blessed current and its sincere groups. In summary: Either you are with us or we sow division in your ranks and strive to fragment them. It is the method used by the anarchists in our country when they impose themselves upon others, and during games you see them say, "either I play or I will ruin your game," meaning, either they impose themselves and accept a primary player, or they will sabotage the game. These are morals apt for children of the streets and are not worthy of those who are part of Da'wa and Jihad… So What then if the choice that these people impose, either to preside over the game and directing it according to their whims, ignorance, and intransigence, or they will sabotage and corrupt it!?? Or in other words: Them or the flood.

The face is that this is the most dangerous part of their most recent declaration. As I said before, it does not harm me if they declared the Caliphate in Sham or in Iraq or in London!!

But the harmful matter is what have those people arranged and what did they arrange in terms of effects and acts based on this declaration??

We are not the enemies of the Caliphate, but we are from among the best of its supporters and preachers and those who strive to establish it and seek to restore it. However, the Caliphate is legitimate to preserve the essence of the Muslims and put their fragments back together, and not fragment or split their ranks. Thus is the Imam, as told by the Chosen Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: "They fight behind him and they are protected by him." (Narrated by Muslim) It is Paradise and protection of the Muslims from all evil, not a call or invitation to evil…

The Caliphate should be a haven and safe place for every Muslim… not a threat and a matter that intimidates and brings worry to the minds…

They abrogated their first pledge of allegiance to their leaders and rebelled against their emirs, and they transgressed against their senior figures when they declared the first state, and when they declared the second they shed protected blood and refused to be judged by the Shariah. Therefore, it is our right to ask: What will they do after the declaration of the Caliphate??

The most dangerous thing they have done so far call to fragment the Muslims and strive to split the ranks of their Jihadi and Da'wai groups, after they had split the Muslims in general betwen those who are with them and those who are against them. They did not show mercy to the weak among them, and did not excuse those who aligned with other than them from the groups in Syria. Instead, all who opposed them was either a backstabber who contradicted the pledge to them, or a Salooli, a Suroori, or Sahawati or supporter the Sahawat or lover of the Sahawat, or is seen or walks or goes with the Sahawat and so on… and they would kill those who did not pledge, and they were blamed for threatening to kidnap the wives of those who are against them!! This has not yet been proven to us, but if it were true then we would have with them quite an issue, may Allah defend the Muslim women from the evil of every aggressor and oppressor.

They know today when they call to disband the groups in order to pledge to them and to them, that there are superficial people in most of the groups, and most of those who listen to them are from this rank and from the ranks of the extremists, as well… and those whose enthusiasm and extremism dominates their wisdom, thought, and insight, their ignorance exceeds their knowledge. They build their hopes and manage the fuel of their battles upon those due to the separation from them of the scholars, the sages, and the people of understanding…

And then there is the fact of their call to abrogate the pledge of allegiance of the groups to break the jihadi current fragment their groups, and split their ranks. This makes us look to what is behind the masks and not take their path with the naïveté and superficiality of the masses… If the situation before declaring the Caliphate was: either you are with us or against us, how will they be after…?

The Caliphate should be a haven for the Muslims and their lost paradise that they seek, so do not make it hellfire upon them and increase their frustration…

It is the dream of the Muslims that they are trying to achieve, so do not maim this beautiful dream with your bullets that split open the heads of those who oppose you, and spill what is inside!! Instead, achieve it, if you wish, while having mercy for the Muslims and supporting the oppressed. You are mortal as others are mortal, so keep the good thought and not the mutilation, and contribution to the construction, which will be the pillars of the rightly-guided Islamic Caliphate, and not the intransigent, transgressing, and unjust one. Contribute to reuniting the people of Islam and their groups, and not fragmenting them. Contribute to supporting the oppressed and removing from them the hardships and not increase them. Contribute to preserving the blood of the Muslims, not spilling it…

Imams Ahmed, Muslims, and al-Nisa'i reported that Abu Huraira said: "Whoso attacks my Ummah killing the righteous and the wicked of them, sparing not even those staunch in faith and fulfilling not his promise made with those who have been given a pledge of security - he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him."

The Caliph Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik said to the Follower Salamah bin Dinar al-Madani, the ascetic: O Abu Hazim, what do you say in what we are in? [Salamah] said: Would you pardon me [from this question], O Emir al-Mu'mineen? [The Caliph] said: But as an advice, give it to me.

[Salamah] said: Your fathers established rule over the people in this matter, taking it by force of the sword without consulting nor meeting with the people, and killing in a heinous fasion, then they departed. So if you were feeling what they said and what was said to them. So a man among the sitting ones said: How regretful is what you said!

Abu Hazim said: You lied. Allah the Exalted had the covenant upon the scholars to set it forth.

Yes, by Allah: They departed, so if you were feeling what they said and what was said to them…

And if thy Lord created for ants *** Their wings they would have retreated

Every person has limits *** And the end of him is when he crosses it

In the Hadith of Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased him, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: "An Imam is a shield for them. They fight behind him and they are protected by him."

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was and remains to be the Imam of not only the Muslims, but the world, and his Imamate was not to separate the Muslims and fragment them, but to unify them; and it was not to fill the heads of the protected with bullets or to split them with swords to empty what is inside them, but to preserve those heads and what is in them, and develop them, and elevate them to the highest of stations and raise them above their meager options. Even the fighting factions that were unable to give allegiance to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, or to enter under his political

territory, like the gathering of Abu Baseer at the time of the Treaty of Hudaybah, and also those working against al-Aswad al-Ansi after his revolt against the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in Yemen, he did not call any of their jihad void or their Hijrah mandatory while leaving the lands of work and jihad. They were not declared as sinners or threatened or exiled or their group dissolved; instead they were left alone and working until they were able to emerge victorious and catch up to Dar al-Islam.

