IRAQ: ‘ Minister Slams Islamic State for turning Jonahs Tomb into a Park ‘

#AceNewsReport – IRAQ:June.20: An Iraqi minister on Saturday slammed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) plans to turn the site of the tomb of the Prophet Younis (Jonah) in Mosul – which it destroyed last year – into a park as a “crime” perpetrated against the country’s heritage, a local news outlet reported.

Qais Hussain, the deputy minister of Antiquities and Tourism told the local al-Sumaria News that “there are reports about ISIS’s intention of transforming the tomb into a park and fun city which is another crime against Iraqi heritage.”

Hussain also said the ministry has “a plan after liberating conquered cities from ISIS,” adding that there is “a committee that is currently working to minimize damages being done to heritage sites.”

The site of the tomb is located in the northern city of Mosul, which ISIS seized in June last year. So far the Iraqi government, already backed with Shiite volunteer fighters known as the Popular Mobilization units, has not been able to recapture the city, which has become the group’s stronghold in the country.

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#al-anbar-governorate, #associated-press, #barack-obama, #bashar-al-assad, #iraq, #iraqi-army, #islamic-state, #mosul, #shia-islam, #syria

‘ FREE 49 Hostages from Islamic State Question HOW ‘

#AceNewsServices – TURKEY(Ankara) – September 27 – Turkish authorities say they have freed 49 hostages from one of the world’s most ruthless militant groups without firing a shot, paying a ransom or offering a quid pro quo.

'Turkish authorities say they have freed 49 hostages from one of the world's most ruthless militant groups without firing a shot, paying a ransom or offering a quid pro quo.'

‘Turkish authorities say they have freed 49 hostages from one of the world’s most ruthless militant groups without firing a shot, paying a ransom or offering a quid pro quo.’

But as the well-dressed men and women captured by the Islamic State group more than three months ago clasped their families Saturday on the tarmac of the Turkish capital’s airport, experts had serious doubts about the government’s story.

The official explanation “sounds a bit too good to be true,” said Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat who chairs the Istanbul-based Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies. “There are some very legitimate and unanswered questions about how this happened.”

'Turkish authorities say they have freed 49 hostages from one of the world's most ruthless militant groups without firing a shot, paying a ransom or offering a quid pro quo.'

‘Turkish authorities say they have freed 49 hostages from one of the world’s most ruthless militant groups without firing a shot, paying a ransom or offering a quid pro quo.’

The hostages — whose number included two small children — were seized from the Turkish Consulate in Mosul after the Islamic State group overran the Iraqi city on June 11. Turkish leaders gave only the broadest outlines of their rescue Saturday.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the release was the work of the country’s intelligence agency rather than a special forces operation.

“After intense efforts that lasted days and weeks, in the early hours our citizens were handed over to us and we brought them back,” Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu was the star of the homecoming ceremony Saturday, flying the hostages back to Ankara on his plane and delivering an impassioned address to the crowd. Families rushed the aircraft to greet their returning loved ones. The ex-hostages emerged wearing clean dresses and suits and showed little sign of having been held captive by fanatical militants for more than three months.

The hostages’ joyous reunion at the airport came as an enormous relief after the recent be-headings of other hostages — two U.S. journalists and a British aid worker — by the Islamic State group.

The gruesome deaths briefly reignited a debate over whether the U.S. or British government should pay ransoms to free hostages.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported no ransom had been paid and “no conditions were accepted in return for their release,” although it didn’t cite any source for its reporting.

The agency said the hostages had been held at eight separate addresses in Mosul and their whereabouts were monitored by drones and other means.

The Iraqi government said it had no information about the rescue.

The hostages declined to answer all but the most general questions, although a couple hinted at ill treatment or death threats.

Ex-hostage Alptekin Esirgun told Anadolou that militants held a gun to Consul General Ozturk Yilmaz’s head and tried to force him to make a statement.

Another former hostage, Alparslan Yel, said the Islamic militants “treated us a little better because we are Muslims. But we weren’t that comfortable. There was a war going on.”

Yilmaz thanked Turkish officials but gave no details about the captivity or release.

