End Times and Current Events

General Category => Current Events => Topic started by: Psalm 51:17 on June 16, 2014, 11:25:04 am

Title: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 16, 2014, 11:25:04 am
US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft

Washington (AFP) - A US warship entered the Persian Gulf on Monday carrying hundreds of marines and Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in case they are needed to protect Americans in Iraq, the Pentagon said.

"Its presence in the Gulf adds to that of other US naval ships already there -- including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush -- and provides the commander-in-chief additional options to protect American citizens and interests in Iraq, should he choose to use them," Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

The USS Mesa Verde, an amphibious dock ship, is carrying 550 Marines, as well as MV-22 Osprey aircraft capable of quickly moving up to 22 marines at a time over long distances.

The deployment comes in the wake of a stunning offensive by Islamist militants across Sunni areas of northern Iraq that has left Iraqi army forces in disarray.

President Barack Obama is weighing US options, including possible air strikes to halt the Islamist advance toward Baghdad, officials said.

The US embassy in Baghdad has begun reducing personnel in Iraq, and stepping up security

Kirby said the Mesa Verde has completed its transit through the Strait of Hormuz.

It followed the carrier USS George H.W. Bush, which entered the Gulf over the weekend with two warships armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles: the destroyer USS Truxton and the cruiser USS Philippines Sea.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 16, 2014, 06:14:19 pm
BREAKING NEWS: Obama says up to 275 U.S. military troops will deploy to Iraq @AP

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft
Post by: Mark on June 23, 2014, 08:17:45 am
IRAQSYRIAJORDAN borders crumble...

Jihadists now using American Humvees in Syria...

ISIS Hoodies, T-Shirts for Sale Online as Islamist 'Brand' Goes Global...

AAA: Gas Prices Up 9 Days In A Row Amid Iraq Turmoil...



REPORT: Judge Who Sentenced Saddam to Death is Captured and Executed by ISIS...

BLAIR: Removing him did not cause this crisis...

Insurgents capture fourth town...

Rand Paul blames crisis on Bush administration...

Cheney: 'We've got a hell of a problem'...

Where's Biden?

Kerry arrives on scene...

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 23, 2014, 10:51:19 am
Yeah, look how this Hegelian Dialectic game is really spinning out of control now - the "truth" movement has been pushing this "Obama the Hitler-esque Dictator" idea. The "truth" movement LOVES Ron/Rand Paul. Rand Paul points fingers at Cheney(and gives Obama a pass). Dick Cheney points fingers at Obama.

Is it just me, or is anyone else finding this little sideshow mildly entertaining?

As for Dick Cheney - I know these elections are pre-determined and rigged, but nonetheless the GOP voters SHOULD have SENSED something was WRONG when he was picked to be Bush's VP running mate in 2000(especially with alot of other attractive hot shot candidates to choose from).

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft
Post by: Mark on June 25, 2014, 05:29:29 am

....Iraq’s Christian community is hardly a western innovation or a colonial relic. It dates from the 1st Century, when two of Jesus’ disciples – St. Thomas and St. Thaddeus (also known as St. Jude) – preached the Gospel in what was then Assyria. In recent years, the Christian population has swelled, as refugees from Basra and Baghdad have sought protection. And now, as ISIS sweeps through Iraq, an estimated 150,000 have had to flee Mosul and their ancient Christian heartland, some for the second time in a decade.   

MORE: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/06/20/religious-cleansing-iraq-christians/

ISIS Forces Tax on Mosul Christians

 ISIS is demanding Christians in Mosul to pay a poll tax. The tax of at least $250 does not apply to Muslim citizens. Christian citizens may have to pay more depending on their profession.

Council of High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq member Salama Al Khafaji said, "The economic situation in Mosul is extremely difficult, and there are no financial resources or job opportunities except for vegetable shops, any other businesses are non-existent. Citizens are at a loss now as to how to make ends meet; how can they pay those amounts to ISIS?"

A previous decree from ISIS demanded that unmarried women of Mosul be presented to "jihad by sex."
"Therefore we request that the people of this state offer their unmarried women so that they can fulfill their duty of jihad by sex to their brotherly mujahideen. Failure to comply with this mandate will result in enforcing the laws of Sharia upon them," the order stated.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on June 29, 2014, 09:13:21 am
Russia will not sit idly by as jihadists press Iraq assault
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in Damascus on Saturday that his country "will not remain passive" as jihadists push an offensive in Syria's neighbour Iraq. 


The surprising appeal of ISIS

In trying to explain ISIS’s rapid success, alarmed observers have pointed to the extreme tactics that drew condemnation even from Al Qaeda: mass executions, beheadings, and crucifixions. Some see local conspiracies, believing Arab governments allowed the group to grow in order to justify their own heavy-handed crackdowns. 


Iraq 'receives Russian fighter jets' to fight rebels
Iraq says it has received the first batch of fighter jets it ordered from Russia to help it as it fights an offensive by Sunni rebels. Iraqi security officials said five second-hand Sukhoi attack aircraft would enter service within a few days, and that more were on their way. 


Without allies against ISIS, US finds itself in the same camp as Iran, its sworn enemy

From the start of the so called Arab spring, America has time and time again initiated moves which set it at odds with its traditional allies in the Middle East, to the extent that today it can only watch impotently developments in the region. Iraq is a case in point. ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – is a jihadist terrorist organization that has already taken large areas in Syria and made significant gains in Iraq.   


Isis crucifies nine people in Syrian villages
A man has survived being crucified by Isis in Syria, after the jihadists raided his village and nailed him to a cross for eight hours. The unnamed man from Al-Bab, near the border with Turkey, was crucified as a punishment, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. He managed to survive the ordeal.   


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on June 29, 2014, 10:31:12 am
Armageddon on the doorstep: the ISIS conquest of Iraq leads to Jerusalem – are you ready for the next world war?

As we witness the brutalization of Iraq by the ISIS terror organization consider this: this Islamic march of death leads to Jerusalem. The leading result of the call of the people in the Arab world for the overthrow of unsatisfactory leaders has been their cause being hijacked by insurgent jihadist terrorists.

We saw that in Libya with the fall of Gadhafi. We saw it in Egypt where Mubarak was replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood, in this case an in-house jihadist movement. We see it in Syria where the people’s cry against Assad has led to an influx of Al-Qaida type groups vying for dominance. Now we witness the conquest of Iraq by a vicious Islamic terror regime against which Al-Qaida pales into moderation.

The Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) is headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He transformed a few small terror cells into the most brutal and lethal terror group on earth. Mercy is not in this man’s vocabulary. Abu Bakr picked up the mantle after Abu Omar al Baghdadi was killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation in 2010. Al-Qaida in Iraq was under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who, in a 2005 letter to the head of Al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri, put the aims of Al-Qaida in Iraq into four stages;

1. Drive America out of Iraq.

2. Create a Caliphate in Iraq.

3. Use that as a base to attack other countries.

4. Attack Israel.

When both al-Zarqawi and al-Baghdadi were killed by American forces it looked as if Al-Qaida was decimated in Iraq, but Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reformed a weakening terror group by leading it in battle, honing its fighters’ training and experience in Iraq and Syria, and by using political savvy to link his growing group to local and tribal demands and interests. It became both a fighting force and a social benefactor, winning local hearts and minds along a bloody path of victory. He absorbed the al-Nusra Front terror group in Syria into his ranks, demanding their obedience. Seeing the growing threat, Al-Qaida’s al-Zarqawi, from his hiding place somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan, criticized ISIS for not concentrating on Iraq. In response, a confident ISIS hit back, accusing the Al-Qaida chief of “Sheikh Osama (bin Laden) gathered all the mujahedeen with one word, but you divided them and tore them apart.”

ISIS has attracted thousands of foreign fighters to its ranks, increasing its power and size. The shockwaves caused by its Iraqi Blitzkreig in seizing the towns of Mosul, Tikrit, and Fallujah was met by a mocking response by ISIS.

    “The battle is not yet raging, but it will rage in Baghdad and Karbala. Put on your belts and get ready” as they contemptuously called Iraqi leader, Nouri al-Maliki, an “underwear salesman.”

Clearly, the battle for Iraq is along sectarian lines with the Sunni ISIS, representing the majority of Iraqis, challenging the Shia al-Maliki rule. Clear also was al-Maliki’s refusal to allow American forces to stay on in Iraq, but the ISIS victories were enhanced by the military vacuum in Iraq following the American pullout, and this responsibility can be put at Obama’s White House door.

Obama’s self-proclaimed foreign-policy “achievements” have been U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq, and “Al-Qaida has been decimated and is on the run!” These two boasts have now come back to haunt him. Al-Qaida has morphed into a bigger monster that is about to take over Iraq. And what was President Obama’s response?

    “We don’t have the resources. Let the local leaders deal with them.”

This is shortsighted weakness, and dangerous. This was emphasized on Friday, June 13, when Obama, confronted by the deteriorating situation in Iraq, decided to head off to California for a fund-raising event and some golf. America spilled blood and treasure in Iraq including 4500 lives, $17 billion in military training to Iraqi forces, and $15 billion in military equipment. Now ISIS terrorists are seen driving around in American military Humvees.

The United States embassy in Baghdad is the largest global American embassy. It has 15,000 workers. It would be a mistake to think that they did not pick up intelligence on the gathering Islamic terror storm. They did, and it fed it up the chain to the State Department and the White House, for months. Neither of those bodies acted on the intel. As one staffer told Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters,

    “We couldn’t convince the President that this is serious!”

Now the Baghdad embassy could be under ISIS fire, making Benghazi look like child’s play. And the attack on Americans will not end there. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was captured, imprisoned, and then released by America in Iraq, just as Obama recently released the five top Al-Qaida/Taliban prisoners at Gitmo.

America, and others, will pay for both these foolish gestures. As Ken King, the commander of the Bucco Camp that was ordered to release al-Baghdadi, related on the Fox News “Kelly Files” program, as a parting shot the ISIS leader glared at King and warned:

    “I’ll see you in New York!”

In a strange twist on “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Republican lawmakers called for a partnership with Iran to stop ISIS from attacking Baghdad. Senator Lindsey Graham warned that ISIS “will eventually march on Jordan and Lebanon. They’re going to take the King of Jordan down.” The unspoken implication is that Israel will be next. ISIS is now pumping Iraqi oil. It grabbed half a trillion dollars when it seized Iraq’s central bank in Mosul making it the richest terrorist organization in the world. ISIS has been called too extreme for Al-Qaida with justification. Al-Baghdadi is being crowned “the next Bin Laden.”


ISIS is guilty of wholesale massacres in Syria, leaving the bodies to rot for all to see. It beheaded a top rival rebel commander, leaving his head in the middle of the market. Amnesty International listed a few of their atrocities in their 18-page report “Rule of fear;ISIS abuses in detention is northern Syria.”

    “They have conducted hundreds of executions, beheadings, even crucifixions in Mosul, Iraq. They destroy anything that is not Islamic, such as the Assyrian Church in Mosul. Hundreds have been slain for being “infidels.”

Once Islamic ISIS establishes its permanent presence in Iraq, as Hizb’allah has done in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, it will strengthen its grip on Syria. While looking down on Israel from the Golan Heights, it is likely to turn its attention to a militarily weak Lebanon, seeking to remove the Shiite Hizb’allah from power, taking over its armory of a hundred thousand rockets, and taking control of that country.

From its northern stronghold in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria it will target Jordan with the intention of deposing, or killing, the Hashemite king, as a preliminary step to taking over his country. If America, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia do not immediately move to strengthen the kingdom, King Abdullah will be exposed to mortal danger, granting ISIS control over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan in their march to a global Caliphate, and Stage 4 of their original plan. Israel would be advised to keep a sharp eye on future moves by ISIS to attack or infiltrate Jordan via Syria.

Who is to say that radical Palestinians and Islamists in Jordan will not open the gates of that country to ISIS, just as Syrians reached out to them at their cost? When that scenario is achieved, Israel will be exposed to a threatening and powerful terror enemy stretching from Rosh HaNikra on the northern Mediterranean to Mount Hermon in the northeast of Israel, sweeping through the Golan Heights and down the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea and the Red Sea in the south. In the turmoil that is the Middle East, where regimes are falling and nations are toppling, who is to say that such a nightmare scenario is not possible unless ISIS is stopped in its tracks now?


- See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/armageddon-on-the-doorstep-the-isis-conquest-of-iraq-leads-to-jerusalem-are-you-ready-for-the-next-world-war_062014#sthash.nKprB7mM.dpuf

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 29, 2014, 09:22:33 pm
Rise of ISIS Heightens Threat of Terrorism to West, Experts Warn

The military success of al Qaeda-inspired terrorists in Iraq is a propaganda coup for the recruitment of Western jihadists who could pose a domestic terror threat to countries including the United States, intelligence experts say.

The rapid advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is creating an online buzz that is “very attractive” to potential foreign fighters – and a national security headache for counter-terrorism officials around the world.

