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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Mosul’

Sobriety in Our Time: Iraqi Parliament Bans Alcohol

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Iraq’s parliament on Saturday voted to ban the sale, import and production of alcohol, AFP reported. The new law cements Iraq’s national religion as being Islam, at the expense of all the other religions in that country. The Iraq constitution already forbids legislation that contradicts Islam.

The law was passed as Iraq’s biggest military operation has been on its way, to defeat the ISIS in the city of Mosul, near the Syrian border.

Christian MP Yonadam Kanna told AFP on Saturday that “every violation of this law incurs a fine of 10 million to 25 million dinars ($8,000 to $20,000).” He said he plans to appeal the law in Iraq’s federal court.

Iraq has a homegrown industry satisfying the local market’s need for beer and Arak.

David Israel

ISIS Executes Hundreds in Mosul as Iraqi Forces Close In

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Islamic State (Da’esh / ISIS) terrorist forces executed hundreds of civilians Friday in the city of Mosul as tens of thousands of Iraqi and Peshmerga military and coalition forces closed in.

The terrorists murdered 284 men and boys, an Iraqi intelligence source told CNN, after having rounded them up from villages in and around the Mosul area to be used as human shields.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said, “There is a grave danger that [ISIS] fighters will not only use … people as human shields but may opt to kill them rather than see them liberated.” He added that any of the terrorists who were captured or who surrendered “should be held accountable in accordance with the law for any crimes they have committed.”

And in fact, in a move echoing one of the most grotesque by the Nazis during the Holocaust, ISIS operatives used a bulldozer to dump the dead bodies in a mass grave at the scene of the executions, the defunct Mosul College of Agriculture in the northern section of the city, according to the source quoted by CNN.

All of the victims were shot, including children, said the source who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with media. CNN could not independently confirm the claim.

Knowing their days were numbered, the ISIS terrorists blew up the Mishraq sulfur plant in the city on Wednesday, killing two people with the toxic white smoke, and injuring numerous others. At least 500 people arrived at the Qayyarah Health Center complaining of problems with their breathing.

The terrorist group also ignited the oil wells, sending thick black smoke boiling up into the sky. Doctors treated their patients with oxygen but were forced to send at least eight to Makhmur hospital, they told the AFP news agency.

At least 50 ISIS terrorists were killed and dozens of others were wounded in a separate terrorist assault on the northern city of Kirkuk — launched as a diversion from Mosul — which ended Saturday after 36 hours of heavy clashes.

All of the ISIS attackers were killed or blew themselves up, according to Kirkuk police Brig.-Gen. Khattab Omer. But 13 workers at a power plant north of the city were killed, in addition to a local TV reporter.

Iraqi security forces and Peshmerga Kurdish fighters also surrounded and isolated the town of Hamdaniya, 12 miles southeast of Mosul, according to a U.S. military official in Baghdad.

U.S. and coalition aircraft were providing air support during the battles in Kirkuk and around Mosul on Saturday. In Kirkuk, 175 kilometers (109 miles) southeast of Mosul, Peshperga forces went house to house in mop-up operations.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: ISIS Launching Suicide Attacks on Allied Forces Fighting to Retake Mosul

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

In a statement released online after the beginning of the Kurdish and Iraqi assault on Mosul in northern Iraq, ISIS has claimed that it is launching deadly suicide car bomb attacks against the invaders.

More than two years after ISIS forces had entered the city of Mosul, Iraqi Army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces have begun their attack to recapture the city. Fears of an impending humanitarian crisis have already created more refugees, with only about one million civilians estimated to remain in the city, out of a population of two and a half million.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the assault in a televised address on Monday, announcing, “Today I declare the start of these victorious operations to free you from the violence and terrorism of Daesh (ISIS).”

With US air power, Iraqi forces are still keeping their distance from Mosul itself and are expected to lay siege before directly engaging the jihadists. The terrorist forces are vastly outnumbered, with only an estimated 8,000 warriors in the city and surrounding area.

David Israel

Trump in 2nd Debate: Aleppo Has Already Fallen

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Focusing, as we always do, on the Jewish-Israeli niche of presidential politics, we paid great attention Sunday night to the exchange between candidates Trump and Clinton on the situation in Syria. In general, both debaters agreed the situation was tough, and neither was eager to get into specific solutions. What stood out for us was the statement by Donald Trump that the battle of Aleppo between the US-backed rebels and the coalition of Assad, the Russians, Iran and Hezbollah will go to the pro-Assad forces.

Martha Raddatz (ABC News) asked Trump: “What do you think will happen if [Aleppo] falls?” Which Trump answered, “I think that it basically has fallen. OK? It basically has fallen.”