This is the case in the time of the Caliphate. The Caliphate was never a position that works to invalidate the Jihad of the Mujahideen or to fragment them or call upon them to turn against their seniors, leaders, and scholars in the lands that were outside of or left the fold of the Caliphate. Instead, the likes of those scholars would call to remain steadfast on their method and support them from the Caliphate. They were sponsored and not asked to leave the fields of Jihad and dissolve their groups, and those who did not do so were not called sinners. History has glorified and recorded the steadfastness of such groups from the people of Islam with the leaders and scholars in lands who left the fold of the Caliphate and its rule and pledge, and entered under the rule of the Ubayyads, Tatars, or Crusaders…

Therefore, we warn the Muslim public and particular ones among them from responding to the call of fragmenting the ranks, destabilizing the structure, and scattering the Mujahideen. We call upon them to remain unaffected by this psychological, moral, and physical terror that is being spread by the advocates of fragmentation and to remain steadfast on their promise, and around their leaders, gathered and prevalent on the truth, unharmed by those who oppose them and from those who disappointed them, until the order of Allah arrives.

I conclude with these warnings:

- The Imam of Haramayn said in his book Ghiyaath al-Umam fi al-Tiyath al-Zulm):

"If the era is void of an Imam, and lacks the presence of a wise, intelligent and able Sultan, the matters turn over to the hands of scholars, and it is mandatory upon the creation in spite of the differences in their status, to return to their scholars and take all their matters and concerns to them. If they do this, they have been rightly-guided. The scholars will then turn into caretakers of people. If they cannot agree upon one, every area should follow their scholars, and if there are many scholars in one area, the most knowledgeable among them should be followed".

This is the weakest point of those who declared the Caliphate today. Not even one scholar from the divine scholars supported them or trusted them or aligned with them, from the scholars attributed to them in creed, thought, and method… Let the people think of this, and let the reasonable person think of it well: Why did those people lose the trust of the scholars from whose letters and ooks they studied and learned, until they abandoned them and no one supported them?!! They are scholars who do not fear the blame of anyone other than Allah… there must be an answer.

- The Caliphate cannot achieved by Da'wa and the name, nor by intentions or want, but by the actual application on the ground. When Omar named Abu Bakr the Caliph, he did not become the Caliph just because of this announcement; he did not become the actual Caliph until the Sahaba pledged allegiance to him and he firmed up his position unchallenged… Every Emir who is not given loyalty by the Muslims and the best of the people of knowledge from the divine scholars is the emir of his group or his emirate, but not Emir al-Mu'mineen in general or the Caliph of the Muslims, and it is not right to call sinners those who do not pledge allegiance or travel to him. The fact that the outstanding scholars who are trustworthy have not flocked to give their allegiance shows that the one named and his group are not their point of trust with regards to religion and the world.

- It is necessary to state that if there was no other group on the fronts, then the knowledge of these scholars would have forced them to support the emir of this group because they are required to put the most ideal emir at the lead. So there is no doubt that these are better than the tyrants and the apostate rulers. However, as the front is filled with fighting factions and groups who rival and are on equal footing with this group in power and strength, and better in methodology and leadership, then the worse should not put about the better…

- Lastly, we do not accept for ourselves to be from those who do not engage in anything except words with Jama'at al-Dawla, and we do not like our enemies to feel pleased when we speak, or that they think that we are on their side, that is in truth not against Jama'at al-Dawla, but against the project of the Islamic State and the Islamic Caliphate. We do not like these people to be pleased with what we write, for it is not for them that we write, and we seek refuge in Allah that there must be any connection or understanding between us. What we are writing and saying is due to the trust of knowledge and Da'wa, and telling the statement of truth and supporting the truth and its people. Other than that we do not care who is pleased with our saying or who is angered, and who is happy or whose throat narrows on it. If we sought the approval of the people and put fame and glory in what we write and say, we would have ridden the wave of the Dawla and they would have raised us above their heads or even above the clouds, but we have decided to ride the wave of truth no matter how difficult it is. We shall not step back from it or leave it, even if they put us below the earth, or fill our heads with bullets and empty their contents.

However, the dilemma is that Jama'at al-Dawla and its chiefs and spokesmen attack us every day, which obliges us to respond to them; otherwise we would have left ourselves to statements and their confirmation, as the war is not declared on Jama'at al-Dawla, from my side at least. Instead, it is truth that I support and speak of when there is need, and it is not permissible to delay the statement when it is needed. They are the ones who compel us to this and we can no longer remain silent.

O Allah, we ask You for guidance, rightness, determination, and a good conclusion. May Allah pray on and have peace on our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and his companions, all of them.

Written by Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi

13 Ramadan 1435H

Obama And The Persian Empire Agenda Conundrum!

A Clarification Regarding the Alleged Announcement of an Emirate by Jabhat an-Nusra July 2014
 

In reaction of the leaked audio-message in which Jabhat an-Nusra allegedly announced their own Emirate in Syria; it didn't take too long before Jabhat an-Nusra reacted officially on this rumours. Below is their official reaction published via their official account on Twitter:

Arabic:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

بيان توضيحي حول ما أشيع عن إعلان جبهة النصرة لإمارة إسلامية

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه، وبعد:

1-إنَّ مشروع جبهة النصرة من أول يوم أُسست فيه هو إعادة سلطان الله إلى أرضه وتحكيم شريعته.