An estimated 12,000 foreign fighters are already believed to be helping ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Around 3,000 of those are believed to be from Western nations - including about 100 from America. The recent release of an ISIS propaganda video featuring English-speaking jihadists from Britain and Australia is aimed at boosting those numbers.

The already-slick ISIS online propaganda campaign targeting would-be Western fighters has exploded, experts say.

"Since the incursion of ISIS in Iraq, I don’t think I’ve ever seen jubilation this high," said Joseph Carter, research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at London’s Kings College. "The ISIS hashtag, which averaged about 1,000 hits before the Iraqi invasion, is now averaging 30,000 to 40,000 hits on some days. We are seeing Facebook pages of Western foreign fighters standing on top of Humvees on what used to be U.S. military equipment.”

Shiraz Maher, senior research fellow at ICSR, added: “These are very young men and it seems pretty cool when you see your buddies standing on tanks with Kalashnikovs - you want to be part of that. For that kid who thinks, 'This is cool, I want to be part of the winning team,' who’s attracted to that sort of thing and who is likely to go for the adventure, it’s a very attractive proposition right now.”

Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at Britain’s MI6 spy agency, said: “It’s potentially quite alluring because it’s an opportunity which won’t appear again and, if you are that age when you are attracted to go and do that adventurous unknown, and engage in a foreign war … it doesn’t get any better than this. I think more people will go and fight for whatever reason.”

He mentioned the case of a young Florida man, named by the State Department as Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who was suspected of involvement in a suicide bombing in Syria last month.

Barrett, who is now senior vice president of the New York-based Soufan Group, added: “The fact is that Americans have gone [to Syria] and also quite recently we saw a young man from Florida. He seemed a perfectly normal guy, seemed well-socialized … seems very cheerful, enjoying himself … and blows himself up. So it’s really hard for the rest of us to understand what is driving that person to take that kind of action.

“So we can assume that, although it may be distant … there are going to be enough people who are seriously motivated by the thought of participation to see the number of Americans increase.”

Radicalized Westerners returning to their old lives are considered the biggest terror risk in many European countries. British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this month described it as “the most serious threat to Britain's security that there is today."

A French national who fought in Syria is the suspect the killing of four tourists at the Jewish museum in Brussels on May 24 - the first deadly terror attack in Europe directly linked to the Syrian battlefield. In Spain, suspected militants were arrested on June 16 on suspicion of recruiting fighters for ISIS.

The increased online buzz is placing a huge strain on intelligence services in the West as they try to monitor and contain the threat from radicalized Muslims.

Britain’s former top counter-terrorism detective told NBC News that police in the U.K. are now being contacted “every day” by people concerned that family members or neighbors could be preparing to fight for ISIS.

“I think that number is going up and up and up as people are watching what's happening and the horrors of Syria and Iraq,” said Cressida Dick, who until last week was head of specialist operations for London’s Metropolitan Police. “Some people returning from Syria and Iraq will undoubtedly simply just return and carry on normal lives. A proportion, if they are not killed or arrested on the way back, may pose a threat here.”

About 300 fighters have already returned to Britain from Syria. “While not every one of them poses a threat, clearly there is potential for a large number of them to be of concern,” a senior British intelligence source said. “It’s simply not possible to monitor so many people for 24 hours a day for an unlimited amount of time. There just aren't the resources."

In the past 18 months, British authorities have arrested 65 people returning from Syria and government ministers say they are approving spy warrants every week to allow security services to monitor potential British-based terrorists. U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May warned on Monday that terrorists in Iraq were “just a few hours flying time” from Britain “and want to attack us.”

However, Dick said heightened concern about the risk of radicalized Muslims had also led to more proactive calls to police. “More and more people are saying: ‘I absolutely don’t want my brother, son, father, mother - whoever it is - to go out there and I will do everything to stop them, and that includes telling the police’.”

Michael Leiter, NBC News' counter-terrorism and national security analyst, said he was "flabbergasted" by the extent of the problem posed by jihadists travelling abroad to fight and then returning to the West.

"For the United States and Western Europe, this is a very significant threat –- probably as significant and complex a threat as we have faced since 9/11," Leiter said. "The numbers involved are vastly higher than in previous conflicts such as Afghanistan and Somalia or Yemen. ISIS advances in Iraq brings the problem of more Western recruits and access to resources in captured areas such as money and military-grade equipment."

He added: "They are very hard to track because the route in and out of Iraq and Syria is through mainstream Europe. All they have to do is travel through, for example, Turkey and we don’t know if they’ve joined in a war or gone on a summer break."

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 30, 2014, 05:43:45 pm

Israel weighs strikes on Hamas in West Bank, Gaza after teenagers found dead
Military experts say Netanyahu's options might be limited

The Israeli government is weighing a possible broad offensive against Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after soldiers on Monday discovered the bodies of three Israeli teenagers who went missing 18 days ago — though it appears to have few good options for dealing with the Islamic group.

A team that included infantry soldiers and civilian volunteers spotted the remains of young men during a search near the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank. They were buried near a dirt road, under a layer of brush and stones, according to people who participated in the search. The three appeared to have been shot.

The discovery ended a wrenching drama for Israel that began with the June 12 disappearance of the three young men, aged 16 to 19. Israel accused Hamas of abducting the teens, who studied at religious seminaries in settlements in the West Bank and had been hitchhiking when they were grabbed. Hamas neither confirmed nor denied responsibility, but its top officials praised the kidnapping.

The ordeal prompted an Israeli sweep against the group in the Hebron area, where the youngsters had been last seen — the broadest incursion in more than a decade. Soldiers killed at least five Palestinians in and around the city over the past two weeks, including a 15-year-old boy, and arrested more than 300 people. It also triggered calls within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for an aggressive campaign against Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis over the years in suicide bombings and other attacks.

Netanyahu convened his security Cabinet after nightfall to hear what intelligence officials had pieced together regarding the kidnapping and discuss the range of possible measures against Hamas. Before it commenced, several members of his government said they sought a decision to destroy the group altogether.

“Israelis have the willingness and the fortitude necessary to endure the hardships of a long-lasting operation aimed at eradicating Hamas,” said Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon in a statement.

“We will not stop until Hamas is completely defeated. The homes of the terrorists must be demolished and their arms caches destroyed,” he said.

Danon is a member of Netanyahu’s own center-right Likud Party. His governing coalition also includes the far-right Jewish Home Party, whose representatives are expected to take an even tougher stand in the Cabinet meeting.

But while Netanyahu himself has made strong statements against Hamas, his options for dealing with the group appeared to be limited, according to military experts.

The group’s forces are concentrated in the Gaza Strip, a territory Hamas has controlled since 2007. Israeli warplanes have struck Gaza regularly over the years, usually in response to rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory. But a broader offensive against the Gaza Strip would entail certain complications for Israel.

For one thing, it would draw barrages of rocket fire on Israel’s big cities, including Tel Aviv. In Israel’s 2012 offensive against Gaza, Hamas fired more than 1,500 rockets at Israel, killing four civilians.

And any real bid to destroy Hamas’ caches would require Israel to send ground troops to Gaza, an endeavor that would likely be bloody and unpopular.

“If the goal is to create large-scale damage to the infrastructure in Gaza, it can be done from the air,” says Shaul Shay, a retired colonel and former deputy head of Israel’s National Security Council. “But if the goal is to change the strategic environment, you need boots on the ground.”

Shay said that even if Netanyahu was willing to fight a ground war in Gaza, soldiers would have to remain in the Gaza Strip for months or longer to ensure Hamas does not reconstitute its capabilities — a commitment few Israeli politicians are willing to make.

The Cabinet meeting was expected to run into the night.

Israeli media said the three teens — Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16 — appeared to have been killed soon after their abduction. Fraenkel held both Israeli and American citizenship. Security officials initially assessed that Hamas would try to trade the seminary students for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, but no offer was made.

In 2011, Israel freed more than 1,000 Palestinians in exchange for the return of Gilad Shalit, a soldier grabbed five years earlier near the Gaza border.

Israeli security officials had named two suspects in the current kidnapping, both Hamas activists from the Hebron area. Soldiers raided their homes several times over the past two weeks and detained family members for questioning.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 01, 2014, 04:49:56 pm
Israel bombs Gaza sites hours after bodies of Israeli teens found

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli aircraft bombed dozens of sites in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the military said, and troops opened fire and killed a Palestinian during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian medics said.

The raid came hours after Israel found the bodies of three Israeli teens in the occupied West Bank who went missing on June 12. Israel has blamed the Islamist Hamas group for their abduction near a Jewish settlement and has arrested dozens of the groups members in the past three weeks.

The air strikes, however, while numerous, did not depart radically from Israel's usual response to Palestinian rocket fire into its territory and as the Israeli cabinet weighed its actions against Hamas, there was no sign the Jewish state was poised to launch a major assault on the Palestinian enclave.

The military said that its aircraft bombed 34 Gaza sites, most of them belonging to Hamas, in response to 18 rockets fired into Israel since Sunday. Two people were lightly wounded, Gaza medical officials said.

In the West Bank, an Israeli military spokeswoman said, troops opened fire at a man, identified by Palestinian officials as Yousouf Ibrahim abu Zagha, 19, who threw an explosive device at soldiers who were attempting to arrest a militant in the Jenin refugee camp.

The military added that three Palestinians were detained in the West Bank on Tuesday. Palestinian officials said five were arrested.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 01, 2014, 05:32:19 pm
Iraq Battles ISIS Militants in Tikrit Following Declaration

the city of Tikrit on Monday after its leader was declared caliph of a new Islamic state in lands seized this month across a swathe of Iraq and Syria. Alarming regional and world powers, the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) claimed universal authority when it dropped the local element in its name and said its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as leader of the Islamic State, was now caliph of the Muslim world - a medieval title last widely recognized in the Ottoman sultan deposed 90 years ago after World War One.

The move, which follows a three-week drive for territory by ISIS militants and allies among Iraqi's Sunni Muslim minority, aims to erase international borders drawn by colonial powers and defy Baghdad's U.S.- and Iranian-backed, Shiite-led government. It also poses a direct challenge to the global leadership of al Qaeda, which has disowned it, and to conservative Gulf Arab Sunni rulers who already view the group as a security threat. Tikrit was the home city of Saddam Hussein, whose overthrow by U.S. forces in 2003 ended a long history of domination by Sunnis over what is today a Shiite majority in Iraq.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 08, 2014, 10:34:43 am
Iraqi parliament to meet early next week

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's parliament Tuesday officially rescheduled its next session for early next week after criticism over initial plans for a five-week break, amid pressure for political leaders to agree on a new government that can confront militants who have overrun much of the country's north and west.

Acting parliament speaker Mahdi al-Hafidh said in a statement that after considering the "national interests," the next session will be on Sunday instead of Aug. 12.

He warned that any delay in forming a new government "will jeopardize Iraq's security and democracy and will increase the suffering of Iraqis." He also called on all political rivals to "shoulder their responsibilities and set aside their differences to fight terrorism to put Iraq back on democracy path."

Al-Hafidh's statement made official what he had said late Monday was a "preliminary agreement" among political leaders to skip the long break and move the next session up to Sunday.

Lawmakers are under pressure to quickly form a new government that can unite the country and roll back the insurgents. The legislature held its first session since April elections last week, but failed to agree on a new speaker, president and prime minister.

Despite the decision to meet Sunday instead of next month, it still appears unlikely that political leaders will be able to bridge their differences in time to settle on names for the top leadership posts — particularly the prime minister, with incumbent Nouri al-Maliki resisting a campaign to replace him.

Al-Maliki's State of Law bloc won the largest share of seats in April's election, securing 92 out of parliament's 328 seats. But he is far short of the majority needed to govern, which means he needs allies to cobble together a coalition government.

His opponents — and many former allies — want him removed, accusing him of monopolizing power during his eight years in office and contributing to the current crisis by failing to promote reconciliation with Sunnis. But he has vowed he will not abandon his bid for a third consecutive term.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on July 09, 2014, 11:46:48 am
Shocking moment ISIS militants take sledgehammers to Mosul tomb of Prophet Jonah as more than 50 blindfolded bodies are found massacred south of Baghdad

    ISIS militants filmed taking sledgehammers to tombstones in Mosul, Iraq
    Donning balaclavas and black clothing, they swung weapons into tombs
    One grave belonged to Prophet Jonah, revered by Muslims and Christians
    Rebels believe special veneration of tombs is against teachings of Islam
    Comes as more than 50 bodies have been found in city south of Baghdad
    Most of the bodies were blindfolded with gunshot wounds, said authorities
    Investigation is underway to establish the circumstances of the killings


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 24, 2014, 08:12:45 pm
Officials: ISIS blows up Jonah's tomb in Iraq

(CNN) -- If you blink during the video, you might miss the moment Jonah's tomb in Mosul, Iraq, explodes.

The first few frames show the revered shrine towering over its landscape. There's a sudden burst of dust, fire and smoke.

