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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Arabs Charge Obama With Turning His Back on Iraqi Prime Minister [video]

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The White House has vehemently denied charges that President Barack Obama literally turned his back on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi at the G7 summitt in Germany this week.

GulfNews.com posted a video showing Abadi sitting down on a bench where President Obama was talking with two other leaders. Obama’s back was turned to Abadi. The President continued to talk as if the newcomer didn’t exist, but it obviously was not intentional since the Iraqi leader approached the bench in the middle of the conservation.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that anyone looking at the scene and concluding that Obama  was snubbing Abadi is “telegraphing some insecurities that date back to junior high.”

Earnest obviously is right, as the video below shows, but the Arab reaction makes it clear that despite its being  sensitive, ego-centric and arrogant, it also interprets every word and body language of President Obama as a slur against Arabs.

When Obama “reached out Muslims” in Cairo in 2009, he did not realize whom he was dealing with.

And he still doesn’t.

Just ask Iran.

ISIS ‘Preserving’ Ancient Artifacts by Selling Them [video]

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

All of the historians worried that the Islamic State (ISIS) is destroying ancient artifacts can relax. It turns out that the ISIS is selling them.

The ISIS has justified destroying ancient statues and artifacts because they are idolatrous and are reprehensible to Islam, but it seems that blasphemy does not enter the picture when money is involved.

The Washington Post’s Loveday Morris reported that ISIS-controlled territory includes more than 4,500 ancient sites.

“They steal everything that they can sell, and what they can’t sell, they destroy,” Qais Hussein Rasheed, Iraq’s deputy minister for antiquities and heritage,” told the newspaper.

Videos of the ISIS destroying ancient statues were misleading, Morris reported, because they actually were only replicas of the originals that are safely stored in Baghdad.

If they had value, the ISIS would not destroy them, and the sale of anything that fetches a good price is more evidence that like most if not all terrorist regimes, their religion is money.

The Islamic State is so well-organized that it grants licenses for excavating ancient stress, Morris reported.

Profiting from excavations is increasingly important for the ISIS because of loss of revenues from oil fields that have been bombed the U.S.-led strike force.

Below, at 1:00, is a news report with a video of ISIS destroying statues, probably replicas.

Islamic State Threatening Tomb of Jewish Prophet Nahum in Iraq

Friday, June 5th, 2015

(JNS.org) The Islamic State terror group’s offensive in Iraq is now threatening to take the northern Iraqi village of Al Qosh, which is home to an ancient Jewish synagogue that contains the tomb of the Prophet Nahum the Elkoshite.

The 2,600-year-old site lies just 10 miles from the regional frontline of Islamic State, which has been battling the Western-backed Kurdish Peshmerga forces for control of the area.

Nahum is a minor prophet in the Hebrew Bible who prophesied the end of the Assyrian Empire and its capital city of Nineveh in the 7th century BCE. Little is known about the prophet’s personal life, but “the Elkoshite” may have referenced the town he was from, which some associate with modern-day Al Qosh, where his tomb lies.

The tomb’s site used to be home to a small Jewish community and drew thousands of Jewish pilgrims each year. But after the expulsion of the Jewish community of Al Qosh in the early 1950s, the tomb has been watched over by an Assyrian Christian family while some attempts have been made to restore the crumbling site.

“When the last Jewish people in Al Qosh left, they asked my grandfather to watch over the tomb, to keep it safe. I don’t know much more than that,” Asir Salaam Shajaa, an Assyrian Christian born in Al Qosh, told Haaretz. “Nahum is not our prophet, but he is a prophet, so we must respect that. He’s a prophet, it is simple.”

Islamic State has destroyed numerous irreplaceable ancient artifacts belonging to the Assyrian people in northern Iraq, calling the artifacts false idols. The terror group released a video earlier this year showing its fighters smashing artifices at the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrod before blowing up the site. The terror group has also sold off numerous artifacts on the black market to fund its operations.

