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Syria/Turkey News - Aug 2, 2015

 

US-backed rebel group flees north Syria HQ after clash with Nusra - THE DAILY STAR


Saga of U.S trained Syria rebels continues. Nusra attacks their HQ. 5 dead, 18 injured & 20 captured out of 60 - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria says it captured US-backed rebels - The Long War Journal


Nusra statement: About Division 30 and Assistance of the Coalition Airplanes With Bombing Nusra (English) - justpaste.it


VIDEO (Arabic): Nusra publishes video of abducted U.S trained Syrian rebels including an interview with one of them - YouTube


According to the New York Times U.S officials thought Nusra would welcome U.S trained rebels as an ally in its fight against Islamic State - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Syria's rebel fighters recruited to fight Isis, but captured and beaten by Jabhat al-Nusra for 'collaborating with crusaders' - The Independent


More on the relationship between U.S backed rebel group Division 30 and Al-Qaida affiliate Nusra Front - Juan Cole


According to local sources Turkey opens its border for Al Nusra - ANF


Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria flaunts U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles - Al Arabiya News


Qaeda-led court executes 10 in Syria's Aleppo, two were accused of adultery and the rest of collaboration with the Syrian government: monitor - Yahoo News

 

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Syrian Kurds Accuse Turkey Of Attacks, Ask U.S. For Explanation - huffingtonpost.com


Ascendant Kurds emerge from Syrian civil war as major power player - The Guardian


US commander Killea hails Kurdish group opposed by Turkey, 'YPG for the coalition against ISIL has been a very reliable partner' - Military.com


VIDEO: Marine Corps Brigadier General Kevin J. Killea on the coalition against ISIL - dvidshub.net


YPG kills 25 IS militants and drags their bodies at the outskirts of the city of al- Hasakah - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


VIDEO: Hasakah : Syrian Army 104th Repulican Guards and Tribal Fighters capture the Central Prison from ISIS - LiveLeak.com


Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: activists - THE DAILY STAR


25 Syria rebels killed in failed Aleppo attack - Al Arabiya News

 

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Turkey military presses ahead with strikes against PKK in northern Iraq, as many as 28 F-16 jets raid 65 PKK targets - todayszaman.com


Turkish Airstrikes Kill Nine Civilians in Kurdistan Region, Local villagers ask PKK to leave the area - BasNews


Witnesses tell the massacre in Zergêle village in Kandil caused by Turkey bombing (VIDEO) - ANF


PHOTOS: Photos of civilians killed by Turkish airforces in village near mountain Kandil - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Turkish F16 hit kurdish village killing civilians - LiveLeak.com


Turkey says ’saddened’ over reports of civilian deaths in air strikes, vows probe - todayszaman.com


Iraqi Kurdish regional government asks PKK to 'withdraw' to prevent civilian deaths amid Turkish airstrikes targeting the group - AP


KRG condemns PKK attack on Turkey's oil pipeline - middleeastmonitor.com


Sources: Turkey Military operations 'kill 260 PKK terrorists’ - Anadolu Agency


HDP leader Demirtas denies his brother injured in air strikes on PKK in northern Iraq - todayszaman.com


Turkey has not struck IS targets since 24 July, but strikes against PKK targets have continued every night since then - Alev Scott on Twitter


Turkey used 3 planes to strike IS targets in Syria on night of 23-24 July. The next night it used 75 planes to hit PKK targets in Iraq - Alev Scott on Twitter

 

Kurds Claim Turkish Airstrikes on PKK Destroyed Health Clinic in Iraqi Kurdistan - breitbart.com


2 Soldiers Dead, 24 Wounded in PKK Suicide Attack in Turkey: Officials - ABC News


PKK military wing HPG: At least 14 soldiers and 2 police officers killed in the past days - ANF


We are ready to sacrifice our sons, Davutoğlu says amidst terror attacks - todayszaman.com


Turkish prime minister Davutoglu op-ed : We will stop at nothing to defeat terrorism - The Washington Post


Police break up march in Turkey demanding PKK leader's freedom - Middle East Eye


HDP co-chairs file complaints against Erdogan, Davutoglu for swaying judiciary - todayszaman.com

 

HDP co-leader Yuksekdag faces propaganda investigation - Anadolu Agency


There are ‘preparations’ to close HDP, says co-leader Demirtaş - hurriyetdailynews.com


Are Turkish courts delaying trials of IS militants? - Al-Monitor


The one who got away: 40 Indian workers in Mosul were abducted and 39 killed by the Islamic State - Fountain Ink Series


US Report: ISIS Still Kidnapping and Selling Women - aina.org


al-Ḥayāt Media Center presents a new magazine issue from The Islamic State: “Istok #2″ - JIHADOLOGY


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Syria/Turkey News - July 31, 2015

 

U.S.-backed Syrian group says Nusra abducted its leader and members, a blow to U.S. efforts to train fighters to combat ISIS - Al Arabiya


US moves to quash reports on Syria trainees captured by al-Nusra - Middle East Eye


Despite Pentagon Denial, Reports Confirm That U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels Were Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda Almost Immediately - PJ Tatler


If u want to know more about U.S trained rebel group allegedly captured by an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, read this - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Kidnapping of Pentagon-Trained Fighters in Syria Is New Hurdle for U.S. Effort - The New York Times


Pentagon price tag for Syrian rebels: $4 million each - POLITICO


Pentagon: Cost of War Against ISIS Already Exceeds $3 Billion - Breitbart


US, Turkey differ over how to fight IS from Incirlik air base, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bilgic: support for the YPG is not one of the elements of the agreement - Asharq Al-Awsat


Syrian Kurds fear their territorial gains are at risk after Turkish action - The National


Syria Kurds’ spending plans reflect ambition as the authorities provide services for a greater population due to the territorial gains - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian Kurds refine oil for themselves for first time - Yahoo News


Turkey Seeks To Prevent Syria Kurds' Autonomy, Not Fight IS, Analysts Suggest - rferl.org


Turkish military builds 2.5 meter-high, rocket-proof wall on Syria border - Todays Zaman


POLL: Majority of Turks would prefer Kurds over ISIL controlling northern Syria - Todays Zaman


ICJ acknowledges request for inquiry into Syria-bound MİT trucks - Todays Zaman


Assyrian Christians Demand Turkey Stop Bombing YPG - Breitbart


Cairo slams Turkey’s proposed safe zone in Syria, defends territorial unity - bgnnews.com


Egypt accuses Turkey of working with the Islamic State on the Sinai Peninsula - Washington Times


Syria ‘doubts Turkey’s intentions in anti-ISIS effort’ - Al Arabiya News


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Erdogan taking Turkey to war to avenge Kurdish territorial and political gains: leader of pro-Kurdish opposition Demirtas - Reuters


VIDEO: Kurd leader Demirtas attacks Turkey's 'safe zone' plan for Syria - BBC News


Demirtas: PKK withdrew from its separatist agenda 20 years ago, it is Erdogan’s fault that the PKK did not lay down their arms - Rudaw


Turkey prosecutors open probe into Kurdish leader Demirtas - France 24


Summary of proceedings prepared for Demirtas' immunity to be lifted - Todays Zaman


Erdoğan hits out at the Kurds, says their representatives have links to terrorist groups and the peace process is impossible – POLITICO


VIDEO: Erdogan responds to accusations by the head of a pro-Kurdish party - YouTube


New wave of attacks in southeastern Turkey blamed on the PKK with at least 11 police and army members killed since last week - AFP


PM’s office: 1,302 detained in 39 provinces in terror raids across Turkey targeting ISIL, the PKK and illegal extreme leftist groups - Todays Zaman


CPJ calls on Turkey to restore access to banned websites - Todays Zaman


Turkey onslaught on Kurds fuels anger - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Turkey’s Kurds condemn renewed fighting with PKK - France 24


In Iraq bastions, PKK braces for new war with Turkey - Yahoo News UK


Turkish Lira Declines as Soldier Deaths Spur Security Risk - Bloomberg Business


German defense minister cautions Turkey about attacks on PKK - Todays Zaman


Germany Wants to Withdraw Patriot Missiles From Turkey due to attacks carried out by the government forces against the Kurds - Sputnik International


Iraqi PM: Turkish Airstrikes on Kurds 'Dangerous Escalation and Violation of Sovereignty' - Breitbart


Turkey urged by Nato to show restraint as Erdogan says Kurdish peace process 'impossible' - Telegraph


UN calls on Turkey and PKK to find peaceful solution - Rudaw


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Turkey News - July 27, 2015


Turkish Jets Hit Kurdish Militant Camps Again, Security Sources Say - huffingtonpost.com


Kurdish Separatists End Cease-Fire After Turkish Airstrikes - VOA


Merkel urges Turkey to continue Kurdish peace process despite violence - DW.COM


EU’s Mogherini urges Turkey to keep Kurdish peace process alive - BasNews


Here's what the US has to say about Turkey and the PKK - Al Bawaba


NATO: North Atlantic Council to meet at Turkey's request - US News


Iraq’s Kurdistan slams Turkish airstrikes on PKK - Al Arabiya News


In a phone call to Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu Barzani urges Turkey to Stop Attacks on PKK - BasNews


Barzani's statement on Turkish airstrikes contradicts Davutoğlu's remarks - hurriyetdailynews.com


The Kurdistan Parliament condemns the Turkish air campaign targeting bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) inside Iraqi territory - NRT English