Then, nothing.

CNN could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the video, which was posted to YouTube.

The holy site is thought to be the burial place of the prophet Jonah, who was swallowed by a whale or fish in both the Islamic and Judeo-Christian traditions.

Militants belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, planted explosives around the tomb and detonated the explosion remotely Thursday, civil defense officials there told CNN.

The tomb was inside a Sunni mosque called the Mosque of the Prophet Younis.

ISIS is waging war against the Iraqi government and has taken over several cities. It is seeking to create an Islamic caliphate that encompasses parts of Iraq and Syria and has begun imposing Sharia law in the towns it controls.

The group has threatened to destroy any shrine it deems un-Islamic.

Christian families fled Mosul this month after the al Qaeda splinter group issued an ultimatum to Iraqi Christians living there: either convert to Islam, pay a fine or face "death by the sword."

ISIS has blown up several Sunni holy sites in the last few weeks in Mosul.

Last month, it destroyed seven Shiite places of worship in the predominantly Shiite Turkmen city of Tal Afar, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Mosul, Human Rights Watch has reported, citing local sources.

The explosion at the tomb happened the same day eight people were killed and two others were wounded when Iraqi fighter jets bombed a store in the al-Dubat neighborhood, according to Dr. Mohammed Fadel, the director of Mosul's main hospital.

In central Baghdad, two car bombs exploded on a busy commercial street in the Karrada district. At least four people were killed and 14 others were wounded, police officials in the capital said.

Iraqi leaders elect a new president

Also Thursday, Iraqi lawmakers elected Fuad Masum to be the country's next president.

Masum is a veteran Kurdish politician and senior member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan leadership council. He has been a member of the Iraqi parliament since 2005 and the head of the Kurdish alliance bloc there for the last four years.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Masum to congratulate him.

"They agreed on the importance of forming a new Iraqi government as quickly as possible and working to arrive at an agreed-upon road map for governance. President Masum expressed the importance of restoring trust and confidence among all of Iraq's communities and continuing to rebuild Iraq's relations in the region," according to the White House.

Meanwhile, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, was in Iraq on Thursday to meet with senior Iraqi officials.

"In our conversations I reinforced the importance of quickly forming a government that is inclusive and representative of all Iraqis.

"I also underscored the point that, in the absence of political movement, any support the U.S. Government might consider providing could have only limited, short-term effects," Austin said in a statement.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on July 25, 2014, 07:18:23 am
Islamic State torches 1,800-year-old church after expelling Christians

“Friday at noon was the deadline for Christian families to meet ISIS’s demands: Convert to Islam, pay an anachronistic Islamic tax for non-Muslims known as jizya, leave Mosul, or be killed. But the day before the final exodus, Christians were informed jizya was no longer an option. The order came to convert, leave, or die.”

This “anachronistic Islamic tax” is actually in the Qur’an, which no Muslim would describe as anachronistic: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).

“ISIS Torches 1800-Year-Old Mosul Church After Expelling Christians,” by Adam Chandler, The Wire, July 22, 2014 (thanks to Darcy):

ISIS, which recently rebranded as the Islamic State, has solidified its control over Iraq’s second-largest city by imposing Sharia law and expelling Christians who won’t convert to Islam. The end of last month marked the first time a mass wasn’t held in the city in more than 1600 years.

 Then, matters got worse. From the Daily Beast:

Friday at noon was the deadline for Christian families to meet ISIS’s demands: Convert to Islam, pay an anachronistic Islamic tax for non-Muslims known as jizya, leave Mosul, or be killed. But the day before the final exodus, Christians were informed jizya was no longer an option. The order came to convert, leave, or die.

On the way out of town last week, the final 1500 families of Mosul’s Christian population reportedly robbed at ISIS checkpoints. And following Friday’s deadline, ISIS reportedly set fire to a 1800-year-old church.

#ISIS burns 1,800-year-old church in #Mosul http://t.co/TA2hBFMyah pic.twitter.com/SK0F6jpQpX
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 20, 2014

Last month, ISIS shocked much of the world by swiftly capturing Mosul in an offensive that allowed the group to take control of major parts of northern and western Iraq. As Reuters reported, the group has managed to shore up its control over communities with a combination of force and fear. After meeting armed resistance in the town of al-Alam for nearly two weeks, here’s what the group did:

They kidnapped 30 local families and rang up the town’s most influential citizens with a simple message about the hostages: “You know their destiny if you don’t let us take over the town.”

Weeks later, according to the report, only a few gunman patrol the town at night “so comfortable is the Islamic State in its control through fear.” Since then, with Baghdad as the prize in mind, the group has grown in size from 3,000 by earlier estimates to 20,000 as last month’s offensive bolstered their standing.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 07, 2014, 11:33:52 am
Pope Francis calls for action as Iraqi Christians forced to flee

ope Francis appealed to world leaders on Thursday to help end the crisis in northern Iraq after a sweeping advance by radical Islamic state militants forced thousands of residents of Iraq's biggest Christian town to flee their homes.

"His Holiness addresses an urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, to act to protect those affected or threatened by violence and to provide aid, especially for the most urgent needs of the many who have been forced to flee and who depend on the solidarity of others," the Vatican said in a statement.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 07, 2014, 11:34:53 am
Islamic State pulls down church crosses in northern Iraq as 200,000 flee

Islamic State, the jihadist group formerly known as Isis, have occupied churches in Iraq, removing crosses and destroying manuscripts, witnesses report, having overrun Kurdish troops forcing 200,000 to flee


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 07, 2014, 11:36:13 am
Looks like when the Pope talks Obama acts

Obama Weighs Airstrikes or Aid to Help Trapped Iraqis, Officials Say

President Obama is considering airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine to address a humanitarian crisis among as many as 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq who have been dying of heat and thirst on a mountaintop after death threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, administration officials said on Thursday.

The president, in meetings with his national security team at the White House on Thursday morning, has been weighing a series of options ranging from dropping humanitarian supplies on Mount Sinjar to military strikes on the fighters from ISIS now at the base of the mountain, a senior administration official said.

“There could be a humanitarian catastrophe there,” a second administration official said, adding that a decision from Mr. Obama was expected “imminently — this could be a fast-moving train.”
Continue reading the main story
Related Coverage

    People carried a wounded victim at the scene of a car bombing outside a Shiite prayer hall on Thursday in Kirkuk.
    Rebels Capture Iraq’s Largest DamAUG. 7, 2014
    Members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria paraded through Raqqa, Syria, the group’s de facto capital, in June.
    Islamic Militants in Iraq Are Widely Loathed, Yet Action to Curb Them Is ElusiveAUG. 6, 2014
    Iraqi refugees on Wednesday arrived at a checkpoint controlled by Kurdish pesh merga forces after fleeing villages near Mosul.
    Sunni Extremists Repel Kurdish Forces in IraqAUG. 6, 2014

The administration official said that “the president is weighing both passive and active options,” defining passive action as dropping humanitarian supplies. He added, using an alternative name for ISIS, “More active, we could target the ISIL elements that are besieging the base of the mountain.”

The administration had been delaying taking any military action against ISIS until there is a new Iraqi government. Both White House and Pentagon officials have said privately that the United States would not intervene militarily until Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki stepped down.

But administration officials said on Thursday that the crisis on Mount Sinjar may be forcing their hand. About 40 children have already died from the heat and dehydration, according to Unicef, while as many as 40,000 people have been sheltering in the bare mountains without food, water or access to supplies.

The administration officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. One official said that any military action would be “limited, specific and achievable,” noting that Mr. Maliki’s political party was supposed to announce a new candidate for prime minister on Thursday, but had not yet.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 07, 2014, 12:30:36 pm
White House: 'There are no American military solutions to the problems in Iraq' - @Reuters

says it all right there. Thanx to all you vets who died or are missing limbs.


please read:

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 07, 2014, 02:58:09 pm
Hamas says Gaza war not over until demands met

GAZA CITY, Gaza City (AP) — Hamas held on Thursday its first public rally since a cease-fire with Israel, with an official vowing the militant group would never give up its arms and will continue to fight until the Gaza Strip blockade is lifted.

The uncompromising rhetoric of the official, Mushir al-Masri, comes on the third and final day of a truce in the monthlong Israel-Hamas war and at a time when Hamas and other Palestinian factions are in Cairo indirectly negotiating with Israel for a permanent cease-fire and steps to lift the seven-year-old blockade of the coastal strip by Israel and Egypt.

In Cairo, Egyptian security officials struggled to bring the two sides closer together, with one official saying that Hamas and other Gaza militants were refusing to compromise.

Unlike Hamas rallies on previous occasions, only several thousand showed up for the event in the heart of Gaza City. The modest turnout was not necessarily a sign of waning support for the group, but most likely a reflection of the fatigue felt by most of Gaza's 1.8 million residents after four weeks of a ruinous war, as well as anxiety over whether the three-day truce will be extended.

"Our fingers are on the trigger, and our rockets are trained on Tel Aviv, Lod and beyond," al-Masri told the rally.

Cairo is mediating indirect talks between Israel and Hamas on extending the 72-hour cease-fire that expires Friday morning. Hamas has demanded the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade imposed on the coastal territory after the Islamic militant group seized power in 2007.

Israel has said the militants must disarm first, which al-Masri insisted was out of the question.

"The war is not over yet. Our men are still in the field, manning forward positions," he said. "It is out of the question that the weapons of the resistance should be on the negotiating table. They have not been put on the table and, God willing, they will never be."

Al-Masri insisted fighters are "in good shape" despite four weeks of fighting and still had tunnels extending into Israel that could be used for attacks if Hamas' demands are not met.

One of the Egyptian security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said the Palestinian delegation's stance had hardened after the arrival in Cairo of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders from the Gaza Strip.

The war stemmed from the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.

On July 8 Israel began an air campaign on the territory and nine days later it sent in ground troops it said would target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

Nearly 1,900 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, three-quarters of them civilians, according to the United Nations. Israel says some 900 Palestinian militants were among the dead. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians inside Israel have also been killed.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 09, 2014, 08:55:22 am
US aircraft strikes Islamic State targets in northern Iraq

US warplanes bombed Islamist fighters marching on Iraq's Kurdish capital on Friday after President Barack Obama said Washington must act to prevent "genocide". Islamic State fighters, who have beheaded and crucified captives in their drive to eradicate unbelievers, have advanced to within a half hour's drive of Arbil, capital of Iraq's Kurdish region and a hub for US oil companies. 


Iraq conflict: Obama vows to stop jihadist state

US President Barack Obama has said he will not allow Sunni Muslim jihadists to carve out a "caliphate", or Islamic state, straddling Syria and Iraq. The US has been carrying out air strikes on Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Iraq. Mr Obama said there would be further air strikes if necessary but no US military operation on the ground.   


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 11, 2014, 07:11:02 am
Holy War Arrives in Germany

    "Never before have the sympathizers of Islamic terror appeared so openly in Germany." — Editorial, Westfalen-Blatt.

    "Anyone who thought the civil war in Syria or the barbarity of the Islamic State in Iraq does not affect us, you are wrong." — Editorial, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

    "IS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Boko Haram—these four groups are the linchpins of the attempt to bomb an unstoppable modernity back into the Middle Ages." — Editorial, Westfalen-Blatt.

    "The religions of the world are increasingly being misused for ideological struggles and excesses of violence between people of different faiths. Religions are never violent per se, but the market criers of violence are using them to promote their own interests." — Editorial, Neue Westfälische.

Supporters of the jihadist group "Islamic State" [IS] have clashed with Kurdish Yazidis in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state with the largest Muslim population in Germany.

The violence—which comes amid threats by a German jihadist to blow up an American nuclear weapons storage facility in Germany—has counter-terrorism officials concerned that radical Muslims are deliberately exploiting the ethnic and religious tensions in the Middle East to stir up trouble on the streets of Europe.

Police say the Muslim-Yazidi clash was triggered after six Islamists stormed a restaurant in the eastern Westphalian town of Herford at around 4 pm on August 7. The Muslims were attempting forcibly to remove a poster inviting people to join a demonstration in support of the Yazidis in Iraq.

Thousands of Yazidis, an ethnic Kurdish non-Muslim minority, were forced to flee their homes in northern Iraq in early August to escape advancing Islamic State fighters, who are forcing the Yazidis to convert to Islam or be killed.

The 30-year-old owner of the restaurant in Herford and two others, all Yazidis, were injured in the brawl, which police say was fought with knives and bottles.

Several hours after the restaurant attack, between 300 and 500 Yazidis gathered in the Herford town center, where they clashed with a large group of hooded Salafists.

More than 100 police reinforcements from across eastern Westphalia were called in to restore order. Police, who used pepper spray to disperse the two groups, confiscated makeshift weapons and one firearm, and questioned 86 people.

In the final tally, police arrested six individuals involved in the attack on the Yazidi restaurant: Five ethnic Chechen Salafists and one German convert to Islam. According to German media, two of the individuals are leading Salafist operatives who were already being monitored by German intelligence.