“I haven’t seen my family for 102 days. All I want to do is to go home with them,” he told journalists.

How the hostages travelled from Mosul to Turkey and why the Islamic State would relinquish such a useful bargaining chip remained unclear.

“I think it’s fair to say that we haven’t been told the full story,” said Aaron Stein, an associate fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute who has studied Turkey’s security policy.

It’s also unclear whether the release will change Turkey’s policy toward the Islamic State. It had been reluctant to join a coalition to defeat the militant group, citing the safety of its 49 kidnapped citizens.

Source:

#ANS2014

#ankara, #iraq, #islamic-state, #mosul, #turkey

‘ Forty Nine Hostages Held by Islamic State Freed ‘

#AceWorldNews – TURKEY (Ankara) – September 20 – Forty-nine Turkish citizens who had been held hostages by Islamic State (formerly ISIS) militants have been released, said Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

They were freed on Saturday and are already in Turkey, the official said offering no details on the circumstances of the release.

“Today at 5 a.m. we brought our citizens who were detained in Iraq to our country. From my heart, I thank the families who maintained their dignity,” Davutoglu said on his Twitter account.

The group, including diplomats, was captured in the Turkish Consulate in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul on June 11, when the Islamist militants were advancing on the Iraqi cities in the north of the country.

#ANS2014

#anakara, #hostages, #iraq, #isis, #islamic-state, #mosul, #turkey

WASHINGTON: ‘ Hagel – The United States is at War with Islamic State ‘

#AceBreakingNews – WASHINGTON – September 16 – General Martin Dempsey, the military’s top officer, told a Senate panel Tuesday he will recommend having U.S.advisers fight with Iraqi troops against the militant Islamic State group if the situation requires it.

“To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president,” said Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

U.S. advisers could be called on to get closer to the fight, Dempsey said, if Iraqi security forces undertake a complex operation such as retaking the city of Mosul.

The United States is at war the militant Islamic State group, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, and the fight “will not be an easy or brief effort. It is complicated.”

“We are at war with ISIL, as we are with al-Qaeda,” Hagel said. “But destroying ISIL will require more than military efforts alone. It will require political progress in the region, and effective partners on the ground in Iraq and Syria.”

Dempsey and Hagel appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to outline President Obama’s plan to fight the Islamic State, which is also referred to as ISIL or ISIS. Source: 

#ANS2014

#chuck-hagel, #iraq, #is, #islamic-state, #martin-dempsey, #mosul, #united-states, #washington

UNITED STATES: ' US Jets Bombed ISIL Control in Iraq 131 Times Since August 08 – Video ' '

#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES (CENTCOM) – September 06 – US jets have bombed various areas under the Islamic State’s (formerly ISIS/ISIL) control 131 times in Iraq since August 8, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

The strikes targeted locations near the Mosul Dam and were in support of Erbil operations. “In total, the strikes destroyed an ISIL observation post, one ISIL Humvee, one ISIL armed vehicle, one ISIL truck, and three ISIL mortar positions.

All aircraft exited the strike areas safely,” CENTCOM said.

The Islamic State began attracting worldwide attention this summer as it made rapid territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, threatening religious and ethnic minorities with death unless they converted to their extreme brand of Islam.

RT USA

#ANS2014

#iraq, #mosul, #mosul-dam, #united-states, #us-central-comandcentcom

' Authenticity of an Edict Attributed to be Sunni Islamic Group ISIS Over FGM Show Growing Doubts '

#AceWorldNews – IRAQ (Mosul) – July 28 – Thanks to a fellow blogger called American Liberal Times certain doubts are growing about the authenticity of an edict attributed to the Sunni Islamist group ISIS controlling the Iraqi city of Mosul about female genital mutilation (FGM) and a post provided by #AceWorldNews may appear to be incorrect, so here is an updated story from BBC News

A top UN official quoted from a statement saying that ISIS wanted all females aged between 11 and 46 in the northern city to undergo the procedure.

Jacqueline Badcock said the decree was of grave concern.

But media analysts say the decree seen on social media may be a fake.

