#AceWorldNews – YEMEN – Nov.22 – Yemen’s Al-Qaeda branch on Friday denounced the Islamic State group (also known as ISIS or ISIL) for declaring a caliphate on territory it seized in Syria and Iraq, and for its expansionist plans.
The Al-Qaeda Yemeni offshoot’s purported spiritual guide, Sheikh Harith al-Nadhari, said efforts to expand IS’s area of influence are “driving a wedge” among jihadist groups, AP reported.
The IS “forced the nation, all the nation, to pledge allegiance” in the absence of consultation with other jihadist leaders, Al-Nadhari said in a message posted on one of Yemeni Al-Qaeda’s Twitter pages.
#AceBreakingNews – WASHINGTON – Nov.10 – Press Release of latest video, interview on Face the Nation.
#AceNewsServices – October 28 – Islamic State and the Levant is growing financially and militarily but their greatest financial triumph came in June when they captured Mosul. But how is the group funded and how did their capabilities increase?
FUNDING & RESOURCES
Isil is the richest terrorist organisation in history.
Over the past six months, since the group began sweeping across easternSyria and into Iraq, experts estimate that its leaders have gained access to £1.2 billion in cash – more than the most recent recorded annual military expenditure of Ireland.
“Isil is not out in the economic boondocks of Afghanistan or hidden in deserts and caves,” said Paul Sullivan, a Middle East specialist at Georgetown University in Washington. “Isil is developing in a vital oil, gas and trade area of the world. It can grab as it expands.”
Their greatest financial triumph came when they captured the Iraqi town of Mosul in June and looted the city’s banks. Reports at the time suggested the group’s fighters may have made off with £240 million, though the Iraqi government later said the heist did not occur.
Five captured oilfields provide up to £1.8 million per day in revenue, with much of the oil smuggled across the border into Turkey and Iran.
They are thought to earn up to £5 million a month through extortion of local businesses. In the past year they are estimated to have made £40 million from taking hostages, with each foreign hostage thought to be worth £3m – although the kidnappers of American journalist James Foley demanded £80 million.
Private donations from supporters in the Gulf also contribute to their funding – although Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations have tried to make it harder to do so without government approval. During the war in Afghanistan, Saudi supporters could donate money directly at their mosque with no government supervision.
When they captured Mosul, Iraq’s envoy to the UN said they obtained nearly 88lb (40kg) of nuclear material, in the form of low-grade uranium compounds seized from a scientific research facility. The nuclear material would not be easily turned into weapons.
After conquering swaths of western Iraq, Isil fighters also now control territory where 40 per cent of the country’s wheat is grown. The group’s members are also reportedly milling grain in government silos and selling the flour on the local market.
TACTICS & TARGETS:
Isil’s strategy is to capture cities, occupy civilian homes, and expand their vision of a Sunni Islamic state ruled by Sharia law – meaning that it is extremely difficult for a conventional army to launch a counter-attack.
“Isil is not a state where you can hit military bases and infrastructure,” said Hussam al-Marie, the Free Syrian Army spokesman for northern Syria. “They are just thugs, groups spread over the east of Syria and the desert.”
Instead, military analysts suggest targeting their supply convoys, which travel by road through the desert. The convoys use artillery, tanks and Humvees in big convoys so would be easy to identify.
Key flashpoints at the moment are the towns of Marea and Azaz, north east of Aleppo, where both Syrian government forces and Isil are fighting to take control of the valuable resupply corridor into Syria’s second city.
Marea is a stronghold of the Islamic Front, a coalition of Islamist groups that is among those fighting against Isil.
Azaz sits next to the border crossing with Turkey, which would be a valuable asset for the jihadists, and in the past few weeks the fighters have taken control of a string of villager near the two towns.
Their infrastructure targets are thought to include the Haditha dam in northwestern Iraq on the Euphrates River and sections of the 600,000 barrel-a-day pipeline running to Turkey, which hasn’t operated since March. The North Fertiliser Plant in Baiji, 130 miles north of Baghdad, which a Texan company won a contract to revamp in 2011, could also fall under their control – as could cement plants in the north.
And once they control an area, they are careful not to repeat the mistakes made by its predecessor, the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), in 2003.
Then, ISI seized control of several cities in Iraq as it fought the allied invasion, but it quickly lost them again when locals rebelled against them because their practices were too extreme.
This time Isil has been seeking to win hearts and minds. In the territory it controls, it has been quick to eradicate policies and practices that locals most hated when they were under Baghdad’s rule.