HDP slams operations targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party: AKP is setting Turkey on fire - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Erdogan’s shift on Islamic State linked to Kurdish gains in Syria, implementing a safe-zone project controlled by Turkey-supported Syrian opposition forces - Al-Monitor


Le Monde publishes indictment claiming MİT involved in Paris murder of 3 PKK women - todayszaman.com


Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds - gatestoneinstitute.org


Report: Seized USB drives reveal Turkey’s links to ISIL - todayszaman.com


Report: Turkish President Erdogan's daughter heads ‘covert' medical facility for treating injured Isis fighters, These claims however could not be independently verified - IBTimes


ARCHIVE: Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List - huffingtonpost.com

 

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Turkey policeman killed during clashes with protesters in Istanbul district of Gazi - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Turkey: Clashes erupt as activists protest Turkish airstrikes, dozens arrested - YouTube


Turkey bans 'peace march' on security concerns - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkish police break up anti-IS march in Ankara - theSundaily


Protesters, police clash in eastern Turkey - The Journal of Turkish Weekly

 

Hundreds detained in operations across Turkey and North Kurdistan - ANF


Turkey blocks Kurdish websites as Twitter and Facebook slows down - hurriyetdailynews.com


People march from Ranya to Kandil to protest Turkish airstrikes - ANF


PHOTOS: Kurds are marching to Qandil to prevent Turkish attacks on PKK - International Brigades of Rojava


VIDEO: Hundreds of French Kurds stage demonstration in Paris against the attack by ISIL that killed 32 people, but also against the government’s bombing of PKK - euronews


Politicians, protesters in Germany condemn Turkey attacks on PKK - rudaw.net


Kurds and others protest against Turkey in Washington - rudaw.net


Jailed prosecutor says complacency towards Salafists made Suruç bombing possible - todayszaman.com

 

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ISIS on retreat as Syrian Kurdish forces make more territorial gains in - rudaw.net


Syrian army, Kurds advance against IS in Hasakeh - Yahoo News


Syrian Kurds: Turkish army tanks shelled our positions - International Brigades of Rojava


PYD Leader Muslim: Iraqi Kurdistan is Our Main Provider of Weapons - BasNews


KRG Releases Details of Weapons Sent to YPG in Rojava - BasNews


Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq - Defense.gov


Syrian President Bashar Assad makes rare speech, vows to crush enemies - CBS News


VIDEO (English):  Assad's Damascus speech (Full) - Al Bawaba


Syria's Assad announces amnesty for draft dodgers -Syrian TV - Yahoo News

 

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Syria News - June 23, 2015


On the offensive Syrian Kurds push deeper into Islamic State territory, seize military base - Yahoo News


Kurds announce their forces gained five more villages from Islamic State militants near the towns of Tel Abyad and Suluk in Raqqa province - nrttv


Kurds find Islamic State tunnel near Turkish border - US News


Kurds find torture center, prison cells of ISIL in Tal Abyad - hurriyetdailynews.com


Free from ISIS, Kurdish refugees return from Turkey to their villages to rebuild (PHOTOS) - Daily Mail Online


VIDEO: Thousands of refugees cross back into Syria from Turkey - Reuters


Kurdish leader Salih Muslim denies YPG committed ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Tel Abyad - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Is there 'systematic ethnic cleansing' by Kurds in north-east Syria? - Kobani Kurd


Analysis: Tel Abyad gives the Syrian Kurds control of  250-mile border with Turkey cutting off ISIS supply routes as well as uniting two of their three cantons - ROAR Magazine


After Tell Abyad, what's next for PYD? - Al-Monitor


YPG would not attack IS’s capital Raqqa: spokesman - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Syrian Kurds' morale high but arms needed, YPJ commander - ANSAMed.it


Kurds seek Canadian military, financial support in fight against ISIL: ‘Time to see something concrete’ - National Post


Syrian Kurdish Leader Salih Muslim Allegedly Holds Secret Meeting With Iraqi PM Abadi - basnews.com


VIDEO: 'Revolution within revolution’: How and why Kurdish women are fighting ISIS (DOCUMENTARY) — RT News


Suicide attack hit Kurdish security center in Syria's Qamishli - ARA News


ISIS scrambles to bolster Raqqa defense - now.mmedia.me


Islamic State covers A-Raqqa city with surveillance cameras - Syria Direct


Syria: ISIS Beheads Leader of Al Qaeda Offshoot Nusra Front in Raqqa - IBTimes


VIDEO: ISIS behead in public al-Nusra Fighter - LiveLeak.com


ISIS fighters show off their hearty meal while those in Raqqa queue for food (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Syrian army advances west of ISIS-controlled Palmyra - THE DAILY STAR


ISIS militants plant mines and bombs in Palmyra: activists - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: ISIS militants lay explosives in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra - YouTube

 

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Tel Abyad battle could give blueprint for success against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, coordination between the coalition and Kurdish command - CNN


Coalition General Praises Kurdish Forces in Iraq and Syria - basnews.com


Pentagon: Military airstrikes hit ISIL in Syria and Iraq, Near Tal Abyad five airstrikes struck one large and four small ISIL units - Defense.gov


Turkey Warns US About Kurdish Advances in Syria - VOA


Main points of the document on Syrian Kurds, prepared by Turkey Foreign Ministry and obtained by daily Hürriyet - Hürriyet


US says Turkey main transit route for Syria-bound foreign fighters - todayszaman.com


Captured fighter details Islamic State's Turkey connection - Al-Monitor

 

VIDEO (English subtitles): Captured fighter details Islamic State's Turkey connection - YouTube


After Tal Abyad was recaptured by Kurdish forces former Islamic State recruits ask for amnesty in homelands - Rudaw


Pentagon pays Syrian rebels $400 per month to fight ISIS - usatoday.com


Syrian Opposition Fighters Withdraw from US 'Train and Equip' Program - syrianobserver.com


Here’s how badly the Pentagon effort to train Syrian rebels is lagging - The Washington Post


Military Council of the Free Syrian Army and Nusra Front form new coalition - Worldbulletin News


Syrian rebels split over coalition al-Qaeda links - Middle East Eye


Over 100 jihadist training camps identified in Iraq and Syria - The Long War Journal


Syria fuel shortages due to rebel infighting threaten lives: MSF - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian military and Druze allies join forces to fend off 'terrorists' - LA Times


Golan Druze attack Israeli army ambulance carrying wounded Syrian rebels - Yahoo News


ARCHIVE: Nusra Front Militants Kill Druze Villagers In Syria - Reuters


ISIL recruit allegedly planned U.S. assassinations - USA TODAY


European police team to take on ISIS social media propaganda - THE DAILY STAR


Twitter, YouTube analysis pinpoints ISIS strategy - THE DAILY STAR

 

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Turkey/Syria News - June 6, 2015


Parliamentary elections high stakes for Turkey...and Erdogan - Yahoo News


POLL: AKP expected to win 41% of the votes, CHP 27.8%, MHP 14.8% and HDP 12.6% - bianet.org


Pro-Kurdish HDP party may tip balance in Turkey polls - Yahoo News


Two dead, over 100 injured after explosions at milestone rally of Turkey's Kurdish party - hurriyetdailynews.com


VIDEO: Two dead, over 100 injured after explosions at milestone rally of Turkey's Kurdish party - LiveLeak.com


Gay, Christian, minority election candidates show Turkey's changing face, the most diverse list comes from the Kurdish party - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Kurds, women, gays put faith in upstart Turkish party - BBC News


Meet The Transgender Woman Who Wants To Represent Turkey's LGBT Community This Election - .huffingtonpost.com


Turkish elections: Turkey's Kurd-hating Grey Wolves spreading neo-nazi poison across Europe — www.ibtimes.co.uk


Turkey′s election system the ′most unfair′ in the world - DW.DE


Analysis: Is Turkey’s election campaigning fair and balanced? - middleeasteye.net


Erdogan: "There is a trash called The New York Times in the US" - The Counter Jihad Report


VIDEO (Turkish): Erdogan slams New York Times -- again - rudaw.net


New York Times responds to Erdoğan with Twitter riddle: "Which leader has a 1,150-room palace more than 30x the size of the White House?" - todayszaman.com


Turkey lavish presidential palace nicknamed ‘illegal’ because built on a recreational farming area, Worker tells of lengthy security checks - todayszaman.com


Nervous Turkish markets await knife-edge election outcome - Yahoo Maktoob News


Why Investors Are Calling This the Most Important Turkish Election in Forever - Bloomberg Business


Erdogan Setback Seen Benefiting Turkish Companies Like Koza Gold - Bloomberg Business

 

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Report: Turkey’s MIT spy agency transported ISIL fighters to Syria, facilitating the jihadist group's defeat of the FSA - todayszaman.com


Violent confrontation between gendarmes and MIT intel operatives who were transporting illegal arms to Syria jihadists - todayszaman.com


VIDEO: Violent confrontation between gendarmes and MIT intel operatives who were transporting illegal arms to Syria jihadists - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Video showing weapons carried by MIT intel operatives to Syria jihadists - YouTube


CHP Hatay official: Transfer of arms to Syrian jihadists continues, weapons loaded here and sent to the other side of the border - todayszaman.com


Syrian Turkmens challenge claims that MIT weapons were destined for their community, say received no aid from Ankara - todayszaman.com


HSYK allows prosecution of prosecutors, military commanders who stopped MIT trucks carrying weapons to Syria - todayszaman.com


Erdoğan seeks aggravated life sentence for Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief for publishing video of MIT arms transferred to Syria - todayszaman.com