It should be noted that on Saturday in the UN Security Council Russia vetoed a French resolution calling for an immediate halt to its air strikes on east Aleppo, where reportedly hundreds of civilians are being killed, including many children. The Russian delegation, accusing the rest of the council of “Russophobia,” watched many council members walk off as the Russians were giving the floor to an envoy of the Assad regime. The Russians are fast running out of friends over this campaign — except, apparently, for Trump, who described Allepo as collateral damage of the effort to destroy the real enemy of the US in the Middle East — ISIS.

“I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS,” Trump said during Sunday night’s debate. “Russia is killing ISIS. And Iran is killing ISIS. And those three have now lined up because of our weak foreign policy.”

Raddatz pointed Trump’s attention to the fact that not only the entire Western world objects to what the Russians have been doing in Syria, but his own running mate, Mike Pence, had said a week ago, that the “provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved in air strikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.”

Trump, who had praised Pence’s debate performance, came right out and said, “OK, he and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree. I disagree.”

Raddatz: “You disagree with your running mate?”

Trump: “I think you have to knock out ISIS. Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS. We have people that want to fight both at the same time. But Syria is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia and it’s Iran, who [Clinton] made strong and Kerry and Obama made into a very powerful nation and a very rich nation, very, very quickly, very, very quickly.

“I believe we have to get ISIS. We have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved. She had a chance to do something with Syria. They had a chance. And that was the line. And she didn’t.”

To delineate Trump’s foreign policy point on Aleppo from all of the above, the defeat of ISIS justifies permitting Russia, Iran, the Assad regime and its Hezbollah satellite to recapture all of Syria and turn it into their permanent base, with all the ramifications for Lebanon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, and, of course, Israel.

A debate then ensued between Raddatz, who as her network’s Chief Global Affairs Correspondent is probably familiar with the issue, and Trump, over the need for secrecy before attacking a target like the oil rich city of Mosul in Iraq. “The biggest problem I have with the stupidity of our foreign policy, we have Mosul,” Trump argued. “They think a lot of the ISIS leaders are in Mosul. So we have announcements coming out of Washington and coming out of Iraq, we will be attacking Mosul in three weeks or four weeks.”

“Well, all of these bad leaders from ISIS are leaving Mosul,” he continued. “Why can’t they do it quietly? Why can’t they do the attack, make it a sneak attack, and after the attack is made, inform the American public that we’ve knocked out the leaders, we’ve had a tremendous success? People leave. Why do they have to say we’re going to be attacking Mosul within the next four to six weeks, which is what they’re saying? How stupid is our country?”

Raddatz suggested, “There are sometimes reasons the military does that. Psychological warfare.”

Trump retorted, “I can’t think of any. I can’t think of any. And I’m pretty good at it.”

Raddatz: “It might be to help get civilians out.”

Perhaps. Trump could also be correct in pointing out that the US campaign in Iraq has remained as undisciplined and as badly coordinated as it has been since the 2003 invasion, under two different administrations.

Hillary Clinton sounded as hapless as the Obama Administration when she said the Russians don’t care about ISIS, and are instead “interested in keeping Assad in power.” As remedy, she proposed: “…when I was secretary of state, I advocated and I advocate today a no-fly zone and safe zones. We need some leverage with the Russians, because they are not going to come to the negotiating table for a diplomatic resolution, unless there is some leverage over them. And we have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground.”

Of course, there’s no way the US and its allies would be able to enforce a no-fly zone on the Russian air force, short of starting WW3, which is why Clinton sounded hollow when she declared, “I’ve stood up to Russia. I’ve taken on Putin and others, and I would do that as president.” And she sounded even less realistic when she warned, “…I do support the effort to investigate for crimes, war crimes committed by the Syrians and the Russians and try to hold them accountable.”

Hillary Clinton then committed a blunder that could haunt her in the future should she be elected president, when she suggested, “There are a lot of very important planning going on, and some of it is to signal to the Sunnis in the area, as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, that we all need to be in this. And that takes a lot of planning and preparation. … I would also consider arming the Kurds. The Kurds have been our best partners in Syria, as well as Iraq. And I know there’s a lot of concern about that in some circles, but I think they should have the equipment they need so that Kurdish and Arab fighters on the ground are the principal way that we take Raqqa after pushing ISIS out of Iraq.”

That’s not something an American president should say if he or she wish to elicit Turkey’s support in the Syrian campaign. Proposing to arm the Kurds sounds about as bad to Ankara as the idea of the US arming Hamas would be received in Jerusalem. That would be one of those cases where Clinton would be well advised to have one policy for public consumption and another for insiders.