In Mosul, for example, corruption in public offices and financial institutions was rife.
Isil has since cracked down on officials taking bribes to do their jobs and hired an “army of accountants” to monitor the financial accounts of banks and ensure they are not embezzling funds.
Isil is thought to have between 7-12,000 fighters, of whom 3,000 are foreign. A quarter of those are estimated to be British, although Belgium is the largest per-capita European “source” of fighters.
The extremist jihadists are using tanks, howitzers, and armoured personnel carriers seized from Iraqi arms depots in new offensives to wipe out the government’s last outposts in north eastern Syria. Weapons seized from Iraq, many originally provided by the US, are now changing the dynamic of the three-year-old struggle in Syria, according to the report by IHS Country Risk.
Experts estimate Isil has about 30 Soviet T-55 tanks and five to 10 Soviet T-72 battle tanks.
They have medium-sized towed artillery pieces, with a range of upwards of 14 miles; SA-7 surface-to-air missiles; BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers, and Fim-92 Stinger Manpad shoulder-fired infrared homing surface-to-air missiles.
Defences include ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns and M79 Osa, HJ-8 and AT-4 Spigot anti-tank weapons.
Some think they also have a small number of helicopters.
And every fighter reportedly has three sets of M16 rifles and body armour, captured from Syrian and Iraqi government forces.
Isil is run like a terrorist bureaucracy, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed Caliph, at its head.
Born in Samarra, Baghdadi was studying at the University of Islamic Sciences in Baghdad when the US invaded Iraq in March 2003. He was not thought to be connected to either al-Qaeda or its local offshoot in the early years of resistance. But by late 2005 he had been captured as a suspected mid-ranking figure in the anti-US Sunni insurgency, and he later rose to lead al-Qaeda in Iraq before splitting with them to form Isil.
He has since established a team of obedient Islamist mandarins – everything from prisoner management to suicide operations is delegated to his deputies.
“He is rational,” said Hisham al-Hashimi, a senior Iraqi researcher senior on Islamic militancy
“He thinks very clearly about what he is doing. He is deeply ideological and committed. He is also very determined to make himself into the one true ruler of Sunni Islam.”
At the top is a “cabinet” of experienced military officers.
Abu Ali al-Anbari was a major general in the Iraqi military under Saddam Hussein. Under Baghdadi he is now charged with managing the Syrian territories currently under Isil control.
Another former officer from Saddam’s army is Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, who was a lieutenant colonel in military intelligence. The finances of the group’s Iraqi provinces are managed by a man calling himself Abu Salah.
Details of the Isil leadership structure were unearthed after documents were captured during a raid on the group’s positions in June.
They revealed that a series of other deputies have been assigned to a variety of roles befitting a major terrorist organisation – including the oversight of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and caring for the families of “martyrs”.
Beneath the “cabinet” level there are reportedly approximately 1,000 medium and top-level field commanders. Salaries reportedly range from $300 to $2000 per month depending on the job post.
The fate of James Foley marked a grim “high point” for Isil’s social media strategy – the culmination of a macabre form of PR campaign.
The internet is used to both publicise its actions – through YouTube videos, Twitter and Facebook – and also to recruit new members.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of Isil, appeared in a video in July in which he announced at a mosque in Mosul that the organisation was changing its name from Isis to Islamic State, and aimed at controlling a swathe of the Middle East “up to Rome”.
The actions of his foot soldiers are also promoted on social media.
Crucifixions are posted on Twitter, mass killings photographed, and foreign jihadis have even pioneered a new type of “selfie” involving the decapitated heads of opponents.
Fighters in the field use sites such as Ask.fm to hold question and answer sessions with those considering travelling to the region – where wannabe soldiers ask “Are the bugs a problem?” and “Can I buy a smartphone there?”
#AceNewsServices – LEBANON – October 29 – A senior official of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has described the ISIL terrorist group as a threat to the Middle East region and the entire world.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said the ISIL Takfiri militants have launched a campaign of fear and terror to expand the terrorist group’s territory.
Saying that the ISIL terrorists have resorted to extreme forms of brutality, the Hezbollah official added, the Takfiri group, supported by some regional and Western countries, suffers from disunity in its ranks since its terrorists come from about eighty countries
The Hezbollah deputy chief reiterated that the ISIL, which commits atrocities in the name of religion, is the biggest threat to Islam and is disliked by both Shia and Sunni Muslims.