2-إننا نسعى لإقامة إمارة إسلامية وفق السُنن الشرعية المعتبرة ولم نعلن عن إقامتها بعد، وفي اليوم الذي يوافقنا فيه المجاهدون الصادقون والعلماء الربانيون سنعلن عنها بإذن الله.

3-إننا نسعى لتحكيم الشريعة من خلال إقامة دور للقضاء ومراكز حفظ الأمن وتقديم الخدمات العامة للمسلمين في غضون عشرة أيام بديلا عن الهيئات الشرعية السابقة.

4- لن نسمح لأحد أن يقطف ثمار الجهاد ويقيم مشاريع علمانية أو غيرها من المشاريع التي تقام على دماء وتضحيات المجاهدين.

5- لن تتهاون جبهة النصرة مع المجموعات المفسدة في المناطق المحررة بالاتفاق مع الفصائل الصادقة.

6- رص الصفوف ضد الأخطار التي تهدد الساحة سواء من قبل النظام النصيري أو جماعة الخوارج الغلاة.

{ وَاللهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَى أَمْرِهِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ }

(( جَبْهَةُ النُّصْرَة ))
|| مؤسسة المنارة البيضاء للإنتاج الإعلامي ||

لا تنسونا من صالح دعائكم

والحمد لله ربِّ العالمين

تاريخ نشر البيان: يوم السبت14 من رمضان 1435 للهجرة، الموافق 12/ 7/ 2014


Translation:

All Praise is due to Allah, and may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet of Allah, his family, companions and those who follow him. As for what is to come…

1. From the first day of its establishment, Jabhat Al-Nusrah had set its mission to restore the dominion of Allah on the earth and establish His Shari'ah.

2. We, in Jabhat Al-Nusrah, strive to establish an Islamic Emirate according to the regarded Islamic Sunnan. We have not announced the establishment of and Emirate, yet. When the time comes and the sincere Mujahidoon and the pious scholars agree with our stance, we will announce this Emirate, by the Will of Allah.

3. We strive to rule by Shari'ah by establishing Islamic Courts, Security Offices and offering general services to the Muslims within the next ten days. This project will replace the previous project of Al-Hay'aat Al-Shari'eeyah.

4. We will not allow anyone to pick the fruits of this Jihad and establish a secular scheme, or any other scheme, which takes advantage of the sacrifices of the Mujahideen and is established on their blood.

5. Jabhat Al-Nusrah will not hesitate to deal [militarily] with the corrupt groups in the liberated areas. This will be done by cooperation with the sincere groups [of Mujahideen].

6. Jabhat Al-Nusrah is determined to unify ranks to face the dangers which threaten the Jihadi front [in Al-Shaam], whether these threats are from the Nusayri Regime or from the group of Khawarij and ghulaat (extremists).

"And Allah is predominant over His affair, but most of the people do not know."

(Qur'an 12:21)

Jabhat Al-Nusrah Al-Manarah Al-Baidaa' Media Productions

Remember us in your Du'aa

All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of all

Date of Publication: Saturday, 14th Ramadan 1435 Hijri

July, 2014

 
Shaykh Abū Muhammad al-Maqdisī Echoes Stance Of The Mujahidun Scholars On ISIS And Its Pseudo Caliphate

After the Islamic State announced its Caliphate on the first day of Ramadan 1435 (Sunday June 29th 2014) it was to be expected that Shaykh Abū Muhammad al-Maqdisī, one of the most influential Jihadist ideologues, recently released from a Jordanian prison would react on it.

This text was published on his website just a few days after the Caliphate was re-established by the Islamic State:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

All praise be to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah.

To proceed,

These are some of the points and observations that I wished to write down in this Blessed Month (Ramadan), the month of the Qur'an. We ask Allah to grant us the blessing to be able to distinguish between right and wrong, and to use us in support of the truth, unafraid of any enemy or affected by contradictions. May Allah guide us and all our brothers to the right path. (Ameen!)

First: Due to the flow of visitors, I heard much in the past two weeks. I was unable to read much and I still have a lot to read, but from the little that I have read, every side was eager to attain victory for the faction (party, group) to which they pledged allegiance. They worked hard to show its evidence, data, and arguments, and many of it has no juristic (fiqhor shar'i) basis. Much of it was given to me and I looked at it prior to my release from prison. I will not dismiss completely what was presented to me as I see no usefulness in it. Either affirm the truth or admit that you were wrong.

Second: In the parties I heard from there are certainly wise and virtuous people. Both parties have those who seek righteousness and desire its success, and they do not wish for evil but reject it, even if it comes from those with whom they are allied. I was pleased with them and decided to continue to communicate them and they strengthened my assemblies. Such people are counted upon for reform and closing the rifts. And in those parties are also fanatics and on whom the saying applies: "the fanatic does not distinguish". They did not provide much use to the assemblies, but enflamed issues and they must learn to listen and understand.

Third: Moral pressure was exerted on me to retract that statement that I [previously] issued after a productive and lengthy communication between the parties involved in either the reconciliation or the arbitration that was refused by the State's (ISIS) group. A large number of people claim that the statement is null or will be voided. None of it was issued by me (promises of recantation) and I did not promise anyone of it [in retracting the statement].

