This is part of ISIS’ endgame – unleashing total civil war in Iran with the goal of conquering the nation. This is one of the principal goals of the organization.
That’s pretty serious. Bottom line is blame the Gulf Arab states for this attack. This is what the Saudis, Bahrainis, UAE and Kuwaitis want. It’s all about “get Iran.” The pitiful and laughable Trump tour of Saudi Arabia recently where he gained the support of the Gulf in the war on terrorism is a joke! The US then signed a deal to sell the malign Saudis billions more in weaponry.
Oh and the deal was the the weaponry from US weapons manufacturers which was said to be made in the US was then shifted over to Saudi Arabia! So the weapons we are selling them won’t even create jobs in the US. Trump exported a huge amount of US jobs! Not a single word this pathological liar of a President says can be trusted.
Then Trump tweeted about how Qatar is failing in the war on terrorism and how the Gulf countries are cutting off ties with Qatar due to Qatar’s ties with terrorism. This is laughable! Yes Qatar has ties to terrorism, but so does Kuwait, Bahrain and especially UAE and Saudi Arabia, two of the worst. So the Gulf nations are forming a “common front against terrorism” against Qatar and the US is going along with this phony, lying charade. Pitiful! And not one US MSM outlet will ever tell you the truth about what is going on over there. Since none will, I will do that right now.
As I said, the other Gulf countries sponsor just as much terrorism as the Qataris. The reason for the “anti-terrorist: shunning of Qatar is because in recent days, Qatar has developed close ties with Iran. Now how this ties in with Qatar’s support of the Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda in Syria) and their war against the Shia, I have no idea.
Another problem is that Qatar is very friendly with the Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood. Yes this is a fundamentalist Islamic organization but it is a huge group with vast support across the Arab World. In the last Egyptian elections, the MB won 75% of the vote. That’s how popular they are in Egypt.
Hamas is actually the Palestinian branch of the MB, a fact that they try to keep on the down low because Palestinians are some of the most secular people in the Arab World and the MB has never been very popular there.
The MB has significant support in Jordan where they are seen as a threat to the dictatorship. Much of Parliament is made up of MB people.
The MB is frankly who is running the entire war in Syria against the Assad regime because the MB has always been the major opposition group in the land. The MB simply dissolved into countless jihadi groups which have proliferated across the land during the civil war, including Al Nusra and ISIS, both of which have MB roots. The MB has also been a significant factor in the civil war in Iraq.
Saddam repressed them to some extent, but after the US conquered Iraq and turned it into a US colony, the MB was legalized and had quite a bit of support.
Al Qaeda itself was created by MB radical preachers exiled from Egypt and Syria who came to Saudi Arabia in the 1980’s on and mingled with the Wahhabis, who were largely quietist at that time. This toxic stew brewed for a long time under it cooked up a dish called Al Qaeda. In that sense, Al Qaeda definitely has MB roots.
Although they share the same beliefs, the MB is very heavily repressed in Saudi Arabia and UAE and I am not sure of its status in Bahrain and Kuwait. The MB is very popular in Saudi Arabia, and the problem is more that the Saudis see them as a threat to Wahhabi power of the Royal Family. There is a similar problem in UAE.
On the other hand, Qatar has long been friendly to the MB. This is why Hamas for a long time had one of their major headquarters in Qatar. However, with the mess in Egypt with the MB winning elections followed by the military coup by General Sisi, the Gulf states have gotten a lot more worried about the MB. Recently Hamas was forced to vacate their long held offices in Qatar due to pressure from the other Gulf states. However, Qatar continues to have friendly relations with the MB, so Qatar is now on the enemies’ list of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan and Egypt because they fear and hate the MB.
The MB does have terrorism ties but not in a formal sense. The MB itself renounced armed struggle and is sworn to take power peacefully. However, it is constantly producing radicals who spin out of the organization and take up arms to join the jihadi groups. At that time, they are not formal members of the MB anymore. And former jihadis spin back into the MB on a regular basis. So the MB is not a terrorist organization so much as an incubator for jihadis and terrorists. Hence, the shunning of Qatar for its close relationship with “the terrorist MB” was another one of the laughable, fake and lying reasons for the shunning. This was reported with a straight face by the “free press” in the US.
They’re lying to you. Every day. All day long. They’re lying to you. Get it in your heads. The US MSM is a formal propaganda system as effective or more so as the propaganda media systems in Communist countries.
I believe the 12% Asiatic figure for Anatolian Turks is correct. The Turks are mostly native Anatolians, closely related to Kurds, Armenians and the original Ashkenazim from Northern Iraq.
I work pretty closely with some Turkic academics, mostly in Turkey but also in Russia and Uzbekistan. I have also seen photos of one of these Turkish professors with his class. Suffice to say that the Turks are very much White people. I was actually shocked at how White they looked because we have this idea that Turks are somehow non-Whites. I would say that they look a lot like Ashkenazi Jews or Italians, that is, rather Mediterranean or even Near Eastern looking but not as dark or as Near Eastern as a lot of Arabs.
These is an odd Asiatic element that is there is small doses. You can’t see it much except sometimes in the eyes a bit. I have seen many photos of Turkish women in particular who just look like regular European White women. Some are blond or even red-haired. I met a Turkish woman who had blond hair and blue eyes. She told me her ancestors were Georgian Christians. I have heard that the Turkish genome now is 35% Slavic, apparently from White slaves captured during the Ottoman Era.
If Italians, Jews, Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks are White, then so are Anatolian Turks. I would say that Kurds and Iranians look more Middle Eastern, but Assyrians look very much like Turks, and it would be hard to tell a Turk from a Greek.
Turkish culture is conservative, and Turkish men strike me as very masculine, even tough or hard.
Turkish women seem very traditionally feminine, and they are also more conservative than the men. I would imagine that a Turkish woman might be quite devoted to you, and I doubt if she would cheat.
The Turkish women I have met were quite educated and often very intelligent. In fact I was shocked at how intellectual they were. Maybe that is an areal thing, but if you ever meet an Arab woman, you might be surprised at how educated, intelligent and even intellectual she is. In that part of the world – Europe, the Near East and the Middle East, intellectualism is not despised as it is in the US.
They have some traditional attitudes about men. I met a few on the Net, and some of them liked me. But a couple found out that I was not employed, and they were appalled. Their attitude was that I was not much of a man. “A man is supposed to work,” they told me.
Statement 1: “The United States of America does not invade other countries to plunder and pillage. We don’t send our brave men and women around the world to steal oil, and that’s not even getting into the absurdity of what it would involve,” Hillary Clinton, 2016.
Statement 2: “Businesses like those represented here at this table create jobs, provide livelihoods, increase standards of living, give hope to individuals.. and what government should do, whether it’s in the United States or in Iraq is to be a good partner (to Big Business)… Iraq is a business opportunity…” Hillary Clinton, Business Forum Promoting Commercial Opportunities in Iraq, 2011.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Hitlery’s lie in Statement 1 is completely proven to be false by her spill the beans confession below it. The starkness of this woman’s hypocrisy, lying and doublespeak are staggering. From the same site:
Her contention that it is an “absurd” conspiracy theory that government and Big Business conspire together is undermined by her statement in 2011 that that is exactly what she thinks government should do… be a good “partner” for Big Business both in Iraq…at home.
Of course this fits right in with our previous piece on Smedley Butler talking about he was a gangster for corporate capitalism in Latin America 100 years ago. More:
…Hillary Clinton is showing how desperate she is in the wake of her failing numbers and trust ratings among the public in this country. You can attribute that in part to the facts of her corruption slowly leaking out into the public view but you can also attribute that, I think, to her continually sticking to the bullshit line that the US never does anything overseas in any interests other than “humanitarian, democracy-building, freedom-seeking” intentions.
Even Republicans know the US isn’t the hooker with the heart of gold anymore. The taint of Bush/Cheney has spread like a cancer. Just ask Jeb about that one.
The fact that Hillary is still trying her best to serve as a racketeer and a gangster for capitalism is the one thing that holds her back more than any other aspect of her corrupt, soulless self and I would be willing to bet that is what lies at the heart of her extremely low trustworthiness ratings…
In short, she made this bed and now she has to lie in it naked and exposed for all to see what she really is: a war-mongering neocon who sold her soul to the MIC… She is a gangster and a racketeer, and she is for life. The only problem is, she’s a desperate gangster and racketeer and surrounded by a gaggle of other desperate gangsters and racketeers…
Exactly. That sums up this monster of a woman so well. Hitlery cannot be transformed. She’s incapable of change and she doesn’t care what the public or the voters think. She is out to promote her neoliberal, neoconservative corporate whore agenda and she doesn’t care whether any of us like it or not. She’s going to put her project in through Hell or high water and public opinion be damned.
Sort of like Obama…
I normally can’t stand this guy, and a lot of his stuff is just flat out wrong, but this time I think he is right on it.
Remember when the media cheered about the bombing of an ISIS convoy heading out of Fallujah that killed 250 ISIS fighters? Well, it never happened.
As with so many things about those wars over there, the whole thing is pretty much made up.
First of all, yes, there was a vehicle convoy heading out of Fallujah at the end of the battle.
Yes, it was bombed by Iraqi and apparently also US planes.
Yes, many of the vehicles were destroyed, and it looks like quite a few people were killed and injured, though a journey to the site soon after the attack found few bodies.
The problem is that it wasn’t a convoy of ISIS fighters heading out of Fallujah. It wasn’t even a convoy of military vehicles heading out of Fallujah. Instead it was a convoy of civilian vehicles heading out of the city. And it was filled with civilians, not with ISIS fighters.
There are a few clues that this is indeed the case.
Soon after the bombing of the convoy, a call went out to Baghdad of many dead and wounded civilians in the Fallujah area. Multiple plane and helicopter trips were flown to the area and, many of the wounded were medevacced out. The medevac process took several hours. The area where the civilians were killed and wounded was in the same general area as the convoy bombing.
The reason that a trip to the scene of the attack showed few dead bodies was because the dead and wounded had been for the most part medevacced out or were flown out in body bags.
ISIS seldom if ever travels in such huge convoys. There have been only two or three reports of ISIS convoys this long in the region since ISIS started fighting. They tend to travel in convoys that are much shorter and harder to detect. There is no way that ISIS would lead a huge convoy that size out of that city at the last minute. They are not that stupid.
When the US first heard about the convoy they were asked whether to attack it, and Air Command decided not to attack the convoy because they felt that there were civilians present. Later they bombed it anyway after the Iraqis bombed it.
A trip to the scene of the attack revealed many burned out vehicles. However almost all of them seemed to be civilian vehicles like sedans and minivans. ISIS doesn’t use vehicles like that on the battlefield.
Sorting it all out, it appears that this civilian convoy was not as innocent as it seemed. The best analysis of what happened is that this was a convoy of the families of the ISIS fighters who stayed in the city for most of the battle but finally left after the city fell. You could argue that the families of the fighters should be killed too, but I would not agree with you on that one.
…To me, (Sunni) Islam is basically an Arab/pan-Arab civilizational push, or it’s just a veneer over Arabized power. Let me recollect what I posted here before:
1) Arabic is said to be language of Paradise.
2) Arabs are said to be a superior race. Superiority of the race of Arabs over non-Arabs
3) Though faggotry is condemned, large % of Arab/Muslims are closet fags as long as the closet is tightly shut and doesn’t embarrass the establishment.
4) The strictest sect of Islam, the Wahhabi Saudis, allied with the British and French kufirs during WW1 to topple the Ottoman Turk Caliphate, treason of the worst kind I must say, yet they consider themselves guardians of Islam. What a farce and shame.
I personally don’t think the Sunni Arabs have much of an economic future (Persians could be an exception that their Shiite Islam is more flexible, like they allowed sex change). I also foresee an Euro/Mediterranean Jihad One, after which the Middle East will be further fragmented…
Most of this is correct.
Sunni Islam is indeed an Arab or Pan-Arab civilizational project, and it is also a thin veneer over Arabized power. In addition, it is a vehicle for Arab supremacy.
1 is correct. They do speak Arabic in Paradise, and the only true Qurans are those written in Arabic, for God transmitted the Quran to Mohammad in Arabic. There are many translations of the Quran into all sorts of languages, but many Muslims consider them to be nearly illegitimate, as the only proper Quran is the one written in Arabic.