VIDEO (English Subs): Erdoğan vows to punish journalist behind Syria trucks video: He will pay a heavy price - todayszaman.com


Cumhuriyet journalists challenge Erdoğan's threats - Cihan News


400 intellectuals show support for daily Cumhuriyet, journalist - hurriyetdailynews.com


Journalist Baransu faces 52 years in jail for coverage of MGK report - todayszaman.com


Journalist Mumcu faces 5 years in jail for insulting Erdoğan - todayszaman.com


US spokesperson expresses ‘concern’ on press freedom in Turkey, Along with journalists, Armenians and gays Erdoğan has also singled out the New York Times, CNN and the BBC - hurriyetdailynews.com


VIDEO: US spokesperson Marie Harf expresses ‘concern’ on press freedom in Turkey - YouTube


Committee to Protect Journalists: “We call on [Erdogan] to stop bullying journalists and news outlets just because he doesn't like what they report" - Committee to Protect Journalists


Amnesty International official: Human rights situation in Turkey could not be worse - todayszaman.com


Human rights Watch and International Press Institute react against the series of attacks by Erdoğan and his supporters against media critical of the government - todayszaman.com


Ankara denies 'Saudi-backed Turkish spies in Yemen' allegations - Anadolu Agency


The Turkey-Qatar Military Cooperation Agreement, What are Turkish troops going to do in Qatar? - Al-Monitor


Towards-a-Turkish-Saudi-alliance - Al-Ahram Weekly

 

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Can We Try Some Honesty on Memorial Day?

How to Honor Memorial Day

Editor Note: Of all the world’s holidays commemorating wars, Memorial Day should be one of sober reflection on war’s horrible costs, surely not a moment to glorify warfare or lust for more wars. But many pols and pundits can’t resist the opportunity, as discussed below.

By Ray McGovern

How best to show respect for the U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families on Memorial Day? Simple: Avoid euphemisms like “the fallen” and expose the lies about what a great idea it was to start those wars and then to “surge” tens of thousands of more troops into those fools’ errands.

On the U.S. Killing of Two Children in Syria

The U.S. military admitted on Thursday to killing two girls in Syria.

If a target of U.S. aggression can be alleged to have killed children, especially with the wrong kind of weapon, that is used as grounds for war. War is supposed to be the cure for that.

This was the case in 2013 with the White House's false claims to knowledge that the Syrian government had killed children with chemical weapons. President Obama told us to watch videos of dead children and either support a bombing campaign against Syria or support killing children.

But that's a Catch-22, because it's telling you to either support killing children or support killing children.

In recent days I've been watching videos of children killed in Yemen by Saudi Arabia with U.S. missiles and support. Missiles are in fact not any more precise in their actual use than chemical weapons, not any less deadly, not any less guilty of killing children, including the hundreds of children the U.S. has killed with missiles from drones in just a few countries it doesn't even admit to being at war with.

The Pentagon doesn't admit to any of this; it sometimes admits to isolated incidents that have been widely reported.

But imagine if missiles were considered the wrong kind of weapon, and imagine if the Syrian government and its friends were considered "the international community" -- one could imagine the international community demanding the humanitarian bombing of Washington, D.C., as revenge for the brutal murder of two little girls by U.S. missile in Syria.

We in the United States view the domestic bombing of 4 little black girls in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 as barbaric, and we view racism as something we've overcome, but imagine if the little girls whom President Obama murdered in Syria in November had been white, Christian, English-speaking Americans. One cannot in that situation suppose the response would have been the same.

It is not possible to avoid civilian casualties in war. They are the majority of the casualties -- of the dead, of the injured, of those rendered homeless, and of the traumatized -- in virtually every war of the past half century. Often they are an enormous majority. The idea that war can be a tool to remedy something worse than war, or that genocide is truly distinct from war is not supported by facts.

The Pentagon admitting to killing civilians is rare but not unprecedented. In fact it is a small nod in the direction of a policy that President Obama created and then quickly abandoned under which he claimed that all such casualties would be reported.

Does it matter? Will people care?

For that, I think there has to be video, it has to be widely shown and the killings morally condemned, and people have to find their way to the media outlets willing to show it and condemn it.

That is, if we're talking about people in the United States.

Of course the people of Western Asia will protest the United States all the more fervently whether the general public in the United States knows what its government is doing or not.

Syria News - May 5, 2015


Nusra-led militants pound Hezbollah, Syria army posts near Lebanon border - THE DAILY STAR


Hezbollah and Syrian army determined to cut off access of ISIS and Nusra Front to any towns near the border - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanese Army Mobilizing to Avert Threats by Jihadists in Syria's Qalamoun - Naharnet


Lebanon Speaker Berri backs Qalamoun fight to oust jihadists - THE DAILY STAR


Sources: al-Nusra evacuates its positions in Qalamoun hills that are difficult to defend to avoid paying a high price - Al-Monitor


Nusra to use anti-tank weapons in Qalamoun battle - Islam Times


PHOTO: Jabhat al-Nusra is giving training in the use of 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles in the Qalamoun - Charles Lister on Twitter


'We’ll Die Before They Make Us Leave': Lebanese Christians Are Ready to Face the Islamic State on Syria's Border - VICE News


Specter of assassinations by jihadist groups revived in Lebanon - THE DAILY STAR


Relatives visit Lebanese captive on Arsal outskirts, one of 25 Lebanese servicemen being held hostage by the Nusra Front and ISIS since August - THE DAILY STAR


Qatar about to seal deal with Nusra to release Lebanese security officers in exchange for prisoners in Roumieh - An-Nahar


ISIS returns bodies of Lebanon soldier, civilian - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanese General Security arrests Tripoli's ISIS emir - THE DAILY STAR


How Al Qaeda's Syrian Affiliate Jabhat al Nusra Is Trying To Take Northern Lebanon - ibtimes.com


Syria army launches offensive on rebel attacks in regime bastion Latakia - Middle East Online


Pro-Assad forces strive for control of Southern Syria - ARA News


Assad army tightens siege of rebel bastion Goutha near Damascus - ZAMAN ALWSL


Syria: Assad regime accused of chlorine gas attack in Idib - ibtimes.co.uk


Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front claimes responsibility for a suicide attack in Damascus - Yahoo News


Inside Aleppo: Syrian activists reveal kidnap and torture at hands of al-Nusra extremists - The Independent


VIDEO: Activists Reveal Torture At The Hands of Al-Nusra - LiveLeak.com


Syria moves to stabilize its ailing currency - The Salt Lake Tribune

 

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De Mistura to kick off separate talks with rival Syria sides - THE DAILY STAR


Iran will take part in new Syria consultations, UN says - Fox News


US not opposed to Iranian participation in Syria talks, supports a political solution - middleeastmonitor.com


EU's Mogherini sees 'major role' for Iran in Syria talks - Yahoo News


Syrian Opposition Coalition: Participation in the Geneva Talks to Consider How To Get Rid of Assad - etilaf.org


Report: Iran Spends $35 Billion a Year to Prop Up Assad - Arutz Sheva


Syria's defense minister in Iran to step up fight against 'terrorists' - THE DAILY STAR


Iran to launch maritime shipping line with Syria - ARA News


CIA-Backed Rebels Fight Alongside al-Qaeda Wing in Northern Syria - Reuters


VIDEO: ICP Asks Syrian Coalition's Khoja of FSA Working With Nusra, He Says “Tactical Alliance" - YouTube


Army of Conquest backed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Coalition comprises mostly Islamist groups, the most prominent being Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham - AFP


VIDEO: Syrian Rebels Hit Syrian Army Vehicle With TOW ATGM In Idlib - YouTube


The U.S. $500-million program to train anti-Islamic State fighters appears stalled - LA Times


VIDEO: Activists: 52 killed civilians in U.S.-led airstrike in Syria - YouTube


Pentagon: US Military Says Coalition Airstrikes Killed ISIS Fighters, Not Syrian Civilians - breitbart.com


Syrian Archbishop: Obama Must Stop ISIS' Slaughter of Christians (VIDEO) - Newsmax


Syria accuses Turkey of providing supporting fire and logistical help enabling "terrorist groups" to capture the Syrian city of Idlib - Reuters


Turkey May Have Found Syrian Horse To Back In Ahrar al Sham, But US Disagrees - ibtimes.com


Turkistan Islamic Party had significant role in recent Idlib offensive - The Long War Journal


Turkey Opposition Puts $16B Price Tag on Neighborhood Wars - VOA


Turkish military puts brakes on a Syrian intervention - Al-Monitor


Fertilizer, Also Suited for Bombs, Flows to ISIS Territory From Turkey - NYTimes.com


Syria crisis: Spooked by rebel gains, Jordan doubles down vs. Islamic State - CSMonitor.com


Palestinian Delegation to Meet With Syrian Government in Damascus - syrianobserver.com


The Defenders of Yarmouk, Pro-Assad Palestinian militias are fighting a grinding battle to the death against the Islamic State - Foreign Policy

 

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The Neocons and the Kremlin

Neocon 'Chaos Promotion' in the Mideast



Editor Notoe:  After the Persian Gulf War in 1991, America’s neocons thought no country could stand up to the high-tech U.S. military, and they realized the Soviet Union was no longer around to limit U.S. actions. So, the “regime change” strategy was born – and many have died, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Former Washington insider and four-star General Wesley Clark spilled the beans several years ago on how Paul Wolfowitz and his neoconservative co-conspirators implemented their sweeping plan to destabilize key Middle Eastern countries once it became clear that post-Soviet Russia “won’t stop us.”