This comes as Lebanon has also been rocked by the spillover of the conflict in Syria caused by Takfiri militant groups.
Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said on October 14 that the Lebanese resistance movement is determined to defeat terrorists and Takfiri militants.
They have committed terrible atrocities in both countries, including mass executions and the beheading of local residents as well as foreign nationals.
#AceWorldNews – SOCHI – October 26 – Russian President Vladimir Putin says the United States promotes terrorism by financing terrorists and creating division instead of strengthening unity among world nations.
The Russian leader made the comments on Friday during a speech at the plenary session of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“In Syria, just like in old times, the US and its allies began to provide militants with direct funding and weapons to incite filling of their ranks by mercenaries from different countries,” Putin said, adding that this is how the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group has turned into a “de facto army.”
“They [ISIL terrorists] are active in a highly effective manner, from the military perspective, they are real professionals,” he stated.
Putin also said another reason why the ISIL has gained so much power is because the so-called anti-ISIL coalition, led by the US, is creating division among regional powers.
The Russian president went on to say that such “unilateral dictatorship” does not help anti-terror efforts; instead it causes “growing chaos” in stable states.
#AceNewsServices (Opinion) – October 25 – Last month, addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Benjamin Netanyahu made a connection between the Islamic State and Hamas.
These terrorist entities, Netanyahu said, have a lot in common.
Separated by geography, they nonetheless share ideology and tactics and goals: Islamism, terrorism, the destruction of Israel, and the establishment of a global caliphate.
And yet, Netanyahu observed, the very nations now campaigning against the Islamic State treated Hamas like a legitimate combatant during last summer’s Israel-Gaza war. “They evidently don’t understand,” he said, “that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.”
The State Department dismissed Netanyahu’s metaphor. “Obviously, we’ve designated both as terrorist organizations,” said spokesman Jen Psaki. “But ISIL poses a different threat to Western interests and to the United States.”
Psaki was wrong, of course. She’s always wrong. And, after the events of the last 48 hours, there ought not to be any doubt as to just how wrong she was. As news broke that a convert to Islam had murdered a soldier and stormed the Canadian parliament, one read of another attack in Jerusalem, where a Palestinian terrorist ran his car over passengers disembarking from light rail, injuring seven, and killing 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, who held a U.S. passport.
Islamic State, al Qaeda, Hamas—these awful people are literally baby killers. And yet they produce a remarkable amount of dissension, confusion, willful ignorance, and moral equivalence on the part of the men and women who conduct U.S. foreign policy. “ISIL is not ‘Islamic,’” President Obama said of the terrorist army imposing sharia law across Syria and Iraq. “Obviously, we’re shaken by it,” President Obama said of the attack in Canada. “We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident,” the State Department said of the murder of a Jewish child.
“Not Islamic,” despite the fact that the Caliphate grounds its barbarous activities in Islamic law. “Shaken,” not stirred to action. “All sides,” not the side that targets civilians again and again and again. The evasions continue. They create space for the poison tree to grow.
The persistent denial of the ideological unity of Islamic terrorism—the studied avoidance of politically incorrect facts that has characterized our response to the Ft. Hood shooting, the Benghazi attack, the Boston Marathon bombing, the march of the caliphate across Syria and Iraq, and the crimes of Hamas—is not random. Behind it is a set of ideas with a long history, and with great purchase among the holders of graduate degrees who staff the Department of Justice, the National Security Council, Foggy Bottom, and the diplomatic corps.
These ideas are why, in the words of John McCain, the terrorists “are winning, and we’re not.”
#AceWorldNews – BAGHDAD – October 16 – Iran and Turkey quietly came to the aid of Kurdistan in the war against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.
Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani said neighboring states have sent weapons to help block the ISIL advance in September 2014. Barzani identified two of the suppliers as Iran and Turkey.
“This was a great help for that moment,” Barzani said.
In an interview with Sky News Arabic, Barzani said Iran sent two air transports laden with weapons on the first night of the ISIL offensive against Kurdistan. He did not identify the Iranian equipment.
Later, Barzani said, Turkey began to send weapons to KRG forces. The president said he was asked by the Turkish leadership not to announce Ankara’s assistance.
“Turkey sent [arms] later but asked us not to announce it due to domestic conjuncture,” Barzani said.