It has typos and language mistakes and is signed by "The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant", a name the group no longer uses, instead referring to itself as the Islamic State.

Some bloggers suggest that the alleged fatwa, which has been circulated on social media for about two days, may have been aimed at discrediting Isis.

Map of countries where FGM is concentrated

Iraq is facing a radical Isis-led insurgency, with Mosul and other cities in the north-west under militant control.

The ritual cutting of girls’ genitals is practised by some African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities in the belief it prepares them for adulthood or marriage.

FGM poses many health risks to women, including severe bleeding, problems urinating, infections, infertility and increased risk of newborn deaths in childbirth.

The UN General Assembly approved a resolution in December 2012 calling for all member states to ban the practice.

Christians fled

Earlier, Ms Badcock warned that the alleged Isis edict could affect nearly four million women and girls in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The UN’s resident and humanitarian co-ordinator in Iraq said the practice "is something very new for Iraq… and does need to be addressed".

She was talking to reporters via video link from the Kurdish provincial capital, Irbil.

Jenan Moussa, a correspondent for Dubai-based broadcaster Al AAan TV, said in a tweet that her contacts in Mosul had not heard of the edict.

Isis militants seized Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in June, and have since taken over areas of the north-west and closed in on cities near Baghdad.

Ace Related News:

1. American Liberal Times – 25/07/2014

#ANS2014

#american-liberal-times, #fgm, #iraq, #mosul, #un

' Militant Group Islamic State (IS) Orders ALL Girls and Women in Mosul to Undergo FGM '

#AceWorldNews – IRAQ (Mosul) – July 25 – Militant group Islamic State has ordered all girls and women in and around Iraq’s northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations said on Thursday, Al-Akhbar reports.

​The “fatwa” issued by the Sunni Muslim fighters would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcock told reporters in Geneva by video-link from Arbil. “This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she said. “

​This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists,” she added.

No one was immediately available for comment from Islamic State which has led an offensive through northern and western Iraq.

http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2014/07/women-and-girls-in-iraq-risk-forced-circumcision/

#ANS2104

#ans2014, #fgm, #iraq, #isis, #mosul

‘ ISIS Militants Storm University to take Hostages but Come Away Empty Handed ‘

#AceWorldNews – IRAQ (Ramadi) – Militants have stormed a university in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, briefly taking dozens of students and staff hostage before retreating under fire.

At least two people died in the attack, but officials said security forces were now back in control of the campus.


(The militants were said to be from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant)

Saturday’s attack was the third major assault by insurgents in as many days following raids on Mosul in the north and the central city of Samarra.

Police said militants had infiltrated the campus in the early hours from the neighbouring al-Tasha district, blowing up a bridge to the university’s main gate.

Security personnel sealed off the campus and one Agence France-Presse reporter said special forces had led an assault.

One student, Ahmed al-Mehamdi, told the Associated Press news agency by telephone that he awoke to gunfire and saw armed men running across the campus.

The gunmen entered the dormitory and told everybody to stay in their rooms. Some students were taken to other buildings, he said, but others were trapped and “in panic”.

He said the gunmen had said they belonged to ISIS, a Sunni group which grew out of al-Qaeda’s Iraqi operation.

Later, he told AP he had managed to escape, and that “this crisis ended almost peacefully and no student was hurt as far as I know”.

BBC – AP

#ANS2014

#al-qaeda, #anbar, #iraq, #iraqi, #islamic-state-of-iraq-and-greater-syria-isis, #islamic-state-of-iraq-and-the-levantisil, #mosul, #ramadi, #sunni

` Militants Attacked Military Base in Northern Iraq Killing at Least Ten Soldiers and Wounding Twelve ‘

#AceWorldNews -BAGHDAD – April 17 – Militants attacked a military base in a restive area in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 10 soldiers and wounding 12, AP reported.

The morning attack took place at the base outside the city of Mosul, about 360km north-west of Baghdad.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden truck at the gates of the facility, and a group of gunmen then opened fire from apparently commandeered military Humvees.

Eight militants were also killed in the fighting.

