GENEVA (AFP) – The UN voiced alarm Friday at rising threats against civilians in Mosul suspected of ties to the Islamic State group as Iraqi forces battle to retake the city from the jihadists.
Iraqi forces are continuing their offensive into the last areas of the city seized in 2014 by IS, which imposed brutal rule on the inhabitants.
“As Mosul is increasingly liberated from ISIL, we are seeing an alarming rise in threats, specifically of forced evictions, against those suspected of being ISIL members or whose relatives are alleged to be involved with ISIL,” said UN rights office spokesman Rupert Colville, using another acronym for IS.
He said “hundreds of families have been threatened with forced displacement and such developments are extremely worrying.”
I suspect this is tribal score settling, sectarian revenge, our “allies” are little better than than the barbarians we oppose.
A Shiite Crescent running from Iran through Syria and to the Mediterranean would be bad for Sunni powers and Western democracies.
The U.S. shoots down a Syrian fighter-bomber. Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria. Russia threatens to attack coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates. What is going on? It might appear a mindless mess, but the outlines are clear.
The great Muslim civil war, centered in Syria, is approaching its post–Islamic State phase. It’s the end of the beginning. The parties are maneuvering to shape what comes next.
Western politicians rarely acknowledge the schism between Shia and Sunni Islam. There is nothing remotely comparable to this schism in any other religion in the modern world.
The Sunni-Shia conflict defines the political structure of the Middle East, from the international rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia to the internal politics of Muslim nations. And yet, Western politicians, eager to portray Islam as a “religion of peace,” speak of Muslims as homogenous.
At the hard core of political correctness, Islam is treated more like a race than a religion, a monolithic ethnic bloc like “Hispanics” or “Asians.” Both of those groups are, in turn, diverse populations absurdly squeezed into monoliths for the convenience of left-wing political strategists.
Sweden’s security police (Säpo) want the suspect in a terror trial related to a fire at a community centre in Malmö last year to be deported, as they consider him a security risk.
The 30-year-old Syrian man is accused of terror offences for a fire which caused smoke damage to a Shia Muslim community centre in October. In a detention hearing at the end of the man’s trial on
April 7th the judge ruled that there was no longer any need to keep him in custody, pending the final judgement in the case.
But the man’s freedom didn’t last long: security police Säpo detained him immediately afterwards. According to newspaper Sydsvenskan, it has now emerged that Säpo opened a case under Sweden’s Act on Foreign Immigration Control arguing that they believe there is evidence he has links with Isis and should therefore have his residence permit revoked.
2016 was a tough year for the Palestinians. It was tough not only for those Palestinians living in the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority (PA) regime, or the Gaza Strip under Hamas. When Westerners hear about the “plight” and “suffering” of Palestinians, they instantly assume that the talk is about those living in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Rarely does the international community hear about what is happening to Palestinians in the Arab countries. This lapse doubtless exists because the misery of Palestinians in the Arab countries is difficult to pin on Israel.
Officially, the Shiite militias are under presidential control, the Iranian clients are behaving themselves, the Sunnis and Kurds are being respected… officially.
ERBIL, Iraq—Two injured Iraqi soldiers stretched on hospital beds were still in their uniforms, a haphazard mix of mismatched camouflage in the military ward of a hospital north of Mosul. The walls were peach-colored, as if painted for some other kind of place. The tang of antiseptic hung in the air.
Another soldier was in a wheelchair, his lower half covered in a heavy multicolored blanket.
The family of Ali Amin Abdullah make unlikely Islamic State supporters – not least because they are from the Shia sect, despised and persecuted by the jihadi militants. In order to survive for two years under the self-proclaimed caliphate in Mosul, however, they did what it took to avoid persecution and likely death at the hands of Isis fighters: they pretended to be Sunni.
For Abdullah, who was repeatedly threatened by gun-wielding militants who were suspicious about his true denomination, this meant more than just words: he signed on for classes at a local Isis-linked religious institute. But his subterfuge proved so successful that, when newly arrived Iraqi government troops came to the family’s home in early November, they accused him and his relatives of collaboration.
In early June, two Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias under the nominal control of the Iraqi government stormed into an Iraqi military airbase north of Baghdad. Driving armored vehicles and wielding rocket launchers, they took over a building on the base.
The Iraqi commander at the base, near the town of Balad, asked the militiamen to leave. But the men ignored him as well as orders from the central government in Baghdad, according to two army officers in the Salahuddin Operation Command, the regional military headquarters.
The June standoff grounded four Iraqi F-16 fighter jets and pushed more than a dozen U.S. contractors – there to help local pilots bomb Islamic State militants – to flee, according to the army officers and an Iraqi military intelligence source.
It also underscored one of the biggest challenges ahead for Iraq.
State-sponsored hackers have conducted a series of destructive attacks on Saudi Arabia over the last two weeks, erasing data and wreaking havoc in the computer banks of the agency running the country’s airports and hitting five additional targets, according to two people familiar with an investigation into the breach.
Saudi Arabia said after inquiries from Bloomberg News that “several” government agencies were targeted in attacks that came from outside the kingdom, according to state media. No further details were provided.
Although a probe by Saudi authorities is still in its early stages, the people said digital evidence suggests the attacks emanated from Iran. That could present President-elect Donald Trump with a major national security challenge as he steps into the Oval Office.
A challenge to Trump? Let Saudi and Iran fight it out, it’s a win-win.
After a decline in scale and casualties, the anti-Shia sectarian violence is once again resurging in Pakistan. In the last two weeks, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) Al-Alami, an anti-Shia extremist outfit, has claimed responsibility for the targeted assassinations of four women of the ethnic Hazara Shia community in Quetta and the attack on a Shia Imambargah in Karachi. Alarmingly, during the same period, two deadly attacks of almost similar modus operandi were witnessed against the Shia worshippers in Afghanistan, one in Kabul and the other in the northern Balkh province. Since 2014, sectarian terrorism—spearheaded by Khurasan chapter of the Islamic State (IS)—has emerged as a new potent threat in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban insurgency.