Last month, Islamic State conquered the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, home to some of the most magnificent Roman ruins in the Middle East. Many fear that the terror group will also loot and destroy Palmyra.

Have the Yezidis Been Forgotten by the International Community?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

By Michael Zeff

Nearly one year ago, global media and public opinion raged over the humanitarian crisis and near genocide facing the Yazidi population of northern Iraq at the hands of the Islamic State as they advanced on the Sinjar region.

At that time, major western media outlets reported on the massacres inflicted on the Yazidis by IS, the enslavement and rape of young Yazidi women and girls and other atrocities the Yazidi minority had faced last summer.

However, since August 2014, the airstrikes against IS have gradually slowed down to a complete halt and the humanitarian aid has slowed down too. With IS fighters still roaming the land and the fighting in Iraq still very much a daily reality, has the international community forgotten about the distressed Yazidi people?

In a phone interview last week on Tuesday, May 26, Tazpit News Agency spoke with Mr. Mirza Ismail, a Yazidi leader and head of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization – International. Ismail gave a first-hand account on the current situation and plight of the Yezidis still in Northern Iraq and the Sinajr region.

“It is an ongoing very bad humanitarian crisis, the fate of the Yezidi nation” Mr. Ismail related to Tazpit, live from Iraq.

“Right now I am in Northern Iraq, I visited Mount Sinjar earlier and came back down. Overall I made visits to Yezidi refugee camps such as Khanke, Sharyia and Esia to see the current situation with my own eyes.”

“In general our organization tries maintain the awareness to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and plight of the Yezidi nation and its refugees, with media, countries, politicians, appealing for practical aid and help.” Ismail explained to Tazpit.

“Right now the Yezidi Human Rights Organization – International is working on trying to relocate refugees, who are currently in camps in Turkey, to Canada. So far Germany has taken 80 Yezidi girls and granted them asylum, they agreed to take a total of 1,000 Yezidis. We hope that other western countries can take a lesson from Germany and agree to provide asylum and take in Yezidi refugees. ”

According to a United Nations Human Rights report, the IS campaign against the Yazidis resulted in over 50,000 refugees and several thousand killed between July and September 2014. Having fled up into the Sinjar Mountain, thousands of Yezidis found themselves stranded and besieged by IS forces. This imminent threat of a genocidal massacre was only averted by U.S. airstrikes and air drops of humanitarian aid packages onto mount Sinjar.

Ismail told Tazpit that there are still 12,000 Yezidis held up on Mount Sinjar, most of them children and the elderly. Many of the children are orphans of Yezidi fighters and those were massacred by the Islamic State. “They are living in very bad humanitarian conditions,” noted Ismail.

“There is no medical assistance here and people are suffering from disease. They are afraid to come down from the mountain.” “They are afraid of Islamic State, afraid to be killed like their family and friends and they don’t trust the Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi government,” he said.

Ismail continued to explain the Yazidi source of general distrust saying “Iraq persecuted and discriminated Yezidis as well, Iraq let the genocide of the Yezidis happen, they abandoned the Yezidis to be slaughtered.”

“There are still violent acts and killings of Yezidis, just two weeks ago a young Yezidi man was found tied and mutilated to death, another disappeared from Eisa camp and was found dead later.”

According to Mr. Ismail, overall, there are 430,000, most of them living in refugee camps in northern Iraq and Turkey in unbearable living conditions.

“With summer coming again life will certainly get even more difficult than it is now. The hot weather conditions in northern Iraq can be severe, and there isn’t even a single fan to keep people cool”

Ismail paints a grim picture of the current condition of the refugees in northern Iraqi camps, and an ever bigger plight to those who are still held up at the disconnected mount Sinjar.

“In the northern camps, they [Yezidi refugees] have not had relief and aid in the last 2 or 3 months.” Said Ismail.

“There is some United Nations presence; I have seen UNICEF around; I heard that Doctors Without Borders maybe active. However, not a single organization has sent any aid up to Mount Sinjar. It is mainly the children who are suffering the most, they have no education, no teachers are coming, they suffer from malnutrition, having less than two meals a day.”