#AceNewsServices – GENEVA – October 16 – Combating the “twin plagues” of Ebola and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while addressing the largest number of forcibly displaced people since World War II amid budget cuts is like “being asked to use a boat and bucket to cope with a flood”, the United Nations’ new human rights chief told journalists in Geneva today.
In his first briefing to the press since taking up the four-year post on 1 September, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he was “shocked” that just six weeks into his job, he already had to look at making cuts and “battle” to find resources.
The twin plagues of Ebola and ISIL both fomented quietly, neglected by a world that knew they existed but misread their terrible potential
“Our operations are stretched to breaking point in a world that seems to be lurching from crisis to ever more dangerous crisis,” he said, warning that when the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) “cannot afford to put people on the ground – to monitor, to report, to train, to advocate – the cost may be high.”
“Human rights are not an airy ideal,” he stressed, adding that underestimating the critical importance of human rights is what plays in creating crises in the first place.
The global response to Ebola must therefore be focused on the right to health, to education, to sanitation, to development and to good governance. Only a response that is built on respect for human rights will be successful in crushing the epidemic.
We must also beware of “us” and “them”, a mentality that locks people into rigid identity groups and reduces all Africans – or all West Africans, or some smaller, national or local group – to a stereotype, Mr. Zeid said. It is wrong to dehumanise and stigmatise people.
OHCHR is currently drawing up guidelines on quarantine, because, if imposed and enforced injudiciously, quarantine can very easily violate a wide range of human rights.
Turning to what he called, “the antithesis of human rights”, Mr. Zeid said ISIL – or, as he referred to it, the Taqfiri group called “Daech” in Arabic – believes “justice is to commit murder”. It spares no one. Not women, not children, nor the elderly, the sick or the wounded. No religion is safe, no ethnic group.
“The way [ISIL] has spread its tentacles into other countries, employing social media and the internet to brainwash and recruit people from across the globe, reveals it is to be the product of a perverse and lethal marriage of a new form of nihilism with the digital age,” said the High Commissioner.
As ISIL and Ebola gain ground, it is “deplorable” that the UN office responsible for human rights cannot fulfil the dozens of pending requests for human rights advisors and only receives around 3 per cent of the UN regular budget. The UN human rights office (OHCHR) is at least $25 million short of its needs this year, Mr. Zeid said.
“We are asking for less than the amount Americans are forecast to spend on costumes for their pets at Halloween in a few days, time – and that includes my family who live in New York,” the High Commissioner added.
Prior to 2013, it was unusual for there to be even two “mandated tasks” OHCHR was providing support to. But now, there are “no fewer than six of these under way”, including support missions for the Human Rights Council and an increasing number of fact-finding missions requested by the Security Council.
“In other words, the Office is stretched to its limit,” Mr. Zeid said, adding that some desk officers are obliged to cover seven or eight countries and to support multiple independent human rights experts and committees.
“We are already sparing back everything we can, and services are starting to suffer. States come to us asking for technical assistance programs, but is becoming increasingly likely that we will turn them down,” he said.
These include programmes to help vet security and police personnel and train them to respect human rights and refrain from torture.
The Office is, however, investigating alleged human rights violations and abuses in Iraq, Mr. Zeid said, reiterating his call to the Government to consider acceding to the Rome Statute to accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
We intend to issue another update count of reported deaths in Syria before the end of the year, he added. As it stands now, over 200,000 deaths have been reported since March 2011.
The High-Commissioner also expressed concern over continuing conflict in Yemen, Libya, and recently in Gaza, and the myriad human rights issues in Bahrain and Egypt.
In Africa, conflicts and violations, including sexual violence continue in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Mali, worsening the already chronic poverty.
In Asia, he said that the “appalling and protracted” human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is on international radar thanks to the efforts of the International Commission of Inquiry, established by his predecessor Ms. Navi Pillay.
He also spotlighted the perils faced by migrants in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and the Americas, many of whom continue to die in their desperate efforts to find a better, more dignified life.
Meanwhile, there is an alarming increase in the number of major political parties in European and other industrialised countries proposing, and on occasion implementing, regressive and even abusive migration and xenophobic policies.
Mr. Zeid concluded his first press conference on a positive note however, saying: “Notwithstanding everything I have just said…it seems to me that the broad trajectory of humanity is a positive one and that in an increasing number of communities and countries, all human beings are seen as fully equal in dignity”.
Source: UN News Centre
#AceNewsServices – October 10 – Female Kurdish fighters ignite fear into Islamic State militants, who believe that they’ll go straight to hell if they are killed by a woman.