What I have said in front of them and still say: The statement and its author are not flawless. [The statement] came about as a result of fruitful communication between all those involved especially those who refused the previous initiatives and who refused to resort to legal (Shariah) arbitration. Some of them claim that I only listened to one side only.

[Yet] in my prison cell, I had a supporter of the State (ISIS) who used to call weekly about Syria and often provide us with pro-State (ISIS) news. I received State (ISIS) news, reports, and writings that are pro-State (ISIS), as I also looked at the State's scholars' response to such news. The replies are saved to keep-off those who doubt it. I reiterate that if I appear unjust to one side in my statement or deviated from the truth, then I will immediately and without hesitation retract it as truth is my guide and it is easily followed as I am not committed or biased to either side.

Regarding the statement, its issuance was borne from those who refused to go down to the judgment of Allah, and in it I advised to stand by the side of those who arbitrate with the Shariah of Allah. That does not mean that the party in which we called to stand aside is infallible or that we recommend them with an absolute recommendation, but the matter is as Sheikh al-Islam (ibn Taymiyyah) said: "Pure justice in everything is impossible, by knowledge and work, but the ideal is idealized." Fatwas (10/99)

Fourth: I still repeat that fairness is the suit of the honourable, and the honourable are few among the contesting parties and their supporters in all the countries. The result of this lack of fairness by many among the prominent ones in the media and the muftis of the contesting parties is that negative phenomena have spread among the youth of the current in many of the countries. They found bad examples and follow them in swearing, lacking manners, having mistrust, and lacking in polite dialogue.

Before my release, I heard about abuses by some of the media spokesmen and jurists of both contesting sects, and I relayed some of this and rejected it. After my release from prison I read about abuses and abasement from people who do not deserve to describe the Mujahideen or jurists in such a way. If they had described street people instead of jurists it would have been better. They accused the offenders as being bastards, sons of whores, and other obscene and vulgar language, and uttered other than that of lies, falsehood, and slander - and this is not worthy of those who issue the signature of Allah and give fatawa in the religion of Allah - to inciting for the spilling of protected (Muslim) blood and devaluing it (the blood and lives of the Muslims).

They became bad examples for youth of this current all-over the world and not only in the Syrian field; affliction overran them, lack of manners spread among them, as well as insults towards young and old, and scholars and educators. The assault even spread to offenders among the Muslims, and their blood and souls were made permissible. Sufficient for us is Allah and (He is) the best Disposer of affairs from these mistakes that they spread among the public and the villainous among the people.

We are surprised by anything that comes from the like of those jurists, muftis, and spokesmen who are characterized by such base morals and daring against the blood of the Muslims! Therefore, we disavow their falsehood and we demand their officials from all the parties be concerned for the religion of Allah, the purity of this current, and the character of its people and the affair of Jihad and the Mujahideen. We demand that they exclude them and keep them away from positions of directing and giving speeches, for everyday they repel from this religion with their contradictory speeches, and they flee from its correct method with their crooked method, and they deform its honourable morals with their base "ethics".

Whoever seeks the interest of Jihad must exclude the low ones, the misguiding ones, those who incite to shed the blood of the Muslims, who spread bad morals and obscenities among the Muslim youth. Instead, make them guiding advocates who are merciful with the Muslims, who adhere to the ethics of the Prophethood and follow its guidance in the Ummah and know how to address all the people.

Fifth: Some good people conveyed to me that some people in Sham, in an attempt to influence me to retreat from the statement, saying that blood was shed because of it, or at the time of its issuance, a bombing was dedicated to me under name of "Millat Ibrahim" (a famous book authored by the Shaykh) from parties hostile of the State organization (ISIS).

This is intimidating talk and pressure as much as possible to obtain greater portions of concessions, and it is a technique which might be useful in negotiation or buying and selling, but it is not useful in arguing, convincing, or fulfilling truth and aborting falsehood. Therefore, it is not beneficial to use it in this aspect. The complaint is lacking credibility, because the statement did not incite to shed blood of a Muslim, nor did it not mention a call to kill or fight.

Rather, all the efforts exerted over the past eight months resulted in this statement, which was for the sake of stopping the bloodshed and keeping the rifles from being directed at the chests of the Muslims and the Mujahideen; and for the sake of stopping the negligence of others among the Muslims or objecting to perform their rights; and for the sake of stopping from devaluing their blood and money, under pretexts of interests of the State (here he means both the interests of the true Islamic State and also the organisation ISIS), building the (Islamic) State, etc, as if everyone else (other than ISIS) does not want to build an (Islamic) State or empower the Shariah of Allah.

In any case, whoever refused the arbitration will be the one to bear the responsibility for the ongoing bloodshed, just as whoever embarked in shedding it (initiating the fighting to begin with) will bear it from all the parties. On my part, I praise Allah, He who saved me from shedding one drop of Muslim blood. I ask Him the Almighty, [for me] not to be a cause, not even with a single letter or half a word in that. I say that those who apply pressure in such these techniques: "I am not a man who heeds the sound of hatred".

I say: To whoever dedicated any operation to me that shed the blood of a Muslim from any party of the parties: "Nay it is ye who rejoice in your gift!" [Al-Naml, 36] Dedicate to me if you like, but obey my advice and respond to my calls to stop the bloodshed and accept arbitration, reform, and straightforwardness on the guidance of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in Da'wa and Jihad. This is what we demand of you to dedicate it to us if you love us or love to delight our eyes.