Ismail recounted to Tazpit a general feeling of hopelessness and fear both on Mount Sinjar and the refugee camps. There are reports still coming out about Yezidis being raped, murdered and sold into slavery, as recently as May when IS itself claimed to have slaughtered 300 Yezidis near Mosul.

Those who managed to flee the massacres are still threatened with severe weather conditions, disease and starvation.

“There are people in need of surgery, I met with at least 10 different Yezidis who need to have lifesaving surgery but no access to doctors. I met a young girl who was still waiting for a needed surgery she told me ‘if I die then I die’, The people are losing any hope”.

“They need international aid to survive the summer here.” Ismail said, stressing the need in activity from the International community, with providing practical humanitarian aid to Sinjar region and granting asylum to refugees.

Adding a Jewish angle to the story, Ismail told Tazpit “In Canada, I am working closely with Mrs. Rananah Goldhar [a strong Jewish pro-Israel activist based in Toronto] who is trying her hardest in to raise awareness and activism on behalf of the Yezidis to save them from the recent horrific atrocities facing them.”

“My organization is working to influence the Canadian government to take in refugees for asylum, at least for those Yezidis with some relatives in Canada.”

With thousands held up on mount Sinjar, detached from humanitarian relief. Tens of thousands more in the accessible refugee camps only receiving limited relief if any, according to Ismail. And the still-present threat by IS. It seems, according Ismail’s eye witness account to Tazpit news Agency, that the Yezidi humanitarian crisis is far from over.

ISIS Could Buy Nukes from Pakistan, Warns India

Monday, June 1st, 2015

The world is fretting over the Islamic State’s (ISIS) destruction of artifacts from the past, but the future of a nuclear-armed Islamic State lurks on the distant horizon.

Indian Defense Minister Rao Inderjit Singh told Bloomberg:

With the rise of ISIS in West Asia, one is afraid to an extent that perhaps they might get access to a nuclear arsenal from states like Pakistan.

ISIS boasts that it has “billions of dollars in the bank” and that it called on its Pakistani-based official “to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers” have been discounted as unlikely, but Western and Arab leaders also did not foresee the rapid rise of the radical Islamist terrorist juggernaut.

While the West talks, the Islamic State stalks. It controls more than half of Syria, parts of Iraq, has made inroads in Libya and is linked with cells in the Sinai Peninsula, but much more worrisome is its cancerous spread to Southeast Asia.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday:

Southeast Asia is a key recruitment center for ISIS. [It] has so many Indonesian and Malaysia fighters that they form a unit by themselves — the Katibah Nusantara — Malay Archipelago Combat Unit.

Loong estimated that more than 500 Indonesians and dozens of Malaysians have joined ISIS.

He added:

This is why Singapore takes terrorism, and in particular ISIS, very seriously,” Lee said. “The threat is no longer over there, it is over here.

The “over there” attitude is what left the Obama administration in an illusion that “it can’t happen here” until it only lately has begun to wake up to the possibility that just because something is unimaginable doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

It sounds a bit like the head-in-the-sand attitude during the Holocaust.

The scenes of ISIS beheadings of American journalists horrified U.S. officials and the general public, which has voiced its fear in a Gallup poll earlier this year that revealed that 84 percent of Americans think the terrorist entity poses a critical threat to the United States.

President Barack Obama last year spoke in public more about separating the Islamic State from Islam than he did about fighting it, while it simply continues to gain ground.

It would seem insane that Pakistan would deliver nuclear weapons to the ISIS, but if that is the price it takes to buy off the ISIS not to take over the country, so be it.

It is too easy to be a scaremonger and warn that the ISIS is about to bomb Washington tomorrow, but believing it never will happen is even scarier.