A German intelligence official was quoted as saying that one of the Chechens is a trained fighter who participated in guerrilla warfare against Russian troops and who is considered to be "highly dangerous."

German authorities have long warned of the threat posed by Salafism, a radically anti-Western ideology that seeks to impose Islamic sharia law in Germany and other parts of Europe.

Membership in Islamic extremist groups in Germany rose to 43,185 in 2013, up from 42,550 in 2012, according to German intelligence estimates. The number of Salafists in Germany rose to 5,500 in 2013, up from 4,500 in 2012, and 3,800 in 2011.

Although Salafists make up only a fraction of the estimated 4.3 million Muslims in Germany, authorities are increasingly concerned that most of those attracted to Salafi ideology are impressionable young Muslims who are susceptible to perpetrating terrorist acts in the name of Islam.

North Rhine-Westphalia is home to the largest concentration (about 1,500) of Salafists in Germany. The region is also home to most of the estimated 60,000 Yazidis who live in Germany.

The area around Herford has long been a magnet for Salafists, and mosques in the town are known to convert young people to Salafism. "Even the operator of a fitness center is suspected of wanting to inspire young Germans, under the guise of sports, for Salafism," an intelligence official was quoted as saying.

More than a dozen men from the Herford area have joined IS in Syria and Iraq, and at least one, a 22-year-old German convert to Islam, is known to have been killed in the fighting.

On August 7, a German jihadist from the Westphalian city of Essen, who is believed to be fighting in Syria, threatened to bomb the American nuclear weapons storage facility situated near the city of Koblenz. The 27-year-old convert to Islam, who is known as Silvio K., also threatened to attack churches, government agencies and transport networks across Germany.

A German Interior Ministry spokesperson said that although "the threat is abstract, it may become real at any time." He said it proves that Germany "is still the focus of jihadist terrorism," especially from jihadists returning from Syria with combat experience and contacts to jihadist groups.

German commentators have reacted to the events in Herford with a sense of foreboding, with some saying that the war in Syria and Iraq has now arrived on Germany's doorstep.

In an editorial entitled, "The Madness Reaches Eastern Westphalia," the newspaper Westfalen-Blatt states:

    "The Yazidis deserve our sympathy and support as do any other oppressed people in the world. The call for participation in a demonstration against genocide, which triggered the events in Herford, is perfectly legitimate in a democracy. It is to be hoped that many German flags will be flown at the rally to protest the misuse of religion for political purposes. Hopefully Herford is not the beginning of an escalation that could reach further levels of violence over the next few days….

    "And this is frightening: Never before have the sympathizers of Islamic terror appeared so openly in Germany. These are the circles in which European fighters are recruited for jihad. This is also the milieu in which the Salafist ultra-radicals develop when they are back in Europe again. Therefore, police and secret service are required to monitor the scene closely.

    "And no, we did not know that Chechen Muslims are such vehement supporters of the IS-terrorists in Iraq. The Chechens in the southern Russian Caucasus are themselves victims of repression and human rights violations.

    "IS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Boko Haram—these four groups are the linchpins of the attempt to bomb an unstoppable modernity back into the Middle Ages. The means to this end are Sharia, hatred and glorification of a supposedly "holy" war—what madness!"

The newspaper Neue Westfälische stated:

    "When—if as now in Herford—the Kurdish Yazidi religious community and the radicalized Islamist ideology of the Salafists collide, then a city in eastern Westphalia is in danger of going up in flames.

    "The conflict between the Yazidis and Salafists has arrived at our front door because it is part of a global conflict. The religions of the world are increasingly being misused for ideological struggles and excesses of violence between people of different faiths. Religions are never violent per se, but the agents of violence are using them to promote their own interests.

    "We should not be surprised by the tumult of Wednesday, as German intelligence has long warned that Herford is a center of Salafism. The Islamists, among them Russian Chechens, who have nothing to lose and are mainly driven by poverty and hopelessness, are in our midst. And the citizens react in disbelief and resignation... a silent horror."

In an editorial entitled, "No Battleground for Radicals," the newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

    "Herford is not Mosul and North Rhine-Westphalia is not Iraq. Germany must not become an arena for clashes that take place beyond our borders, but that nevertheless are close to home, just because many people from the different ethnic groups involved live permanently among us.

    "The clashes in eastern Westphalia are a warning that radical tendencies are directed not only against 'infidels,' but also against the entire Western liberal democratic order. There are indications that the attack on a Yazidi restaurant in Herford by supporters of the Islamic State was specifically planned. Perhaps it was to serve as a blueprint for a wave of hate attacks that may soon occur elsewhere. Islamic jihadists are ready for anything. This was already proved by the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels, with four victims."

In another editorial entitled, "Looking the Other Way Will No Longer Work," the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung summed it up this way:

    "Anyone who thought the civil war in Syria or the barbarity of the Islamic State in Iraq does not affect us, you are now wrong. No matter how far away Qaraqosh [Iraq's largest Christian city] and Sinjar [home to the Yazidis in Iraq] may be: What happens there also affects us here in Germany. Sympathizers of the Islamic State have attacked the Yazidi in Herford, which means that Qaraqosh, Sinjar and Herford are now inseparable.

    "For far too long, Germany's political leaders, and especially the leaders of German Muslim organizations, have sat by and idly watched the proliferation of the Salafist-jihadist hatred culture, in the purported belief that it poses no danger. It is absolutely outrageous that local politicians have played down the risk of Islamism, while the capabilities of the security authorities are increasingly being overstretched by the need to deal with this threat.

    "Muslim organizations should hang their heads in shame. Rather than bluntly stating that the barbarians in northern Iraq are 'not Muslims,' they whistle away to say that Islam is 'only peace.' In the future, this kind of obfuscation will no longer suffice, especially if German Muslims, who are subject to the German legal system, wish to avoid being held accountable for the killings in the name of Islam.

    "The Islamic State under its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may not last very long; but the propaganda from his jihad certainly will survive him. This is because the seeds of hatred that 'Caliph' Baghdadi has sown are far more toxic than those of Osama Bin Laden. For disaffected youth, the Islamic State exerts great appeal, and not only in Herford."


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 11, 2014, 07:39:13 am
Crucified by the Caliphate monsters: Iraq descends into apocalypse as Islamic State fanatics seize towns and tell terrified Yazidi 'Become Muslims by noon today... or we kill all of you'

    Mail on Sunday reporter Ian Birrell gives shocking despatch from Irbil
    Terrified residents see Islamic State (IS) jihadists capturing nearby towns
    Refugees speak of being offered sinister ultimatum by advancing horde
    IS has shocked the world again by capturing new swathes of Iraq
    Came as U.S. stepped in and started bombing IS artillery and convoys
    Meanwhile they surround Yazidi religious minority on barren mountainside
    Some of persecuted sect escaped today by helicopter and escort

They arrived bristling with heavy weapons and waving black flags from about a dozen Humvees, seized from the Iraqi army and supplied originally by the United States.

When the terrified residents looked out of their windows, they saw that Kosho, their traditional walled village in the mountains of northern Iraq, had been surrounded by jihadists. More than 200 bearded militants had besieged the village.

Then their leader – a local man from Mosul rather than the foreigners who make up more than a third of the ranks of the group now known as Islamic State – offered them a chance to save their lives.

Scroll down for video

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2720876/Crucified-Caliphate-monsters-Iraq-descends-apocalypse-Islamic-State-fanatics-seize-towns-tell-terrified-Yazidi-Become-Muslims-noon-today-kill-you.html#ixzz3A5R0pFeZ

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 12, 2014, 06:54:37 am
UK Telegraph: ISIS Militants Say, 'Our Message To the Entire World Is
That We Are the Soldiers of the Caliphate State and We Are Coming'

Video released by the Islamic State (IS) group has shown militants celebrating and raising the black IS flag over buildings and facilities in a number of key Iraqi locations under their control. The militants took control of Mosul in June, and captured a string of towns and Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam and reservoir in recent weeks. In the video, armed militants of the Islamic State group stand by a tank, holding weapons as one declares to the camera: "Our message to the entire world is that we are the soldiers of the Caliphate state and we are coming."    MORE

Bryan Fischer: Clueless Or Complicit?
Obama and Islam's War With America

One thing the brutal, inhumane march of ISIS through Iraq has made clear is that Islam is at war with the West. It is now plain: it's America vs. Islam, God vs. Satan, good vs. evil. This will be a war to the death.  ISIS has warned the Yazidi that they must "become Muslims...or we kill all of you." It is their intention to do the same thing to the United States. ISIS leaders have flatly stated, "We will raise the flag of Allah in the White House" – and, "If America attacks Iraq every American embassy in the world will be exposed and attacked with car bombs." Another communique vowed: "If the United States bomb Iraq, every American citizen is a legitimate target." Well, Obama has bombed Iraq. You do the math.   MORE

ISIS Swallowing Iraq: 'They're Beheading Children'

Islamic terrorists in Iraq are beheading children and burying people alive, and it won't stop there. They have a message for America: "We're coming for you." Over the past week, the army of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), also known as IS (Islamic State), swallowed up swaths of Iraq like a pervading darkness. In just one day, tens of thousands of Christians fled from towns like Qaraqosh and Bartilla, about 25 miles away. Most came to the town of Erbil with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. The choice was leave or die.    MORE

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 14, 2014, 09:36:56 pm
ISIS Members Threaten To Attack America [VIDEO]

Even as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fights to expand the territory under its control in the Middle East, statements from members of ISIS suggest the terror group views America as a future target.

“Everywhere our camera went, there seemed to be a young man eager to extol the virtues of the newly formed caliphate,” VICE Media’s Medyan Dairieh narrated in part four of his video report from the ISIS-controlled Syrian city of Raqqa, which the terror group has proclaimed the capital of its newly declared Islamic caliphate.

“I swear to Allah we will divide America in two,” one child, who looked no older than 12, declared to VICE Media in an angry rant, speaking as if he was already a member of the terror group. “And we’ll destroy the enemies of the religion all of them, all who fight the Islamic State.”

“We promise car bombs and explosives,” he said earlier in his diatribe.

At an Islamic center, VICE Media captured a group of ISIS fighters holding guns and singing a song with lyrics containing declarative statements that the group had already destroyed America and Europe, perhaps imagining a future they hope to bring about.

“We have broken America in two and we’ve annihilated the countries of Europe,” the terrorists sang.

In a previous installment of VICE Media’s video report from Raqqa, IS spokesman Abu Mosa vowed to take the White House.

“We will humiliate [the Americans] everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House,” he said. (RELATED: ISIS To America: ‘Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones‘)

Touring Raqqa, VICE Media also witnessed a man being crucified, allegedly for murder.

Since capturing large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, the formerly al-Qaida-affiliated terror group now prefers to be known simply as the Islamic State (IS).

Last week, as ISIS approached the Kurdish city of Erbil in Iraq, President Barack Obama authorized American airstrikes against the group to stop its advance.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 14, 2014, 09:55:48 pm
ISIL holds 7 oil fields, large supplies of wheat in Iraq


ISIL Takfiri terrorists are currently in control of seven oil fields in Iraq and large amounts of the country’s wheat supplies.

Iraqi officials said on Wednesday that the militants were holding government silos in five of Iraq's most fertile provinces, where the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) says 40 percent of the country’s wheat is grown.

The output capacity of the ISIL-held oil fields amounts to 80,000 barrels a day, said the International Energy Agency (IEA) in a monthly oil market report on Tuesday.

The ISIL, which already held the Najma, Qayara, Himreen, Ajeel and Balad fields, managed to capture the Ain Zalah and Batma fields in Nineveh province earlier this month.

According to the IEA, the militants are currently about 30 kilometers (19 miles) away from Bai Hassan, the country’s fourth-biggest field, situated near Kirkuk.

The potential oil flow from Iraq’s ISIL-held deposits is commensurate to about $8.4 million a day on international markets.

Iraq, which has the world’s fifth-biggest crude reserves, came under a massive blitz by the ISIL Takfiri militants in June.

Apart from oil, the militants have also grabbed large supplies of grain in government silos and the country’s biggest dam.

    "Now is the worst time for food insecurity," said Fadel al-Zubi, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative for Iraq.

According to the Iraqi Trade Ministry, the government bought 1.1 million tons of wheat from Iraqi farmers this harvest season, which yet remain in silos in the provinces where they are operating. The amount equals nearly 20 percent of the annual consumption in Iraq.

Hassan Ibrahim, the director general of the Grain Board of Iraq, said the militants had embarked on selling the stolen wheat back to the government in an attempt to make money for their ongoing assaults.

More than a million people have been displaced by the ISIL-led violence in Iraq so far this year, according to the UN.