Credit where credit's due...but only where it's due: How Can Obama Claim the Alternative to a Nuclear Deal with Iran is War?

By Dave Lindorff


A kudo to President Obama. But just one.

If he manages to pull off an agreement with Iran on limiting that country's nuclear fuel enrichment program in the fact of determined resistance from Republicans, Neocons, the Israel Lobby and the warmongers in both the GOP and his own Democratic Party, he will have finally earned at least some small portion of the gold in his Nobel Peace medallion.

How Did Syria Get Here?

Wars may be how Americans learn geography, but do they always learn the history of how the geography was shaped by wars? I've just read Syria: A History of the Last Hundred Years by John McHugo. It's very heavy on the wars, which is always a problem with how we tell history, since it convinces people that war is normal. But it also makes clear that war wasn't always normal in Syria.

Syria-mapSyria was shaped by and remains to this day outraged by the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement (in which Britain and France divided up things that didn't belong to either of them), the 1917 Balfour Declaration (in which Britain promised Zionists land it didn't own known as Palestine or Southern Syria), and the 1920 San Remo Conference at which Britain, France, Italy, and Japan used rather arbitrary lines to create the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon, the British Mandate of Palestine (including Jordan), and the British Mandate of Iraq.

Between 1918 and 1920, Syria attempted to set up a constitutional monarchy; and McHugo considers that effort to be the closest Syria has come to self-determination. Of course, that was ended by the San Remo Conference at which a bunch of foreigners sat in a villa in Italy and decided that France must save Syria from the Syrians.

So 1920 to 1946 was a period of French misrule and oppression and brutal violence. The French strategy of divide and rule resulted in the separation of Lebanon. The French interests, as McHugo tells it, seem to have been profits and special benefits for Christians. The French legal obligation for the "mandate" was to help Syria reach the point of being able to rule itself. But, of course, the French had very little interest in letting the Syrians rule themselves, the Syrians could hardly have ruled themselves worse than the French did, and the entire pretense was without any legal controls on or supervision of the French. So, the Syrian protests appealed to the Rights of Man but were met with violence. The protests included Muslims and Christians and Jews, but the French remained to protect minorities or at least to pretend to protect them while encouraging sectarian division.

On April 8, 1925, Lord Balfour visited Damascus where 10,000 protesters greeted him shouting "Down with the Balfour agreement!" The French had to escort him out of town. In the mid 1920s the French killed 6,000 rebel fighters and destroyed the homes of 100,000 people. In the 1930s the Syrians created protests, strikes, and boycotts of French-owned businesses. In 1936 four protesters were killed, and 20,000 people attended their funeral before launching a general strike. And still the French, like the British in India and the rest of their empire, remained.

Toward the end of World War II, France proposed to "end" their occupation of Syria without ending it, something like the current U.S. occupation of Afghanistan that has "ended" while it continues. In Lebanon, the French arrested the president and prime minister but were forced to free them after strikes and demonstrations in both Lebanon and Syria. The protests in Syria grew. France shelled Damascus killing possibly 400. The British came in. But in 1946 the French and the British left Syria, a nation where the people refused to cooperate with foreign rule.

Bad times, rather than good, lay ahead. The British and the future-Israelis stole Palestine, and a flood of refugees headed for Syria and Lebanon in 1947-1949, from which they have yet to return. And the (first?) Cold War began. In 1949, with Syria the only nation not to have signed an armistice with Israel and refusing to allow a Saudi oil pipeline to cross its land, a military coup was executed in Syria with CIA involvement -- predating 1953 Iran and 1954 Guatemala.

But the United States and Syria could not form an alliance because the United States was allied with Israel and opposed to rights for Palestinians. Syria got its first Soviet weapons in 1955. And the U.S. and Britain began a long-term and ongoing project of drawing up and revising plans to attack Syria. In 1967 Israel attacked and stole the Golan Heights which it has occupied illegally ever since. In 1973 Syria and Egypt attacked Israel but failed to take back the Golan Heights. Syria's interests in negotiations for many years to come would focus on the return of Palestinians to their land and the return of the Golan Heights to Syria. U.S. interests in peace negotiations during the Cold War were not in peace and stability but in winning nations to its side against the Soviet Union. The mid-1970s civil war in Lebanon added to Syria's problems. Peace talks for Syria effectively ended with the 1996 election of Netanyahu as prime minister of Israel.

From 1970 to 2000 Syria was ruled by Hafez al-Assad, from 2000 to the present by his son Bashar al-Assad. Syria supported the U.S. in Gulf War I. But in 2003 the U.S. proposed to attack Iraq and declared that all nations must be "with us or against us?" Syria could not declare itself "with the United States" while the suffering of Palestinians was on TV every night in Syria and the United States was not with Syria. In fact, the Pentagon in 2001 had Syria on a list of seven countries it planned to "take out."

The chaos, violence, destitution, sectarian division, rage, and weaponry that flooded the region with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 impacted Syria and of course led to the creation of groups like ISIS. The Arab Spring in Syria turned violent. Sectarian rivalries, the growing demand for water and resources, the arms and fighters supplied by regional and global rivalries brought Syria into a living hell. Over 200,000 have died, over 3 million have left the country, six and a half million are internally displaced, 4.6 million are living where fighting is ongoing. If this were a natural disaster, a focus on humanitarian aid would gain some interest, and at the very least the U.S. government would not be focused on adding more wind or waves. But this is not a natural disaster. It is, among other things, a proxy war in a region heavily armed by the United States, with Russia on the side of the Syrian government.

In 2013 public pressure helped prevent a massive U.S. bombing campaign on Syria, but the weapons and trainers kept flowing and no real alternative was pursued. In 2013 Israel gave a company a license to explore for gas and oil on the Golan Heights. By 2014 Western "experts" were talking about the war needing to "run its course," while the U.S. attacked certain Syrian rebels while arming others who sometimes surrendered the weapons to those the U.S. was attacking and who were also being funded by wealthy Gulf U.S. allies and fueled by fighters created out of the infernos the United States had brought to Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, etc., and who were also being attacked by Iran which the United States also opposes. By 2015, "experts" were talking about "partitioning" Syria, which brings us full circle.

Drawing lines on a map can teach you geography. It cannot cause people to lose attachments to people and places they love and live with. Arming and attacking regions of the globe can sell weapons and candidates. It cannot bring peace or stability. Blaming ancient hatreds and religions can win applause and provide a sense of superiority. It cannot explain the mass slaughter, the division, and the devastation that are in large part imported to a region cursed with natural resources desired by and vicinity to crusaders whose new holy grail is the so-called responsibility to protect but who'd rather not mention who they actually feel responsible to and what they're actually protecting.

Civilization and barbarism: It Takes a Life Cult to Beat a Death Cult

By John Grant


We have to address the political grievances terrorists exploit.
                                                                          -- Barack Obama
 

No more AUMFs! No more ‘unitary executives’!: We’re Already Losing Our Democracy and All Our Freedoms to the 2001 AUMF

By Dave Lindorff

 

            Critics of President Obama’s proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force AUMF) against ISIS have been focused upon its deliberately obfuscatory and ambiguous language, which they rightly note would make it essentially a carte blanche from Congress allowing the president to go to war almost anywhere some would-be terrorist or terrorist copycat could be found who claims affinity with ISIS.

Syria/Iraq News - Feb 4, 2015

 

Jordanian Pilot Al-Kaseasbeh Purportedly Burned Alive In New Islamic State Video - ibtimes.com


PHOTOS: Jordanian pilot al-Kaseasbeh burning live in a cage - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Full 22 Minute Islamic State Video of Jordanian Pilot Al-Kaseasbeh Burned Alive - vidme


A rush summary of the 22-minute IS video titled "Healing the Believers’ Chests” - insidethejihad.com


New issue of IS magazine Dabiq includes interview with Jordanian pilot at page 34, (link to the full magazine) - Harald Doornbos on Twitter


Jordan confirms grisly death of pilot held by Islamic State - Toronto Star


Jordan to execute Iraqi after Islamic State claims to have killed pilot - The Globe and Mail


VIDEO: Obama comment on the death of the Jordanian pilot held by Islamic State - YouTube


US special forces 'deployed from helicopters' into IS capital in vain attempt to rescue Jordanian pilot: Report - 9news.com.au

 

After death of Mouath al-Kasaesbeh, U.S. announces $1B plan for aid increase to Jordan - Washington Times

 

Muath al-Kaseasbeh: Live updates after Jordanian pilot 'burned alive by Islamic State' - Mirror Online

 

VIDEO: Islamic State Beheads Japanese Journalist Kenji Goto - LeakSource

 

ISIS throws man off tower block for 'being gay' then stone him when he SURVIVED the fall - Daily Mail Online

 

VIDEO: ISIS throw man off building for being gay, crowd stones him to death - YouTube

 

Syria 'adultress' survives jihadist stoning: monitor - Yahoo News

 

Islamic State distributing video game that allows players to play role of an Islamist and kill Westerners - Daily Mail Online

 

Islamic State fighters ransack Mosul’s historic libraries, burn books - THE DAILY STAR

 

UNESCO deplores ‘cultural cleansing’ of Iraq as armed extremists ransack Mosul libraries - United Nations News Centre

 

WFP alarmed by pictures of Islamic State logos on its Syria food parcels - Reuters

 

PHOTOS: IS Rebranding Stolen UN Food Rations with Its Own Logo - MUNCHIES

 