2 is also correct. If you go to Islamic sites on the web, you will see articles along the lines that Arabs are a superior to non-Arabs. No doubt all of these sites were written by Arabs, but nevertheless, Islam is a sort of an Arab Supremacist religion.
3 is true, but some Islamic countries tolerate it more than others.
4 is sadly true, and it is quite a blight on the Saudis’ claim to be the ultimate in hardline Islamists. Instead they seem traitors to the umma.
I personally don’t think the Sunni Arabs have much of an economic future (Persians could be an exception that their Shiite Islam is more flexible, like they allowed sex change).
I do not know what to say about this. The Sunni Arabs are definitely sitting on a lake of oil and gas that isn’t going away soon. Some of the Gulf countries have started to branch out away from an oil rentier economy. Dubai is now an international port city, one of the largest on Earth.
About the rest of the Sunni Arab states, I do not know what to say. Iraq, Syria, and Libya appear to be failed states right now, and Yemen is turning into one awful fast. There is some violence in Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon, but state structures appear to be largely intact. Palestine is a war zone and increasingly so is the Sinai.
Indeed the Shia do not appear to be going on jihad now or anytime soon. They do not believe in offensive jihad like the Sunnis do, and Shiism is quite a bit more progressive than Sunnism. Like Catholicism with its Pope, Shiism has its clergy. As the Pope and Vatican continue to update Catholicism to keep up with a changing world, the Ayatollahs and clergy in Lebanon and Iran do the same with Islam. The clergy in the latter two lands are surprisingly progressive, but those in Iraq, not so much. I know little about the Houthi Shia in Yemen.
The only people involved in the global jihad right now are radical Sunnis. The Shia, instead of being involved in this project, are victims of it, as global jihadists see the Shia as heretics to be killed on sight if not exterminated altogether. So the Shia, like the Arab Christians, are literally fighting for their lives against global jihad and are much more victimized by it than the Christian West is. Almost all terrorism in the world today is committed by Sunnis. In fact, the Shia are responsible for little terrorism outside of attacks on Israelis outside of Israel. There is some state terrorism being practiced by the Shia Iraqi state against Iraqi Sunnis.
I also foresee an Euro/Mediterranean Jihad One, after which the Middle East will be further fragmented…
I have no idea if this is going to occur, but it seems like it already is at a low to high variable level, right? Surely the Tunisian, Libyan, Egyptian, Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian parts of the Mediterranean are heating up, and a few are out and out jihad war zones right now. Turkey is increasingly starting to resemble the beginnings of a war zone. Terrorism in Europe is at a fairly low level, but the few attacks have been spectacular and there is a steady drumbeat of low level attacks happening in the background.
Comments along with your own predictions are welcomed.
Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Gulf countries tolerate it well, and it is said to be epidemic in places like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. There is also quite of bit of it in Syria, Egypt and Morocco.
It is not tolerated at all in Iran, Iraq, or Shia Lebanon, as Shia Islam is much more condemning of male homosexuality than Sunni Islam.
It is not that Sunni Islam necessarily is more tolerant of male homosexuality but that there is more variation in the Sunni world.
Palestine is not tolerant of male homosexuality at all, as gay men are frequently killed there. They are also commonly killed in Iraq and Iran. Syria used to be relatively more tolerant, but the parts of Syria taken over Islamists are very intolerant of gay men to the point where they are murdering them.
I have no data on male homosexuality in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan or Sunni Lebanon.
I also know nothing about it in the Muslim Sahel, Horn of Africa and West Africa.
I know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Europe such as Bosnia and Albania, although I assume it is more tolerated there than elsewhere.
Turkey is a mixed bag, as there is said to be a lot of male homosexuality, but it is also officially not tolerated. Sort of a don’t ask, don’t tell thing.
I know nothing of male homosexuality in the Caucasus, Muslim Russia, the Stans, India and Xinjiang.
I do not know what it was like before, but a lot of gay men are being murdered now in Bangladesh. I think there have been 30-40 such murders in the past couple of years. Gay rights advocates rather than gay men in general have been targeted.
I also know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Thailand, Muslim Burma, Muslim Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Southern Philippines. Male homosexuality is pretty well tolerated in Thailand and the Philippines, but I am not sure how ok it is in the Muslim parts of those nations.
Admittedly I am not the best person to ask about the situation for male homosexuality and gay men in the Muslim World.
Any further information would be interesting.
That’s what I have been doing a lot of these days. I do not like the execution videos, and I have seen enough executions anyway.
But there are a lot of really cool combat videos, and those are really cool to look at. Basically firefights with automatic weapons, RPG’s, machine guns, technical vehicles with guns, various types of mortars, rockets, and antiaircraft guns. There is a fair amount of night fighting, which is a trip.
It’s just guys shooting at each other and blowing stuff up, so you hardly see any gore in the battle videos. However, at the end, sometimes they go to the position that they overran, and among all of the other things present at the camp there are typically the dead bodies of some of the folks that ISIS is fighting. They also have really cool music in the background. There are interviews with ISIS fighters, but I have no idea what they are saying.
The worst ISIS of all seem to be in Iraq. They look like a bunch of very, very pissed off guys. Boy are they mad!
The one thing that shines right through their rage and hatred is one word…revenge. ISIS in Iraq seems to be out for revenge. For what I am not sure, but 30% of ISIS in Iraq is former Iraqi military. I assume they are still angry that their country and leader was taken away from them in a US invasion and conquest whereby afterwards, an Iranian puppet regime was put in in place. The Iraqi Army was transformed from a radical Arab nationalist and pro-Sunni organization into a mostly Shia and objectively anti-Shia force. The Shia militias which operate separately from the Iraqi Army are particularly despised.
I have heard that the many of the people in back of ISIS at the very top are Baath Party people and former Iraqi military. Obviously they are out for revenge for the last 13 years. They want paybacks, and paybacks are a bitch.
The ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan don’t seem to be as pissed off, but I have not watched a lot of their videos out of Syria.
There’s nothing to be worried about watching these videos. I am sure that hundreds of thousands if not millions of people watch at least some of those videos. I know that the site I found the videos on is a US site, and almost all of the commenters have a savage hatred of ISIS. So the idea that watching ISIS videos means you’re a terrorist is crap. I would say far more ISIS haters watch their videos than ISIS supporters.
Just for the record, I utterly hate these scumbuckets, and if it ever comes down to it, I will grab an automatic weapon myself and try to kill them. I am very much afraid of death, but dying fighting for your homeland and lifestyle against these hellions would actually be worth it. I would rather die fighting them than live under their rule, let’s put it that way, ok?
Discuss Severaid’s quote and my examples given below, agreeing, disagreeing or expanding on the notion.
The chief cause of problems is solutions
– Eric Sevareid
I think this guy is onto something.
War on Terror – Solution was all out war on “terrorism” – really just disobedient Muslim states and some international guerrilla/terrorist groups.
The “solution” did not solve the problem at all, and in fact it made it much worse and introduced quite a few new problems.
The “solution” to the “Muslim terrorism problem” did nothing to alleviate the problem, and the problem only expanded massively, in the process destroying much of the secular Muslim world and replacing it with ultra-radical, armed and ultraviolent fundamentalists. Several new failed states were created out of functioning but authoritarian secular regimes.
A wild Sunni-Shia war took off with no end in sight. A new Saudi-Iran conflict expanded to include all of the Sunni world against Iran and some Shia groups.
The policy was incoherent – in places (Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Libya) secular nationalists were overthrown and replaced with radical fundamentalist regimes (Iraq, Palestine) or failed states teeming with armed fundamentalist actors (Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Mali). In other places, fundamentalist regimes were overthrown and secular nationalists were put in (Egypt).
We alternately attacked and supported radical groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. An awful Russia-Turkey conflict took off on the Middle east with the US and NATO siding with Al Qaeda and ISIS supporting Turks. The US attacked and armed fundamentalists to attack Shia Iranian, Hezbollah and Houthi armies waging all out war on Al Qaeda and ISIS. In Yemen we actively attacked the Shia who were fighting Al Qaeda while supporting Al Qaeda and fundamentalist Sunnis with intel and weaponry.
Some Kurds were called terrorists and support was given to those attacking them. Other Kurds were supported in their fight against ISIS. In actuality, all of these Kurd represented the same entity. There really is no difference between the PKK, the YPG and the rulers of the Kurdish region. Meanwhile, Kurds fighting for independence were supported in Iran and Syria and attacked in Turkey though they were all the same entity.
Billions of US dollars and thousands of US lives were wasted for essentially no reason with no results or actually a worsened situation. Russia, one of the most effective actors in the war against Al Qaeda and ISIS, was declared an enemy and attacks on them by our allies were cheered on.
A horrible refugee crisis was created in Europe.
Muslim populations in the West were substantially radicalized.
Instead of ending Islamic terrorism, Islamic terrorist, conventional and guerrilla attacks absolutely exploded in the Middle East and to a lesser extent in Europe, Canada, Australia and the US. It also exploded in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Thailand, the Philippines and of course Syria and Iraq. There was considerable fighting and terrorism in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Morocco and Jordan. The Palestinians ended up much better armed than before and the conflict exploded into all out war on a few occasions.
Terrorism and guerrilla war exploded in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Somalia and Kenya with some new attacks in Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Uganda. Somalia took a turn for the worse as a huge Al Qaeda force set up shop there and the country turned into the worst failed state ever with nothing even resembling a state left and the nation furthermore split off into three separate de facto nations.
The “solution” failed completely and simply ended up creating a whole new set of problems that were vastly worse than the original problem for the which the solution was directed.
Technology: Technology itself could be regarded as a lousy fix to many problems.
This is an excellent article that lays out what I had always expected, that what everyone believes, that the Syrian Civil War started when “Assad” opened fire on peaceful protests, is a great big fat lie.
Here is what really happened:
In February, a true peaceful reform movement began in Syria. This movement had begun as early as 2005 and involved secular protesters opposing corruption and the Baath Party’s monopoly on power (Wikstrom 2011; Otrakji 2012). This was a legitimate movement.
These protests continued for some time, possibly a month, with little drama. The protesters made some early demands, and Assad quickly tried to appease them by making a number of the changes that they had asked for. But by the time he had made the changes, the protests had been hijacked by Islamists who were not appeased by the changes and insisted that the regime must go (al-Khalidi 2011).
Only one month went by before some teenagers were arrested in Deraa by local authorities for writing the North African-influenced graffiti, “The people want to overthrow the regime.” They were reportedly abused by the local Deraa police. Assad intervened, the governor was fired and the teenagers were released.
There were reports early on that either these or some other teenagers had been tortured to death by “Assad.” Obviously these boys were not tortured to death. There is a confirmed report of one teenage boy who was indeed tortured to death which was widely blamed on “Assad,” but he was later found to have been killed by the armed opposition.
On March 17-18, violence broke out at protests in Deraa. The Western media says that peaceful protests in Deraa were attacked by government snipers on rooftops who started shooting the peaceful protesters. This is the line that everyone knows about. However, it is completely untrue.
What really happened is laid out below. There were protests in Deraa on these days along with large pro-government protests – the presence of large pro-government protests is another lie that is spread by omission by the Western press – the media says that all early protests were anti-government, however, even from the very start, the large anti-government protests were almost inevitably met by equally large pro-government protests.
Actually, the police at these rallies in Deraa were armed with only riot gear. Army forces were present, but they were not at the rally itself, instead they were on the outskirts of town. At some point during the rally, all Hell broke loose. Unknown snipers began firing from the Al-Omari Mosque. It is important to note that these mysterious snipers opened fire on both protesters and police.
Yes, a number of protesters were indeed killed and injured at these rallies, but quite a few police were also killed an wounded by these very same snipers. It is absolutely not possible that “Assad” would have mysterious snipers open fire on both protesters and police, killing both.
Why would “Assad” open fire on his own police, killing and wounding them? It is senseless. There is an interview with a Syrian police officer who was at that rally on Youtube in which he states that the police had only riot gear and that snipers shot both police and demonstrators. He states the numb er of killed and wounded among the police.
It was later determined after police raided the al-Omari Mosque that the snipers were Muslim Brotherhood people firing from the roof of the mosque with weapons that had been smuggled in from Saudi Arabia.