Soldiers of the Iraqi army have been engaged in heavy fighting with the militants on different fronts and have so far been able to push them back in several areas.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 20, 2014, 08:43:49 am

Horrific video of American freelance photo-journalist James Wright Foley, 40, being beheaded by ISIS in revenge for US airstrikes in Iraq was posted to the internet Tuesday afternoon. Foley, has been missing since November, 2012, after being taken hostage while reporting from Taftanaz, in northern Syria, for the agency, GlobalPost. ISIS posted the extremely graphic video titled 'A message to America' to social media as proof of their barbaric actions. In a chilling warning at the end of grisly film, the executioner paraded another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, who went missing in August 2013, and said: 'The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.'     MORE http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2729287/ISIS-beheads-journalist-James-Wright-Foley-warning-US.html

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 21, 2014, 07:33:51 am
Destroying Churches Is Part of ‘Islamic Doctrine’

A campaign by ISIS, also known as Islamic State, to destroy churches across Mosul, one of the ancient seats of Christianity where the faith has been practiced for 2,000 years, complies with the teaching of the Quran, according to several analysts. The ISIS army of Islamic terrorists has been marching across Iraq, destroying Christians and evidence of their faith for months now. ISIS is blamed for the destruction of about 45 churches in Mosul. Robert Spencer, author and Islamic terror analyst at Jihad Watch, says the violent campaign “does seem to have been a coordinated, planned action.”   

MORE: http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/destroying-churches-part-of-islamic-doctrine/

also see : http://endtimesandcurrentevents.freesmfhosting.com/index.php/topic,2048.0.html

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 22, 2014, 01:59:45 am
Islamic State executed 700 people from Syrian tribe: monitoring group

By Oliver Holmes and Suleiman Al-Khalidi

BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - The Islamic State militant group has executed 700 members of a tribe it has been battling in eastern Syria during the past two weeks, the majority of them civilians, a human rights monitoring group and activists said on Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has tracked violence on all sides of the three-year-old conflict, said reliable sources reported beheadings were used to execute many of the al-Sheitaat tribe, which is from Deir al-Zor province.

The conflict between Islamic State and the al-Sheitaat tribe, who number about 70,000, flared after the militants took over two oil fields in July.

“Those who were executed are all al-Sheitaat,” Observatory director Rami Abdelrahman said by telephone from Britain. “Some were arrested, judged and killed.”

Reuters cannot independently verify reports from Syria due to security conditions and reporting restrictions.

Proclaiming a 'caliphate' straddling parts of Iraq and Syria, Islamic State has swept across northern Iraq in recent weeks, pushing back Kurdish regional forces and driving tens of thousands of Muslims, Christians and members of the Yazidi religious minority from their homes, prompting the first U.S. air strikes in Iraq since the withdrawal of American troops in 2011.

The insurgents are also tightening their grip in Syria, of which they now control roughly a third, mostly rural areas in the north and east.

An activist in Deir al-Zor who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters that 300 men were executed in one day in the town of Ghraneij, one of the three main towns of the al-Sheitaat tribal heartland, when Islamic State stormed the town earlier this week.

Another opposition activist from Deir al-Zor said residents of al-Sheitaat towns had been given three days to leave.

“Those who were executed during the storming of the al-Sheitaat area are around 300. The rest were killed in the course of the battles," he told Reuters on condition of anonymity to protect his identity.

Civilians fleeing al-Sheitaat towns had either taken sanctuary in other villages or travelled to Iraq, he said.

More than 170,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, which pits overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim rebels against President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Shi'ite-derived Alawite minority, backed by Shi'ite militias from Iraq and Lebanon.

The insurgency is split between competing factions in Syria, with Islamic State emerging as the most powerful.

Tribal powers in Syria and Iraq have had to make the choice between fighting Islamic State or pledging allegiance.

On Friday, a video posted on YouTube showed men who said they were from the al-Sheitaat towns of Kishkeih and Abu Hammam pledging full support for Islamic State.

“We say that what Islamic State stands for is justice,” a tribal member sitting in a room with dozens of other men said in a statement that was read out.

The head of the al-Sheitaat tribe, Sheikh Rafaa Aakla al-Raju, called in a video message for other tribes to join them in the fight against the militants.

“We appeal to the other tribes to stand by us because it will be their turn next ... If (Islamic State) are done with us the other tribes will be targeted after al-Sheitaat. They are the next target,” he said in the video, posted on YouTube.

Islamic State was condemned on Friday in a U.N. Security Council resolution for "gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law."

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 24, 2014, 05:18:26 pm
Emboldened ISIS Threatens Americans on Twitter

Supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have launched a viral propaganda campaign on Twitter threatening to attack the United States and its interests if America acts militarily against the group in Iraq.

These threats have been delivered through messages on ISIS's #CalamityWillBefallUS hashtag and feature images of the 9/11 attacks; dead American soldiers; the body of slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens; a threatening message from Anwar al-Awlaki, the late leader of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP); and the Nick Berg beheading video, among others.

"We will kill your people and transform America to a river of blood :)!" a poster tweeting under the name "Miqdad remain #" said in a post on the #CalamityWillBefallUS hashtag.

The threats are posted in English as well as in Arabic. For example, the ISIS-linked Al-Battar Media Foundation sent out a tweet Wednesday night telling supporters that "Tweeting in English is preferred" in a Twitter campaign that it planned for Friday that it is calling a "Warning to American People."

The United States has sent military advisers to Iraq. There is talk of possible airstrikes, but Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to rule them out in the near term. Bombing now "would be a complete and total act of irresponsibility," Kerry said, because of Iraq's political environment, which offers "nothing there that provides the capacity for success."

In a separate interview, Kerry dismissed ISIS's threats, saying the group did not yet have the capability to carry them out.

ISIS's Twitter intimidation campaign, therefore, may be a combination of recruiting propaganda and an attempt to drive public support down for any future American strikes.

ISIS says it will target every American embassy around the world with car bombs should the U.S. attack Iraq, according to an image posted by a user @BZEAA.

"... EACH and EVERY #American is targeted, whether he lives in or outside the #US! …," the Al-Battar Media Foundation warned Wednesday. The foundation also warned of a pending 9/11-style attack, saying it would happen in an "UNEXPECTED PLACE."

Mohamed al-Jizrawi, an ISIS supporter with 2,000 Twitter followers, similarly warned that U.S. embassies, interests and citizens around the world would be targeted should the Obama administration increase American military involvement in Iraq.

Additionally, threats have been leveled against companies in the Arab world, stating they will be a "legitimate target for every Muslim" if they employ Americans.

Likewise, American doctors have also been threatened with a message bearing ISIS's logo stating, "Every American doctor working in any country will be slaughtered if America attack (sic) Iraq."

Social media tools have become essential for ISIS to obtain new recruits and funding, Western and Arab sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Besides threatening the United States, ISIS uses social media to find recruits and provide instant reports about its battlefield maneuvers. A slickly produced recruitment video tweeted by ISIS members last week telling Western Muslims to join their jihad exemplifies the terror group's social-media strategy. Thousands of Western Muslims already have answered the call – many of whom are fighting for ISIS.

Combating ISIS's use of social media is a bit like playing whack-a-mole because the terrorists replace closed social-media portals with new ones as soon as the old ones are closed.

One thing is for sure, ISIS's use of social media means jihadist propaganda has come out of the shadows and into the public eye.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 27, 2014, 06:59:02 am
Top U.S. Military Officer: ISIS Has ‘Apocalyptic End-of-Days Vision’ That Must Be Defeated

During a recent press conference, America’s top military officer asserted that the Islamic terrorist group ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has an ‘apocalyptic end-of-days strategic vision’ that must be defeated by a coalition of forces.

Want proof?? Read this.. http://endtimesandcurrentevents.freesmfhosting.com/index.php/topic,2048.0.html

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the statements on Thursday as both he and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel discussed concerns about the group.

“This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated,” he said.

Dempsey remarked that ISIS must be fought in Syria, but that various groups must join together to defeat the terrorist organization.

“[C]an they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border,” he said, referring to the Islamic group’s takeover of parts of both Syria and Iraq. “And that will come when we have a coalition in the region that takes on the task of defeating ISIS over time.”

“They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded,” Hagel added. “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen. So we must prepare for everything.”

As previously reported, Muslims believe that in the 10th century, the Islamic Mahdi—or redeemer—went into hiding, but will appear again to make all things right with the world. According to the website Answering Islam, Muslims also claim that Jesus will return as a follower of Islam and will establish the religion on the earth.

“Muslims believe that after Allah miraculously delivered Jesus from death, He was assumed into heaven alive in a similar fashion to the Biblical narrative regarding Elijah,” the site outlines. “Since then, Muslims believe, Jesus has remained with Allah and has been awaiting His opportunity to return to the earth to finish His ministry and complete His life.”

“While the Mahdi … is clearly seen as being a superior to Jesus, Jesus is still said to be a leader of the Muslim Community [upon His return],” it continues. “According to the Islamic traditions, Jesus’ primary purpose will be to oversee the institution and the enforcement of the Islamic Shariah law all over the world.”

Nadeem Walayat of the Market Oracle echoed these sentiments.

“What ISIS and virtually all Muslims anticipate is for Jesus to return on the white Eastern Minaret of Damascus (Syria) gliding in on the wings of two angels and then through much blood and carnage will convert the whole world to Islam including killing all of the Jews, break all of the crosses and live as a Muslim for 40 years, before dying and thus heralding the final countdown to Judgment Day when Muslims expect to enter paradise,” he explained.

ISIS specifically seeks to establish an Islamic State in the areas that it conquers, placing the regions under Islamic rule.

Earlier this month, VICE News released a video documentary showing Abu Mosa, a spokesman for ISIS threatening to retaliate if the U.S. interferes with its establishment of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established,” he said. “Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq.”

“We will humiliate them everywhere, Allah willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House,” Mosa declared.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 27, 2014, 07:02:05 am
Bryan Fischer: How a Christian Nation Should Respond To the ISIS Threat

ISIS continues its murderous march across Syria and Iraq, committing genocide on the Yazidis and the few Christians who are left. This week they warned America, “We will drown all of you in blood.” There is no ambiguity in that threat. They punctuated their declaration by sawing the head off infidel American journalist James Foley and posting the video for everyone in the U.S. to see. What is a Christian nation like the U.S. to do?     MORE

UN: Hundreds of Turkmen Muslims Slaughtered in ISIS Religious Cleansing

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) slaughtered 700 Turkmen civilians last month, including "children, women, and old people," United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Iraq chief Marzio Babille confirmed. Babille told Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) that the massacre of members of the country’s Shiite minority occurred in the northern Iraqi village of Beshir between July 11th and 12th.

Why Aren’t Americans Taking the ISIS Threat ‘To Drown You All In Blood’ Seriously?

If some psychopaths were running around crucifying and beheading lots of people and then they said that they wanted to drown my family “in blood” I would be inclined to take them seriously.  But so far, most Americans seem to be completely and totally unconcerned about ISIS.  Perhaps that is because we had so many years where we were told that al-Qaeda was a major threat but nothing ever seemed to happen.  Well, the truth is...

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 28, 2014, 10:02:13 am

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 28, 2014, 06:46:52 pm

Side note: At the 15:30 mark(not sure if everyone here has viewed it, but either way won't give away the spoiler) - the clip is at a Ferguson, MO "protest"...look at the sign being flashed by one of these "protesters".

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on August 29, 2014, 06:16:04 am

well DUH!! Obama is a Muslim himself. He supports them, so does McCain...  :P

Man With ISIS Flag Waving From Car Leads Police On Chase Through Chicago...

Makes Bomb Threat...

ISIS strips 250 Syrian soldiers, marches them to mass execution...

People are so surprised, but this is Islam. Always have been, the media has lied to you about the true nature of Islam.

REPORT: President accepts invitation to George Clooney's Italy wedding...

Well of course he did, Clooney is marrying a MUSLIM

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 29, 2014, 09:41:53 am
Man With ISIS Flag Waving From Car Leads Police On Chase Through Chicago...

Makes Bomb Threat...

Yes, ISIS has potentially deeply infiltrated here in America - we shouldn't fear, per se, but this is NO joke!

FWIW, don't forget about the Emergent Church's role in pushing Islam as well in recent years.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 29, 2014, 10:41:58 am
U.K. Raises Its Terror Threat Level to 'Severe' in Response to ISIL


The United Kingdom has raised its terror threat level to "severe" in response to the advances of the Islamic State, Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Friday.

Cameron, in a televised statement from London, said it was the first time in three years that the nation's threat level had been that high. It had previously been at "substantial."

A "severe" threat level means an attack is "highly likely," Cameron said, although he did not cite specific intelligence.

The change was made by Britain's Joint Terrorism Assessment Centre following ISIL's advance in Iraq and Syria and its videotaped beheading of American photojournalist James Foley earlier this month. Cameron noted the British accent of Foley's killer in the video, and he said "at least 500" people have now traveled from Britain to fight with ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

ISIL, Cameron said, presents "a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before."

He called the Islamic State "a poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism" that must be confronted head-on.

"We cannot appease this ideology. We have to confront it at home and abroad," Cameron said.