IS Opens Market for Spoils Stolen from Christians in Mosul - Breitbart

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

Islamic State in disarray, retreating from Kobane villages without resistance - Rudaw


VIDEO: Kurdish fighters celebrate victory over Isis in Kobani with traditional dance through streets - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk


Obama team: Success against Islamic State in Kobani, The battle seen as a test of whether the airstrikes could halt the terrorists - usatoday.com


Allied airstrikes continue to target Islamic State near Kobani: statement - Reuters


Islamic State admits defeat in Kobani; blames airstrikes - usatoday.com


VIDEO: Islamic State fighters: Airstrikes behind Kobani withdrawal - CNN Video


VIDEO: Kobane: Islamic State 'apocalypse' - BBC


ISIS Raqqa 'Governor' Allegedly Executed, Prompting Wave Of Arrests For Defection - ibtimes.com

 

ISIS al-Hisba Head Flees Raqqa After Failed Coup; Islamic State Executes Co-Conspirators - ibtimes.co.in

 

Islamic State Egyptian treasurer 'steals Zakat funds' and flees to Turkey - ibtimes.co.uk

 

ISIS getting 'desperate,' struggling to replenish fighters - CBC News

 

Disillusioned Islamic State recruits discover that it is a lot harder to leave than to join, The Syrian Observatory says the group has killed 120 of its own members in the past six months - Yahoo News

 

Hackers posing as beautiful women sent 'selfies' to Syrian rebels on Skype... and stole battle plans with hidden viruses - Daily Mail Online

 

Kurdish fighters in Iraq struggle to hold gains against IS - Yahoo News

 

Peshmerga forces report more gains against ISIS in Kirkuk and Mosul - ARA News

 

Islamic State chemical weapons expert trained under Saddam killed in airstrike near Mosul - Daily Mail Online

 

VIDEO: Kurdish peshmerga take on Islamic State near Kirkuk - usatoday.com

 

Kurdish forces free oil workers at Kirkuk crude station: officials - Reuters

 

Another Yazidi mass grave allegedly found near Sinjar, The bodies of 20 Kurdish Yazidi children, youths and seniors discovered - BasNews

 

The Hague to investigate Kurdish Yazidi genocide, International Criminal Court (ICC) expected to announce a decision soon - BasNews

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Local Syria ceasefires: The way out of a US policy

Local ceasefires can be successful, but first the United States must free itself from entangling regional alliances

By Gareth Porter, Middle East Eye

US contradictions between the Obama administration’s policy in Syria and realities on the ground have become so acute that US officials began last November discussing a proposal calling for support of local ceasefires between opposition forces and the Assad regime in dozens of locations across Syria.

The proposal surfaced in two articles in Foreign Policy magazine and in a column by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius. Those indicated that it was under serious consideration by administration officials. In fact, the proposal may even have played a role in a series of four White House meetings during the week of 6-13 November, to discuss Syria policy, one of which Obama himself presided over.

Ignatius, who usually reflects the views of senior national security officials, suggested that the administration have nothing better to offer than the proposal. And Robert Ford, who served as US ambassador to Syria until last May and is now a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, told David Kenner of Foreign Policy that he believes the White House “is likely to latch onto” the idea of local cease-fires “in the absence of any other plan they’ve been able to develop”.  

The proposal also appears to parallel the thinking behind the efforts of new United Nations peace envoy, Steffan de Mistura, who has called for the creation of what he calls “freeze zones” - meaning local ceasefires that would allow humanitarian aid to reach civilian populations.

The fact that the proposal is being taken seriously is especially notable, because it does not promise to achieve the aims of existing policy. Instead, it offers a way out of a policy that could not possibly deliver on the results it promised.

But the implication of such a policy shift would be a tacit acknowledgement that the United States cannot achieve its previous stated goal of unseating the Assad regime in Syria. The Obama administration would certainly deny any such implication, at least initially, for domestic political as well as foreign policy reasons, but the policy would refocus on the immediate need of saving lives and promoting peace, rather than on unrealistic political or military ambitions.

US Syrian policy lurched from Obama’s abortive plan to launch an air war against the Assad regime in September 2013 to the idea that the US would help train thousands of “moderate” Syrian opposition fighters to resist the threat from Islamic State (IS) in September 2014.  But the “moderate” forces have no interest in fighting IS. And in any case, they have long-ceased to be a serious rival of IS and other jihadi forces in Syria. 

It was no accident that the alternative policy surfaced in November, just as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) had been completely routed from its bases in the north by IS forces. Post columnist Ignatius, whose writing is almost always informed by access to senior national security officials, not only mentioned that route as the context in which a proposal was presented in Washington, but quoted from three messages the desperate FSA commander under attack sent to the US military, requesting air support.

The author of the paper that appears to have struck a chord in Washington, Nir Rosen, is a journalist whose depth of knowledge of human realities on the ground in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, is unmatched. His personal encounters with the people and organisations that fought in those conflicts, recounted in his 2010 book, Aftermath, reveal nuances of motives and calculations that can be found nowhere else in the literature. 

Rosen now works for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, which was active in bringing about the local ceasefire in Homs, considered the most significant such achievement so far. Rosen gave Robert Malley, the senior National Security Council official responsible for Syria, a 55-page, single-spaced report, making the case for a policy of supporting the negotiation of local ceasefires, which also calls for “freezing the war as it is”.  The report is based on the twin premises that neither side can defeat the other militarily, and that the resulting stalemate strengthens the Islamic State and its jihadi allies in Syria, according to James Traub’s story in Foreign Policy. 

Negotiating local deals under the conditions of the Syrian war is devilishly difficult, as anexamination of 35 different local deals by researchers at the London School of Economics and the Syrian NGO Madani shows. Most of the deals were prompted by the Syrian regime’s strategy of besieging opposition enclaves, which meant the regime’s forces were hoping to impose terms that were nothing less than surrender. Sometimes local pro-government militias frustrated potential deals, because of a combination sectarian score-settling and because they were gaining corrupt economic advantages from the sieges they were imposing.  (In other cases, however, the pro-government NDF militias lent their supportive to local deals.)

The Syrian regime ultimately recognised that its interests lay in a successful deal in Homs, but the researchers found that the farther military commanders were from the location of fighting, the more they clung to the idea that military victory was still possible. The primary source of pressure for ceasefire, not surprisingly, was from the civilians, who suffered its consequence most heavily. The study observes that the larger the ratio of civilians to fighters in the opposition enclave the stronger the commitment to a ceasefire.

Both the LSE-Madani study and the Integrity Research paper say that international support in the form of both mediators and truce monitors would help establish both clearer arrangements and legal commitments for ceasefire, safe passage and opening routes of humanitarian assistance. Homs is an example of a deal where the UN actually plays a positive role in influencing the implementation of the truce, according to Integrity. 

The small steps toward peace and reconciliation that the local truces represent are highly vulnerable unless they lead to a comprehensive process. Even though the challenge from IS is a shadow over the entire process, it is an approach that is likely to be more effective than escalating foreign military involvement. And surprising as it may seem, the LSE-Madani study reveals that even IS concluded a ceasefire deal with a civil society organisation in Aleppo.

But even if the Obama administration recognises the advantages of the proposal of the local ceasefire approach for Syria, it cannot be assumed that it will actually carry out the policy. The reason is the heavy influence of its relations with its main regional allies on Washington. Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar would all reject a policy that would allow a regime they regard as an Iranian ally to persist in Syria. Unless and until the United States can figure out a way to free its Middle East policy from its entangling regional alliances, its policy in Syria will be confused, contradictory and feckless.

 

- Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian writing on US national security policy.  His latest book, “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare,” was published in February 2014.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

The Challenge of the Islamic State and U.S. Policy

By Karl Meyer and Kathy Kelly

What to do about the political mess in the Middle East and the rise of the Islamic State and related political movements?

Shortly after the end of World War II, the Western powers and the whole world began to recognize that the age of explicit colonial domination was over, and dozens of colonies were let go of and took political independence.

It is now past time for the United States and other world powers to recognize that the age of neo-colonial military, political and economic domination, especially in the Islamic Middle East, is decisively coming to a close.

Attempts to maintain it by military force have been disastrous for ordinary people trying to survive in the affected countries. There are powerful cultural currents and political forces in motion in the Middle East that simply will not tolerate military and political domination. There are thousands of people prepared to die rather than accept it.

U.S. policy will find no military fix for this reality.

Stopping Communism by military imposition of subservient government did not work in Vietnam, even with the presence of a half million U.S. troops at one period, the sacrifice of millions of Vietnamese lives, the direct death of about 58,000 U.S. soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of U.S. physical and mental casualties, still ongoing today.

Creating a stable, democratic, friendly government in Iraq has not worked even with the presence of at least a hundred thousand U.S. paid personnel at one period, the cost of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties and deaths, the loss of about 4,400 U.S. troops to direct death, and many more thousands to physical and mental casualties, ongoing today and for many more years to come. The U.S. military attack and occupation has led to fratricidal civil war, economic disaster and misery for millions of ordinary Iraqis trying to survive.

The results in Afghanistan are proving very similar: dysfunctional government, massive corruption, civil war, economic disruption, and misery for millions of ordinary people, at a cost of thousands of deaths, and uncounted thousands of Afghan, U.S., European, and allied casualties, that will continue to manifest symptoms for decades to come.

The U.S./European military intervention in the Libyan revolt left Libya in an unresolved condition of dysfunctional government and civil war.