In fact, shipments of these arms had been seized at the Iraq-Syrian border by border guards earlier. They had been bought in Baghdad and were on their way to Muslim Brotherhood people in Syria (Reuters 2011). The weapons were paid for by Saudi Arabia. It was these weapons shipments that were later used in the shootings at the demonstrations.
You notice that snipers opened fire on both police and protesters. This exact same thing happened in Ukraine when Maidan people paid snipers to come from Lithuania and open fire on both the Berkut police and the demonstrators.
As soon as the shooting started, other violence ensued. The same day that the mysterious snipers opened fire from the al-Omari Mosque, Baath Party Headquarters and the local police station were burned down (YaLibnan 2011, Queenan 2011). Medical teams came to the site to help injured protesters and police but were fired on by by the MB snipers. Members of an ambulance team and a doctor were killed.
Even several days after these attacks, Assad was trying to calm things down. Assad issued an order that live ammunition should not be used even if security forces themselves were coming under attack.
Funerals for demonstrators followed the killings in Deraa. At every one of these funerals, mysterious snipers opened fire on both police and demonstrators (Maktabi 2011). Once again, why would “Assad” kill and wound his own police officers?
Early reports mostly from the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera stated that it was snipers working for the government who fired on the crowds (Al Jazeera 2011b). However, these reports made no sense, as Syrian police would never shoot at their own people, and anyway, they were only armed with riot gear. The Western press soon picked up on the line that it was “Assad” who was shooting at the protesters and police.
Saudi government officials later confirmed that the Saudi government has sent arms to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and that Saudi arms had been used by shooters at the al-Omari Mosque (Truth Syria 2012).
Only a week later, the “peaceful protesters” were already heavily armed and were carrying out attacks on the army. An army patrol was ambushed outside Deraa at the beginning of April only two weeks after the Deraa events, and 19 Syrian troops were killed (Narwani 2014). However, Assad ordered this attack covered up because he did not want to inflame tensions even further. For sometime after that, the government refused to comment on deaths of security forces.
The problem with the government cover up of security forces’ deaths was that while this cover up was going on, the Western media was reporting all of the deaths in this early conflict as “protesters” killed by the army(Khalidi 2011). In other words, if armed rebels killed 19 Syrian army troops at an ambush, the entire Western press would report this as “19 peaceful protesters were killed by the Syrian army.”
All through April, 88 Syrian troops were killed all over Syria by armed rebels. The government covered up all of these killings, and every one of these deaths was reported by the Western press as “Syrian troops killing peaceful protesters.” The Western media blacked out all of these reports and simply refused to acknowledge them.
Reports soon came out, spread by the CIA-linked Human Rights Watch, that Syrian soldiers were being shot by other Syrian troops for refusing to fire on protesters (HRW 2011b). Even the extremely biased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a one-man operation run by a Syrian exile out of London, said that reports of Syrian forces killing their own for refusing to fire on protesters were false. Nevertheless, the Western media was awash with reports of Syrian troops firing on their own who refused to obey orders to open fire on protesters.
The armed rebels soon set provocateurs loose to destroy and damage Sunni mosques throughout Syria. One jihadist from Tunisia admitted that he had been hired by the rebels to write graffiti on Sunni mosques saying, “There is no God by Bashar” (Eretz Zen 2014). This is a sacrilegious slogan made in an attempt to encourage Sunni soldiers in the Syrian army to defect. This interview can be found on Youtube.
By this time, there was a war on. Quite a few on both sides, both rebels and the Syrian army, were suffering casualties. Every day rebel sources gave a figure for the number killed that day with no explanation. Most of these deaths were of armed rebels and Syrian army forces, but they were all reported by the opposition as “peaceful protesters killed by the Syrian army.” The Western media followed suit and did the same, reporting all casualties of armed fighters on both sides as peaceful civilian protesters.
Since all of the many casualties among the armed groups were reported in the West as peaceful protesters, US officials began making loud demands that Assad step down because supposedly he was the one slaughtering all these peaceful protesters (Shaikh 2011, FOX News 2011).
For the next several months, every time a protest took place, armed Islamists appeared in the crowd and soon opened fire on security forces (Jaber 2011). Security forces would often fire back at the armed elements in the crowd and there would often be killed and wounded on both sides.
A vicious sectarian element was present in the protests from early on. By May, there were already chants of “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave!” (Blanford 2011). Soon this sectarian chant was heard at every protest.
For the next year, Human Rights Watch (the voice of the CIA) and other liars reported that the vast majority of the casualties were peaceful protesters (Clinton 2011). In fact by early 2012, a good report showed that of 5,000 casualties, 50% were security forces (OHCHR 2012: 2, Narwani 2014).
The lie was spread, spearheaded by Human Rights Watch, the protests had been overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011 (HRW 2011a, HRW 2012), when supposedly so many peaceful protesters had been killed that the protest movement was forced to take up arms to defend itself (Allaf 2012).
A Big Lie had been laid down. Even today, the vast majority of people who know about the Syrian Civil War say that the war started when the Syrian government opened fire on repeatedly on peaceful protesters, killing so many of these unarmed innocents that eventually by September 2011, the peaceful protesters were forced to take up arms as they had no other choice.
History of US-NATO’s “Covert War” on Syria: Daraa March 2011
Another Islamist Insurrection
By Prof. Tim Anderson
Global Research, November 29, 2015
The following text is Chapter IV of Professor Anderson’s forthcoming book entitled The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research Publishers, Montreal, 2016 (forthcoming).
“The protest movement in Syria was overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011”- Human Rights Watch, March 2012, Washington
“I have seen from the beginning armed protesters in those demonstrations … they were the first to fire on the police. Very often the violence of the security forces comes in response to the brutal violence of the armed insurgents” – the late Father Frans Van der Lugt, January 2012, Homs Syria
“The claim that armed opposition to the government has begun only recently is a complete lie. The killings of soldiers, police and civilians, often in the most brutal circumstances, have been going on virtually since the beginning”. – Professor Jeremy Salt, October 2011, Ankara Turkey
A double story began on the Syrian conflict, at the outset of the armed violence in 2011 in the southern border town of Daraa. The first story comes from independent witnesses in Syria, such as the late Father Frans Van der Lugt in Homs. They say that armed men infiltrated the early political reform demonstrations to shoot at both police and civilians.
This violence came from sectarian Islamists. The second comes from the Islamist groups (‘rebels’) and their western backers. They claim there was ‘indiscriminate’ violence from Syrian security forces to repress political rallies and that the ‘rebels’ grew out of a secular political reform movement.
Careful study of the independent evidence, however, shows that the Washington-backed ‘rebel’ story, while widespread, was part of a strategy to delegitimize the Syrian government, with the aim of fomenting ‘regime change’. To understand this it is necessary to observe that prior to the armed insurrection of March 2011 there were shipments of arms from Saudi Arabia to Islamists at the al Omari mosque. It is also useful to review the earlier Muslim Brotherhood insurrection at Hama in 1982 because of the parallel myths that have grown up around both insurrections.
US intelligence (DIA 1982) and the late British author Patrick Seale (1988) give independent accounts of what happened at Hama. After years of violent sectarian attacks by Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, by mid-1980 President Hafez al Assad had ‘broken the back’ of their sectarian rebellion which aimed to impose a Salafi-Islamic state. One final coup plot was exposed, and the Brotherhood ‘felt pressured into initiating’ an uprising in their stronghold of Hama. Seale describes the start of that violence in this way:
At 2am on the night of 2-3 February 1982 an army unit combing the old city fell into an ambush. Roof top snipers killed perhaps a score of soldiers … [Brotherhood leader] Abu Bakr [Umar Jawwad] gave the order for a general uprising … hundreds of Islamist fighters rose … by the morning some seventy leading Ba’athists had been slaughtered and the triumphant guerrillas declared the city ‘liberated’ (Seale 1988: 332).
However the Army responded with a huge force of about 12,000, and the battle raged for three weeks. It was a foreign-backed civil war with some defections from the army. Seale continues:
As the tide turned slowly in the government’s favour, the guerrillas fell back into the old quarters … after heavy shelling, commandos and party irregulars supported by tanks moved in … many civilians were slaughtered in the prolonged mopping up, whole districts razed (Seale 1988: 333).
Two months later a US intelligence report said: ‘The total casualties for the Hama incident probably number about 2,000. This includes an estimated 300 to 400 members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s elite ‘Secret Apparatus’ (DIA 1982: 7).
Seale recognizes that the Army also suffered heavy losses. At the same time, ‘large numbers died in the hunt for the gunmen … government sympathizers estimating a mere 3,000 and critics as many as 20,000 … a figure of 5,000 to 10,000 could be close to the truth’ He adds:
‘The guerrillas were formidable opponents. They had a fortune in foreign money … [and] no fewer than 15,000 machine guns’ (Seale 1988: 335). Subsequent Muslim Brotherhood accounts have inflated the casualties, reaching up to ‘40,000 civilians’, thus attempting to hide their insurrection and sectarian massacres by claiming that Hafez al Assad had carried out a ‘civilian massacre’ (e.g. Nassar 2014).
The then Syrian President blamed a large scale foreign conspiracy for the Hama insurrection. Seale observes that Hafez was ‘not paranoical’, as many US weapons were captured and foreign backing had come from several US collaborators: King Hussayn of Jordan, Lebanese Christian militias (the Israeli-aligned ‘Guardians of the Cedar’) and Saddam Hussein in Iraq (Seale 1988: 336-337).
The Hama insurrection helps us understand the Daraa violence because, once again in 2011, we saw armed Islamists using rooftop sniping against police and government officials, drawing in the armed forces, only to cry ‘civilian massacre’ when they and their collaborators came under attack from the Army. Although the US, through its allies, played an important part in the Hama insurrection, when it was all over US intelligence dryly observed that: ‘the Syrians are pragmatists who do not want a Muslim Brotherhood government’ (DIA 1982: vii).
In the case of Daraa and in the attacks that moved to Homs and surrounding areas in April 2011, the clearly stated aim was once again to topple the secular or ‘infidel-Alawi’ regime. The front-line US collaborators were Saudi Arabia and Qatar and then Turkey. The head of the Syrian Brotherhood, Muhammad Riyad Al-Shaqfa, issued a statement on 28 March which left no doubt that the group’s aim was sectarian.
The enemy was ‘the secular regime,’ and Brotherhood members ‘have to make sure that the revolution will be pure Islamic, and with that no other sect would have a share of the credit after its success’ (Al-Shaqfa 2011). While playing down the initial role of the Brotherhood, Sheikho confirms that it ‘went on to punch above its actual weight on the ground during the uprising … [due] to Turkish-Qatari support’, and to its general organizational capacity (Sheikho 2013).
By the time there was a ‘Free Syrian Army Supreme Military Council’ in 2012 (more a weapons conduit than any sort of army command), it was said to be two-thirds dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood (Draitser 2012). Other foreign Salafi-Islamist groups quickly joined this ‘Syrian Revolution’. A US intelligence report in August 2012, contrary to Washington’s public statements about ‘moderate rebels’, said:
The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq, later ISIS] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria … AQI supported the Syrian Opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media (DIA 2012).
In February 2011 there was popular agitation in Syria to some extent influenced by the events in Egypt and Tunisia. There were anti-government and pro-government demonstrations and a genuine political reform movement which for several years had agitated against corruption and the Ba’ath Party monopoly. A 2005 report referred to ‘an array of reform movements slowly organizing beneath the surface’ (Ghadry 2005), and indeed the ‘many faces’ of a Syrian opposition, much of it non-Islamist, had been agitating since about that same time (Sayyid Rasas 2013).
These political opposition groups deserve attention in another discussion (see Chapter Five). However only one section of that opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Salafists, was linked to the violence that erupted in Daraa. Large anti-government demonstrations began, to be met with huge pro-government demonstrations.
In early March some teenagers in Daraa were arrested for graffiti that had been copied from North Africa ‘the people want to overthrow the regime’. It was reported that they were abused by local police, President Bashar al Assad intervened, the local governor was sacked, and the teenagers were released (Abouzeid 2011).
Yet the Islamist insurrection was underway, taking cover under the street demonstrations.