He said the country would impose tighter restrictions on the travel of foreign nationals, among other steps. He voiced support for the airstrikes President Obama has ordered in Iraq, but he gave no indication that the U.K. would be joining the military campaign.

"The key point is that military force is just one element of what we can do," Cameron said.

He said he believed the West would be fighting the extremist ideology of ISIL "for years and probably for decades"

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 05, 2014, 05:42:17 pm
Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

Disclosures from classified documents help terrorist group’s militants avoid detection

A former top official at the National Security Agency says the Islamic State terrorist group has “clearly” capitalized on the voluminous leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and is exploiting the top-secret disclosures to evade U.S. intelligence.

Bottom line: Islamic State killers are harder to find because they know how to avoid detection.

SEE ALSO: Obama vows to ‘hunt down’ and ‘dismantle’ Islamic State

Chris Inglis was the NSA’s deputy director during Mr. Snowden’s flood of documents to the news media last year. Mr. Snowden disclosed how the agency eavesdrops, including spying on Internet communications such as emails and on the Web’s ubiquitous social media.

Asked by The Washington Times if the Islamic State has studied Mr. Snowden’s documents and taken action, Mr. Inglis answered, “Clearly.”

The top-secret spill has proven ready-made for the Islamic State (also referred to as ISIL or ISIS). It relies heavily on Internet channels to communicate internally and to spread propaganda.

Mr. Snowden “went way beyond disclosing things that bore on privacy concerns,” said Mr. Inglis, who retired in January. “‘Sources and methods’ is what we say inside the intelligence community — the means and methods we use to hold our adversaries at risk, and ISIL is clearly one of those.

“Having disclosed all of those methods, or at least some degree of those methods, it would be impossible to imagine that, as intelligent as they are in the use of technology, in the employment of communications for their own purposes, it’s impossible to imagine that they wouldn’t understand how they might be at risk to intelligence services around the world, not the least of which is the U.S. And they necessarily do what they think is in their best interest to defend themselves,” he said.

Another former official also bemoans the damage Mr. Snowden has done.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 12, 2014, 02:30:09 pm
Breaking: TURKEY REFUSES OBAMA REQUEST to Use Its Airbases to Fight ISIS
Posted by Jim Hoft on Thursday, September 11, 2014, 10:17 AM

Yesterday, Barack Obama stated, “Turkey needs to be involved in coalition against ISIS.”

On Thursday Turkey said it will not allow the US to use its airbases to fight ISIS.

The Daily Star reported:

    Turkey will refuse to allow a US-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighbouring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants, a government official told AFP Thursday.

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

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

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

    Turkey has come under fire by some critics for indirectly encouraging the formation of ISIS because of its support of Islamist opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and its loose control of its borders.

Considering ISIS terrorists are operating across the Turkish border, this is a bold statement to Obama and the US.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 13, 2014, 05:26:02 pm
White House makes it official: US "at war" with IS

Washington (AFP) - The White House declared Friday the United States was at war with Islamic State radicals, seeking to rub out another semantic flap over its Syria policy.

In a series of television interviews Secretary of State John Kerry had appeared to be reluctant to term the expansion of US operations against IS in Iraq and Syria as "war."

But pressed to clear up doubts about how President Barack Obama sees the conflict, the White House and Pentagon left little doubt.

"The United States is at war with ISIL in the same way that we are at war with Al-Qaeda and its Al-Qaeda affiliates all around the globe," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said that the US was not fighting the last Iraq war and used similar language to Earnest.

"But make no mistake, we know we are at war with ISIL in the same way we're at war and continue to be at war with Al-Qaida and its affiliates," he said.

Obama is scheduled to be in Tampa, Florida Wednesday to receive a briefing from top commanders at US Central Command, which oversees American forces in the Middle East.

In interviews on Thursday, as Kerry toured the Middle East building an anti-IS coalition, he was reluctant to use the term "war" in referring to the US campaign, telling people not to indulge in "war fever."

"We're engaged in a major counterterrorism operation, and it's going to be a long-term counterterrorism operation," Kerry told CBS News.

I think 'war' is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity," Kerry said.

- 'Different' from last war -

The dispute over wording may seem trivial when American planes and drones have been pounding Islamic State targets in Iraq for weeks in more than 160 operations.

But it indicates the administration is skittish about using language that could alarm Americans weary of years of foreign conflict and who embraced Obama's vow to "end" the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during two presidential election campaigns.

"The first thing that's important for people to understand is the president has made clear how the strategy that he is pursuing in Iraq and Syria to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL is different than the strategy that was pursued in the previous Iraq War," said Earnest on Friday.

Obama's new strategy, announced in a prime-time televised address on Wednesday, expands US air strikes in Iraq against IS and envisages new action against the group in Syria.

In addition, Obama plans to train "moderate" Syrian rebels to take on IS and to reconstitute the Iraqi army, parts of which fled an IS blitzkreig across northern and western Iraq.

But he has insisted that there will be no deployments of US ground troops in the operation -- especially none that would recall the vast US land armies that were targeted by insurgents in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The debate over the word "war" is only the latest verbal kerfuffle to hamper Obama's attempts to clarify his increasingly under-fire foreign policy.

Two weeks ago, the president sparked a political storm by admitting he did not "yet" have a strategy for combating IS in Syria after the beheading of two US journalists.

Critics also accused the administration of seeking to "manage" the problem of Al-Qaeda rather than seeking to decimate it.

On Wednesday, Obama said that his goal was to "destroy" IS.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 13, 2014, 05:54:57 pm

Israeli official: Israel will fight IS if group reaches Jordan

US airstrikes already making headway, official says.

Israel may play a frontline role in the international coalition forming against Islamic State – the jihadi group sweeping through Iraq and Syria in a bid to reinstate a new caliphate in the Middle East.

As world powers unite around a US-led plan for military action to topple the militant group, Jerusalem is signaling that if Islamic State expands to Jordan – Israel will not hesitate to act.

"We will use any means necessary," a senior Israeli official told Channel 2 television. "Let me make this clear: If Islamic State reaches Jordan we will take action."

The official praised President Barack Obama's call for action and said airstrikes are already making progress in Iraq. Thanks to the US air campaign, "Kurdish forces are able to take back Islamic State strongholds," he said.

High-level talks between Israel and the US, currently underway in Washington, are largely focusing on the terror threat. A delegation headed by Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, which includes Mossad officials, the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, and the Defense and Foreign Ministries, left for the US capital earlier this week for discussions on regional crises as well as the looming threat of Iran’s nuclear program.

The official's comments come as US intelligence upped its estimates of the number of Islamic State militants currently fighting in Iraq and Syria. It is now believed that between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters are in the ranks of Islamic State, compared to the previous estimate of about 10,000.             

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 14, 2014, 09:15:00 am
Prime Minister Tony Abbott promises to send military to Gulf in response for help to fight Islamic State


PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has promised to send Australian military forces to the Persian Gulf to assist in attacks on the Islamic State.

He told media in a press conference in Darwin today that he had decided to prepare and deploy an armed force to the UAE to assist the United States in its military action against the Islamic State’s forces in Iraq and Syria.

He warned “should this extend into combat operations, it could go on for some time”

Mr Abbott said his reaction to the latest video showing the execution of British aid worker David Haines was: “Shock, horror, outrage, fury. And a steely resolve to do anything we can ...”

Mr Abbott said Australia had received a specific request from the US government to contribute forces to possible military action in Iraq.

Cabinet and the National Security Committee had met on Sunday to discuss the matter.

RELATED: Can airstrikes alone defeat 30,000 jihadists?

“The government has decided to prepare and to deploy to the United Arab Emirates a military force,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Darwin.

Australia’s contribution would include 600 personnel and up to eight Super Hornet aircraft, an early warning and control aircraft, aerial refuelling aircraft and a contingent of Special Forces troops.

The prime minister emphasised that Australia was part of an international coalition and that there was no intention for Australian forces to be engaged in independent combat operations.

UNDERSTANDING ISIS: Of knights and caliphs

He also said the deployment did not mean Australia was at war. “There are obviously further decisions to be taken before Australian forces will be committed to combat operations in Iraq,” he said.

He stressed that the deployment was “essentially a humanitarian operation to protect millions of people in Iraq”.

“Nevertheless Australia is prepared to engage in international operations to disrupt and degrade ISIL because of the threat that this murderous death cult poses not just to the people of Iraq, not just to the people of the Middle East, but to the whole world including to Australia.”

Mr Abbott said he was not aware of any Australians being held hostage by Islamic State terrorists.

“The evil and exaltation in evil that was yet again on display today, should make all of us more resolved than ever to do whatever we reasonably can to disrupt, degrade and if possible destroy this movement,” he said.

RELATED: Inside America’s failed bid to save Foley, Sotloff

He refused to the movement Islamic State, insisting it was neither Islamic nor a state.

“It is a death cult,” Mr Abbott said.

The prime minister said about 400 air personnel and about 200 military personnel would be involved in the deployment.

He said “air elements” would depart in the next week or so, while “military elements” could depart sooner.

“We think this is a balanced and proportionate contribution to what is our fight, but it is the world’s fight,” Mr Abbott said. “Australia has a long and proud tradition of doing what we can to help at home and abroad to make for a safer Australia and a safer world.”

He rejected suggestions growing involvement in Iraq would make Australia a target.

“These terrorists and would-be terrorists are not targeting us for what we have done or for what we might do, they are targeting us for who we are, they are targeting us for our freedom, our tolerance, for our compassion, for our decency,” he said.

Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, said disrupting and degrading Islamic State would take a “comprehensive and sustained effort”.

“But ... if we do nothing, the risk of allowing the shocking acts of ISIL to further destabilise the Middle East, and spread beyond the Middle East region, potentially back to Australia, is a greater risk,” he said.


Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reassured Australians that everything possible is being done to protect them, a day after the terror alert was raised to high for the first time.

He said the decision to increase the alert level on Friday followed a spike in “chatter” detected in a sixfold increase in counter-terrorism operations during the past year.

Security will be beefed up at football finals and at so-called “soft targets” like shopping centres, but Mr Abbott stressed the terror alert upgrade does not mean an attack is imminent.

Senator Brandis said earlier today that the government was not asking people to avoid large crowds.

“In fact we’re saying the opposite,” he said.

“We’re saying that you should go to the footy finals, you should go about your ordinary life in the same way you always have, reassured that the government is aware of the threat, aware of the risk and has taken appropriate steps.”

Security and intelligence agencies are concerned about the increasing number of Australians who are fighting with terrorist groups such as Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq.

The government knew the identity of some but not all of the 60-odd Australians fighting in the Middle East, the attorney-general said.

However, it would ensure none returned to Australia undetected. “Any foreign fighter who returns and has committed a crime by participating in the civil war in Syria and northern Iraq will be prosecuted,” he said

“People should go about their lives normally, reassured that strong arrangements are in place to detect, to prevent and to respond to terrorism,” Mr Abbott said in a statement.

“The government is ... taking considered action so that you can continue to lead your lives confident that everything, everything possible is being done to protect you.”

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 15, 2014, 07:22:08 pm
AP sources: First US strike in expanded Iraq fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say the United States took the first step in the planned expanded fight against Islamic State militants Monday, going to the aid of Iraqi security forces south of Baghdad who were being attacked by enemy fighters.

The officials say Iraqi forces requested assistance when they came under fire from militants. Officials say the strike represents the newly broadened mission authorized by President Barack Obama to go on the offensive against the Islamic State group wherever it is.

Previous U.S. airstrikes in Iraq were conducted to protect U.S. interests and personnel, assist Iraqi refugees and secure critical infrastructure. Monday's strike was in direct support of Iraqi forces fighting the militants.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the mission publicly by name.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 16, 2014, 06:12:15 pm
U.S. general says cannot rule out larger ground role in Iraq

 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The most senior U.S. military officer raised the possibility on Tuesday that American troops might need to take on a larger role in Iraq's ground war against Islamic State militants, but the White House stressed they would not deploy on a combat mission.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there was no intention now to place American military advisers on the ground in direct combat. U.S. assistance is taking other forms, including air strikes.

Still, Dempsey outlined scenarios in which he might recommend having U.S. troops do more, potentially accompanying Iraqis during complicated offensives, such as a battle to retake the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State fighters.

"It could very well be part of that particular mission - to provide close combat advising or accompanying for that mission," Dempsey said.

Dempsey acknowledged that Obama's "stated policy is that we will not have U.S. ground forces in direct combat."

"But he has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis," he said.

Obama said last week he would lead an alliance to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, plunging the United States into a conflict in which nearly every country in the Middle East has a stake.

But Obama also ruled out a combat mission, saying "we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq." How exactly America's role might evolve in the open-ended conflict remains unclear, however.

Responding to Dempsey's comments, the White House said Obama’s military advisers had to plan for many possibilities and that overall policy had not changed - that Obama would not deploy U.S. troops in a combat role in Iraq or Syria.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that Dempsey was "referring to a hypothetical scenario in which there might be a future situation where he might make a tactical recommendation to the president as it relates to ground troops."