The Western response to the rebellion in Syria, encouraging and fostering civil war, at the cost of death or misery for millions of Syrian refugees, has only made the situation worse for most Syrians.

We need to think, above all else, about the terrible costs of each of these military interventions for ordinary people trying to live, raise families and survive in each of these countries.

These awful failures of U.S. and European military intervention have led to immense cultural resentment among millions of serious and thoughtful people in Islamic countries of the Middle East. The evolution and emergence of the Islamic State and other militant movements is one challenging response to these realities of economic and political chaos.

Now the United States is engaging in another military intervention, bombing targets in areas of Islamic State control, and trying to persuade surrounding Arab states and Turkey to enter the fray by putting their troops at risk on the ground. The expectation that this will work out better than the interventions cited above seems to us another huge mistake, one that will be equally disastrous for ordinary people caught in the middle.

It is time for the U.S. and Europe to recognize that civil wars in the Middle East will be resolved by the emergence of the most powerful and best organized local movements, in spite of what the U.S. Government agencies, on the one hand, or worldwide humanitarian communities, on the other hand, might prefer.

They may also lead to the rearrangement of national boundaries in the Middle East that were arbitrarily set by European colonial powers a hundred years ago at the end of World War I. This has already occurred with Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and other eastern European countries.

What U.S. Policies Might Foster Political Stability and Economic Recovery in Areas of Conflict?

1) The U.S. should end its current provocative drive toward military alliances and missile deployments encircling the boundaries of Russia and China. The U.S. should accept pluralism of economic and political power in the contemporary world. Present policies are provoking a return to Cold War with Russia, and a tendency to begin a Cold War with China This is a lose/lose proposition for all countries involved.

2) By turning toward a reset of policy toward cooperating with Russia, China and other influential countries within the framework of the United Nations, the United States could foster international mediation and political pressure from a broad consensus of countries to resolve the civil wars in Syria and other countries by negotiation, devolution of power, and other political solutions. It might also reset its relationship toward friendly cooperation with Iran in the Middle East and resolve the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation in Iran, North Korea and any other potential nuclear weapons states. There is no essentially inherent reason why the U.S. needs to continue a hostile relationship with Iran.

3) The U.S. should offer reparations to ordinary people harmed by U.S. military interventions, and generous medical and economic aid and technical expertise wherever it may be helpful in other countries, and thus build a reservoir of international goodwill and positive influence.

4) It’s time to embrace a post-neo-colonial period of international cooperation through diplomatic institutions, international organizations, and non-governmental initiatives.

Syria News - Dec 1, 2014

 

ISIS Launches Attack On Syria's Kobani From Turkey: Activists - AP


VIDEO: An Islamic State sniper is seen shooting from a grain depot on the Turkish side of the border with Syria - Daily Mail Online


Witnesses: ISIS vehicle and members came from Turkish side - ANF


Kurdish forces call for Turkish investigation into ISIS Kobani attack - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


YPG statement on attack staged from Turkey by ISIS, and cross-border defensive actions taken - twitter.com


Geolocation of IS Attack on Kobane from Turkey: Open Source Analysis - Turkey Wonk


VIDEO (Arabic): FSA fighters fighting in Kobane border blame Turkey - LiveLeak.com


Rally in Turkish town of Suruc denounces ISIL attack on Kobani from Turkey (VIDEO) - PressTV


“Under the pretense of stopping an ISIS attack on Turkey the Turkish army bombarded the center of Kobane with tanks and artillery”: co-chair of the Kobane canton - Rudaw

 

Female Canadian-Israeli fighter said abducted by Islamic State near Kobane - The Times of Israel

 

VIDEO: Female Canadian-Israeli Fighter Allegedly Captured in Syria by ISIS - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Footage of clashes in Mürşitpınar area of Kobane - ANF

 

Belgian fighter admits that Islamic State is lacking manpower - emmejihad

 

Peshmerga Commander: ‘ISIS severely debilitated in Kobane’ - Kurdish Question

 

Iraqi Kurds to send Peshmerga replacement troops to Kobani - Worldbulletin News

 

Turkey's Erdogan calls for ground operation against Islamic State - Vestnik Kavkaza

 

Pope Francis fails to find common ground with Erdogan (VIDEO) - CSMonitor.com

 

Pope Francis in Istanbul condemns ‘barbaric violence’ of Islamic State, says fighting hunger and poverty, rather than military intervention alone, are key to stopping it - Reuters

 

Pope calls on Muslim leaders worldwide to condemn terrorism - Yahoo News UK

 

30 coalition airstrikes pound IS stronghold Raqqa in Syria - The Seattle Times

 

Inside Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital: Red Bull-drinking jihadists, hungry civilians, crucifixions and air strikes - The Guardian

 

US flies roughly 85 percent of airstrikes against Islamic State, in complex mix of tactics, politics - Fox News

 

Islamic State has a 'dirty bomb' says British jihadi - Daily Mail Online

 

Islamists come out on top in new effort to unify Syrian rebel groups - McClatchy DC

 

Al Qaeda group Jabhat Al Nusra losing influence in southern Syria - The National

 

Al- Nusra Front kills 13 fighters from al- Ansar brigades in Idlib - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

 

VIDEO: Jabhat al-Nusra Move Into Southern Idlib Village After Reported Clash with Free Syrian Army Unit - YouTube

 

Flesh-eating maggot disease surfaces in Syria - Al Arabiya News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Syria/Iraq News - Nov 18, 2014


Islamic State Executed 1,432 Syrians Outside Battle Since June, 882 were civilians and 483 members of pro-government forces: Report - Reuters


New Islamic State Video Shows Beheading Of American Hostage Peter Kassig and More than a Dozen Captured Syrian Soldiers - Fox Nation


VIDEOS: The Islamic State video split in two short versions showing beheading of Peter Kassig and Syrian soldiers - LeakSource


VIDEO: Full Islamic State video titled “Although the disbelievers dislike it” showing beheading of Kassig and Syrian soldiers - Clarion Project


MAP: Alleged location of the Islamic State execution of Kassig in the Syrian town of Dabiq, north of Aleppo - twitter.com/Raqqa_Sl


8 Reasons Why The Peter Kassig Islamic State Video Is A Game-Changer - huffingtonpost.com


ISIS' Final American Hostage in Caliphate is 26-Year-Old Female Aid Worker - ibtimes.co.uk


Exclusive: Obama Orders Hostage Policy Review - The Daily Beast


Islamic State executions: European jihadis take lead roles in killing video - CBS News


Peter Kassig killing comes as Islamic State suffers first battlefield defeats - Telegraph


Latest Islamic State horror masks a week of defeats - The Guardian


Islamic State apparent beheading video 'sign of desperation' - CNN.com


Peter Kassig Beheading: Study Shows Executions Do Not Help Terror Groups Achieve Aims - ibtimes.co.uk


REPORT: Does Terrorism Pay? An Empirical Analysis - Academia.edu


VIDEO, PHOTOS: Blood bath: ISIS executed 18 persons in Raqqa - Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently


PHOTOS: Blood bath: More photos of ISIS execution of civilians in Raqqa - LiveLeak.com


Horror in Raqqa: ‘Islamic Court’ decided not to execute a sentence by shooting or decapitation, but instead invited the crowd to trample three Syrian officers - voltairenet.org


ISIS Boot Camp Syria: Children as Young as 10 Forced to Behead Syrian Soldiers - ibtimes.co.in


PHOTO: Sickening photo shows warped ISIS fanatics making baby kick severed head - yournewswire.com


ISIS kills six doctors in Mosul for refusing to treat wounded fighters - Rudaw


Yazidi Girls Seized by ISIS Speak Out After Escape - NYTimes.com


-------------------------------------------------------

Kurds say Islamic State militants near defeat in Kobani - LA Times


Islamic State Casualties Mount in Kobani Amid War of Attrition - Bloomberg


5 Kurdish villages and hamlets liberated from ISIS in Serêkaniyê - ANF


Child soldiers enlisted by Kurds to fight against Islamic State in Syria - The Washington Post


Obama says no change in Syria policy, Assad still not priority - todayszaman.com


Spokesman: Nusra is looking for a ceasefire, not a larger merger with IS, because it wants to focus on fighting “just the Alawites” - Syria Direct


Syrian rebels abandon Aleppo, leader flees to Turkey - hurriyetdailynews.com


Syria agrees ‘in principle’ to De Mistura freeze - THE DAILY STAR


Qatari Minister Warns on U.S.-Led Airstrikes in Syria - WSJ


Terror financiers are living freely in Qatar, US discloses - Telegraph


-----------------------------------------------------

Islamic State fighters are retreating from Baiji oil refinery, Iraq officials say - The Washington Post


Peshmerga repel ISIS attack near Mosul, several militants killed - Rudaw


Centcom Officials Provide Inherent Resolve Airstrike Details in Syria and Iraq - Defense.gov


Iraqi PM's Office denies Abadi and Dempsey discussed deployment of foreign troops, says 'Iraq doesn’t need any' - Iraqi News


Obama ‘Would Order’ US Troops into Combat If ISIS Got Nuclear Weapon - KTIC Radio


Seize All Tanker Trucks to and From Islamic State Areas, UN Says - Businessweek

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Minimizing ISIL numbers -- just like the Viet Cong

 

 


How Many Islamic State Fighters Are There?

 

 

Editor Note: As the United States slides back into war in the Middle East, the specter of Vietnam hovers over the endeavor with some observers wondering if wishful thinking will again replace hardheaded analysis about the risks and the costs.