RT travelled to Iraqi-Syrian border to meet the YPG, the female battalion fighting IS.
The border area between Iraq and Syria is currently controlled by Kurdish volunteers after both Iraqi and Syrian military forces abandoned the border crossings.
The women fighters occupy the lookout post on the border, which allows them to monitor all IS activities in Iraq and Syria.
Women fighters make up one third of all #Kurdish resistance.
— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) October 7, 2014
Rosarine, one of the women, confessed that she had never fired a gun in her life before the war against Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS) began.
“The first time I fired I was scared, but my love for my country was bigger than my fear,” she told RT’s Paula Slier. “Islamic State thought women can’t fight them, but here we are. We are not afraid because we know what we are fighting for.”
The 19-year-old, who dropped out of school to join the YPG, Kurdish People’s Protection Units, says that now she opens fire “whenever something moves [on the IS side].”
— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) October 7, 2014
All the women fighters in the battalion are volunteers, who go into battle under the “Hava” (friendship) motto. Rosarine added that she and her ‘sisters in arms’ get full support and encouragement from their families as they’re fighting to protect the Kurdish land and its people.
The commander of the Kurdish women fighters, Dalil Derki, said that his unit strikes terror into Islamic state militants, who have “twisted Islam.”
“In their philosophy women don’t have their own role in society. Their philosophy and culture is that they believe that if they are killed by a woman they won’t go to heaven. Instead they will go to hell,” he explained to RT.
According to the YPG commander, half of the jihadists on the border were killed by women fighters and “if they want to go to hell, they should keep fighting us.”
Derki said that he’s proud of his troops and their achievement on the battlefield as they “set an example to women all around the world.”
— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) October 7, 2014
Another female soldier, Beritan, said that she has already been in many “dangerous fights,” with one battle even lasting “for an entire night and day.”
“I wasn’t really scared, I was more focused on killing the terrorists than dying myself,” she explained.
Many of the girls told RT that they’ll remain soldiers after the war with IS is over as the battle for an independent Kurdish state, Kurdistan, is underway.
The Kurds do not have their own state, with the Kurdistan region spanning adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.
The Kurdish conflict with various jihadist groups taking part in the Syrian civil war, including IS, started in July 2013 in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn.
While Kurdish forces recently managed moderate military gains against IS in northern Iraq.
However, the jihadists seem to be taking the upper hand in the battle for the strategic town of Kobani on the Turkish-Syrian border.
Source: RT Exclusive
#AceWorldNews – KOBANI – October 10 – Islamic State forces have made new gains in Kobani, now controlling about 40 percent of the Syrian town of Kobani on the Turkish border and might well capture it, Deputy US National Security Adviser Tony Blinken has said.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen because again in the absence of any ground force there, it is going to be difficult just through air power to prevent ISIL (IS) from potentially taking over the town,”Blinken told reporters at a briefing in London on Friday.
This information is also confirmed by the the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“They have taken at least 40 percent (of the town),” the head of the monitoring group, Rami Abdulrahman, said by telephone as reported by Reuters.
Islamic State fighters were now in almost complete control of the “security quarter,” which is home to the administrative buildings used by the local government, he said.
The IS militants have seized control over some of the eastern areas of the town and smaller areas in the south of Kobani, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
They have seized the Kurd headquarters also, a monitoring group said.
“They are trying to advance on the crossing from the east … but the YPG [fighters] are resisting them,”Ocalan Iso, the deputy head of the Kurdish forces defending Kobani, told Reuters.
#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES – The head of the US Department of Homeland Security is “very concerned” that tactics used by the ISIL terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria might be copied in the US, including public be-headings.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Fox News on Friday that ISIL terrorists are an “extremely dangerous” group who are willing to behead people publicly and may inspire some Americans to carry out similar acts.
ISIL “is an extremely dangerous terrorist organization that simply has to be dealt with and we are taking the fight to them, through air strikes, through an international coalition,” Johnson said.
“These terrorist groups have very slick social media, propaganda and literature that have the capability of inspiring somebody whose never met a member of the group or been to a terrorist training camp, and so we’re very concerned about the possibility of that and we’re addressing it,” he said.“They have shown … a depravity and a willingness to behead people publicly because of the fact that they’re Americans, or because they’re British,” he added.
The US and its regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been funding, arming and training the extremist groups to oust President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
In May 2013 US Senator John McCain of Arizona slipped across the border into Syria from Turkey and met with insurgents fighting the Syrian government. McCain has been a staunch supporter of arming the insurgents.
McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have been pushing for arming the insurgents in Syria.
“The senators, both of whom are on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that rebel fighters deserved to be armed and that helping them take on the Syrian government would aid Washington’s effort to weaken Iran,” the New York Times reported on Feb 19, 2012.
Steve Clemons writing for The Atlantic said in a June 23, 2014 article that Senator McCain and Senator Graham had “met with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services and a former ambassador to the United States, to encourage the Saudis to arm Syrian rebel forces.”
“Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, and for our Qatari friends” McCain said “at the Munich Security Conference,” in February 2014 praising Prince Bandar and Qataris “for supporting forces fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria,” Clemons reports.
CIA has also been training the insurgents in secrete camps in Jordan and Turkey.
ISIL, also known as ISIS or IS, currently controls large areas of Syria’s eastern and northern sections. The group sent its militants into Iraq in June, seizing large parts of land straddling the border between the two countries.
The group has carried out heinous crimes in the two countries, including mass executions and beheadings of people. It has so far beheaded two Americans and two Brits.
The brutal terror organization released a video Friday purportedly showing the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning.
Henning’s beheading on camera was the fourth such video released by ISIL terrorists. The group has also released videos depicting the beheading of two US journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as British aid worker David Haines.
#AceNewsServices – IRAQ – October 05 – Kurdish forces battled overnight with Islamists trying to seize a hill overlooking a Syrian border town with Turkey as U.S.-led coalition war-planes carried out raids on the militants, a Kurdish official and a monitoring group said on Sunday.
A translator with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) inside Kobani said Islamic State forces were hitting it with tank and mortar fire as they tried to seize Mistanour hill, a landmark whose capture would give them easy access to the town.
Kurdish forces had managed to stop Islamic State capturing the hill, Parwer Mohammed Ali told Reuters.
“Overnight there were new air-strikes. They struck three or four times in the vicinity Mistanour hill,” he added.
Islamic State, a radical offshoot of al Qaeda, launched a new offensive to capture Kobani, a Kurdish town, two weeks ago as they try consolidate their hold on a stretch of territory across northern Syria and Iraq.
U.S-led air raids on Islamic State in Syria have done little to blunt its advance on Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, and the violence has driven about some 180,000 Kurds into Turkey.
Turkey has shown no sign it will intervene to directly confront Islamic State on its borders. It sees the Kurdish armed groups defending Kobani as foes.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the three-year-old Syrian war, said Islamic State has managed to capture the southern side of Mistanour hill, the furthest away from the town.
At least 11 Kurdish fighters and 16 Islamic State insurgents were killed in the overnight clashes, it said.
Ocalan Iso, deputy commander of the Kurdish forces defending Kobani, said the clashes had focused on the hill, which lies to the south east. Islamic State forces are now within a kilometre of Kobani, he said by telephone.
#AceWorldNews – GERMANY (Berlin) – October 05 – The German government says it is planning to expand its military involvement in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) by helping train Kurdish and Iraqi troops, the country’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday.
The ministry announced plans to create a training military base in Erbil, the capital of the autonomous region of Kurdistan, a ministry spokeswoman told EPD news agency.
It also signalled that it is interested in taking part in training the Iraqi army, and is considering sending more military officers.
However, the plans contained no mention of Germany’s role in US-led air-strikes against the Islamic State.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier agreed to the expansion on Wednesday, DW news agency reported, citing sources.
#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN (London) – October 04 – Several hundred people have staged a demonstration in Britain to express their resentment over the country’s involvement in the US-led air-strikes against positions of the ISIL Takfiri militants in Iraq.
The demonstrators marched in central London on Saturday, chanting slogans like “Hands off the Middle East, no justice, no peace.” They also held up placards reading “Stop bombing Iraq.”
The march came a day after ISIL terrorists released a grisly video purportedly showing the beheading of British hostage, Alan Henning.
Henning, an English taxi driver, was a member of a group of volunteers that traveled to Syria in December 2013 to distribute food and water to people affected by the country’s war.
According to his co-workers, he was abducted the day after Christmas by masked gunmen.
Britain launched its first air-strikes on positions and assets controlled by the ISIL on September 1; days after the UK parliament approved the use of air raids requested by the Iraqi government.
British anti-war campaigners are worried that the strikes may have a galvanizing effect on the ISIL’s recruitment.