On 11 March, several days before the violence broke out in Daraa, there were reports that Syrian forces had seized ‘a large shipment of weapons and explosives and night-vision goggles … in a truck coming from Iraq’. The truck was stopped at the southern Tanaf crossing, close to Jordan. The Syrian Government news agency SANA said the weapons were intended ‘for use in actions that affect Syria’s internal security and spread unrest and chaos.’
Pictures showed ‘dozens of grenades and pistols as well as rifles and ammunition belts’. The driver said the weapons had been loaded in Baghdad and he had been paid $5,000 to deliver them to Syria (Reuters 2011). Despite this interception, arms did reach Daraa, a border town of about 150,000 people.
This is where the ‘western-rebel’ and the independent stories diverge, and diverge dramatically. The western media consensus was that protesters burned and trashed government offices, and then ‘provincial security forces opened fire on marchers, killing several’ (Abouzeid 2011). After that, ‘protesters’ staged demonstrations in front of the al-Omari mosque but were in turn attacked.
The Syrian government, on the other hand, said there were unprovoked attacks on security forces, killing police and civilians, along with the burning of government offices. There was foreign corroboration of this account. While its headline blamed security forces for killing ‘protesters’, the British Daily Mail (2011) showed pictures of AK47 rifles and hand grenades that security forces had recovered after storming the al-Omari mosque.
The paper noted reports that ‘an armed gang’ had opened fire on an ambulance, killing ‘a doctor, a paramedic and a policeman’. Media channels in neighboring countries did report on the killing of Syrian police on 17-18 March.
On 21 March a Lebanese news report observed that ‘Seven policemen were killed during clashes between the security forces and protesters in Syria’ (YaLibnan 2011), while an Israel National News report said ‘Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed … and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched’ (Queenan 2011). These police had been targeted by rooftop snipers.
Even in these circumstances the Government was urging restraint and attempting to respond to the political reform movement. President Assad’s adviser, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, told a news conference that the President had ordered ‘that live ammunition should not be fired, even if the police, security forces or officers of the state were being killed’.
Assad proposed to address the political demands such as the registration of political parties, removing emergency rules and allowing greater media freedoms (al-Khalidi 2011). None of that seemed to either interest or deter the Islamists.
Several reports, including video reports, observed rooftop snipers firing at crowds and police during funerals of those already killed. It was said to be ‘unclear who was firing at whom’ (Al Jazeera 2011a), as ‘an unknown armed group on rooftops shot at protesters and security forces’ (Maktabi 2011).
Yet Al Jazeera (2011b) owned by the Qatari monarchy, soon strongly suggested that that the snipers were pro-government. ‘President Bashar al Assad has sent thousands of Syrian soldiers and their heavy weaponry into Derra for an operation the regime wants nobody in the word to see’, the Qatari channel said. However the Al Jazeera suggestion that secret pro-government snipers were killing ‘soldiers and protesters alike’ was illogical and out of sequence. The armed forces came to Daraa precisely because police had been shot and killed.
Saudi Arabia, a key US regional ally, had armed and funded extremist Salafist Sunni sects to move against the secular government. Saudi official Anwar Al-Eshki later confirmed to BBC television that his country had sent arms to Daraa and to the al-Omari mosque (Truth Syria 2012). From exile in Saudi Arabia, Salafi Sheikh Adnan Arour called for a holy war against the liberal Alawi Muslims, who were said to dominate the Syrian government: ‘by Allah we shall mince [the Alawites] in meat grinders and feed their flesh to the dogs’ (MEMRITV 2011).
The Salafist aim was a theocratic state or caliphate. The genocidal slogan ‘Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave’ became widespread, a fact reported by the North American media as early as May 2011 (e.g. Blanford 2011). Islamists from the FSA Farouq Brigade would soon act on these threats (Crimi 2012). Canadian analyst Michel Chossudovsky (2011) observed: ‘The deployment of armed forces including tanks in Daraa [was] directed against an organized armed insurrection, which has been active in the border city since March 17-18.”
After those first few days in Daraa the killing of Syrian security forces continued but went largely unreported outside Syria. Nevertheless, independent analyst Sharmine Narwani wrote about the scale of this killing in early 2012 and again in mid-2014. An ambush and massacre of soldiers took place near Daraa in late March or early April. An army convoy was stopped by an oil slick on a valley road between Daraa al-Mahata and Daraa al-Balad, and the trucks were machine gunned.
Estimates of soldier deaths from government and opposition sources ranged from 18 to 60. A Daraa resident said these killings were not reported because: ‘At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed’. Anti-Syrian Government blogger Nizar Nayouf records this massacre as taking place in the last week of March. Another anti-Government writer, Rami Abdul Rahman (based in England and calling himself the ‘Syrian Observatory of Human Rights’) says:
‘It was on the first of April and about 18 or 19 security forces … were killed’ (Narwani 2014). Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad, himself a resident of Daraa, confirmed that: ‘this incident was hidden by the government … as an attempt not to antagonize or not to raise emotions and to calm things down – not to encourage any attempt to inflame emotions which may lead to escalation of the situation’ (Narwani 2014).
Yet the significance of denying armed anti-Government killings was that in the western media all deaths were reported as (a) victims of the Army and (b) civilians. For well over six months, whenever a body count was mentioned in the international media, it was usually considered acceptable to suggest these were all ‘protesters’ killed by the Syrian Army.
For example, a Reuters report on 24 March said Daraa’s main hospital had received ‘the bodies of at least 37 protesters killed on Wednesday’ (Khalidi 2011). Notice that all the dead had become ‘protesters’ despite earlier reports on the killing of a number of police and health workers.
Another nineteen soldiers were gunned down on 25 April, also near Daraa. Narwani obtained their names and details from Syria’s Defence Ministry and corroborated these details from another document from a non-government source. Throughout April 2011, she calculates that eighty-eight Syrian soldiers were killed ‘by unknown shooters in different areas across Syria’ (Narwani 2014).
She went on to refute claims that the soldiers killed were ‘defectors’ shot by the Syrian army for refusing to fire on civilians. Human Rights Watch, referring to interviews with 50 unnamed ‘activists’, claimed that soldiers killed at this time were all ‘defectors’, murdered by the Army (HRW 2011b).
Yet the funerals of loyal officers shown on the internet at that time were distinct. Even Rami Abdul Rahman (the SOHR), keen to blame the Army for killing civilians, said ‘this game of saying the Army is killing defectors for leaving – I never accepted this’ (Narwani 2014). Nevertheless the highly charged reports were confusing.
The violence spread north with the assistance of Islamist fighters from Lebanon, reaching Baniyas and areas around Homs. On 10 April nine soldiers were shot in a bus ambush in Baniyas. In Homs, on April 17, General Abdo Khodr al-Tallawi was killed with his two sons and a nephew, and Syrian commander Iyad Kamel Harfoush was gunned down near his home.
Two days later, off-duty Colonel Mohammad Abdo Khadour was killed in his car (Narwani 2014). North American commentator Joshua Landis (2011a) reported the death of his wife’s cousin, one of the soldiers in Baniyas. These were not the only deaths but I mention them because most western media channels maintain the fiction to this day that there was no Islamist insurrection and the ‘peaceful protesters’ did not pick up arms until September 2011.
Al Jazeera, the principal Middle East media channel backing the Muslim Brotherhood, blacked out these attacks and also the reinforcement provided by armed foreigners.
Former Al Jazeera journalist Ali Hashem was one of many who resigned from the Qatar-owned station (RT 2012), complaining of deep bias over their presentation of the violence in Syria. Hashem had footage of armed men arriving from Lebanon, but this was censored by his Qatari managers. ‘In a resignation letter I was telling the executive … it was like nothing was happening in Syria.’ He thought the ‘Libyan revolution’ was the turning point for Al Jazeera, marking the end of its standing as a credible media group (Hashem 2012).
Provocateurs were at work. Tunisian jihadist ‘Abu Qusay’ later admitted he had been a prominent ‘Syrian rebel’ charged with ‘destroying and desecrating Sunni mosques’, including by scrawling the graffiti ‘There is no God but Bashar’, a blasphemy to devout Muslims. This was then blamed on the Syrian Army with the aim of creating Sunni defections from the Army. ‘Abu Qusay’ had been interviewed by foreign journalists who did not notice by his accent that he was not Syrian (Eretz Zen 2014).
US Journalist Nir Rosen, whose reports were generally critical of the Syrian Government, also attacked the western consensus over the early violence:
The issue of defectors is a distraction. Armed resistance began long before defections started … Every day the opposition gives a death toll, usually without any explanation … Many of those reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters but … described in reports as innocent civilians killed by security forces … and every day members of the Syrian Army, security agencies … are also killed by anti-regime fighters (Rosen 2012).
A language and numbers game was being played to delegitimize the Syrian Government (‘The Regime’) and the Syrian Army (‘Assad loyalists’), suggesting they were responsible for all the violence. Just as NATO forces were bombing Libya with the aim of overthrowing the Libyan Government, US officials began to demand that President Assad step down.
The Brookings Institution (Shaikh 2011) claimed the President had ‘lost the legitimacy to remain in power in Syria’. US Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman said it was time ‘to align ourselves unequivocally with the Syrian people in their peaceful demand for a democratic government’ (FOX News 2011). Another ‘regime change’ campaign was out in the open.
In June, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton dismissed the idea that ‘foreign instigators’ had been at work, saying that ‘the vast majority of casualties have been unarmed civilians’ (Clinton 2011). In fact, as Clinton knew very well, her Saudi Arabian allies had armed extremists from the very beginning. Her casualty assertion was also wrong.
The United Nations (which would later abandon its body count) estimated from several sources that by early 2012, there were more than 5,000 casualties and that deaths in the first year of conflict included 478 police and 2,091 from the military and security forces (OHCHR 2012: 2; Narwani 2014). That is, more than half the casualties in the first year were those of the Syrian security forces.
That independent calculation was not reflected in western media reports. Western groups such as Human Rights Watch along with US columnists (e.g. Allaf 2012) continued to claim even after the early 2012 defeat of the sectarian Farouq-FSA in Homs and well into 2012 that Syrian security forces had been massacring ‘unarmed protesters’, that the Syrian people ‘had no choice’ but to take up arms, and that this ‘protest movement’ had been ‘overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011’ (HRW 2011a, HRW 2012). The evidence cited above shows that this story was quite false.
In fact, the political reform movement had been driven off the streets by Salafi-Islamist gunmen, over the course of March and April. For years opposition groups had agitated against corruption and the Ba’ath Party monopoly.
However most did not want destruction of what was a socially inclusive if authoritarian state, and most were against both the sectarian violence and the involvement of foreign powers. They backed Syria’s protection of minorities, the relatively high status of women and the country’s free education and health care, while opposing the corrupt networks and the feared political police (Wikstrom 2011; Otrakji 2012).
In June reporter Hala Jaber (2011) observed that about five thousand people turned up for a demonstration at Ma’arrat al-Numan, a small town in northwest Syria, between Aleppo and Hama. She says several ‘protesters’ had been shot the week before, while trying to block the road between Damascus and Aleppo. After some negotiations which reduced the security forces in the town, ‘men with heavy beards in cars and pick-ups with no registration plates’ with ‘rifles and rocket-propelled grenades’ began shooting at the reduced numbers of security forces.
A military helicopter was sent to support the security forces. After this clash ‘four policemen and 12 of their attackers were dead or dying. Another 20 policemen were wounded’. Officers who escaped the fight were hidden by some of the tribal elders who had participated in the original demonstration. When the next ‘demonstration for democracy’ took place, the following Friday, ‘only 350 people turned up’, mostly young men and some bearded militants (Jaber 2011). Five thousand protesters had been reduced to 350 after the open Salafist attacks.
After months of media manipulations disguising the Islamist insurrection, Syrians such as Samer al Akhras, a young man from a Sunni family who used to watch Al Jazeera because he preferred it to state TV became convinced to back the Syrian government. He saw first-hand the fabrication of reports on Al Jazeera and wrote, in late June 2011:
I am a Syrian citizen and I am a human. After 4 months of your fake freedom … You say peaceful demonstration and you shoot our citizen. From today … I am [now] a Sergeant in the Reserve Army. If I catch anyone … in any terrorist organization working on the field in Syria I am gonna shoot you as you are shooting us. This is our land not yours, the slaves of American fake freedom (al Akhras 2011).