Dempsey's spokesman also issued a statement stressing that the four-star general's exchange in the Senate was not about "employing U.S. ground combat units in Iraq."

Dempsey was testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, along with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, as the Obama administration makes its case to Congress for broadening operations against the Sunni militants, which would include U.S. air strikes in Syria for the first time.


The U.S. military's Central Command is due to brief Obama on its plans on Wednesday. Hagel said those plans envision striking the militant group's safe havens in Syria to knock out infrastructure, logistics and command capabilities.

Dempsey said the strikes would degrade the group's capabilities as broader efforts get under way, including training of more than 5,000 Syrian rebels.

"This won't look like a 'shock and awe' campaign because that's simply not how (the Islamic State militants' group) is organized. But it will be a persistent and sustainable campaign," Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Shock and awe" was a term popularly used to describe the initial air assault on Baghdad in the U.S. campaign to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003, and refers to use of overwhelming force to undermine an enemy's will to fight.

Congress is expected to approve this week a request from Obama for authorization to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels, one part of his program.

Still, Hagel acknowledged the number of Syrian fighters that could be trained over the course of the year would only put the opposition on a path to roll back Islamic State fighters.

"Five thousand alone is not going to be able to turn the tide. We recognize that," Hagel said.

The Senate hearing was repeatedly interrupted by anti-war protesters, shouting slogans such as, "There is no military solution." One protester was escorted out of the room while holding a sign that read: "More war = More extremism."

Senator Angus King of Maine, expressing concern that the United States would be drawn into interminable fights against extremist groups around the world from Iraq to Syria to Africa, said: "This is geopolitical Wack-a-mole."

Title: Obama's First Defense Secretary: There Will Be Boots On The Ground If There's 'A
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 17, 2014, 09:38:21 am
Obama's First Defense Secretary: There Will Be Boots On The Ground If There's 'Any Hope Of Success' Against ISIS

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Wednesday said US ground troops will have to be part of the equation if there's "any hope of success" in President Barack Obama's strategy to "degrade and destroy" the extremist group ISIS (also known as ISIL or the Islamic State).

"The reality is they're not going be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air, or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces, or the Peshmerga, or the Sunni tribes acting on their own," Gates said in an interview on "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday.

"So there will be boots on the ground if there's to be any hope of success in the strategy. And I think that by continuing to repeat that" he won't send ground troops, Gates said, Obama "in effect traps himself."

Gates' comments come a day after the White House sought to clarify comments from the administration's top military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, who opened the door for US ground troops if the situation on the ground deteriorates.

"To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president," Dempsey said.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest subsequently reiterated Tuesday afternoon that Obama believes US ground troops should not have a combat role in Iraq.

Gates, who served in both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, also said he was concerned about the stated objective of the US mission against ISIS — to "degrade and destroy" the group. He said that goal may be "unattainable," considering the US' lengthy engagements with other terrorist groups like al-Qaeda.

"We've been at war with al-Qaeda for 13 years. We have dealt them some terrible blows, including the killing of Osama bin Laden," Gates said.

"But I don't think anybody would say that after 13 years we've destroyed or defeated al-Qaeda. I think to promise that we're going to destroy ISIS or ISIL sets a goal that may be unattainable, as opposed to devastating it ... and dealing them terrible blows that prevent them from holding territory. Those are probably realistic goals."

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 17, 2014, 09:42:11 am
Islamic State Funds Push Into Syria and Iraq With Labyrinthine Oil-Smuggling Operation
West Pushes for Crackdown as Jihadists Move Fuel With Pipeline, Truck, Mule


The Islamic State is funding its rapid push into Syria and Iraq with a labyrinthine oil-smuggling operation that starts at seized Syrian oil fields, goes through makeshift refineries and can end up in jerrycans carried by mules into the hilly borderland of Turkey.

Amid Western pressure to squeeze the group's finances, Turkey is expanding efforts to crack down on the increasingly organized business, which is now generating an...


Title: France Has Begun Bombing ISIS In Iraq
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 19, 2014, 08:09:16 am
France Has Begun Bombing ISIS In Iraq

France's military conducted its first airstrike in Iraq, becoming the first foreign country in addition to the US to strike the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State (also ISIS or ISIL) in the country.

French President Francois Hollande said in a statement that the strike, which was conducted around 9:40 a.m. local time Friday, destroyed a logistics depot held by ISIS in northeastern Iraq. He promised operations would continue "in the coming days."

Rafale fighter jets "conducted a first strike against a supply depot terrorist organization Daech in northeastern Iraq. The goal was reached and destroyed," Hollande said.

"Daech" is a way the French government refers to ISIS, loosely meaning the "declaration of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria."

US President Barack Obama "welcomed" Hollande's decision to carry out airstrikes against the group in Iraq, the White House said Thursday.

"The United States welcomes the announcement today from President Hollande that France will conduct airstrikes in Iraq," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. "This is a significant contribution to the efforts of the growing international coalition to combat ISIL, and we look forward to coordinating closely with our French partners in the days to come."

US officials have said more than 40 countries have offered to contribute support to the campaign against ISIS through a variety of methods.

During a news conference on Thursday, however, Hollande said his military's efforts would be limited to Iraq and that he would not participate in the anticipated US campaign to carry out strikes against ISIS in Syria.

The US military has conducted more than 175 airstrikes in Iraq since Aug. 8, according to US Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East. On Thursday, the US conducted an airstrike against an ISIS training camp for the first time. CENTCOM said the strike destroyed an "armed vehicle, two ISIL-occupied buildings, and a large ISIL ground unit."

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 19, 2014, 11:39:51 pm

British journalist purportedly shown in IS propaganda video

September 18, 2014 12:38 PM

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video on Thursday that they said shows British journalist John Cantlie in captivity saying he will soon reveal "facts" about the group to counter its portrayal in Western media.

The Islamic State, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq, has already beheaded two American journalists and one British aid worker in recent weeks in what it said was reprisal for U.S. air strikes against it in Iraq.

But in the new roughly three-minute video posted on social media sites, the man identified as Cantlie appears in good health and promises to "convey some facts" in a series of "programs," suggesting there would be further installments.

"Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, 'He's only doing this because he's a prisoner. He's got a gun at his head and he's being forced to do this.' Right?" the man in the video, wearing an orange shirt and closely-cropped hair, says.

"Well, it's true. I am a prisoner. That I cannot deny. But seeing as I've been abandoned by my government and my fate now lies in the hands of the Islamic State, I have nothing to lose."

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he had heard reports of a video on social media and said authorities would look closely at any material released online.

"These videos can be very distressing for the families of the individuals involved," he told reporters during a visit to Copenhagen.

U.S. President Barack Obama has been trying to build an international coalition to destroy Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim extremist group which has exploited the chaos of Syria and Iraq to seize swathes of territory in both countries.

The United States has already carried out scores of air strikes against the group in Iraq and Obama said in a policy speech he would not hesitate to strike it in Syria as well.

In the new video, titled "Lend Me Your Ears, Messages from the British Detainee John Cantlie," the man identified as Cantlie says he was captured by the Islamic State after arriving in Syria in November 2012.

He says he worked for newspapers and magazines in Britain including the Sunday Times, the Sun and the Sunday Telegraph.

"After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?" the man says in the video.

"I'm going to show you the truth behind the systems and motivation of the Islamic State, and how the Western media, the very organization I used to work for, can twist and manipulate that truth for the public back home."

Cantlie said other Western governments have negotiated for the release of their hostages but that the British and U.S. governments chose to do things differently.

"I'll show you the truth behind what happened when many European citizens were imprisoned and later released by the Islamic State, and how the British and American governments thought they could do it differently to every other European country," the man in the video says.

"They negotiated with the Islamic State and got their people home while the British and Americans were left behind," he says.


The United States resumed air strikes in Iraq in August for the first time since the withdrawal of the final U.S. troops from the country in 2011.

The raids followed major gains by Islamic State fighters who have seized a third of both Iraq and Syria, declared war on the West and seek to establish a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Wednesday Obama's plan to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels in a message of support for his military campaign to "degrade and destroy" Islamic State

Britain has delivered humanitarian aid, carried out surveillance, given weapons to Kurds and promised training in Iraq. On military action, Britain supports U.S. air strikes and British Prime Minister David Cameron has repeatedly said Britain has ruled nothing out except combat troops on the ground.

Cantlie had previously been taken hostage in July, 2012 along with Dutch photographer Jeroen Oerlemans while working near the Syrian border with Turkey. They were released the same month after a group of "Free Syrian Army" fighters freed them.

Cantlie told media after his release they were threatened with death unless they converted to Islam, and both were shot and slightly wounded when they attempted to escape. He was shot in the arm, Oerlemans in the leg.

At the time, Cantlie wrote in the Sunday Times that the group of about 30 militants had been made up of different nationalities, many British and none Syrian, and that the British jihadists had treated him the most cruelly in captivity.

On Saturday, Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines. A black-clad man in the video said another hostage, identified as Alan Henning, would be killed if Cameron continued to support the fight against Islamic State.

Thursday's video made no mention of Henning.

"Maybe I will live and maybe I will die," the man identified as Cantlie says. "But I want to take this opportunity to convey some facts that you can verify. Facts that, if you contemplate, might help preserving lives."

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 20, 2014, 05:35:22 pm
Boehner and Pelosi Unite to Pass Bill Funding Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, Syrian Revolutionaries

(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) joined forces early Wednesday evening as the House passed a continuing resolution that will fund the government after the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and that will permit funding for Planned Parenthood (the nation's largest abortion provider), the entirety of Obamacare, and an amendment requested by President Barack Obama "to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition."

The bill passed 319 to 108 with four members not voting. But there were not enough Republican members to pass the bill without significant support from Democrats. While Pelosi sided with the Republican leadership and voted for the bill, 53 Republicans joined with 55 Democrats in voting against it.

**Uhm...the Repubs control the House...ONLY 53 voted against it?

In addition to Pelosi, some of the other Democrats voting for the Republican leadership's bill, included Rep. John Conyers (D.-Mich.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schlultz (D.-Fla.), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D.-Calif.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D.-Ore.), and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-Ill.).

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Texas), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio), and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) were among the Republicans who voted against it.

The Syrian opposition, which is seeking to overthrow the secular authoritarian regime of Bashar al Assad, includes al Nusrah Front, the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, and the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS), which used to be an al Qaeda affiliate and now controls parts of Iraq and Syria.

ISIS recently beheaded two American journalists and a British aid worker.

The training and arming of Syrian rebels is aimed at combating ISIS and Islamist terrorism, so ISIS and al Nusrah Front would not be among the Syrian rebels deliberately armed and trained by the new U.S. policy authorized by this bill.

The bill will fund the government through Dec. 11, when a "lame-duck" Congress, which will include members thrown out by the voters in November, will be able to return to Washington and vote for programs and governmental actions that they may not have wanted to vote for before the election. That new funding bill will also be passed before the newly elected members of Congress will be sworn in and have a say in what the government does.

Before the inclusion of the amendment to train and arm revolutionaries in Syria, the House Appropriations Committee had described the continuing resolution as a "clean" bill that did not include riders affecting current spending programs and policies. The committee affirmed to CNSNews.com last week that the bill does not prohibit funding for Planned Parenthood or for any element of Obamacare.

Twenty-four minutes before it voted on this final spending bill, the House voted on the amendment sponsored by House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R.-Calif.) that added to the bill the authorization for President Obama to arm and train the Syrian revolutionaries. That amendment passed by a vote of 273 to 156, with 3 members not voting.

Pelosi and Boehner joined together to vote for the amendment to arm and train Syrian revolutionaries, as did House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif) and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R.-La.).

Among the 71 House Republicans standing in opposition to Pelosi and Boehner and the other Republican leaders on this amendment were Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio), Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.),  Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Tex.), Rep. John Duncan (R.-Tenn.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R.-Ky.), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R.-Wisc.)

“President Obama is choosing the wrong locals to support,” said Rep. Rohrabacher on the House floor. “With this vote, Congress approves the arming and training of the Free Syrian Army, which is riddled with radical Muslims. In short, we may again be arming insurgents who will end up our enemy. We are told that the Free Syrian Army has been vetted and that we can trust them. This is wishful thinking, not realistic planning.”

“The truth is that, if you look back under this president as commander in chief, we trained people in Libya,” said Rep. Gohmert. “We provided weapons to Libya that were then used against us in Benghazi. There are Americans dead because this administration felt compelled to go in and take out Qadhafi."

“Because Libya fell, so did Algeria and Tunisia," said Gohmert, "and it jump-started, as I have said before, the new Ottoman Empire, the new caliphate that the Muslim brothers and so many of the radicals are saying they are going for."

“One of the big problems, too, when we go in and train, as this President wants to do for the Syrians, they learn our tradecraft,” said Gohmert. “They use it against us, as they did at Benghazi.”

