ISIS also claims responsibility for the Jack the Ripper killings, the Irish Potato famine, you losing your car key, Firefly getting cancelled and Benedict Cumberbatch never quite pulling off an American accent.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday that his country’s armed forces had crushed the last remaining stronghold of notorious terror group Boko Haram, driving the militants out of their “Camp Zero” in northern Sambisa Forest, USA Today reported. Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and stepped up coordination with the latter organization earlier this year, was founded in 2002 and launched a violent uprising in 2009. According to humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, as of late 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated the group’s rebellion had displaced nearly 1.4 million people. Read more.
IRAQ. Basra governorate. Near Umm Qasr. March 16, 2009. Detainees walk after prayer at Camp Bucca, a U.S. military detention centre. At its peak, the prison located 340 miles southeast of Baghdad held 26,000 detainees.
Camp Bucca has been described as playing an important role in shaping ISIS. The detention of large numbers of Jihadists and ex-Ba’athists during the Iraqi insurgency provided them with the opportunity to forge alliances and learn from each other, combining the ideological fervour of the former with the organisational skills of the latter. Former Camp Bucca detainees who went on to become leaders in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant include Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh; Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, al-Baghdadi’s deputy; Haji Bakr, who spearheaded ISIL’s expansion into Syria; Abu Abdulrahman al-Bilawi, the military leader responsible for planning the seizure of Mosul; and Abu Ayman al-Iraqi, another senior military leader. Abu Mohammad al-Julani, who founded the Syrian Al Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, was also a Camp Bucca detainee.
One tragedy doesn’t need to diminish another. You can stand with Paris, you can stand with Yemen, you can stand with Lebanon, you can stand with Syria, you can stand with Iraq, you can stand with Nigeria, you can stand with Libya, you can stand with BlackLivesMatter, you can stand with the University of Missouri, you can stand with Palestine, you can stand with South Korea, and the South Sudan, we can stand with refugees, we can stand with Muslims, and you can stand with all of them at the same time. You can care about all of them. We don’t need to play “oh you didn’t mention this, or this was worse” competitions with human suffering. It’s sickening, this is not a fucking game, this is the actual loss of human life.
150,000 Afghan men, women and children killed or missing.
1,500,000 Iraqi men women and children killed or missing.
The Syrian Civil War.
The rise of ISIL.
The life and death struggle of the Kurdish and Yazidi peoples.
Literally countless refugee deaths at sea in the Mediterranean.
Terror attacks in the UK and other European nations.
All of these flow directly from the cold, premeditated, self-serving actions of the twenty-first century Men of Blood: Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, the slavering cross-bench pack of war dogs whom he led, and the bloodied capitalist interests who profited from taking us to two undemocratic, illegal imperialist wars in the Middle East. No Hell will ever come close to their atonement for initiating one of the most monstrous regional bloodbaths in human history.
SYRIA. Rojava. Al-Hasakah governorate. Near Derik/Al-Malikilyah. Newroz Refugee Camp. March 2015. A young Yazidi refugee sporting a YPG necklace.
Account of Joey L., war photographer:
After bearing witness to the scenes in Shingal (Sinjar), I thought it was important to include portraits of Yezidi Kurds whom had been displaced by the Islamic State. We headed far north of Shingal, across the former Syrian border into Rojava to Newroz, a guerrilla-protected refugee camp. Many of the Yezidi people at the camp were saved by a narrow, treacherous, zigzagging corridor created by guerrilla forces, who beat back the Islamic State on both sides, using the rugged terrain to their advantage.
It was in Newroz where I met a young Yezidi boy of about 11 or 12 years old who shared a poem he wrote. It wasn’t until I got home that I had a friend translate his spoken word. As I read the words one night from the comfort of my home, I couldn’t help but choke up over the stark reality this boy had witnessed, and the strength of spirit that he had to share:
“Rise up, rise up and open your eyes from your slumber…
It is true that we are all injured, half dead and half burning…
Who but this mountain, YPG and God have freed us?