Abouzeid, Rania (2011) ‘Syria’s Revolt, how graffiti stirred an uprising’, Time, 22 March.
Haidar, Ali (2013) interview with this writer, Damascus 28 December. [Ali Haidar was President of the Syrian Social National Party (SSNP), a secular rival to the Ba’ath Party. In 2012 President Bashar al Assad incorporated him into the Syrian government as Minister for Reconciliation.].
Truth Syria (2012) ‘Syria – Daraa revolution was armed to the teeth from the very beginning’, BBC interview with Anwar Al-Eshki, YouTube interview, video originally uploaded 10 April, latest version 7 November, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoGmrWWJ77w.
Seale, Patrick (1988) Asad: the struggle for the Middle East, University of California Press, Berkeley CA.
Superb report shows that the claim of violating Turkish airspace is probably a lie, since Turkey says that Turkey begins five miles inside the of Syria itself! So Turkey is claiming a five mile a swath of Syrian land as its own. What happened here is that Russia didn’t violate Turkey’s airspace at all.
Instead, it flew within five miles of the Turkish border while bombing some Turkic Turkmen rebels who Turkey sees as “Turks.” Certainly Syrian Turkmen do not speak their own language. Instead they speak what is in my opinion a rather divergent dialect of Turkish itself with a lot of Arabic loans that is fully intelli9gible to Turkish speakers.
By Syrian Free Press, 6 October 2015
Global Research, November 24, 2015
This article originally published on October 7, 2015 is of utmost relevance in understanding the action taken by Turkey to down a Russian jet fighter over Syria airspace.
One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border [in October] while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south:
Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly.
If Syrian rules of engagement would “move” its northern border up to the Black Sea would any plane in eastern Turkey be in violation of Syrian air space? No one would accept such nonsense and that is why no one should accept the U.S.-Turkish bullshit here. Russian planes should not respect the “new” Turkish defined border but only the legitimate one…
Russia “Violated” Turkish Airspace Because Turkey “Moved” Its Border
Russian planes in Syria “violated Turkish air space” the news agency currently tell us. But an earlier report shows that this claim may well be wrong and that the U.S. pushes Turkey to release such propaganda.
Reuters (Mon Oct 5, 2015 7:54am BST): Turkey says Russian warplane violated its airspace
A Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace near the Syrian border on Saturday, prompting the Air Force to scramble two F-16 jets to intercept it, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The Foreign Ministry summoned Moscow’s ambassador to protest the violation, according to an e-mailed statement. Turkey urged Russia to avoid repeating such a violation, or it would be held “responsible for any undesired incident that may occur.”
AFP (10:20am · 5 Oct 2015): Turkey ‘intercepts’ Russian jet violating its air space:
Turkey said on Monday its F-16 jets had at the weekend intercepted a Russian fighter plane which violated Turkish air space near the Syrian border, forcing the aircraft to turn back.
Turkey said on Monday its F-16 jets had at the weekend intercepted a Russian fighter plane which violated Turkish air space near the Syrian border, forcing the aircraft to turn back.
Here now what McClatchy reported on these air space violations in a longer piece several hours before Reuters and AFP reported the Turkish claim:
ISTANBUL – A Russian warplane on a bombing run in Syria flew within five miles of the Turkish border and may have crossed into Turkey’s air space, Turkish and U.S. officials said Sunday.
…A Turkish security official said Turkish radar locked onto the Russian aircraft as it was bombing early Friday in al Yamdiyyah, a Syrian village directly on the Turkish border. He said Turkish fighter jets would have attacked had it crossed into Turkish airspace.But a U.S. military official suggested the incident had come close to sparking an armed confrontation. Reading from a report, he said the Russian aircraft had violated Turkish air space by five miles and that Turkish jets had scrambled, but that the Russian aircraft had returned to Syrian airspace before they could respond.The Turkish security official said he could not confirm that account.
So it is the U.S., not Turkey, which was first pushing the claims of air space violation and of scrambling fighters. The Turkish source would not confirm that.
But how could it be a real air space violation when Russian planes “flew within five miles of the Turkish border and may have crossed into Turkey’s air space”. The Russian planes were flying in Syrian airspace. They “may have crossed” is like saying that the earth “may be flat”. Well maybe it is, right?
Fact is the Russians fly very near to the border and bomb position of some anti-Syrian fighters Turkey supports. They have good reasons to do so:
The town, in a mountainous region of northern Latakia province, has been a prime route for smuggling people and goods between Turkey and Syria and reportedly has functioned as a key entry for weapons shipped to Syrian rebels by the U.S.-led Friends of Syria group of Western and Middle Eastern countries.
One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south, to reiterate:
Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly.
If Syrian rules of engagement would “move” its northern border up to the Black Sea would any plane in eastern Turkey be in violation of Syrian air space? No one would accept such nonsense and that is why no one should accept the U.S.-Turkish bullshit here. Russian planes should not respect the “new” Turkish defined border but only the legitimate one.
It would also be no good reason to start a NATO-Russia war just because such a plane might at times slightly intrude on the Turkish side due to an emergency or other accidental circumstances. Do we have to mention that the U.S., France, Britain and Jordan regularly violate Syrian airspace for their pretended ISIS bombing? That Turkey is bombing the PKK in north Iraq without the permission of the Iraqi government? What about Israels regular air space violations over Lebanon?
But what is this all really about? Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. stationed some Patriot air defense systems in Turkey to defend Turkey and its Islamist storm troops in north-Syria. These systems were announced to leave or have already left. Are these claims about air-space violation now an attempt to get these systems back into Turkey? For what real purpose?
US strategy in Syria is not to allow Islamists to come to power, but to use them to force a political settlement – one in which Assad steps down and relinquishes power to actors who are keen to turn Syria into a western puppet state.
Pretty much sums it all up right there. Why do we keep saying Assad must go? Because as long as he is in power, we cannot put in our US puppet state.
Why is NATO supporting crazed Islamists like ISIS and Al Qaeda?
They are simply a convenient tool to use to get rid of Assad. We don’t really want them to take power. We think we can use them to get rid of Assad and then abandon them once we put our puppet regime in.
Even if we cannot put our puppets in power, just getting rid of Assad should be enough. Getting rid of Assad without replacing him with anything of similar gravitas would result in a failed state similar to Iraq, Afghanistan and especially Libya. The West would love to turn Syria into another Libya. Gaddafi is gone and with him the powerful anti-Western secular nationalist leader who was a threat to Israel and limiting the profits of oil commits in addition to mounting a serious threat on the dollar’s role as world reserve currency. Now there is effectively no state in Libya, which is better than a powerful anti-Western state. Libya is no threat to US oil and economic interests, nor is it a threat to Israel.
Some of the end goals of removing Assad:
If a failed state results, a Syrian failed state is no longer a powerful chain in the Iranian influenced Shia crescent of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah.
One of the last remaining threats to Israel, a powerful Syrian state, is gone. The resulting chaos is of little threat to the Israelis. Israel fears strong state actors, not disparate terrorist groups, and Israel thinks they can deal with Al Qaeda and ISIS. At any rate, Israel would much prefer even ISIS or Al Qaeda in power in Syria than Assad.
A US puppet may even make a sort of cold peace with Israel similar to what almost the entire Sunni Arab Wold has done. The only real opposition to Israel in the world now at state level is Syria, Iran and the pseudo-state called Hezbollah. When it comes to Israel, almost all of the remaining Sunnis states are now US allies and have made a sort of cold peace with Israel.
The gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey to Europe can now go forward, although actually this is much more likely under the puppet state scenario. Qatar and the West want this pipeline very badly because of the wealth it will bring to Qatar and Western interests and because it will offer Europeans an alternative to Europe’s dependence on Russia for gas supplies, a dependence that is very annoying to the West. Furthermore, Russia will lose a lot of business with the completion of the Qatar-Turkish pipeline. The pipeline is already in the works, but Assad said no to running the pipeline through his country. Some people think this is the major reason for the war right there. Keep in mind that most wars are ultimately about economics under capitalism and especially capitalism-imperialism.
Hezbollah would be set adrift and lose its major funder and supplier. As it is, Iran runs weapons and funds to Hezbollah via its ally Syria. Syria is the middle link in the Iran-Hezbollah supply chain. A major enemy of Israel and the West is left without supplies or weapons.
The Shia crescent of Iran – Iraq – Syria – Hezbollah now has a huge gaping hole in it.
Removal of Assad is a huge blow to Iran because the resulting government, either Islamist or US puppets, will be Sunnis who dislike both Iran and Hezbollah. Iran would lose a huge ally and and a major source of influence in the Arab World.
Turkey removers a major thorn in its side. Turkey would like a puppet Sunni Islamist state in Syria ultimately.
A US puppet would crack down on the Kurds in eastern Syria.
A US puppet would open up Syria’s oil, gas and other resources to Western exploitation
Eric is a personal friend of mine and he published this on Academia.edu so that usually means anyone can grab it as long as you credit them. Lately, Eric writes for the Iranian media, presumably for money. I believe Kieth Preston is also writing for the Iranians these days.
I am putting this up mostly to provoke discussion.
France’s Response to Paris Attacks Encourages ISIS’s Caliphate Fantasy
France’s emotional response to the recent tragedy, devoid of reason and ignoring history, just makes matters worse.
The death toll in the November 13 attacks in Paris stands at 127. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sent a message to his French counterpart Francois Hollande condemning the attacks. “In the name of the Iranian nation, itself a victim of the evil scourge of terrorism, I strongly condemn these inhumane crimes and condole with the bereaved French nation and government.”
In contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his weekly Cabinet meeting by calling on world leaders to condemn terror against … Israel. He began by addressing the killing of two Israelis, ignoring the 81 Palestinians who have died in protests this month. “The time has come for the nations of the world to condemn terrorism against us as much as they condemn terrorism anywhere else in the world.” He pledged Israeli intelligence assistance to France, adding “An attack on any of us needs to be seen as an attack on all of us.”
Translate: France’s tragedy is a wake-up call for solidarity with … Israel.
France’s Colonial Legacy
Until 2012, France was spared serious terrorist attacks, but its enduring colonial mentality continues to stoke anger. Most evident recently was the official defense of anti-Muslim hate literature published by the magazine Charlie Hebdo. Rather than persecuting the Islamophobes, which would have prevented blowback by enraged Muslims, the French insistence on freedom led to an attack in January on the Paris offices of the magazine, killing 12 people and wounding 11 others.
Worse yet, the new Socialist President Hollande pushed ahead with a return to outright colonial invasion, with air strikes and arms to Syrian rebels in opposition to both the Syrian government and ISIS supporters. This confused policy only makes sense if the intent is to dismantle the Syrian state and refashion a Syrian puppet government, harking back to France’s invasion of Syria-Lebanon following WWI in collusion with Britain, when they destroyed the Ottoman state and set up puppet regimes across the Middle East.
France was slow to adjust to post-WWII decolonization, and stubbornly maintained its military presence not only in Vietnam but in the Middle East. Along with Britain, now both humiliated bankrupt powers, it was in no position to enforce its will, and it handed over its colonial possessions to the US either directly or via the new world order institutions. Plus, of course, intrigue where a glimmer of independence appeared, as in Iran in 1953 or Egypt 1956.
Worst of all was the horror France inflicted for more than a century in Algeria. Algeria had to suffer a long, brutal war of liberation in which a million Algerians died before France finally left in 1962. French meddling in Algeria since has only compounded the animosity, especially the support given the military coup in 1992 in which 200,000 Algerians died.
France’s current return to openly colonial policies, first in Afghanistan, then Libya, Mali and now Syria, are guaranteed to have dire consequences. To its credit, France did not support the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, but there are now 3,200 French troops there.
France and US Support the Terrorists
France and the US have played a dangerous and foolish hand in their great games of asserting world power, at times using jihadists (1980s in Afghanistan) and at other times attacking them (1990s+ in Afghanistan), sometimes both at the same time (2011+ in Syria).
“Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar,” John McCain told CNN in January 2014. Is McCain not aware that two of the most successful factions fighting Syrian President Assad’s forces are Islamist extremist groups Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, and that their success is due to the support they have received from Qatar and Saudi Arabia? A senior Qatari official told The Atlantic journalist Steve Clemons that “he can identify al-Nusra commanders by the blocks they control in various Syrian cities. But ISIS is another matter. As one senior Qatari official stated, ‘ISIS has been a Saudi project.’”