Our eyes cannot be delighted with the shedding of Muslim blood from any party that is within the circle of Islam even if they were disobedient. We do not give permission to fight any Muslim at all but to push away the assailant, and it is known that pushing away the assailant does not mean killing specifically, but to push away first, and what cannot be pushed by the tongue or hand then it is not permitted to push by weapon, because the origin is the sanctity of the Muslim blood and his money and honour.

Sixth: I was asked about the victories of the State organization (ISIS) in Iraq, so I said: There is no believer that does not rejoice for the victories of Muslims, no matter their condition, (over those who) their description is as Rawafidh and apostates. The fear is for the consequences of these victories and how the Sunnis and the other Da'wa or Jihadi groups and all the Muslims in the liberated areas will be treated? And against whom the heavy weapons will be used that were taken as spoils from Iraq and sent to Syria? This is my question and my concern. We are afraid of the answers on the ground, because we do not trust the minds that hold these weapons for many reasons.

Seventh: In the morning today I was asked: Do you know about the writings of someone about the Caliphate and his saying that its empowerment is not a requirement!

I said: I did not know about it, but the writing is read by its title, and the announcement of their naming their organization the Caliphate must be soon.

Then he said: And what is your opinion if they (ISIS) announce that (Caliphate)?

I said: The name and its announcement do not bother me and I will not waste my time refuting what someone blackened in his writings, because all of us wish for the return of the Caliphate, the breaking of borders, the raising of banners of Tawhid, and the dropping of the banners of denouncement. No one hates that but a hypocrite. The wise lesson is through matching the names with the facts and its existence and to apply it truly and, indeed, on the actual land. Whoever rushes something before its due time will be punished by being deprived from it.

But what concerns me the most is what those people will require for this announcement and the name in which they developed it from an organisation (AQ in Iraq the ISI), to the State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), and then to a general Caliphate (IS). Will this Caliphate be a safe haven for every vulnerable one, and a shelter for every Muslim? Or will this name be considered a sword hanging over those who disagree from among the Muslims? Will it write-off all the emirates that preceded their announced state? And will they abort with it all the groups that do Jihad in the Cause of Allah in all different fields before them?

The brothers in the Caucasus have already announced their blessed emirate and did not require that all the Muslims everywhere comply, and neither did they shed inviolable blood for the sake of a name. What then is the destiny of the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus to those people after declaring aloud the name of the Caliphate?

The Taliban announced an Islamic Emirate before them, as well, and its Emir, (Amir al-Mu'maneen) Mullah Omar, may Allah preserve him, is still fighting the enemies, he with his soldiers. They did not require the shedding of inviolable blood or untangling a complex knot in the name of the emirate, which was truly founded on the land for years. So what is the destiny of this emirate to those who speak in the name of the Caliphate today and announced it?

What is the destiny of all the active Muslim groups, those whose members pledged allegiance in Iraq and Sham and all-over the land? And what is the destiny of their blood to those who speak in the name of the Caliphate today and have yet to stop threatening those who offend them among the Muslims by tearing apart their bodies with bullets?

These are the important questions that I have that require answers.

And here we are, before the day is over, al-Adnani shouts out the expected questions. He was like we have expected. We did not do him injustice.

O Allah, have mercy and grace on the Muslims, O Lord of the Worlds. Distance evil and malice away from them. (Ameen!)

I conclude with a warning to those who wade in the blood of Muslims, whoever they are: Do not think that with your loud voices you will silence the voice of truth, or that with your threats, your shouts, your lack of manners, and your aggression that you will silence our bearing witness to the truth. No, a thousand times no… We will stay loyal guardians for this religion, protectors who stand on guard for these groups, defending them from those who tamper and do wrong, from the slander of the fanatic and the intransigent and others who maim… Either you reform yourselves, repent, and keep away from the blood of the Muslims and distorting this religion, or we will strike upon you with words like swords, striking with evidence the livers of mounts and moving with its sayings the riders.

You and others know that we will not be silent in prison or behind bars, and we will not be silent after escaping the jaws of the jailer. By Allah, He who raised the sky without pillars, we will not leave anyone to tamper with this religion and devalue the blood of the Muslims, even if they accuse us of hostility, distortion, and lies, and slander everyone near and far… We warn you about distorting the religion of Allah and corrupting and staining with the blood of the Muslims and the Mujahideen. Be pious and always speak the truth.

For every event there is a Hadith, and for every situation there is a saying.

I say: This is some of what I have and not all of It… I put it forward in this Blessed Month (Ramadan), recalling the Hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: "Whoever does not give up lies and false conduct, Allah has no need that he should give up his food and drink."

It was said that Abu Mas'ud, may Allah be please with him, had asked: How do you welcome the month of Ramadan? He said: "None of us would dare to welcome the crescent [moon] and in his heart with malice on his Muslim brother."

Fourth of Ramadan, 1435 (July 2014) from the Hijrah of al-Mustafa, Peace and Blessings be Upon Him.

 
Guess Who Wants To Help Failed Miliki's Army Fight ISIL! The Shia Hindus Sign Up To Face ISIL Mujahidun Who Are Holding Tight To America's Sophisticated Weapons Seized From Iraqi Fleeing Shiites

Both western mainstream media and India subcontinent news outlets reported last week the irresponsible and hopeless recruits of thousands of young Indian Shiite volunteers as announced by Shia group Anjuman-e-Haideri which claimed it already had 25,000 volunteers and floats tender for flights to Baghdad.

Indian Shiites felt particularly humiliated last month when the Sunni tribal fighters and militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL (now called simply the Islamic State IS) staged an offensive to overrun swathes of four provinces north of Baghdad and more areas in Anbar, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, alarming the international community and heaping pressure on Maliki as he bids for a third term as premier.