Here is what Paul Waldman, a contributor to The Plum Line blog and a senior writer at The American Prospect, wrote n the Washington Post two months ago:

Now, let’s entertain a truly radical notion: Even if the Islamic State could launch a successful terrorist attack in the United States, that still wouldn’t make them much of a threat. How many Americans could they kill? A dozen? A hundred? That would be horrible. But car accidents kill almost a hundred Americans each and every day….

The Islamic State has done ghastly things.We should work to eliminate them in any way we can.

Even so, they are not actually much of a threat to the United States.

So what if a hundred Americans are killed? And that would be the first and last attack because the U.S. Army would immediately bomb Syria, Iraq, and southeast Asia and God know where else to smithereens?

The Islamic Sartre is succeeding because it has instilled a will, albeit a death wish, into its believers, while no one has the will to defeat them.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote on Sunday:

Four defense officials told The Daily Beast that there’s still strong resistance within the Obama administration to making any serious changes to the current strategy for fighting ISIS—despite mounting skepticism from some in the Pentagon about the current U.S. approach to the war.

The newspaper wrote in an editorial last Friday:

The Obama administration has responded to the recent gains by the Islamic State in Iraq with several remedial measures…. but some senior administrative officials have adopted a defensive crouch, blaming the Iraqis for failing to defend the city of Ramadi and insisting that there is no alternative to current U.S. strategy….

The administration boasts of 3,000 strikes carried out by U.S. planes since last summer. But as The New York Times recently reported, the pace of air operations is far below that of the 2001 Afghan campaign, when there were nearly six times as many daily strikes on average ….

Obama should make his priority eliminating the Islamic State — as opposed to limiting U.S. engagement in Iraq.

The Islamic State has proven so far that once it establishes a presence in an area, it cannot be defeated.

That is what worries Singapore’s Prime Minister Loong, who said that an ISIS caliphate state in Southeast Asia seems like a “grandiose, pie-in-the sky dream” but is possible.

Bloomberg journalist Josh Rogin wrote last week:

Unless the anti-Islamic State coalition does more to cooperate with countries in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, the terror group will just expand its recruiting and attacks across the globe.

Anyone doubting the Islamic State’s desire to have a nuclear weapon should read what The JewishPress.com reported here earlier today.

So long as everyone thinks it is “far-fetched” that the Islamic State can lay its hands on a nuclear weapon — and it would be a lot easier for it obtain “dirty bombs” — and so long as Washington thinks “it can’t happen here,” the likelihood grows that it indeed will happen.

The United States stopped Hitler before he could conquer the word, but it waited until his regime slaughtered, gassed and touted 6,000,000 Jews.

History will record how many people, especially Christians, are beheaded before the Islamic State is stopped, assuming there will be someone around to write history.

Islamic State’s Beheading Video Makers Killed in Iraq

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Two ISIS video makers who filmed the infamous beheading videos for Islamic State have been killed in an air strike in Iraq, according to reports by Al Jazeera and al Arabiya, citing the Iraqi Minister of the Interior.

The Iraqi Air Force hit a compound in Qaim, near Fallujah, and the strike was part of the revenge mission for ISIS hanging an Iraqi soldier on a Fallujah bridge.

The two were identified as Abu Mohammed al-Soory, a.k.a. Abu Samra, and Abu Osama al-Amriky.

They videoed and documented the executions of American, Japanese, British, French, Egyptian, Jordania and Yeminite captives.

At Least 10 Killed in Baghdad Hotel Bombings [video]

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Two or three car bombs exploded in Baghdad, Iraq after midnight on Friday, next to two hotels, the Babylon and the Cristal Grand Ishtar (Sheraton).

At least a dozen people are reported to have been killed in the attacks, just minutes apart, and another 30 are wounded.

The hotels are very popular with government officials and westerners. Some foreign media outlets use the Cristal hotel.

It is suspected that at least one car bomb also involved a suicide bomber.

No group has taken responsibility yet for the attack.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/at-least-10-killed-in-baghdad-hotel-bombings-video/2015/05/29/

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