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October 4, 2015 / 21 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Mosul’

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.

US Consulate Targeted by ISIS in Iraqi Kurdistan

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

U.S. officials in the Middle East are on high alert after ISIS targeted the American Consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan Friday. Kurdish Peshmerga forces operate the security ring around the Consulate.

At 10:44 am local time a car bomb exploded just outside the gates of the US Consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, near Mosul. The city is considered the capital of the Kurdistan region and is located in the center of Kurdistan, with a population of approximately 1.5 million.

Da’esh, also known as the ISIS terror organization, took responsibility on Twitter for the suicide car bombing. Three civilians died in the attack, along with the bomber, and 18 others were injured.

All U.S. and Iraqi personnel were evacuated from the building and no injuries were reported, according to State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.

Although U.S. legislators and military officials are disputing the strategic significance of the target, no one is arguing about the proximity of the attack to Mosul, an ISIS stronghold. Nor is anyone disputing the fact that ISIS is also engaged in battling for control of the only oil refinery in Iraq that is not yet under its control.

Kerry Says US Will Defeat ISIS but ‘Don’t Ask Me When’

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC news Sunday that he admits that the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) is not near an end by insists the United States will win, even if he does not know when.

“Do you stand by your recent comments that we’re on the road to beating ISIS?” asked ABC interviewer Martha Raddatz.

He answered:

What I said was we’re on the road to success, and that begins in Iraq, and yes, I stand by it. We are growing in the capacity on the ground… The fact is that in Iraq, they have gained back a fixed, significant percentage of the area that ISIL was controlling.

When reminded that Central Command said the Iraqi city of Mosul would be re-taken from ISIS by this spring, Kerry replied:

As I think you’ve seen, that has been contradicted and I think walked back. And there are a number of different options out there, so nobody should count on what they’ve read or what they’ve seen. This will happen when we are ready. It will happen on the coalition’s schedule, and it will happen when there is confidence that it will be successful.

I’m not going to get into timetables. It will happen.

He did not say whether it would be this year or another year but admitted that things in Syria are even tougher.

“Syria is a bigger challenge,” according to Kerry.” We will need people on the ground. It will not be American forces, but we are working on that…. Arab countries in the region are stepping up their efforts. I have meetings this week with all of the GCC. I’ll be meeting with King Salman of Saudi Arabia….

“”People are thinking about the day-to-day vision of what is happening on the ground in Syria, in Libya, where 21 Coptic Christians had their heads cut off, where a soldier is burned and a pilot in a cage, where American journalists have been beheaded publicly. We understand that. But I still stand by what I said, which is in large terms, compared to the last century, there are, in fact, fewer people dying of the means that you look at, by state war, violence, health, et cetera.”

The U.S.-led coalition on Sunday said it launched seven aerial strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and that two American drones in Syria hit an ISIS unit and two vehicles.

ISIS: We Will Behead Obama, Make US Part of the Caliphate [video]

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The barbarians from ISIS recently released another bloody video. This one shows several of their members standing beside an executioner-style black hooded man towering over a straight-backed Kurdish captive.

The filming takes place in the middle of a street in Mosul, Iraq. We know the words spoken in the video, thanks to the translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI.org.

In this, as in all the ISIS videos, the terrorists boast about their bloodthirsty deeds committed in the name of Allah, and promise still more bloodshed.

In this video, see below, the executioner promises that ISIS will come to America and cut off President Obama’s head, right in the White House. He also promises that ISIS will turn the United States into a Muslim province.




Then the ISIS executioner threatens France and Belgium, warning them that ISIS will bring car bombs and explosives to their streets. He also threatens to cut off the heads of the French and the Belgians.

But his greatest ire is directed at Masoud Barazani, the president of the Kurds. His voice grows louder still, and he shouts out his threat to Barazani, whom he calls a dog, saying ISIS will behead him and throw him onto the trash bin of history.

It is no surprise that ISIS feels the greatest enmity for the Kurds. The Kurdish fighting force, the Peshmerga, have been fighting the ISIS forces with superhuman dedication and focus for months.

The Kurds finally regained control over Kobane, a previously Kurdish-ruled city, driving out the barbarians from all neighborhoods in the that city. The victory occurred on Monday, Jan. 27, the day after this video was made, but the tide had begun to turn earlier.

Once ISIS was routed from Kobane, Barazani said that it was “a great honor for the Kurdish people that they stood along 1,500 kilometers in the face of the most brutal terrorist organization and defeated it. This victory is the victory of humanity over the savagery of terrorists.”

And then, as if to prove Barazani’s point, the ISIS executioner says: “We will institute the laws of Allah, may he be exalted and praised.” He then turns his focus back to the Kurdish soldier at his feet, upon whose head the executioner kept his hand, throughout the speech.

“This is the fate of one of your soldiers, and every time you launch a missile, we will send you back the head of one of your soldiers.”

At the end of the original video  – this is excised from the version, below – the executioner beheads the Kurdish soldier at his feet.

The Peshmerga forces have already begun their assault on the ISIS stronghold in Mosul.