The reckless and sectarian Shia group Anjuman-e-Haideri in India boasted it had called for thousands of volunteers to travel to Iraq to fight the militants led Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which last month seized from the Maliki's armies a large volume of American sophisticated weapons and resources after they had overrun large swathes of Iraq, including second city Mosul, and has since declared a "caliphate" straddling the border with Syria.

The Indian extremist Shiite organization claimed it had already registered thousands of Muslims for the mission which one of the Indian critics of the Shia organisation Anjuman-e-Haideri described as a gimmick to prove the Indian Shias can also be helpful in all that Shiite running away from battles.

Reports suggested the group has also floated a tender inviting India's aviation industry to carry the thousands of volunteers to Baghdad in a short period starting from August.

A local Indian parliamentary has reacted angrily to the dangerous scheme of the Shia group noting while the US has not come to Baghdad's aid by supplying the weapons because the Western world knew very well that the country was heading for a disaster as Maliki was not acting in a democratic fashion.

"If the civilized nations never sent their underage young people to fight foreign wars, why should any group in India be allowed to waste lives of our youth generation for the struggles out of their borders and beyond their capabilities," said the Indian parliamentarian.

"No group or agency should be allowed to send our children as militants for other nations' mercenaries for whatever reason and under any circumstance," he said.

However, President of Anjuman-e-Haideri (New Delhi chapter), Ali Naqviwas was quoted to have said on Tuesday that so far 25,000 people have volunteered for the Iraq mission and that his sectarian organization expect special rates from the aviation industry.

He said the volunteers were funding their journeys to Iraq and those unable to assemble money "will be funded by the organisation".

The group members, however, had denied its religious mission was sectarian, pointing out that the Islamic State has gained so much in the short period of their lightning offensives against Maliki's army that the Shiite groups find it hard to ignore and do nothing.

"Iraq new Islamic State needs to be stopped," he said.

"We will go to Iraq come whatever may happen to fight the ISIL and treat the wounded. This is purely a humanitarian effort. The volunteers include doctors, engineers and civil servants," chief patron of Anjuman-e-Haideri, M Ali Mirza said.

He said the group would send more than 100,000 volunteers to Iraq to fight ISIL which, he said, could reach India too.

Talking about Shia and Iran's humanitarian mission, Ken Blackwell described Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism - a major persecutor of religion.

Blackwell wrote the State Department reports on the full range of human rights abuses in Iran. These include: "disappearances; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including judicially sanctioned amputation and flogging; politically motivated violence and repression, such as beatings and rape; harsh and life-threatening conditions in detention and prison facilities, with instances of deaths in custody; arbitrary arrest and lengthy pretrial detention, sometimes incommunicado; continued impunity of security forces; denial of fair public trials, sometimes resulting in executions without due process…"

Meanwhile, a New Delhi-based young Sunni doctor disagrees with the hate stance of Mirza.

"I am sure all Indians are now regretting donating to these guys of Anjuman-e-Haideri who used Indian poor and middle class contributions to humanitarian appeals for funding all those Shia death squads," said Numan Riz

"Then I am not surprising that Mirza prefers to join rank with Maliki who could rather do with more Badr Brigade types fleeing the battlefield instead of waiting for rightful swords of the Islamic State fierce fighters," he said.

He reckoned some Indian Shiite commentators claiming Sistani's call to fight in Iraq was not religious but to defend what they see as Shiite elections victory won by the Shia prime minister.

The Iranian-born Sistani, who claimed he had forced Washington to modify its blueprint for the country and agree to the election of a constituent assembly that drafted the nation's constitution is believed to be 86 and lives in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, south of Baghdad.  Last month he called to arms thousands of Shiites to fight against the Iraqi Sunnis who now control a large swath of territory astride both sides of the Iraq-Syria border.

"These people in India don't understand elections are a small part of a democracy. They need to be taught that pluralism and inclusiveness where the majority insures the rights of the minority are essential goals to strive for is the tru democracy and not ballot papers," said Riz pointing out that Maliki has hindered the democratic process accorded on him for a good 8 years.

"If anything, democracy proves it has its deficiencies with Maliki such a weak fool at the helm in the crucial first years of the young Iraq post 20003 war," he said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's sectarian-based domestic policies backfired last month in a dramatic fashion when his army - pieced together across sectarian lines - quickly fell apart when confronted with Mujahidun fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The sudden collapse of military units defending Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the late Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit and the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk is reminiscent of the swift disintegration of Saddam's army at the gates of Baghdad in 2003 when the Americans invaded Iraq.

Washington, meanwhile, has pointedly declined to endorse Prime Minister al-Maliki, a Shiite, who is blamed here for failing to reach out to the Sunni community in the two-and-a-half years since US troops left, thus laying the conditions for the current crisis. "We gave Iraq the chance to have an inclusive democracy. To work across sectarian lines to provide a better future for their children. And unfortunately what we've seen is a breakdown of trust," Obama said.