You probably noticed we did not deal at all with the Trump tapes or the Clinton emails, because everyone else in the media are offering a wealth of information on those. We only tried to point out that when it comes to one of Israel’s most burning issues, the escalation of the war north of its border, neither candidate has offered a particularly convincing formula, and Clinton actually declared she would definitely keep US ground troops out of the Syrian civil war.

We should note with satisfaction that Israel was not mentioned even once in the debate and neither was the two-state solution or Jewish settlements. Thankfully, both candidates are too clever to step on that landmine.

JNi.Media

Kurdish Jews Scrambling to Save Prophet Nahum’s Crumbling Tomb in ISIS Territory

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Jewish officials in Kurdistan are trying to save an ancient tomb believed to belong to the biblical prophet Nahum and his sister in the Christian town of Alqosh, some 30 miles outside the ISIS controlled city of Mosul. According to local news reports, Nahum’s tomb has been deteriorating and is in danger of collapsing. The town of Alqosh has been protected by Peshmerga forces since ISIS overran the Iraqi army in the region.

Sherzad Mamsani, a Jewish representative of the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs of the Kurdish Regional Government, has asked UNESCO, the semi-independent Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, and all foreign diplomats serving in the KRG to help preserve the ancient Jewish site.

“This site does not only belong to Jews. It’s part of human history, therefore saving it is everyone’s responsibility,” Sherzad pleaded in a statement, adding, “We only ask for the renovation of the site, we have previously asked the KRG to renovate it but the work was suspended due to the financial crisis that hit the Kurdistan Region.”

Nahum, whose biblical book (seventh on the list of 12 shorter works by the prophets, between Micha and Habakkuk) identifies him as Nahum of Elqosh, predicted the fall of the Assyrian Empire and its capital Nineveh. His 47 prophetic verses contain no rebuke of the Jews, only comforting promises that they would soon be freed from the Assyrian yoke. Jewish sources are split on the location of Elkosh: some believe it was in Israel, others identify it as the town of Alqosh in northern Iraq.

Nahum’s tomb is located inside a synagogue in Alqosh.

David Israel

Pentagon Confirms American Soldier Killed by ISIS in Northern Iraq

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

The Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist group killed a U.S. soldier in Iraq this week, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense announced Tuesday.

The soldier was “aiding Kurdish fighters near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul,” according to the statement by the DoD spokesperson.

He was “hit by direct enemy fire about 20 miles from Mosul,” which the spokesperson labeled as the Da’esh “de facto capital in Iraq.”

CBS News quoted U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter as saying in a brief statement “It is a combat death, of course. And a very sad loss,” but giving no detail.

The U.S.-led “Operation Inherent Resolve” also issued a short written statement that said a coalition “service member was killed in northern Iraq as a result of enemy fire.”

The “enemy” was not specifically named by the government, however.

According to CBS News senior national security correspondent David Martin, the soldier was an American adviser to the Kurdish Peshmerga force, working with a unit a couple of miles behind the front line “during a battle with ISIS.”

Some of the terrorists managed to penetrate through the line into Kurdish territory and killed the soldier with a gunshot, he reported, despite air support from U.S. F-15 fighter jets and drones during the battle.

“It was a real battle, not just one-off raid,” Martin reported.

A U.S. Marine was killed by Da’esh rocket fire and several others were wounded in northern Iraq in mid-March.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Upgrade to Turkish Tank Protects Soldiers from ISIS Anti-Tank Missile

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

An Israeli upgrade on a U.S.-made M60T tank used by Turkish military forces in Mosul helped save those soldiers from death in a missile attack by Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists last week (April 19).

The attack, seen in a video released April 19 by the terror group, involved a Russian-made 129K9 Kornet ATGM (anti-tank guided missile) fired at a Turkish tank that was on a hilltop.

The missile struck the tank but it did not explode, nor did it burn. The upgrades made to the tank by Israel were sold to Turkey a decade ago.

None of the crew were injured and the tank sustained only minimal damage, according to a Turkish military official quoted by the Andalou Agency.

The tank was deployed by Turkey to Bashiqah, 30 kilometers northeast of Mosul in northern Iraq. The Turkish military source said Da’esh attacked the tank at Bashiqah, incurring minor damage but no casualties.

The source added the Turkish forces immediately returned fire and killed 32 Da’esh fighters.

The Iraqi government was apparently unaware of the presence of Turkish forces in the country until December 2015, according to a report on Thursday (April 21) by Jane’s defense magazine. The government allegedly demanded at that time that Ankara withdraw all of its troops from Iraq, but Turkey ignored the directive. Ankara insisted the base in Bashiqah was established for the purpose of training a militia to expel Da’esh from Mosul.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-upgrade-to-turkish-tank-protects-soldiers-from-isis-anti-tank-missile/2016/04/24/

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