France doesn’t have a wild card like McCain, but, like the US, supports Islamic fundamentalists in Syria and elsewhere through its ties with the Saudi and Qatari regimes and its actions in Syria. Even after it became obvious to everyone that the regime change project in Syria has led to an expansion of terrorism, Hollande was still pursuing it.
But then this hypocrisy goes for all the western nations, in the first place Canada, which has been bombing Syrian rebels and, at the same time, just signed a $14.8b arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The largest arms exports contract in Canadian history will be remembered as going to one of the worst human rights violators in the world and a funder of ISIS-related groups in Syria and Iraq.
In fact, Canada’s record on bombing Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, on restricting burqas and promoting ‘free speech’ defaming Islam, mirrors France, and led to a shooting last year that penetrated the parliament buildings in Ottawa and had Prime Minister Harper cowering in his closet.
Harper’s answer, when he had stopped shaking, was the same as Hollande’s: he insisted that “Canada will not be intimidated” by acts of violence and remained committed to Canada’s efforts “to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations … who bring their savagery to our shores.” He did admit that “we’re all aware and deeply troubled that both attacks were carried out by Canadian citizens, by young men born and raised in this peaceful country,” but, like Hollande today, failed to draw the logical conclusion.
France has the largest Muslim population in Europe at 4m. Despite its claims of “liberty, equality and brotherhood”, it is considered the most racist country in Europe. French-Algerian communities still live on impoverished housing estates, go to bad schools, and have few opportunities for social advancement.
Discrimination in everything from jobs to housing is routine. There are few French-Algerians in politics, the law, the media or any other profession, though the prisons are full. Hollande refuses to reverse measures like the burqa ban and has highlighted his opposition to halal meat and praying in the street because of a lack of mosques.
Populist rightwing politicians like Nicolas Sarkozy and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen routinely portray alienated migrant communities as France’s enemy within. Le Pen garnered 20% of the popular vote in the first round of May’s presidential elections.
In their communique, the perpetrators of the recent attacks listed France’s crimes as leading a “new crusade” in Syria, as well as defending Charlie Hebdo magazine, and just because of general French decadence and racism. They claimed their targets were well chose ― a football match between ‘crusaders’ France and Germany attended by Hollande, and the Bataclan exhibition where “hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice” (the California group Eagles of Death Metal).
“This is for Syria,” were the last words of one of the Paris attackers. But he could have said it was for Mali, or Libya, or Iraq. France is very proactive against Islamists worldwide, especially in the face of what is frequently seen as British and American retreat. Over 10,000 French troops are currently deployed abroad. In addition to Iraq, there are over 5,000 troops in western and central Africa. Last week Hollande announced that France will deploy an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf to assist the fight against ISIS.
As with Osama Bin Laden’s strategy of promoting dramatic terrorist attacks in the West to provoke a crackdown and to radicalize Muslims, the strategy behind the current attacks is to generate a French crackdown to encourage Muslims to follow ISIS’s caliphate fantasy. It has worked all too well so far, and Hollande’s vow to be “ruthless” in his response leads him and France in the wrong direction.
In his address on recent events, Iran’s Leader Imam Khameini acknowledged that “there are voices of criticism in the West about its colonial past. But they only criticize the distant past. Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems?”
In 2007, NATO, in particular the US, the UK, France, Germany and Turkey all decided to overthrow the government of Bashar Assad for uncertain reasons. In general, the reason for this was given as roll back Iran, defeat Iran, destroy Iran, etc.The targets at the time were:
Hamas (sponsored, armed and trained by Iran and Hezbollah)
Later enemies included the Yemeni Houthi, falsely accused of being Iranian proxies. The Iraqi Shia were left out of this anti-Shia jihad for tactical reasons although the Iraqi state is quite close to Iran.
Seymour Hersch’s article called The Redirect describes this change in policy using CIA sources. The US and the rest of the West decided to change focus and take on the Shia states and movements instead of the Sunnis. The reason for doing this is unclear, as Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and the Houthis are no threat at all to the US or the rest of the West.
They are a threat to the Jews – to Israel. For a very long time now, the Jews have been yelling at the US when they are not whispering in our ear that Iran and its allies are the biggest threat to the US and the West in the Middle East. It’s all a gigantic lie of course, and it’s part of a project to make the enemies of Israel into the enemies of the US, which has been very successful by the way.
For whatever reason, the US and the rest of the West, especially France and the UK, have decided that Iran and its allies are the worst enemies of the West in the Middle East. This has been official NATO policy since 2007 – Iran and its allies are NATO’S enemy #1 in the Middle East. Other than the fact that NATO has decided that the enemies of Israel are the enemies of NATO, it hard to see the logic of this.
For the US at least, one reason may be paybacks. The US is still furious at Iran for the Embassy takeover, and we have never forgiven them. The US Deep State are like the Jews – their motto is “never forgive, never forget,” and so is ours. This is one more way that the US is a “Jewish” country of Judaized Gentiles. America never forgives any attack or slight done to it, and we stay in revenge mode forever until the target of our enmity is destroyed, just like the Jews.
We still refuse to pay Vietnam for the tremendous war damage we did. We won’t even help them clean the place up! This “never forgive, never forget, never back down” mindset is the reason why we will not cooperating with them. We are still furious that the Vietnamese forced us to withdraw from Vietnam while our South Vietnam puppet was overthrown in a severe defeat for America. I do not think we will ever forgive them for that, as America never forgives.
And similar to Vietnam, Iran will always remain a US enemy due to the Embassy takeover until we make them say uncle or regime change them at some point.
But this probably not done by Hezbollah. It would be more accurate to say it was done by Iran.
There was also some sort of a Hezbollah plane hijacking that I am not up on. For some reason, this made us very angry.
Also Hezbollah probably set off the bomb at the Jewish Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, killing ~80 Jews and wounding many more. The group also probably set off a suicide bomb on a bus in Bulgaria, killing ~17 Israeli tourists. Both of these incidents where Jews and Israelis were killed really infuriated the US, which doesn’t seem to make sense, as it was Argentines and Israelis, not Americans, who were killed in both places. But if the US is a in effect a Jewish country filled with 310 million Jews or Judaized Gentiles, and if the enemies of the Jews and Israel really are the enemies of America, then it seems to make a lot more sense.
As such, the West has declared war on much of the Shia of the Middle East because they were aligned with Iran. But it is a mystery why the West feels so threatened by Iran and its allies.
This one is from just today, and it shows ISIS engaged in heavy fighting against the Syria Arab Army (SAA) in the east of Homs. Look at all the equipment they must have seized from the SAA.
Warning: There are a lot of dead bodies from the middle of the video on. There is also corpse desecration where two SAA fighters bodies’ are dragged behind a truck.
The next one is from ISIS Afghanistan and is called The Raid of Opening Goodness – Wilāyat Khurāsān. It just came out, but it was shot before mid-October because the mullah who is preaching throughout the video was killed at that time. Wilāyat Khurāsān is the name of the ISIS province that encompasses Afghanistan, part of Iran and Pakistan. This region is historically known as “Khorasan.”
Nangharhar is a far eastern province of the country where Jalalabad is located. At the far end is the Khyber Pass. This area has long been radical. The Taliban had a huge force here, and Yunus Khalis’ group was also headquarted here. Tora Bora is located in the far south of the province, and it is from here that Osama bin Laden made his escape after 9-11.
This area is all Pashtun, and Pashtuns are the backbone of the Taliban insurgency. In fact, you could almost say that the Taliban are an ethnic army of Pashtuns that pursues Pashtun ethnic interests. Although Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group in the country, there are also a number of other ethnic groups in Afghanistan, and ethnic tensions are long-lasting. The Karzai government was also Pashtun, so you can see that the Pashtuns are split between supporting the Taliban and the Afghan government.
The radical nature of the Taliban’s rule was based not so much on Islam as on the conservative norms of rural Pashtun villagers. This is why the girls were thrown out of school and whatnot. The extreme secreting away of women is also related to a part of Pashtun culture, a system of beliefs known as Pashtunwala. The hiding of women is a part of this legal code called purdah. Once a girl reaches 12 years old, she goes into purdah in which she hides herself away from the rest of the community. I believe women stay hidden for the most part even as adults.
Nangharhar is also reportedly the headquarters for ISIS in Afghanistan. In October, ISIS overrun a number of Afghan government bases and checkpoints in Nangharhar.
This video shows the overrunning of an Afghan army base in the desolate terrain of Nangharhar. The base was completely overrun, and all of the defenders were killed. Then all of the equipment was looted. Look at the classic attire of these fighters especially at the end when the mullah is giving his speech. They look exactly like the Taliban. The man with the long robe and scarf to the left wears an outfit remarkably like that worn by Mullah Omar, former head of the Taliban. There are a couple of very young males to the right who look like teenagers with their tousled curly hair. I felt that the Whiteness of some of these fighters was remarkable, and in fact, Afghans in this part of the country are quite White.
Warning: there are a number of dead bodies in this video from about the middle on.
Here is another one called Aspects of the Progress of the Battle in Sinjār Mountain – Wilāyat al-Jazīrah. This part of the far northwestern Iraq and far northeastern Syria near the Syria-Iraq border is also kn own historically as Jazirah, especially the Syrian part. I feel like this fighting probably took place a long time ago when ISIS was overrunning this area and the tragedy of the Yazidis occurred.
It is starting to look like no matter how the invasion and occupation would have been won, a full-scale guerrilla war would have ensued anyway.
Those stupid neocons. One wonders if they actually believed their own lies of if they knew they were lying. These high level government types like like rugs all the time anyway, so maybe it doesn’t even matter.
Bottom line is, yes, slavery has been present in the Islamic World from Day One. In fact, one can make a case that slavery was an inherent and even emblematic aspect of Islam since its inception. It only left the Muslim World due to pressure from the West when the West emancipated its own slaves in the late 1800’s. Officially, most of the Muslim World dumped theirs. Yet the practice continued. Saudi Arabia only outlawed slavery in 1962. An advertisement for a castrated Black slave for sale recently appeared in a Saudi publication. Mauritania only outlawed slavery a few years ago, and the ban is hardly enforced.
As societies collapsed, the peculiar institution experienced a recrudescence. Libyan ports now export many slaves destined for Europe. Syrian teenage girls in Jordanian refugee camps are trafficked to brothels in Amman and sold to visiting Gulf men for $140-175 for a “temporary marriage.” In Northern Nigeria, even before Boko Haram kidnapped scores of teenage Christian girls, Muslim men had been importing concubine slave girls from the north to serve as “fifth wives.” The abuse and rape of female domestics in the Gulf who are little more than slaves of their owners has been documented for years.
Worst of all is the migrant labor scam that the Gulf states have been running for decades involving workers from South Asia, especially Pakistan and India, and Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. For all intents and purposes, work which is tied to contracts with the employer is little more than slavery, let’s face it. Gulf employers of these men have referred to them as slaves. They are housed in the most miserable conditions in a very wealthy country and worked to exhaustion and sometimes to death in ferocious heat with little protection or rest. A number of deaths have occurred to poor working conditions. Some poor countries to the east have forbidden their workers from going to the Gulf to work. There has been a bit of a crackdown, but it was mostly fake. Kuwait gave its “slaves” rights recently, but the Emir has not yet signed the bill. Qatar is worried about its reputation as the Olympics are coming soon, but its response instead of cleaning up its act has been to cover the whole mess up and beat up and detain the protesters. Any progress elsewhere in the Gulf has been frozen in recent years. Instead we get the predictable fake backlash whereby the Gulf states say that critics of their Slave System are “Islamophobes.”
The progress for serious progressive change for alleviating remaining vestiges of slavery in the Arab World seem dim at the moment as the region undergoes a retrenchment, a backlash and a hardening of reaction.
The link between Islam and slavery goes back from the start, so ISIS is not doing anything new. The fact that the formal Muslim states of the world continue to refuse to clean up their mess is most discouraging, but it too may be blamed on tradition.
“Spoils of war,” snaps Dabiq, the English-language journal of Islamic State (IS). The reference is to thousands of Yazidi women the group forced into sex slavery after taking their mountain, Sinjar, in August last year. Far from being a perversion, it claims that forced concubinage is a religious practice sanctified by the Koran.