Obama warned that only a new effort to frame an "inclusive" political system by Iraqi leaders will keep the country together and in a wishful thinking to repel the challenge from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters who have seized several key cities in Iraq, including Mosul.  In an angry reaction to Obama's warning that no amount of U.S. firepower could keep Iraq together if its political leaders did not disdain sectarianism and work to unite the country, Shiite cleric Nassir al-Saedi, who is loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia fought the Americans during their eight-year presence in Iraq, threatened that the US 300 advisers in Baghdad would be attacked

It's rather easy to dismiss these Shia groups talking about humanitarian mission, helping poor people, defending land of their holy shrines when one wonders where are these Indian organizations when their Iraqi holy cities were invaded by US, Syria people used to be killed by Assad dynasty and Libya was destroyed by the US in the name of humanitarian missions. It is crystal clear these Shia terror groups and their top cleric leaders are only mere servants to their beloved nation Khomeini state of Iran which also was sitting and watching all the invaders with no single action in defending Shia holy cities.

Indian columnist and television commentator, Saeed Naqvi, derided the Anjuman-e-Haideri's effort saying the move was "sentimental" and "foolish".

"This is sheer nonsense. It's a foolish effort. It's a bunch of nuts planning this journey. I don't think India will ever allow them to reach Iraq. There won't be visas or passports for them. Will they go on horseback?" Naqvi said.

 
'ISIS Marriage Of Convenience': Iraqi Baathists Wage 'Campaign Of Assassinations' Against Islamic State

Fighting is said to have erupted among the armed Sunni groups of resistance who have routed Baghdad government forces in a swift military offensive across Iraq.

There are reports that an ally of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIS (now called Islamic State, IS) has begun to implement a "campaign of assassinations" against the Mujahidun group's leaders in Iraq, as cracks begin to appear in the alliance of armed Sunni groups of  resistance against the Baghdad government that have seized large swathes of the country in recent weeks.

A security source in the eastern province of Diyala reportedly told local news site Shafaaq News on 6 July that "armed factions linked to the former Baath Party, and others belonging to the Naqshbandi organisation began waging a war of assassinations against leaders of the Islamic State organisations in Diyala".

The source said fighting among Naqshbandi fighters and IS militants is taking place in provinces where they have "joint control" over. In the past two weeks, the source said told Shafaaq, "two leaders and a number of their [IS] companions and assistants" have been killed.

Disagreements have arisen in Mosul, Tikrit and "a number of regions in Kirkuk, Diyala, Anbar and Salahuddin" over how to manage the "so-called Islamic State", according to the security source.

A coalition of armed Sunni groups of resistance took control of Iraq's second largest city Mosul on 10 June and moved swiftly to capture large areas of the country. The fighters led by IS have played a public role in the offensive, which they claim is targeting the capture of Baghdad, capitalising on what many have said is Sunni anger against perceived sectarian policies by Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.

In the aftermath of the Mosul takeover, it emerged that what was initially viewed as an IS takeover actually involved a number of armed Sunni groups, including Baathist former military officers who served in Saddam Hussein's army and are now in the Naqshbandi Army. There is no comprehensive report on the coalition of groups involved, although locals have identified Ansar al-Sunna and the Mujahideen Army as taking part, both of whom rose to prominence after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.


'Marriage Of Convenience'

News of infighting among the coalition of armed Sunni groups is not a surprise for some analysts, who point to widely divergent ideologies and goals making a long term alliance the Baathists formerly loyal to the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the Mujahidun group of IS impossible.

"The Baathists are anathema to ISIS and vice versa. They may have a common enemy in the central government, but they also hate each other," said Hayder al-Khoei, associate fellow at Chatham House. "The sweeping gains made by IS in the last few weeks could only have been possible with the coordination and support of non-Islamist revolutionary groups, but it was a marriage of convenience and I think both sides knew from the start that this wouldn't last."

"The honeymoon period is over," he added.

The Baath Party officers certainly do not hold to the same extremist ideology IS do and, given their previous positions of power within the Hussein-era army, they are unlikely to do what they are told by IS either, all of which could unleash a powder keg of violence destroying fragile alliances.

"To hang onto power you need to start punishing anyone who opposes you," said Cathrin Schaer, editor-in-chief of Niqash. "Once you start punishing anyone who opposes you, relationships start breaking down. You get former allies, who never really liked you much anyway, starting covert campaigns to assassinate you."

At that point, Schaer said, "you need to stop worrying about taking Baghdad and start worrying about how best to control the terrain you have."

The group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant announced their Islamic State on 30 June, amidst a significant slowdown in their advancement across Iraq, and Schaer says the burden of building a "caliphate" will prove a heavy one.

"To make their Islamic Caliphate, as they call it, successful in the long run they need to start providing local people with fuel, power, drinking water, healthcare and jobs," she said. "They need to get the rubbish collectors back on the streets."

"And from what our correspondents in cities like Mosul are telling us, this isn't happening yet," she added.

Rumours of infighting among the coalition of Sunni groups or resistance have been circulating over the past few weeks, with little confirmed reports of how far this has impacted on their advance.

It is clear, however, that the lightning fast offensive that shocked the world has slowed considerably and the focus may turn to how these groups interact with each other now their common enemy of the government forces has been routed from areas under their control.

Agencies, EsinIslam.Com & Several Media Outlets

 
Chemical Weapons Seized By ISIS No Threat To Iraq

Iraq's foreign ministry says weapons in facility seized by ISIS are non-functional

Stockpiled weapons in a former chemical weapons depot seized by militants in Iraq are non-functional, according to Iraq's foreign ministry.

In a letter circulated at the United Nations, Iraq's UN Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the Al-Muthanna site had been captured by rebels on 11 June.

Iraq's foreign ministry released a statement on Friday saying it did not believe the militants led by the Islamic State would be able to make the weapons in the Al-Muthanna facility, northwest of capital Baghdad, functional because they are old and contaminated.