Canadian ISIS Fighter Threatens to Behead Netanyahu [video]

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

A Canadian who joined ISIS in Iraq threatened to behead Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Abu Usamah Somali, thought to be Canadian Farah Mohamed Shirdon of Calgary and who had been considered killed showed up in an interview with ViceNews.com and said “maybe” ISIS will stop fighting after lopping off the Prime Minister’s head.

Somali, 21, added, unsurprisingly, that President Barack Obama also is targeted.

He mocked Canadian authorities as “imbeciles” for not preventing him from leaving the country. “I can’t believe how someone that has extremist terrorist ideologies was sitting in front of you and you didn’t catch them. The next time they saw me, they saw me ripping up my passport,” he said in the video interview conducted by Vice News’ Shane Smith, who aid the ISIS terrorist was located in Mosul, Iraq.

Somali claimed he left Canada on his own initiative. “No one spoke a single word to me. All I did, I opened the newspaper I read the Qur’an — very easy,” he said.

Much of what ISIS’ new YouTube star can be discounted as exaggerated, such as his claim that the terrorist group has 15,000 foreign fighters.

He boasted that ISIS has “a lot of brothers are mobilizing right now” in New York who are “mobilizing for a brilliant attack, my friend.”

One statement was 100 percent true. When Smith asked Somali who is ISIS’ enemy, answered, “The world.”

His threat to behead Netanyahu can be seen and heard at 7:40 in the video below.


ISIS Living High Life in Raqqa, Using Yazidi Females as Human Shields

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are preparing to defend areas they captured in northern Iraq after scores were killed last week in U.S. and French air strikes. The group has evacuated command-and-control centers in Mosul, Iraq and in Raqqa, Syria, according to a report posted by The Telegraph. They have also begun to use Yazidi women captives as human shields in other places, according to the report.

Raqqa is the informal “capital” of the ISIS “caliphate” and the site where the group has carried out three high-profile beheadings in recent weeks.

But it also turns out that in Raqqa, ISIS terrorists are still pretty much living the high life, when they are not busy with mass beheadings and capturing territory. It’s not a privilege they share with the locals, however.

The terrorists have taken over the governor’s ornate palace, and they are enjoying Western comforts brought to the palace by foreign fighters.

“Although there is a war on, Swiss chocolate is very popular with them,” one resident observed. “And you see some shops reserving Western food for the jihadists. I know that one of them asked a store to get an iPhone 6 for him. It cost $2,500 and was brought in from dealers in Turkey.”

Meanwhile, up to 100,000 Kurds and other local residents in the northern city of Kobane have fled to the Turkish border, where at least 70,000 had made it across by Monday morning in advance of a takeover of the city by ISIS.

Kurds who were moving in the other direction, however, to fight against ISIS, were equally concerned about the air strikes – not wanting to become targets themselves.

Abu Mohammed, a local activist quoted by the National Post and who runs the “Raqqa is being slaughtered silently” website, said, “People are afraid of the air strikes, that they might be used as human shields or be bombed.

“Many people fled to the countryside or to Turkey… When small planes for reconnaissance appear, the jihadists hide. They even lock the doors of their headquarters. They also moved their families, their women and children, outside Raqqa.”

Abu Mohammed added that locals don’t trust America any more than they trust ISIS. “If the U.S. is really against ISIS why did they leave them all that time, and why did they turna blind eye to Bashar al-Assad? He is a terrorist who is bombing us,” he asked.

Report: ISIS Shoots Down Syrian Regime Plane

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

ISIS shot down a Syrian regime’s warplane on Tuesday, Sept. 16, according to a report based on information from the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

The Syrian plane was engaged in attacking the ISIS base in Raqqa when it was shot down. Raqqa, used as the headquarters by ISIS,  is a city in north central Syria, on the north bank of the Euphrates River, approximately 100 miles east of Aleppo.

After being shot down, the plane crashed into a house. Rami Abdul Rahman, the SOHR director, said there were casualties on the ground. Other reports claimed there were eight casualties following the crash.

“It is the first aircraft shot down since the regime launched air strikes against the jihadists in July following their declaration of a caliphate in late June,” according to an SOHR statement.

Another account of the downed Syrian war plane declined to confirm whether ISIS was responsible for the crash. The Syrian air force has been bombing ISIS controlled territory continually since the group seized control of  Mosul, a city in Iraq near the Syrian border, when the group declared a caliphate straddling Iraq and Syria.

A Syrian air strike on an ISIS training camp killed more than a dozen terrorists on Saturday.

The U.S. is assembling a coalition to fight against the ISIS terrorists. Syria allegedly offered to join the coalition but the offer was rebuffed. Syria is fighting against ISIS and a US-assembled coalition which has only been operating in Iraq is expected to take the fight to Syria as well.

With the fight against ISIS taking place within the same relatively small geographic region, the potential for perceived interference either by the western-backed coalition or by Syria poses additional problems or, perhaps, opportunities.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-isis-shoots-down-syrian-regime-plane/2014/09/16/

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