#AceNewsServices – Featured Post: Jan.03: Yazidi women and girls held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and forced into sexual slavery have committed suicide or attempted to, according to rights group Amnesty International.
Since June, ISIS militants have controlled swathes of Iraq and Syria declaring a cross-border “caliphate.”
Minority groups such as the Yazidis have been systematically targeted by ISIS in a campaign that Amnesty said has amounted to ethnic cleansing, murdering civilians and enslaving others for a fate that some captives consider even worse than death.
“Many of those held as sexual slaves are children — girls aged 14, 15 or even younger,” Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser, said in a statement.
Amnesty said that many of the perpetrators are ISIS fighters, but may also include supporters of the group.
A 19-year-old named Jilan committed suicide out of fear she would be raped, Amnesty quoted her brother as saying.
A girl who was held with her but later escaped confirmed the account, saying: “One day we were given clothes that looked like dance costumes and were told to bathe and wear those clothes. Jilan killed herself in the bathroom.”
“She cut her wrists and hanged herself. She was very beautiful; I think she knew she was going to be taken away by a man and that is why she killed herself.”
Another former captive told the rights group that she and her sister tried to kill themselves to escape forced marriage, but were stopped from doing so.
“We tied… scarves around our necks and pulled away from each other as hard as we could, until I fainted… I could not speak for several days after that,” Wafa, 27, told the rights group.
Amnesty also recounted the story of 16-year-old Randa, who was abducted with her family and raped by a man twice her age.
“It is so painful what they did to me and to my family,” Randa said.
Rovera said: “The physical and psychological toll of the horrifying sexual violence these women have endured is catastrophic.
“Many of them have been tortured and treated as chattel. Even those who have managed to escape remain deeply traumatized.”
A U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out a campaign of air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in an attempt to halt the group’s advance.
#AceWorldNews – IRAQ:Jan.02: The US-led anti-ISIS coalition carried out multiple air-strikes Thursday evening targeting groups of ISIS militants in southern Iraq.
The action resulted in the killing of at least 15 militants, including leaders of groups, Al Arabiya reports.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the coalition carried out 17 strikes in Syria and 12 in Iraq.
Thousands of people died, and hundreds of thousands became refugees due to the conflict in the region and thousands are kept as hostages by ISIS.
#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – According to latest news on Capitol Hill the Al-Qaeda is using U.S.-led coalition air-strikes in Syria as a reason to extend olive branches to the renegade Islamic State group.
They are saying the two should stop feuding and join forces to attack Western targets – a reunification that intelligence analysts say would allow al-Qaeda to capitalize on the younger group’s ruthless advance across the region.
Analysts are closely watching al-Qaeda’s repeated overtures, and while a full reconciliation is not expected soon – if ever – there is evidence the two groups have curtailed their infighting and are cooperating on the Syrian battlefield, according to activists on the ground, U.S. officials and experts who monitor jihadi messages.
#AceWorldNews – BAGHDAD – October 17 – Authorities in Iraq’s western Anbar province have imposed a curfew in the capital Ramadi over fears that the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) might try to advance on the city.
The curfew began at midnight Friday to limit movement in and out of the city, AP quoted Sabah Karhout, the chairman of the Anbar provincial council, as saying.
The IS has been making gains around Ramadi in recent weeks against the Iraqi military, despite the US-led coalition’s airstrikes.
#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 – 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.
#AceWorldNews – AUSTRALIA – October 01 – Australian aircraft will join the US-led coalition in air-strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq in an initial support role, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday it was reported.
The aircraft are being sent ahead of a final decision to undertake bombing missions, Reuters reported.
Abbott sent 10 aircraft and some 600 personnel last month to the United Arab Emirates in preparation for joining the coalition.
“Australian air-strikes await final clearances from the Iraqi government and a further decision by our own,” Abbott told parliament.
#AceNewsServices – September 30 – U.S.-led coalition air-strikes targeted fighters, vehicles and artillery pieces of the Islamic State group on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border Tuesday, including around a beleaguered Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish that is under assault by the militants, activists said.
The aerial campaign, which began last week in Syria and last month in Iraq, aims to destroy the extremist faction known as the Islamic State that has seized control of a huge chunk of territory stretching from northern Syria to the western outskirts of the Iraqi capital.
Despite the coalition air-strikes, the militants have pressed their offensive on the town of Kobani, also known by its Arabic name of Ayn Arab, and surrounding villages near Syria’s border with Turkey.
The fighting has created one of the single largest exoduses in Syria’s civil war, now in its fourth year: More than 160,000 fled the area into Turkey the past few days, the U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said.
“Their fear is so great that many people crossed heavily mined fields to seek refuge,” she told the U.N. Security Council.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday’s strikes hit Islamic State fighters east and west of Kobani.
The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, also confirmed the airstrikes on the town’s outskirts.
Both groups attributed the strikes to the U.S.-led coalition.
#AceBreakingNews – BRITAIN September 26 The UK Parliament has backed British participation in air strikes against Islamic State extremists in Iraq.
After a seven-hour debate, MPs voted for military action by 524 votes to 43.
The Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour leaderships all backed air strikes although some MPs expressed concerns about where it would lead and the prospect of future engagement in Syria.
The BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson said RAF planes could be called into action as early as Sunday.
Speaking after the vote, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said a long campaign lay ahead and there would not be a “series of immediate hits”.
He told the BBC the priority would be to stop the “slaughter of civilians” in Iraq and the UK and its allies would continue to be guided by Iraqi and Kurdish intelligence in identifying targets.
Some 23 Labour MPs voted against air strikes, as did six Conservatives, one Liberal Democrat, two Plaid Cymru MPs and five Scottish National Party MPs.
They were joined in the no lobby by Green MP Caroline Lucas, three Social Democratic and Labour Party MPs and Respect MP George Galloway. Two MPs acted as no tellers during the vote, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP’s Pete Wishart.
#AceBreakingNews – SYRIA – September 25 – U.S.-led air-strikes targeted Syrian oil installations held by the militant Islamic State group overnight and early Thursday, killing nearly 20 people as the militants released dozens of detainees in their de facto capital, fearing further raids, activists said.
The latest strikes came on the third day of a U.S.-led air campaign aimed at rolling back the Islamic State group in Syria, and appeared to be aimed at one of the militants’ main revenue streams.
The U.S. has been conducting air raids against the group in neighbouring Iraq for more than a month.
#AceNewsServices (Exclusive) TEHRAN – September 18 – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Ann Curry, denounced ISIS for its savagery but also branded the U.S.-led coalition against the terror group as “ridiculous.”
Speaking from the presidential palace in Tehran ahead of his visit to the United Nations, Rouhani questioned President Obama’s decision to go after ISIS with air-strikes.
“If they want to use planes and if they want to use unmanned planes so that nobody is injured from the Americans, is it really possible to fight terrorism without any hardship, without any sacrifice? Is it possible to reach a big goal without that? In all regional and international issues, the victorious one is the one who is ready to do sacrifice.
“Maybe it is necessary for air-strikes in some conditions and some circumstances,” he added. “However, air strikes should take place with the permission of the people of that country and the government of that country.”
“They want to kill humanity,” he said. “And from the viewpoint of the Islamic tenets and culture, killing an innocent people equals the killing of the whole humanity. And therefore, the killing and beheading of innocent people in fact is a matter of shame for them and it’s the matter of concern and sorrow for all the human and all the mankind.”
He declined to name the countries.