In a chapter called Women, the Koran sanctions the marriage of up to four wives, or “those that your right hands possess”. Literalists, like those behind the Dabiq article, have interpreted these words as meaning “captured in battle”.
Its purported female author, Umm Sumayyah, celebrated the revival of Islam’s slave-markets and even proffered the hope that Michelle Obama, the wife of America’s president, might soon be sold there. “I and those with me at home prostrated to Allah in gratitude on the day the first slave-girl entered our home,” she wrote. Sympathizers have done the same, most notably the allied Nigerian militant group, Boko Haram, which last year kidnapped an entire girls’ school in Chibok.
Religious preachers have responded with a chorus of protests. “The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus,” declared an open letter sent by 140 Muslim scholars to IS’s “caliph”, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, earlier this year. “You have taken women as concubines and thus revived…corruption and lewdness on the earth.”
But while IS’s embrace of outright slavery has been singled out for censure, religious and political leaders have been more circumspect about other “slave-like” conditions prevalent across the region. IS’s targeting of an entire sect for kidnapping, killing and sex trafficking, and its bragging, are exceptional; forced labor for sexual and other forms of exploitation is not.
From Morocco, where thousands of children work as petites bonnes, or maids, to the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan where girls are forced into prostitution, to the unsanctioned rape and abuse of domestics in the Gulf, aid workers say servitude is rife.
Scholars are sharply divided over how much cultural mores are to blame. Apologists say that, in a concession to the age, the Prophet Muhammad tolerated slavery, but—according to a prominent American theologian trained in Salafi seminaries, Yasir Qadhi—he did so grudgingly and advocated abolition.
Repeatedly in the Koran the Prophet calls for the manumission of slaves and release of captives, seeking to alleviate the slave systems run by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Jewish Himyarite kings of Yemen. He freed one slave, a chief’s daughter, by marrying her, and chose Bilal, another slave he had freed, to recite the first call to prayer after his conquest of Mecca. His message was liberation from worldly oppression, says Mr Qadhi – enslavement to God, not man.
Other scholars insist, however, that IS’s treatment of Yazidis adheres to Islamic tradition. “They are in full compliance with Koranic understanding in its early stages,” says Professor Ehud Toledano, a leading authority on Islamic slavery at Tel Aviv University. Moreover, “what the Prophet has permitted, Muslims cannot forbid.”
The Prophet’s calls to release slaves only spurred a search for fresh stock as the new empire spread, driven by commerce, from sub-Saharan Africa to the Persian Gulf.
To quash a black revolt in the salt mines of southern Iraq, the Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad conscripted Turkish slaves into their army. Within a few generations these formed a power base, and from 1250 to 1517 an entire slave caste, the Mamluks (Arabic for “chattel”), ruled Egypt.
A path to power
Their successors, the Ottoman Turks, perfected the system. After conquering south-eastern Europe in the late 14th century, they imposed the devshirme, or tribute, enslaving the children of the rural poor, on the basis that they were more pagan than Christian, and therefore not subject to the protections Islam gave to People of the Book. Far from resisting this, many parents were happy to deliver their offspring into the white slave elite that ran the empire.
Under this system, enslaved boys climbed the ranks of the army and civil service. Girls entered the harem as concubines to bear sultans. All anticipated, and often earned, power and wealth. Unlike the feudal system of Christian Europe, this one was meritocratic and generated a diverse gene pool. Mehmet II, perhaps the greatest of the Ottoman sultans, who ruled in the 15th century, had the fair skin of his mother, a slave girl from the empire’s north-western reaches.
All this ended because of abolition in the West. After severing the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 19th century, Western abolitionists turned on the Islamic world’s, and within decades had brought down a system that had administered not just the Ottoman empire but the Sherifian empire of Morocco, the Sultanate of Oman with its colonies on the Swahili-speaking coast and West Africa’s Sokoto Caliphate.
With Western encouragement, Serb and Greek rebels sloughed off devshirme. Fearful of French ambitions, the mufti of Tunis wooed the British by closing his slave-markets in 1846. A few years later, the sultan in Istanbul followed suit.
Some tried to resist, including Morocco’s sultan and the cotton merchants of Egypt, who had imported African slaves to make up the shortages left by the ravages of America’s civil war. But colonial pressure proved unstoppable. Under Britain’s consul-general, Evelyn Baring, Earl of Cromer, Egypt’s legislative assembly dutifully abolished slavery at the end of the 19th century. The Ottoman register for 1906 still lists 194 eunuchs and 500 women in the imperial harem, but two years later they were gone.
For almost a century the Middle East, on paper at least, was free of slaves. “Human beings are born free, and no one has the right to enslave, humiliate, oppress or exploit them,” proclaimed the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam in 1990. Early jihadist groups followed the trend, characterizing themselves as liberation movements and, as such, rejecting slavery.
But though slavery per se may be condemned, observers point to the persistence of servitude. The Global Slavery Index (GSI), whose estimates are computed by an Australian NGO working with Hull University, claims that of 14 states with over 1% of the population enslaved, more than half are Muslim. Prime offenders range from the region’s poorest state, Mauritania, to its richest per head, Qatar.
The criteria and data used by GSI have been criticized, but evidence supports the thrust of its findings. Many Arab states took far longer to criminalize slavery than to ban it. Mauritania, the world’s leading enslaver, did not do so until 2007. Where bans exist, they are rarely enforced. The year after Qatar abolished slavery in 1952, the emir took his slaves to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Government inspections and prosecutions are rarities. “The security chiefs, the judges and the lawyers all belong to the class that historically owned slaves,” says Sarah Mathewson of London-based Anti-Slavery International. “They are part of the problem.”
No labor practice has drawn more international criticism than the kafala system, which ties migrant workers to their employers. This is not slavery as IS imposes it; migrants come voluntarily, drawn by the huge wealth gap between their own countries and the Gulf. But the system “facilitates slavery”, says Nicholas McGeehan, who reports for Human Rights Watch on conditions in the desert camps where most such workers live.
The Gulf’s 2.4m domestic servants are even more vulnerable. Most do not enjoy the least protection under labor laws. Housed and, in some cases, locked in under their employer’s roof, they are prey to sexual exploitation.
Irons and red-hot bars
Again, these workers have come voluntarily; but disquieting echoes persist. Many Gulf nationals can be heard referring to their domestics as malikat (slaves). Since several Asian governments have suspended or banned their female nationals from domestic work in the Gulf out of concern for their welfare, recruitment agencies are turning to parts of Africa, such as Uganda, which once exported female slaves. Some domestic servants are abused with irons and red-hot bars: resonant, says Mr McGeehan, of slave-branding in the past.
Elsewhere in the region, the collapse of law and order provides further cover for a comeback of old practices. Syrian refugee camps in Jordan provide a supply of girls for both the capital’s brothels and for Gulf men trawling websites, which offer short-term marriages for brokerage fees of $140-270 each. Trafficking has soared in Libya’s Mediterranean ports, which under the Ottomans exported sub-Saharan labor to Europe. Long before Boko Haram kidnapped girls, Anti-Slavery International had warned that Nigerian businessmen were buying “fifth wives”—concubines alongside the four wives permitted by Islam—from neighboring Niger.
Gulf states insist they are dealing with the problem. In June Kuwait’s parliament granted domestic servants labor rights, the first Gulf state to do so. It is also the only Gulf state to have opened a refuge for female migrants. Qatar, fearful that reported abuses might upset its hosting of the World Cup in 2022, has promised to improve migrant housing.
And earlier this year Mauritania’s government ordered preachers at Friday prayers to publicize a fatwa by the country’s leading clerics declaring: “Slavery has no legal foundation in sharia law.” Observers fear, though, that this is window-dressing. And Kuwait’s emir has yet to ratify the new labour-rights law.
Rather than stop the abuse, Gulf officials prefer to round on their critics, accusing them of Islamophobia just as their forebears did. Oman and Saudi Arabia have long been closed to Western human-rights groups investigating the treatment of migrants. Now the UAE and Qatar, under pressure after a wave of fatalities among workers building venues for the 2022 World Cup, are keeping them out, too.
Internal protests are even riskier. Over the past two years hundreds of migrant laborers building Abu Dhabi’s Guggenheim and Louvre Museums have been detained, roughed up and deported, says Human Rights Watch, after strikes over unpaid wages. Aminetou Mint Moctar, a rare Mauritanian Arab on the board of SOS Esclaves, a local association campaigning for the rights of haratin, or descendants of black slaves, has received death threats.
Is it too much to hope that the Islamic clerics denouncing slavery might also condemn other instances of forced and abusive labor? Activists and Gulf migrants are doubtful. Even migrants’ own embassies can be strangely mute, not wanting criticism to curb the vital flow of remittances. When Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, visited the UAE this week, his nationals there complained that migrant rights were last on his list. Western governments generally have other priorities. One is simply to defeat IS, whose extreme revival of slavery owes at least something to the region’s persistent and pervasive tolerance of servitude.
They are part of a group of 230 Assyrians captured in the Khabur River Valley in Syria in February.
ISIS-Libya has been killing Egyptian and Ethiopian Coptic Christians for some time now by execution, most of which were filmed. But ISIS honestly has not deliberately killed a lot of Christians in Iraq and Syria. Maybe a few.
So if they kill these Christians, this will start a new ISIS jihad against the Christians of the Levant and Mesopotamia.
It is indeed true. America, that shining city on a hill, has a special mission to bring freedom and democracy to the whole world, at gunpoint if need be. America’s mission is to be the Humanitarian Bomber to the world in need, freeing people groaning under the weight of oppressive dictatorships so they can breathe the free air of freedom and democracy.
Before shows the horrible, evil, nightmarish world of oppressive dictatorship. This is before America got involved to bring light unto the world. Doesn’t that look horrible? Awful! Terrible! Those poor people need some liberation! On the right shows the the results after the great US (and NATO) intervention to remove the vicious dictators who slaughter their people and replace them with peace, freedom, democracy, human rights, gay rights parades, affirmative action quotas and radical feminism.
Look at how much better those countries look after US intervention! Isn’t America cool? God bless America! Land of the free! If you are suffering under a cruel dictator, just give America a call and we will send some humanitarian bombers to liberate you so you can enjoy peace, freedom, democracy, prosperity and human rights for all. Right now your country looks like those on the left. But don’t despair. You can look like the countries on the right in no time. Just give America a call today for a free Democratization Estimate.
There has not been a war fought on Moroccan territory. Morocco has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Algeria fought a civil war from 1991-2000. That is 10 years out of 53.
There has not been a war fought on Tunisian territory. Tunisia has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Libya fought a 4 day border war with Egypt in 1977. There was an on and off war in Chad for 8 years between 1978-1987. There has been civil war since the overthrow of Ghaddafi. That is 12 years of war out of 63 years. Libya has been at peace 93% of the time since Independence.
Egypt was involved in several wars with Israel, but they didn’t last long. The total adds up to maybe 2 years at most. That’s 2 years of war out of 93 years.
Indeed, Palestine has been embroiled war almost all the time since 1947.
Jordan has only fought some wars with Israel. Maybe 2 years of war out of the last 66 years.
Syria fought several wars with Israel, but the combined total only lasted two years. They fought a war with the Muslim Brotherhood that went on perhaps 1 year. There has been a civil war since 2012. That is 6 years of war out of 64 years.
Saudi Arabia has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. However, there was an internal civil war that lasted a few years recently, but it was a very low level war. Saudi Arabia was briefly targeted in the Gulf War but that was only for a year. That’s 3 years out of 95.
Oman has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. Oman has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Bahrain has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. Bahrain has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
UAE has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. UAE has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Qatar has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. Qatar has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Kuwait has been at war only with Iraq and that was only for a few weeks. That is 1 month out of 95 years.
Yemen did fight a civil war that lasted maybe 8 years. This resulted in a split in the country. There has been an internal war against Al Qaeda for maybe 4 years now. That’s 12 years out of 54.
Iraq fought a brief war with the British in 1941, but it only lasted one month. There was civil war in Mosul in 1959, but it lasted no more than a week. Iraq fought a number of wars with Israel, but those amounted to no more than 2 years. The Iran-Iraq War lasted 8 years. The Gulf War was over in less than a year and was by an internal civil war on 6 months. Iraq has been at war since the Iraq War in 2003, 11 years. Since 1932, Iraq has been at war for 22 years. That is 22 out of 83.