"The substances could not threaten Iraq's security," the ministry said.

The Islamic State may now be armed with chemical weapons, Iraqi authorities have warned.

The fighters led by ISIS took control of a former chemical weapons depot northwest of Baghdad, Iraq last week said in a letter circulated on Tuesday at the United Nations.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Iraq's UN Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said that IS seized the Muthanna facility, north of Baghdad, on 11 June.

Alhakim said Iraqi officials had spotted the looting of some equipment via the camera surveillance system before disabled it, also mentioning that the militants had detained guards at the facility and seized their weapons.

Until the Iraqi government can regain control of the Muthanna facility and stabilise the country's security situation, Alhakim said it cannot make progress in eliminating the leftover chemical weapons stockpile.

The US has downplayed concerns about the seizing of Muthanna, with US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki expressing her concern on 20 June but describing the facility as home to "degraded chemical remnants."

The last major report on the facility, completed in 2004 by UN chemical weapons inspectors, found that it was used to store around 2,500 degraded chemical rockets that were filled decades ago with sarin, the deadly nerve agent thought to have been used by Saddam Hussein in attacks against Kurds in Halabja in 1998.

Iraqi officials said the United Nations Special Commission supervised the complex and that much of the material was destroyed between 1991 and 1994.

Agencies

 
Iraq Khomeinist Militias Executed 250 Sunni Prisoners

Iraq's security forces and allied Shiite militias executed at least 255 Sunni prisoners as they fled a lightning Mujahidun-led advance last month, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

"Iraqi security forces and militias affiliated with the government appear to have unlawfully executed at least 255 prisoners... since June 9," the watchdog said in a statement.

"The mass extrajudicial killings may be evidence of war crimes or crimes against humanity," the New York-based HRW said.

It said the killings appeared to have been carried out in rage for capturing swarth of the country's territories led by what was still known last month as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

'Outrageous violation'

The group, which has since rebranded itself as the Islamic State (IS), is a Sunni Mujahidun organisation which last month overran large swathes of Iraq, including second city Mosul, and has since declared a "caliphate" straddling the border with Syria.

"Gunning down prisoners is an outrageous violation of international law," said HRW's deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork.

"The world rightly should not turn a blind eye to sectarian killing sprees by government and pro-government forces."

The rights group said it had documented massacres of prisoners last month in Mosul, as well as in the towns and villages of Tal Afar, Baquba, Jumarkhe and Rawa.

"In one case the killers also set dozens of prisoners on fire, and in two cases they threw grenades into cells," HRW said.

It demanded an international investigation into the killings.

Agencies

 
Khomeinist Safavid Hate Crimes Rise In And Around Baghdad

Escalating violence in Iraq crossed a new and very dangerous threshold nowadays.

Shi'a militias in Iraq launched a concentrated wave of attacks against civilian Sunnis in and around Baghdad, not to mention the southern rim areas of the capital.

As an example, armed men belong to an active sectarian militia abducted 35 farmers from the central market to sell vegetables on Thursday evening south of the city of Tikrit, the center of the province of Salah al-Din.

Press sources quoted that Sheikh Hussein Al Mazrui, one of the elders of the town Yathrib, said that gunmen of Shia militia stormed a market to sell vegetables in the district Balad south of Tikrit, and have kidnapped 35 farmers who were selling their crops there.

Al Mazrou'i said the gunmen herded abducted at gunpoint in front of the eyes of people to the Youth Center of Dujail, a building belonging to the Ministry of Youth and Sports .. blaming officials at the district (Dujail) responsiblity for the safety and security of the abductees.

It noted that earlier similar abductions crimes took place in the district that carried out by infamous Shia militias which were demanding a ransom for the release of the abductees.

Earlier, as a result of the irresponsible fatwa of Sistani; Shia militias were mobilizing and have begun a round of sectarian killings facilitated by government security checkpoints and supported by top officials of the current government; under a counterterrorism pretext.

The outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki has backed those militias; to be appeared as he remains in control of the situation.

The expansion of Shi'a militia activity, however, is likely to persuade many Iraqis that he is either not in control or is actively abetting the killings.

It is worth mentioning that earlier this week security forces have found 53 corpses in a town south of Hilla, blindfolded and handcuffed, of Sunni people who had been kidnapped by Shia militias a few days before from the areas Jurf al-Sakhar, Alexandria and Latifiyah - purely Sunni areas - had been killed and left in the Shia village of Khamissiya, about 25km southeast of the city of Hilla, near the main highway running from the capital to the southern provinces.

Officials said that the bodies had been left in the mainly Shia Muslim village of Khamissiya early on Wednesday, about 25km southeast of the city of Hilla, near the main highway running from the capital to the southern provinces.

The head of the provincial council, the local police and the governor's office all confirmed the discovery of the bodies, who appeared to have been killed execution style.

Confirmed news reports said that the corpses of civilians - ages between twenty and forty years old - had been kidnapped by Shia militias a few days before from the areas of southern rim of Baghdad which are Sunni areas .. Noting that the bodies were blindfolded and handcuffed and bearing signs of torture and bullet wounds in head and chest .

The news reports concluded by saying that the bodies currently exist in the forensic medicine department at a hospital in Hilla, but their families did not handed them over, fear being targeted by Shia militias deployed in the city which have been active in the rural districts of Baghdad.

According to medical officials, the number of unidentified bodies found around south of Baghdad has risen steadily since the beginning of the year.

Al-Tageer & Several Newsoutlets

 
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