#ANS2014

#baghdad, #humvees, #iraq, #mosul

“Iraq Speaker `Escapes Militants’ Attack in Mosul”

#AceWorldNews says `Iraq speaker escapes militants’ attack in Mosul ‘

Iraq’s parliament speaker, Osama al-Nujaifi, narrowly escaped an attack in his home-town on Monday, AFP reported.

Iraqi Army on a patrol in Mosul

Iraqi Army on a patrol in Mosul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A convoy carrying the speaker, Iraq’s most senior Sunni Arab politician, was hit by a roadside bomb in the main northern city of Mosul, according to his office. Nujaifi escaped unharmed, but one of bodyguards was wounded, sources say. Mosul and surrounding Nineveh province, where Nujaifi’s brother Atheel is governor, is one of Iraq’s most violent areas.

 

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UN: Prompts Concern for Defending Press Freedom and the Violent Suppression of the Media in Iraq

 

 

#AceWorldNews says the head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom expressed alarm today over violent suppression of the media in Iraq, following the killing of news cameraman Alaa Edwar in the northern province of Nineveh.

 

 

 

“I condemn the murder of Alaa Edwar,” Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), <“http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/director_general_voices_grave_concern_for_safety_of_media_workers_in_iraq_after_murder_of_cameraman_alaa_edwar/#.UpjC9yd0nAE“>said, calling for measures to improve the safety of media workers in the country.

 

 

 

Mr. Edwar, 41, had resigned from his job as cameraman for Nineveh Al-Ghad Television after receiving threats that he would be killed if he continued in his line of work. He was shot dead on 24 November by unidentified gunmen near his home in the north of Mosul.

 

 

 

English: The Tigris River as it flows through ...

English: The Tigris River as it flows through Mosul, Iraq, as seen from a UH-60 Blackhawk from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 9th Aviation Battalion, A Company, June 16, 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael Bracken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Intimidation and violence are being used to prevent the Iraqi public from receiving news. It is therefore urgent that the authorities do all they can to bring the perpetrators of Alaa Edwar’s murder to justice,” said Ms. Bokova.

 

 

 

According to UNESCO, 23 journalists, including Mr. Edwar, have been killed in Iraq over the past five years.  All are remembered on the dedicated webpage, UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#alaa-edwar, #director-general, #edwar, #iraq, #irina-bokova, #mosul, #murder, #nineveh, #unesco, #united-nations

United Nations Urges Investigation – into – Murder of Two Iraqi Journalists

The UN headquarters in New York

The UN headquarters in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UN OFFICIAL URGES INVESTIGATION INTO MURDER OF TWO IRAQI JOURNALISTS
New York, Oct  9 2013  2:00PM
The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of two Iraqi journalists and called for an immediate investigation into their deaths.

“I condemn the murder of Mohamed Karim al-Badrani and Mohamed Ghanem,” <“http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/director_general_urges_investigation_following_murder_of_journalists_mohamed_karim_al_badrani_and_mohamed_ghanem_in_iraq/“>said the Director-General of the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova.

“It is essential that the authorities investigate these cases and bring their culprits to trial. Letting such crimes go unpunished severely undermines journalists’ ability to carry out their professional duties, and societies’ freedom to engage in open and informed debate.”

The two broadcast journalists were shot dead on Saturday while filming a report about a market in Mosul for the independent television channel Al-Sharqiya. Their deaths bring to three the number of journalists murdered in Iraq this year.

Ms. Bokova also denounced the shooting of a Colombian newspaper vendor José Darío Arenas, who was an occasional contributor to the newspaper he sold, EXTRA del Quindí.

Mr. Darío Arenas was killed on 28 September in the city of Caicedonia because of an article he wrote in the newspaper.

“An attack on a vendor because of the content of the media is an attack on press freedom,” the Ms. Bokova said, and called for an investigation into the murder.

“It is important to ensure that the distributors of news enjoy the same safe working conditions we demand for all those working on the gathering of news.”

#aceworldnews, #al-sharqiya, #caicedonia, #iraq, #irina-bokova, #mohamed-ghanem, #mohamed-karim-al-badrani, #mosul, #new-york, #unesco, #united-nations