By Ray McGovern

Why was I reminded of Vietnam on Saturday when Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Iraq to “get a firsthand look at the situation in Iraq, receive briefings, and get better sense of how the campaign is progressing” against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL?

Iraq/Syria News - Nov 15, 2014


Islamic State advances halted in some areas of Iraq, U.S. defense officials say - The Washington Post


Iraq retakes strategic oil town of Baiji from jihadists - Daily Mail Online


VIDEO: Islamic State fighters driven out of Iraq's Baiji - YouTube


Has ISIS peaked? Terror group suffers setbacks in Iraq - CNN.com


IS adopting a defensive strategy in Iraq to avoid airstrikes, military says that Iraqi ground troops can "move to offense" - rferl.org


Iraq: ISIS has Trenches,Tunnels and Bomb Shelters to Counter U.S. Air Attacks [VIDEO] - ibtimes.co.in


Hagel says air war against Islamic State will intensify - Al Arabiya News


U.S. Central Command News Release: Military Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq - Defense.gov


Obama calls for more funds in the fight against ISIS, Key figures highlighted in the 34-page letter (Full text) - whitehouse.gov


Obama seeks human-rights waiver on Islamic State war funds - AP


POLL: Obama’s ISIS war is surprisingly popular in the Arab world - Vox


VIDEO: House considers how to cut off funding from the Islamic State - WashingtonExaminer.com


Qatar, Kuwait could improve anti-terror financing efforts: US Treasury - turkishweekly.net


Iraq's Premier Shakes up His Military - ABC News


Iraq seeks advanced precision-kill weapon systems from US - Army Technology


Baghdad and Kurds Reach Deal on Oil - WSJ


-----------------------------------------------------

Hagel discounts targeting Assad in Islamic State fight, “Our military aims in Syria are limited to destroying ISIL’s safe havens” - Chicago Tribune


Full Hagel Statement on the Strategy and Military Campaign Against ISIL Before the House Armed Services Committee - groundreport.com


Canada is at war with ISIS, not Syria, Stephen Harper says - CBC News


Activists say US-led Syria airstrikes kill at least 860: 746 Islamic State militants, 68 members of Nusra Front and 50 civilians - Military.com


US Hits Al-Qaida Militants in Syria for Third Time - ABC News


YPG forces retake control of strategic mountain in Kobani - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Kurds block an Islamic State supply route to Syria's Kobani - Reuters


PYD says ready to cooperate with US against IS to keep control of region - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Opposition Figures Claim ISIS, Nusra Front Agree To Cooperate In Syria - AP


The Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra: A Looming Grand Jihadi Alliance? - Syria Comment


Jabhat al-Nusra eyes Idlib for Islamic emirate - Al-Monitor


Video Shows Al Nusra Tanks Pushing North Towards 'Another Kobane’ (VIDEO) - VICE News


UN envoy to Syria De Mistura's focus is on 'Aleppo First' - Al-Monitor


FSA reject UN's Aleppo truce plan - Al Jazeera English


Syrian National Coalition Leader Bahra: De Mistura’s Plan is Unclear - etilaf.org


Red Cross offers to help reconcile warring Syria sides - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian 'hero boy' video faked by Norwegian director - BBC News


----------------------------------------------------------

New UN report depicts ‘relentless assault’ on civilians in ISIL-controlled Syria including public beheading, shooting and stoning - United Nations


REPORT: Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria - United Nations


ISIS denying food, medicine to hundreds of thousands in Syria, UN report says - Fox News


Airstrikes Fail to Slow ISIS' Iraq Killing Spree, Database Suggests - NBC News.com


Iraq: Bomb Blast Kills 15 in Northern Baghdad - ABC News


Islamic State leader claims 'caliphate' has expanded to more countries in new audio message - The Long War Journal


The Islamic State's Archipelago of Provinces - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


AUDIO (Arabic): Islamic State leader Baghdadi's new audio message - gulfup.com


TRANSCRIPT (English): Islamic State leader Baghdadi's new audio message - gulfup.com


A video allegedly showing the leader of the Islamic State getting injured in an airstrike, wearing the same Rolex watch which he wore during his sermon at Mosul (VIDEO) - ibtimes.co.in


Islamic State to mint own Islamic dinar coins in gold, silver and copper - The Guardian

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

A Veterans Day Story: Iraq Veterans' Emily Yates vs. the Federal Military Machine

By John Grant


When you tuck your children in at night
Don’t tell ‘em it’s for freedom that we fight
                                                                                   - Emily Yates

 

Syria News - Nov 6, 2014


Obama to seek authorization from Congress for Islamic State fight - Reuters


Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL in Kobane - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Two Huge Explosions in Kobane Target ISIL Positions - NBC News.com


Peshmerga fighters 'heavily shelling’ Islamic State in Kobane: commander - Kurdish Institute of Paris


VIDEO: First footage of peshmerga in action inside Kobane! Here they are firing Katyusha at ISIS - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Interview with commander on the Kobane battle: ‘YPG acting with the Peshmerga like a single army’ - ANF


Peshmerga: more military reinforcements left Erbil on Monday heading to Kobane - ARA News


Turkey says it received no demand for more peshmerga fighters in Kobani - todayszaman.com


Turkish military angered by Ankara’s peshmerga move - Al-Monitor


POLL: Like Turkey’s Erdogan, most Turks disapprove of helping Kobane - Rudaw


KRG to Open Offices in Rojava Cantons - BAS NEWS


YPG commander: Islamic State Stops Attacks in Kobani - BAS NEWS


YPG and Islamic State Group Maneuver beyond Kobani - teleSUR


5 villages and 23 hamlets liberated by YPG in Serêkaniyê - ANF


Islamic State releases 93 Syrian Kurds: monitor - Yahoo News UK


Some Kurds help Islamic State with terrain, language in battle for Kobani - Fox News


Kobane official calls for more outside help to defeat Islamic State, thanks the United States and the Iraqi Peshmerga - Rudaw


Syrian Kurdish leader notes change in West’s attitudes, says PYD ''is no longer seen as a terrorist organization’’ - turkishweekly.net


Syria: Islamic State Tortured Kobani Child Hostages - Human Rights Watch


Islamic State warns Kurdish female fighters face forced marriage - Al Arabiya News


Islamic State Looks To Mediterranean To Continue Oil Operations - oilprice.com


Syria army retakes gas fields from Islamic State jihadists: activists - THE DAILY STAR


Exclusive: Washington cuts funds for investigating Bashar al-Assad's war crimes, while is stepping up funding to collect evidence of war crimes in Iraq by the Islamic State - foreignpolicy


--------------------------------------------------------

Pentagon Confirms Militant Group Al-Nusra Has Gained Ground In Syria, Doesn't View Events As 'Major Setback' - KMBZ


US considers expanded airstrikes in Syria against al-Nusra - TheHill


US-Trained Syrian Rebels Defect to Al-Qaeda, Surrender Weapons - breitbart.com


VIDEO: Nusra Front captures US made weapons in Idlib - YouTube


Al Qaeda militants mass near key Bab al-Hawa border crossing, important supply route for fighters in Syria - Toronto Star


Al-Qaeda’s Bid for Power in Northwest Syria - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Leader of Syria Al-Qaeda wing threatens strikes against Hezbollah in Lebanon - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


AUDIO (Arabic): First al-Nusra leader Joulani interview for months. Explains why Nusra attacked SRF leader Maarouf & who helped - Joshua Landis on Twitter


In audio message Joulani says the 'international coalition/alliance' is intending to destroy Jabhat al-Nusra & 'Jamaat ad-Dawla' [Islamic State] - Aymenn J Al-Tamimi on Twitter


DOD, Coalition Working Out Details for Syrian Opposition Training Program - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Plan to Train and Equip Syrian Opposition Forces Progresses - DoD Videos


TRANSCRIPT: Department of Defense Press Briefing by Rear Adm. Kirby - Defense.gov


VIDEO: John Kirby Briefs Pentagon Press Corps - DoDNEWS Videos


France urges anti-IS coalition to help Aleppo rebels holdout against Assad - Yahoo News


Turkey warns of threat to Aleppo from Assad, fears new refugee influx - turkishweekly.net


Turkish border attacks work of Assad spies in FSA, Syrian opposition commander claims - todayszaman.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Syria/Iraq News - Nov 2, 2014

 

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga reinforcements arrive in Kobane - Al Jazeera America


VIDEO: Iraqi Kurdish reinforcements arrive in Kobane - YouTube


VIDEO: Peshmerga Handshake with YPG in Kobane - YouTube


Peshmerga in Kobane fire rockets at Islamic State - Al Jazeera English


VIDEO: Breaking: Peshmerga Forces have launched attacks on ISIS in Kobane - Al Jazeera


Iraqi fighters lift spirits in Syria siege town Kobane - Yahoo News


U.S. Launches 10 Air Strikes In Syria, Iraq - huffingtonpost.com


Source inside Kobane: "ISIS couldn't even attack the peshmerga convoy. Coalition planes bombed ISIS heavily as convoy moved in - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


President Barzani: Kobane will not fall to terrorists - Rudaw


Joint message from YPG and Peshmerga for “national army” - ANF


Kobani clashes kill 100 ISIS jihadists in 3 days: monitor - THE DAILY STAR


Al Qaeda group Nusra seizes bastion of Western-backed SRF rebels in Syria's Idlib region - Reuters


Islamic State and Nusra Front, former rivals, team up against SRF rebels in Idlib - UPI.com