Mountain of Shingal, my mother, blood is dripping from your plums…
We have not yet escaped our last massacre, today we are victims of a white massacre…
Again we are fighting like wolves…
Go to Shingal’s mountain, go to the roofs, shout to God “Rise up, Rise up”
Mosul offensive: ISIS militants fleeing to Syria, says tribal leader
over 100,000 allied forces converge on a region controlled by only 5000 islamic state fighters
Near Mosul, Iraq (CNN)Hundreds of ISIS fighters are fleeing Mosul in Iraq and crossing into neighboring Syria as coalition forces close in on the city, a powerful tribal leader in the region says.
Sheikh Abdullah Alyawer, a tribal leader in the town of Rabia, on Iraq’s border with Syria, told CNN Monday that dozens of ISIS militants and their families were fleeing the city each day, and crossing into Syria at Ba'aaj, an ISIS-controlled crossing point south of Sinjar.
The route was entirely along corridors under ISIS control, he said. Fleeing civilians with no affiliation to ISIS usually ended up in the Syrian town of al Houl, which is under Kurdish control, he said.
Better than expected gains
Coalition forces celebrated better-than-expected territorial gains over the weekend and artillery fire pummeled ISIS positions in the encircled town of Bashiqa early Monday morning in the relentless push for Mosul.
According to the Iraqi Joint Operations command center, 78 towns and villages have been liberated so far as the operation to retake the city enters its second week.
The center said 772 ISIS fighters had been killed and 23 were detained, 127 vehicle-borne explosive devices were destroyed, two bomb-making factories were discovered and nearly 400 improvised-explosive devices were remotely detonated so far.
United against ISIS
The offensive is remarkable for both its speed and the level of cooperation that this disparate group is showing in the face of its common enemy – an extraordinary union of factions that have long stood on opposing sides in Iraq’s history, with Kurdish forces, Christians and Shia Muslims fighting alongside the majority Sunni Arabs.
The thousands of ground troops were supported from above with a concentrated program of airstrikes aimed at weakening ISIS’ defenses – the highest weekly number since the campaign against the terror group began, according to Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.
“One week into #Mosul operation, all objectives met thus far, and more coalition airstrikes than any other 7-day period of war against #ISIL,” he wrote on Twitter, using another name for ISIS.
The coalition force, which vastly exceeds ISIS’ numbers, is closing in on the beleaguered city, still home to an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 civilians. But the coalition is well aware that resistance – already tough in the open fields and small villages surrounding the main prize – is likely to ramp up significantly when the city’s perimeter is breached.
ISIS has been in control of Mosul for two years, giving its fighters plenty of time to fortify defenses, and the militants have time and time again proved themselves adept at bloody, urban warfare.
The city was important to the terror group as the cultural capital of its envisaged caliphate, or Islamic state.
‘Freed’ and then forgotten
With this weekend’s gains have come pockets of horrific losses.
ISIS executed about 40 people who were celebrating the apparent liberation of their villages by Iraqi forces, a Mosul City Council official said Sunday, citing local sources.
The official said that although Iraqi troops passed through the village where the executions took place – near Nimrud, south of Mosul – they did not leave units behind to ensure that ISIS militants stayed out.
These follow executions on Thursday and Friday, when ISIS militants rounded up and shot dead 284 men and boys, an Iraqi intelligence source told CNN.
Emergency crews have been working around the clock to extinguish a fire at a sulfur factory in Qayyara, about 30 kilometers south of Mosul, that was torched by ISIS militants.
The fire, started when the ISIS militants left explosives and slow-burning oil in sulfur deposits and around the facility, has sent plumes of toxic smoke in the air, causing hundreds to seek medical help.