“I am opposed to the president's vague and inadequate strategy for dealing with ISIS; and, therefore, I rise in opposition to this amendment,” said Rep. Fleming.

“If we are going to degrade and destroy them [ISIS] it will not happen through an indecisive strategy that relies on unreliable and largely unknown help from Syrian rebels, whose own motivations and goals are mixed, and almost impossible to be certain of,” said Rep. Fleming.

Planned Parenthood--whose federal funding is permitted under the continuing resolution--said in its most recent annual report that it did 327,166 abortions in fiscal 2012. The same Planned Parenthood annual report said the group received $540.6 million in funding from local, state and federal governments in the year that ended on June 30, 2013. (Federal funding through Title X family planning grants cannot go to directly pay for abortions, but can pay for other Planned Parenthood activities.)

The CR also put no restriction on funding any provision of Obamacare or any regulation issued under Obamacare. That includes the preventive services regulation that requires individuals and families to purchase health insurance plans that cover contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs even if doing so violates their religious faith.

“It is a critical piece of legislation, and my committee has crafted the bill in a responsible, restrained way that should draw wide support in the House and Senate," House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.) said last week when his committee released the bill--before the amendment was added to arm and train Syrian revolutionaries.

"This bill is free of controversial riders, maintains current levels, and does not seek to change existing federal policies," Rogers said.

Rogers voted for the amendment to arm and train Syrian rebels and then for the overall bill.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 23, 2014, 10:03:59 pm
Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq are just the start

WASHINGTON (AP) — The one-two-three punch of American and Arab airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq was just the beginning, President Barack Obama and other leaders declared Tuesday. They promised a sustained campaign showcasing a rare U.S.-Arab partnership aimed at Muslim extremists.

Obama on Syria strikes: War on Islamic State will 'take time'

Hours after plunging the United States into new warfare in the heart of the Middle East, President Obama insisted Tuesday that international support proved that “this is not America’s fight alone.”

Obama, speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, vowed to “take the fight” to the Islamic State and other extremists groups but braced Americans for a long and difficult conflict.

“The overall effort will take time. There will be challenges ahead, but we’re going to do what’s necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group, for the security of the country and the region and for the entire world,” he said.

The president’s remarks were notable in part for their lack of detail and their brevity — he spoke for barely three minutes, with his Marine One helicopter visible over his shoulder, and gave no details about whether the overnight operations were successful or what the next military step might be.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 24, 2014, 08:36:31 pm
Algerian Islamic militants behead French hostage

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Algerian splinter group from al-Qaida has beheaded a French hostage over France's airstrikes on the Islamic State group, in a sign of the possible widening of the crisis in Iraq and Syria to the rest of the region.

The killing of Herve Gourdel, a mountaineer who was kidnapped while hiking in Algeria, was a "cowardly assassination," a visibly upset French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday, but he vowed to continue the military operation.

"Herve Gourdel is dead because he is the representative of a people — ours — that defends human dignity against barbarity," Hollande said on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York. "France will never cede to terrorism because it is our duty, and, more than that, because it is our honor."

On Friday, France joined the U.S. in conducting airstrikes on the Islamic State group in Iraq. Two days later, the Islamic State group called on Muslims to attack foreign targets, and the response in Algeria raised the specter of attacks on Westerners elsewhere.

Gourdel, a 55-year-old mountaineering guide from Nice, was seized Sunday night while hiking in the Djura Djura mountains of northern Algeria. His Algerian companions were released.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 24, 2014, 10:14:28 pm
Weeks of U.S. Strikes Fail to Dislodge ISIS in Iraq


BAGHDAD — After six weeks of American airstrikes, the Iraqi government’s forces have scarcely budged the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State from their hold on more than a quarter of the country, in part because many critical Sunni tribes remain on the sidelines.

Although the airstrikes appear to have stopped the extremists’ march toward Baghdad, the Islamic State is still dealing humiliating blows to the Iraqi Army. On Monday, the government acknowledged that it had lost control of the small town of Sichar and lost contact with several hundred of its soldiers who had been besieged for nearly a week at a camp north of the Islamic State stronghold of Falluja, in Anbar Province.

By midday, there were reports that hundreds of soldiers had been killed there in battle or mass executions. Ali Bedairi, a lawmaker from the governing alliance, said more than 300 soldiers had died after the loss of the base, Camp Saqlawiya. The prime minister ordered the arrest of the responsible officers, although a military spokesman put the death toll at just 40 and said 68 were missing.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 25, 2014, 01:13:40 pm
Islamic fighters advance in Syria despite U.S. strikes

DAMASCUS/MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) - U.S. planes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria for a second day on Wednesday, but the strikes did not halt the fighters' advance in a Kurdish area where fleeing refugees told of villages burnt and captives beheaded.

President Barack Obama, speaking at the United Nations, asked the world to join together to fight the militants and vowed to keep up military pressure against them.

"The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force, so the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death," Obama said in 40 minute speech to the U.N. General Assembly.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 26, 2014, 12:40:06 am
FBI director: Strikes on al-Qaida cell Khorasan did not wipe out threat to U.S.

FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that he is “not confident” that a U.S. military strike against a Syrian-based al-Qaida cell has disrupted a plot to mount a terror attack aimed at the United States and that the group remains “at the top of my list of things that I worry about.”

U.S. officials said this week that President Obama had ordered the Monday night strike by cruise missiles and U.S. bombers against the so-called Khorasan group after concluding that it was “near the execution stage” of an attack against European and U.S. civilian aircraft. One senior administration official told reporters on a call organized by the White House that the terrorist attack had been “imminent.”

But Comey, meeting with a small group of reporters, seemed to contradict some of those claims and emphasized instead just how little U.S. intelligence actually knew about precisely what the Khorasan terrorists were planning — or when.

“This is a collection of very, very bad terrorist operatives in a safe haven that we don’t have a lot of visibility in,” he said.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 26, 2014, 05:07:19 pm
British Parliament approves airstrikes in Iraq; no endorsement of Syria strikes

British lawmakers voted Friday to join the U.S.-led coalition and launch airstrikes on Islamic State group militants as early as this weekend in northern Iraq, but the motion did not endorse airstrikes in Syria.

Prime Minister David Cameron described the moves as critical to national security, arguing that facing down terrorists has become a matter of urgency.

"There isn't a walk-on-by option; there isn't an option hoping it will all go away," he said.

He made a passionate plea that spelled out the consequences of inaction in drastic terms -- noting that the militants had beheaded their victims, gouged out eyes and carried out crucifixions to promote goals from the "Dark Ages."

The Independent newspaper reported that Cameron summed up ISIS fighters as, "psychopathic terrorists who want to kill us."

The vote won easily, 524-43.

Earlier in the day, Belgium and Denmark also voted to join the coalition. American warplanes and drones hit Islamic State tanks, Humvees, checkpoints and bunkers Friday with aims to roll back and ultimately crush the Islamic State group.

Denmark said it would send seven F-16 fighter jets and 250 pilots and support staff, while Belgium will contribute six F-16s that are already en route to Jordan so they can go into action as early as Saturday.

"No one should be ducking in this case," said Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. "Everyone should contribute."

Britain is expected to deploy Tornado fighters, which are in Cyprus -- within striking distance of northern Iraq.

The debate in Britain about bombing Syria promises to be contentious. Last year, Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, voted against airstrikes in Syria and said more work needs to be done.

"The point I have been making in the last few days is, in my view, when we are not talking about being invited in by a democratic state it would be better - I put it no higher than that - it would be better to seek a UN Security Council resolution," the paper quoted him as saying.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 02, 2014, 08:39:52 pm
Gaziantep, Turkey (CNN) -- Turkish lawmakers voted Thursday to authorize military force against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, joining a growing international coalition against the Islamist militants as they continued to capture territory just south of Turkey's border.

The Turkish Parliament voted 298-98 to not only to let the country's military leave its borders to battle ISIS but to eliminate threats coming from any terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria, starting Saturday.

It is a big shift for Turkey, a NATO member, which until now offered only tacit support to a U.S.-led coalition of about 40 nations going after ISIS in Iraq and Syria in various capacities.

The mood of Turkey's leaders changed in recent days, with ISIS on the nation's doorstep and tens of thousands fleeing across its border. Turkey's Prime Minister asked Parliament to consider military action this week, submitting a motion declaring that Turkey was seriously threatened by the chaos in Syria and Iraq, where ISIS has captured land and is trying to establish an Islamic caliphate.

A possible threat to an ancient tomb -- located in Syria but considered a Turkish enclave -- also appeared to be a factor. Reports had emerged that ISIS surrounded the tomb of the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday dismissed reports that ISIS had surrounded the site. But the motion before Parliament mentioned increasing security risks to the white marble mausoleum.


Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 20, 2014, 12:12:50 pm
Turkey to Allow Kurdish Fighters into Syria to Battle ISIS

Ankara confirms reports it will allow Iraqi Peshmerga forces to cross into embattled Kobane; move likely the result of US pressure.


In a dramatic development Monday, the Turkish government has announced that it would allow Kurdish Peshmerga forces from Iraq to cross into the embattled Syrian border town of Kobane.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Tunisian counterpart, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu defended his country's role in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group and its assault on the Kurdish town.

"We never wanted Kobane to fall," Çavuşoğlu insisted, according to Turkey's Today's Zaman, as he confirmed earlier reports in Kurdish media outlets that Peshmerga fighters would be granted safe passage through his country to help their brethren in Kobane.

The announcement appears to be the result of significant US pressure, and came after the US military upped its support of Kurdish fighters inside Kobane itself, airdropping weapons and ammunition to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) despite the Turkish government's firm opposition.

The YPG is closely affiliated with the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) - a proscribed terrorist group in Turkey with whom the country fought a bloody insurgency that cost the lives of some 40,000 people.

Many Kurds have accused the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of indirectly supporting ISIS in its efforts to take Kobane, by allowing jihadis to operate freely while stopping Kurds from crossing into Syria to help defend the town, in order to destroy the recently-declared autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria.

The decision to allow Peshmerga fighters to cross into Syria would represent a compromise: while Turkey opposes Kurdish autonomy or independence and views the PKK as terrorists, Iraq's autonomous region is run by a rival Kurdish faction with whom Turkey does have relatively good relations.

Peshmerga forces have until now been fighting ISIS's advances in Iraq, together with Shia militias and Iraqi army forces.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 22, 2014, 09:54:18 pm
ISIS Video: America’s Air Dropped Weapons Now in Our Hands
In a new video, ISIS shows American-made weapons it says were intended for the Kurds but actually were air dropped into territory they control.
Updated 5:35 pm

At least one bundle of U.S. weapons airdropped in Syria appears to have fallen into the hands of ISIS, a dangerous misfire in the American mission to speed aid to Kurdish forces making their stand in Kobani.

An ISIS-associated YouTube account posted a new video online Tuesday entitled, “Weapons and munitions dropped by American planes and landed in the areas controlled by the Islamic State in Kobani.” The video was also posted on the Twitter account of “a3maq news,” which acts as an unofficial media arm of ISIS. The outfit has previously posted videos of ISIS fighters firing American made Howitzer cannons and seizing marijuana fields in Syria.
ISIS had broadly advertised its acquisition of a broad range of U.S.-made weapons during its rampage across Iraq. ISIS videos have showed its fighters driving U.S. tanks, MRAPs, Humvees. There are unconfirmed reports ISIS has stolen three fighter planes from Iraqi bases it conquered.

The authenticity of this latest video could not be independently confirmed, but the ISIS fighters in the video are in possession of a rich bounty of American hand grenades, rounds for small rockets, and other supplies that they will surely turn around and use on the Kurdish forces they are fighting in and around the Turkish border city.

On Monday, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the U.S. government was confident that the emergency airdropped supplies for the Kurdish forces near Kobani were falling into the right hands.

“We feel very confident that, when we air drop support as we did into Kobani… we’ve been able to hit the target in terms of reaching the people we want to reach,” Rhodes told CNN. “What I can assure people is that, when we are delivering aid now, we focus it on the people we want to receive that assistance. Those are civilians in need. Those are forces that we’re aligned with in the fight against ISIL [the government’s preferred acronym for ISIS], and we take precautions to make sure that it’s not falling into the wrong hands.”

Rhodes was responding to questions about a Monday report in The Daily Beast that U.S. humanitarian aid was flowing into ISIS controlled areas near Kobani by truck. That aid was mostly food and medical supplies, not the kind of lethal weapons in the new ISIS video.

Title: Re: US warship arrives in Gulf with Marines, aircraft IRAQ WAR III
Post by: Mark on April 22, 2015, 06:42:30 am
Obama warns US could 'penetrate' Iranian S-300 missiles if needed

US President Barack Obama warned on Tuesday that if Russia sold an advanced missile defense system to Iran, the United States could "penetrate" Tehran's stockpile if needed. Speaking on the MSNBC program "Hardball with Chris Matthews," Obama underlined that the US objected to Russia's decision to lift a ban on the sale to Iran of the S-300 air-defense missile system.