#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON(Fort Meade) – October 04 – Operations against the so-called Islamic State continue apace with 334 air-strikes against the terror group, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon yesterday.
Those air-strikes, the admiral added, are causing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to change its tactics.
Kirby briefed on the situation in Iraq and Syria and the coalition that is building against ISIL. He said there have been, to date, 248 airstrikes in Iraq and 86 in Syria.
While U.S. forces are carrying the primary load now, more and more coalition nations are participating.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced yesterday his government has approved airstrikes against ISIL.
The Defence Department has launched a new web page on defense.gov that focuses on the operations against ISIL.
It contains an interactive map which will detail continued air-strikes in Iraq and Syria, including mission objectives, number of air-strikes and aircraft utilized, the admiral said.
The air-strikes are having an effect and the ISIL terrorists are changing tactics, Kirby said.
“Not surprisingly, they have gotten better at concealment,” the admiral said. “Before the air-strikes … they pretty much had free reign.
They don’t have that free rein any more, because they know we’re watching from the air.”
The terrorists have had to disperse, in part, because of the air-strikes inside Syria against fixed targets — headquarters buildings, command-and-control nodes, finance centres and oil refineries.
ISIL Remains Dangerous:
Though the terrorists are being degraded, they remain a potent and dangerous threat, Kirby said. The group continues to threaten areas in Fallujah and Ramadi in Iraq and areas in Northern Syria on the border with Turkey.
“We expect that they will continue to change their tactics, based on the increasing pressure they’re going to get, not just from the air, but from the ground, with Iraqi security forces,” Kirby said.
And, while the enemy changes, coalition forces will adjust, too, the admiral said.
“Everybody paints them as this great adaptive, capable, agile enemy,” Kirby said. “We’re pretty adaptive, capable and agile ourselves.”
#AceWorldNews – AUSTRALIA (Canberra) – October 03 – Canberra has authorized deployment of special forces to Iraq to join operation against militants of the Islamic State. From now on, the Australian Air Force craft present in the region will also take part in combat missions against terrorists.
It has only ever been a matter of time that Australia’s 600 military personnel and aircraft deployed to a United Arab Emirates airbase in mid-September would be officially used in military operations against the forces of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist organization in Iraq.
Nearly two months after the US-led alliance of European and Persian Gulf nations started to inflict air-strikes on the IS target in Iraq and then Syria, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced in a nationally televised news conference that the country is joining the military operation against the“murderous death cult,” as Abbot put it, in earnest.
“Today, cabinet has authorized Australian airstrikes in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government and in support of the Iraqi government,” Abbott announced on Friday.
“Also, subject to final legal documentation, cabinet has authorized the deployment of Australian special forces into Iraq to advise and assist Iraqi forces,” he said.
#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – September 29 – The Obama administration has banned the U.S. military from using anti-personnel land-mines in a unilateral decision that goes against warnings from top military leaders and many in Congress.
The administration stated in a series of announcements this week that landmines will no longer be used and that the Defence Department would begin destroying stockpiles of the devices, which have historically been used to protect U.S. forces from enemies in war-zones.
The controversial executive decision, which comes as America steps up strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), has been in the works for some time despite protests from top U.S. military leaders, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The United States will not use anti-personnel landmines,” President Obama announced this week in New York City.
“So we will begin destroying our stockpiles not required for the defense of South Korea,” a military zone that the administration says poses unique challenges, according to Obama. “And we’re going to continue to work to find ways that would allow us to ultimately comply fully and accede to the Ottawa Convention,” a treaty banning landmines that the United States has not actually signed.
Obama’s announcement was criticized by leading lawmakers, who warned that the decision is not backed by U.S. military commanders who view the use of landmines as a key tool in the protection of American forces.
“It’s disappointing to see that, once again, the White House has overruled the advice of our military commanders,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), said in a statement.
#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – September 29 – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.) told MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart that Congress should vote for a new authorization to defeat all terrorist groups that pose a threat to Americans.
“We are shirking our responsibility by not voting on this,” Ros-Lehtinen said.
“The president says he’s using this certain section of the Constitution and also Bush’s authorization from many years ago. He can get a new authorization.”
Ros-Lehtinen said the new authorization should include “the terror group of the day,” be it ISIL, al-Nusra Front, or others.
“We’ve got to kill them like cockroaches,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “And like the saying goes, and then there goes two.”
September 25, 2014 1:39 pm