Lebanon fought a few wars against Israel, adding up to no more than 2 years. There was a brief civil war in 1958 lasting no more than one month. There was a major civil war in Lebanon for 15 years, from 1975-1990. Hezbollah fought a 1 month war with Israel in 2006. There was a brief civil war in 2007 with the Lebanese army fought a 4 month civil war against Fatah-al-Islam. In 2008, Hezbollah fought a 1 week war with the government. The Syrian Civil War has spilled over into Lebanon for the last year. Lebanon has been at war for 19 out of 70 years.
Conclusion: Most countries in the Arab World have been at peace most of the time since Independence.
Fantastic compilation. Also delves into other areas, such as the suggestion that US/NATO/Deep State sniper teams have been roaming around the globe shooting at people in protests stirred up by the US/NATO. Some of the incidents were Egypt, Ukraine, Thailand and Syria. It is true that NATO trained snipers did shoot over 100 people on the Maidan, both Berkut police and Maidan protestors. This was all blamed on the Yanukovitch government, and the resulting outrage fomented a coup that drove him out of office. However, all investigations have revealed that
The cops and the protestors were both shot with the same bullets.
The Berkut did not have these bullets, nor did they have sniper rifles.
Right Sector snipers were apparently seen shooting at people.
All shots were coming from a tall building that at the time was under the control of the Right Sector
The group that did this, the Right Sector, had just been trained in such behaviors by NATO instructors at a base in Poland the previous fall/winter.
The Prime Minister of Estonia told the Foreign Minister of the EU in a taped phone call that everyone shot on the Maidan was shot by Right Sector forces.
An anti-Russian Ukrainian parliamentarian conducted his own investigation. He has not revealed the result, but he did say that the Berkut police are absolutely not guilty of any of those killings.
To this day, 100% of the Western media continues to falsely blame the pro-Russian Yanukovitch Berkut police for this NATO/Right Sector false flag.
Apparently the same thing occurred early on in the Syrian demonstrations against Assad. Mysterious snipers appeared on rooftops firing on both police and protestors equally. The video says that these sniper were working for NATO/US/CIA. In addition, snipers fired on crowds in the recent Thailand unrest. The video says that these snipers were also working for NATO. NATO snipers also fired on Egyptian demonstrations. The purpose of all of these attacks is apparently to create chaos, as the US/NATO apparently thrive on chaos somehow.
The report also produces excellent evidence that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are more or less appendages of the US Deep State/State Department/Pentagon/CIA. Both organizations have been caught repeatedly telling lies in order to drum up support for wars. AI promoted the Saddam kills babies in their incubators lies that helped the US lie its way into the first Gulf War. Human Rights Watch was one of many groups that spread a lie that Gaddafi had killed 6,000 anti-regime protestors. This lie went viral and with the help of the US media, helped gin up support for the NATO intervention in Libya. Afterwards, Human Rights Watch admitted that the 6,000 figure was a complete lie.
At this point, we really need to see both AI and HRW as more or less CIA assets who work for the Deep State and slavishly serve the interests of US foreign policy. I had always suspected something like this was up, but I was too caught up in the “human rights groups are good guys” game. My opinion of these groups has plunged to a new low. I used to be a member of AI. I will never give them a dime again.
The UN is some kind of a joke. They are blocking the investigation of the Odessa Massacre. This means the UN is lining up 100% of the side of the West-supported Nazi regime in Ukraine. I have known in recent years that the UN is a controlled asset of the US Deep State (really the UN is a de facto CIA asset) but this takes things to insane extremes.
In Iraq, the UN immediately praised the illegal Nazi-like war of aggression the West led in the 2003 War on the Iraqi People (Iraq War). To completely ratify their support for this neocolonial war of conquest and colonization, the UN very quickly set up shop in Baghdad. Thankfully, the Iraqi resistance set off a truck bomb that devastated the UN building and killed many of the UN criminals inside, including the UN leader, the biggest criminal of them all. I was so happy that day!
Then the US CIA staged a violent coup against democratically elected president of Haiti, President Aristide. US mercenaries working for the CIA showed up at Aristide’s house with automatic weapons in the middle of the night and ordered him out of the country. A plane then came and took him to various African countries. The CIA-controlled death squads then took power and quickly murdered 3,000 unarmed Aristide supporters.
This is how US rightwing coups in Latin America always work – first they seize power, then they slaughter the unarmed Left. The lesson is that if you ever elect a leftwing government again, there will be another coup, and we will come out to kill you again. This is the standard operating procedure for rightwing rule in Latin America. It is taught by the Pentagon at the School of the Americas in the US South. Almost all Latin American coup and death squad leaders and members have graduated from this School for Killers run by the US Army. While the death squads were slaughtering people, the UN invaded Haiti with a “peacekeeping” force that was really intended to cement in power for the death squad/coup government. The UN force spent most of their time outside the slums that supported Aristide keeping them from protesting. Every time they protested, the UN thugs shot at the people. The UN killer force shot dead many Aristide supporters in order to keep the fascist coup regime in power.
At this point, I think the UN is complete crap. It’s totally useless. In fact, it is worse than useless. It has turned into a criminal organization, aiding and abetting the United States as it thuggishly swaggers around the globe, killing left and right.
The concept of the UN was intended to be beneficial for not just democracy within states but actually for democracy in the world – world democracy. At this point, world democracy is shot since the UN is simply an appendage of the US State Department, a wholly owned subsidiary of the US World Dictatorship.
Three senior members of ISIS and a bodyguard to al-Baghdadi were verified as being killed by US airstrikes in Mosul earlier in the week. The verification was made by Iraqi government sources when interviewed by ABC on Thursday, September 4. The claim is that the same airstrikes that killed the three top leaders and al-Baghdadi’s aide also killed the leader of ISIS himself.
Thousands of social media users have been circulating a photo that is said to be of the body of al-Baghdadi. It is not known if the photo is genuine.
A translation from Colonel Cassad’s great journal. For those of you deaf, blind and dumb not paying attention, this is how US imperialism works:
Find a country that has resisted mass privatization.
Try to destroy them in a variety of ways.
If that doesn’t work, declare war on them or initiate a rightwing coup. Use NATO as your armed force in this war, or just use the US, or use proxies, Nazis, Al Qaeda types, nation-sellers, it matters little.
After you win, as in Serbia, Ukraine, Iraq, Kosovo, etc. demand that total privatization of the state economy. This was part of the “peace settlement” in Serbia. As you can see, NATO cared nothing but the genocide in the Balkans, the whole war was all about capitalism, as most wars are. The whole war was about privatizing the Serbian economy. Which was done. The nation-sellers chosen by the neocons to install the new Nazi regime owe the US big-time. The US, the World Bank, the IMF and NATO all demand that Ukraine conduct a mass privatization of its state enterprises. This is probably the real reason for the Nazi coup and the war in the Southeast.
After Iraq was conquered in a Nazi-style war of aggression, one of Paul Bremer’s first tasks was the massive privatization of Iraqi state assets. This was never really completed due to protests on the ground, but this was the general idea.
Really most if not all wars area about economics, especially when a capitalist country wages them. All wars are bankers’ wars, in layspeak.
The Ukies are probably privatizing at gunpoint. The US and West has probably ordered the Ukies to privatize or else, with a Mafioso undertone. Even in our modern world, threats work wonders.
A large-scale privatization of all state-owned enterprises will be conducted in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government is going to perform a large-scale privatization of all state-owned enterprises excluding strategic ones, because the government ownership turned into a source of corruption. This was announced by the Ukrainian prime-minister Arseny Yatsenyuk during a working visit to Cherkassy region, says the UNIAN information agency.
“The goal of the government is to sell the state property excluding strategic. Today the state property is a subject of unprecedented corruption. The office of prime-minister is full of people’s representatives. Do you think they bring concepts of reforms? They care about appointing their people into state companies. How can we overcome this corruption in any way other than selling these state companies, I don’t see,” – said Yatsenyuk.
Earlier the government included the state shares in 8, 7 of them 100% in the share capital of 15 enterprises in the sphere of development, health care, and also in the mining industry into the list of state-owned objects subject to privatization in 2014.
By July 17, 164 objects were included into the list of state-owned objects subject to privatization in 2014, the estimated value of which amounts to 15 billion UAH.
PS. That is, the characters confess that they cannot manage a productive economy in principle as well as not able to do anything about the corruption in the state sector. The question of how they are going to fight corruption and machinations during the privatization of state property remained unanswered. Apparently, with the same success that Chernovol had “fighting” corruption is now had by Yatsenyuk.
In essence the sale of the last remaining state-owned objects is announced. The previous power of the supporters of “stable looting” even tried to repair something there and somehow supported it in a half-dead state, but the “euro-integrators” apparently will perform the last stage of de-industrializing Ukraine by the best examples from the beginning of the 90s. Protection and racketeering are already there, only “privatization” needs to be repeated.
Israel bombing Gaza with American weapons = good.
The people of Donetsk defending themselves with Russian supplied weapons = bad
Syrian terrorists opposing the fascist dictator in Syria with American weapons = good
Ukrainian citizens opposing the fascist dictator in Kiev with Russian weapons = bad
NATO dropping bombs on Kosovo and Libya to prevent a humanitarian crisis = good
Russia firing on Ukrainian troops in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis = bad.
Dropping bombs on the people our ISIS in Syria while they’re in Iraq = good
Iraq war = bad
Let me know when any of this hypocritical propaganda bullshit starts making sense.
I can’t believe all you guys swallow all this crap whole.
Fascinating. ISIS is definitely present in Gaza and they claim that the lost 12 men in the latest fighting: Abdullah Awani al-Fara, Ahmed Omar Abed al-A’al, Jaber Hamdan Abu Jaber, Saeed al-Lahawani, Usa Mohammed al-Sha’ar, Yusuf Jalal Barkat, Hamza Yusuf Muamar, Eyman Abed al-Rauf al-Sheikh, Hamza Halad al-Kadi, Mohammed Hamdan, Rasam Abu A’adra, and Mohammed al-Hamida. If true that means that nearly 2% of militant casualties in the Gaza War were ISIS casualties.
This is really ominous stuff.
The US has 800 troops in Iraq right now. There are calls to “move them out” and up to the front lines in Irbil to fight with the peshmerga. Mosul Dam does indeed appear to be captured by ISIS. Many of the Yezidis trapped on Mt. Sinjar have made it off the mountain. 30,000 made it out via a passageway carved out of ISIS lines to the north and northeast. It was carved out by Yezidi militias and YPG Syrian Kurdish forces. It crosses the Syrian-Iraqi border at a little known town of Fishkhabour, Iraq, near where Syria, Iraq and Turkey all come together. It is not located on many maps. It is on the Tigris were Turkey, Syria and Iraq all come together. 30,000 Yezidis have made it through this border checkpoint.
Yezidis leave Sinjar Mountain, head into Syria at some point, and then wind back around and re-enter Iraq at Fishkhabour, a Chaldean Christian town. They then apparently move into the Kurdish area.
UK may get involved in humanitarian effort on Sinjar Mountain.
As many as 100,000 Yezidis remain in the area in their towns, armed. They say they will defend their towns against ISIS. Situation with them is grave.
The 400 Yezidi women taken captive may be being used as human shields. They are in various places scattered around Mosul. Other reports say 500 Yezidi families were captured and taken to Tel Afar where they are being stashed around town as human shields. A top Hezbollah commander was killed in Mosul long after Mosul had fallen to ISIS. This indicates that he was deep behind enemy lines. Also, two high ranking Al Qods officers from Iran were killed in Iraq. Both were killed near Samarra. Maliki accepted Iran’s offer of 200 Al Qods officers to help fight in Iraq. Quite possibly they are heading up to the Kurdish area. Iraqi Kurds have good relations with Iran. An anti-ISIS militia has formed in Mosul. They even have a Facebook page. They are carrying out assassinations of ISIS cadre in the city and have caused significant casualties. ISIS destroyed Saddam Hussein’s grave in Awja, near Tikrit. This will not endear them to the Baathists or even to millions of Iraqis, including many Sunnis.