United States weighs deploying up to 1,000 'reserve' troops for Islamic State (ISIS) fight - 9 March 2017
US President Donald Trump’s administration is weighing a deployment of up to 1,000 American soldiers to Kuwait to serve as a reserve force in the fight against Islamic State as US-backed fighters accelerate the offensive in Syria and Iraq, US officials told Reuters. Proponents of the option, which has not been previously reported, said it would provide US commanders on the ground greater flexibility to quickly respond to unforeseen opportunities and challenges on the battlefield. It would also represent a step away from standard practices under President Barack Obama’s administration by leaving the ultimate decision on whether to deploy some of those Kuwait-based reserve forces in Syria or Iraq to local commanders. “This is about providing options,” said one US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The officials said the deployment would differ from the existing US troop presence in Kuwait. It was unclear whether the proposal had the support of US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who could opt to use other tools to give commanders more agility. Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis declined to comment on options being weighed by the Trump administration. Obama’s administration was often accused of micromanaging even the smallest tactical details about the fight against Islamic State, weighing in on the use of helicopters or movement of small numbers of US forces. It also set limits on US deployments that would be adjusted incrementally, a strategy meant to avoid mission creep by the military and prevent military moves that might seem good on the battlefield but which could have inadvertent diplomatic or political consequences. Such limits are now under scrutiny. The decision on whether to create a more rapidly deployable Kuwait-based force is part of the ongoing review of the United States’ strategy to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, where around 6,000 US troops are deployed, largely in advisory roles, the officials said. Trump has made defeating Islamic State one of the key goals of his presidency. US officials have acknowledged the review may lead to an increase in American troops in Syria, where US-backed Arab and Kurdish forces are isolating the city of Raqqa - Islamic State’s de facto capital - ahead of an assault. But they have so far played down expectations of a major escalation or dramatic shift in a strategy that has focused on training and advising local ground forces, pointing to successes so far in Syria and the steady advance of Iraqi forces in the campaign to retake the city of Mosul.
Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is not Islamic. “No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim,” Obama said. “ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.”
Over a hundred Muslim scholars and clergymen from all over the world have released in September an address to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, accusing the self-proclaimed caliph and his army of heinous war crimes and violation of fundamental principles of Islam, illiterate use of Islamic scripture torn from the context and perversion of the rules of morality and Sharia law.
Israel fears Islamic State (ISIS) chemical attack in Europe - 11 March 2017
The National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau is concerned that ISIS terrorists might be plotting to carry out chemical attacks in Europe in the coming months. The bureau intends to issue a travel advisory to the tens of thousands of Israelis who are planning to vacation in Europe over the upcoming Passover holiday, Channel 2 reported. The bureau is said to be particularly concerned with the possibility that, due to losses ISIS is sustaining in Iraq and Syria, foreign fighters there will return to their homes in Europe and carry out attacks along the lines of the truck attack in Berlin in December that killed 12 people, including Dalia Elyakim, an Israeli tourist, and wounded 56 others. The bureau was specifically concerned with the possibility that ISIS would try to carry out a mass casualty chemical attack in a main European city, the Channel 2 report said. The bomb could be made using over-the-counter ingredients available in supermarkets and home improvement supply stores. On Tuesday, the US State Department issued a worldwide warning, urging American travelers to be vigilant while traveling overseas. “Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack to more effectively target crowds, including the use of edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles as weapons,” the State Department said in its statement.
Funeral services for the 13 Syriac Orthodox who were victims of three suicide attacks in Qamishly yesterday. Of the 15 dead, 13 were Syriac and 2 Kurds.
1. Ramy Tarzi Bashi 2. Aboud Hagiki 3. Robert Krio (Johnny) 4. Eli Kaspo 5. Issa Hanna 6. Anton Yossef 7. Eliamo Malke 8. Nedal Abdo 9. Marwan Shamoun 10. Dany Hanna 11. Shabo Malke 12. Jack Tuma 13. Robert Hegame ———————– 14. Salah Karmo 15. Eaad Nasser