Syria rebels deploy peacekeepers in Idlib - THE DAILY STAR


Al- Nusra Front's proposals to stop fighting with the SRF - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


VIDEO: SRF’s Jamal Marouf explains why he withdrew from Jabal al-Zawiya, Idlib after Nusra takeover yesterday - Twitter


Aleppo ‘at risk’ after FSA fighters were sent to Kobane: Commander - hurriyetdailynews


U.S. Spying on Syria Yields Bonus: Intelligence on Islamic State - WSJ


-----------------------------------------------------

Global day for Kobani: Thousands march to support Kurds’ fight against Islamic State (VIDEOS, PHOTOS) - RT News


VIDEO: Kurds worldwide march in solidarity with Kobani - YouTube


Thousands protest in Turkey to show solidarity with Kobane Kurds - Yahoo!7


PHOTO: Kurds rally in Amed, Turkey - Twitter


Erdogan decries coalition's focus on Kobane, says nations fighting IS should turn attention to areas other than the Kurdish town - Al Jazeera


Kurds protest at Erdogan visit to Paris - ekurd


PHOTO: Kurds rally in Paris - Twitter


Putin: Turkey is governed by a demagogue dictator who supports terrorists - AWDNews


Erdogan’s new $350 mln palace draws controversy - Al Arabiya News


VIDEO: Kurdish demonstration for Kobane in Frankfurt - YouTube


VIDEO: Solidarity with Kobane Demonstration - Manchester - YouTube


VIDEO: Kurdish demonstration for Kobane in Toronto - YouTube


European Parliament to host Kobanê conference - ANF


--------------------------------------------------------

ISIS militants line up, kill 50 tribesmen and women in Iraq town - Fox News


PHOTO: Islamic State kills 50 tribesmen and women in Iraq town - LiveLeak.com


Iraq: ISIS Executed Hundreds of Prison Inmates, Mostly Shiites - Human Rights Watch


VIDEO: Survivors of ISIS massacre tell their stories for the first time - LiveLeak.com


US condemns ISIS “depravity” in alleged executions, amid reports of discoveries of mass graves and the slaying of Sunni Muslim tribesmen - Rudaw


Grim Fate Awaits Women, Girls Captured by Islamic State Group - VOA


VIDEO: “Whoever wants to sell, I’ll buy” - ISIS fighters excitedly discuss buying Yazidi women - Charles Lister on Twitter


Foreign Fighters Are Flooding Into Iraq and Syria to Join the Islamic State: UN - VICE News


ISIS advertising for skilled professionals to man its failing oil fields - Daily Mail Online

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Iraq/Syria News - Oct 29, 2014


Pentagon: Iraqi Forces Make Gains Against Islamic State - Defense.gov


Pentagon: Destruction of Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq limits its ability to project power and conduct operations - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Pentagon: Despite the damage of recent airstrikes Islamic State is still able to recruit new fighters - DoDNEWS


VIDEO: John Kirby's Pentagon Press Briefing - DoDNEWS


Iraqi army take down Islamic State flag in Jurf al-Sakhr (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


VIDEO: Iraqi army retakes strategic town of Jurf al-Sakhr - YouTube


Kurdish Peshmerga Takes Control of Three Strategic Roads Near Mosul - BAS NEWS


French warplanes bomb Islamic State camp in Iraq - The Long War Journal


Advanced surface-to-air missile thought to have been supplied to Syrian rebels by Qatar against American wishes has been filmed in the hands of IS jihadists in Iraq - Telegraph


Islamic State has a guide to shoot down Apache helicopters with MANPADS - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Does Islamic Statge Have Anti Aircraft Missiles? - YouTube


Suicide bomb kills 27 Shiite fighters near Baghdad (VIDEO) - CSMonitor.com


Iraq special ops dismantle Islamic State linked cell in Baghdad - Al-Shorfa


Iraq: Abadi agrees to the creation of a 30,000-strong force of volunteers against Islamic State in Anbar -  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


US airdrops aid for Sunnis under Islamic State's aggression in western Iraq: Pentagon - breitbart.com


U.S. official urges allies to combat Islamic State ideology indoctrinating disaffected young Muslims- AP


Anbar tribal campaign aims to destroy Islamic State books - Al-Shorfa


Joint US-UAE task force to choke off Islamic State funding - The National


US war on Islamic State costing $US8.3 million a day - skynews.com


Analysis: A month ago, Islamic State’s advance looked unstoppable. Now it’s been stopped. - Vox


Obama White House did little to stop 'The Rise of ISIS,' says 'Frontline' documentary - Yahoo News


Soufan report offers new detail on scope and scale of Islamic State - Marshable


REPORT: Ordered Chaos: The Structure of The Islamic State - The Soufan Group


Islamic State’s Political-Military Power in Iraq - Combating Terrorism Center at West Point


-----------------------------------------------------

Kurdish Peshmerga troops arrive in Turkey en route to fight Islamic State militants in Kobani - AP


VIDEO: Peshmerga head for Syria's Kobane to fight Islamic State - YouTube


Hostage John Cantlie 'news report' video says Islamic State close to taking Kobani - LA Times


VIDEO: Hostage John Cantlie 'news report' video says Islamic State close to taking Kobani - YouTube


Iran accuses Turkey of prolonging civil war in Syria and supporting "terrorist groups"- Yahoo News


Turkey disagrees with US, Russia, Iran on Syria: Erdoğan - hurriyetdailynews


Turkey wants anti-Assad FSA rebels to control Kobane: PM - Yahoo News


Syrian Kurds Reject FSA Involvement in Kobani Battle - SYRIA 360°


Video shows Islamic State fighters talking with Turkish border guards (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Daily Mail Online


Interview: SPIEGEL ONLINE met up with an Islamic State recruiter in Turkey - SPIEGEL ONLINE


The Secret Life of the Islamic State Chechen Warlord - The Daily Beast


Nusra Front, maybe with Islamic State help, seizes territory from another Syrian rebel group - THE DAILY STAR


U.S. wants Syria rebels to fight IS not Assad, sees them in political not military solution: Asharq al-Awsat newspaper - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanese military foil part of Islamic State-Nusra scheme to establish Islamic emirate - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanon’s pot farmers gear up for a fight with Islamic State - The Washington Post

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

U.S. Sends Planes Armed with Depleted Uranium to Middle East

There's a version of this story at Al Jazeera.

The U.S. Air Force says it is not halting its use of Depleted Uranium weapons, has recently sent them to the Middle East, and is prepared to use them.

A type of airplane, the A-10, deployed this month to the Middle East by the U.S. Air National Guard's 122nd Fighter Wing, is responsible for more Depleted Uranium (DU) contamination than any other platform, according to the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW). "Weight for weight and by number of rounds more 30mm PGU-14B ammo has been used than any other round," said ICBUW coordinator Doug Weir, referring to ammunition used by A-10s, as compared to DU ammunition used by tanks.

Public affairs superintendent Master Sgt. Darin L. Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing told me that the A-10s now in the Middle East along with "300 of our finest airmen" have been sent there on a deployment planned for the past two years and have not been assigned to take part in the current fighting in Iraq or Syria, but "that could change at any moment."

The crews will load PGU-14 depleted uranium rounds into their 30mm Gatling cannons and use them as needed, said Hubble. "If the need is to explode something -- for example a tank -- they will be used."

Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright told me, "There is no prohibition against the use of Depleted Uranium rounds, and the [U.S. military] does make use of them. The use of DU in armor-piercing munitions allows enemy tanks to be more easily destroyed."

On Thursday, several nations, including Iraq, spoke to the United Nations First Committee, against the use of Depleted Uranium and in support of studying and mitigating the damage in already contaminated areas. A non-binding resolution is expected to be voted on by the Committee this week, urging nations that have used DU to provide information on locations targeted. A number of organizations are delivering a petition to U.S. officials this week urging them not to oppose the resolution.

In 2012 a resolution on DU was supported by 155 nations and opposed by just the UK, U.S., France, and Israel. Several nations have banned DU, and in June Iraq proposed a global treaty banning it -- a step also supported by the European and Latin American Parliaments.

Wright said that the U.S. military is "addressing concerns on the use of DU by investigating other types of materials for possible use in munitions, but with some mixed results. Tungsten has some limitations in its functionality in armor-piercing munitions, as well as some health concerns based on the results of animal research on some tungsten-containing alloys. Research is continuing in this area to find an alternative to DU that is more readily accepted by the public, and also performs satisfactorily in munitions."

"I fear DU is this generation's Agent Orange," U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott told me. "There has been a sizable increase in childhood leukemia and birth defects in Iraq since the Gulf War and our subsequent invasion in 2003. DU munitions were used in both those conflicts. There are also grave suggestions that DU weapons have caused serious health issues for our Iraq War veterans. I seriously question the use of these weapons until the U.S. military conducts a full investigation into the effect of DU weapon residue on human beings."

Doug Weir of ICBUW said renewed use of DU in Iraq would be "a propaganda coup for ISIS." His and other organizations opposed to DU are guardedly watching a possible U.S. shift away from DU, which the U.S. military said it did not use in Libya in 2011. Master Sgt. Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing believes that was simply a tactical decision. But public pressure had been brought to bear by activists and allied nations' parliaments, and by a UK commitment not to use DU.

DU is classed as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and evidence of health damage produced by its use is extensive. The damage is compounded, Jeena Shah at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) told me, when the nation that uses DU refuses to identify locations targeted. Contamination enters soil and water. Contaminated scrap metal is used in factories or made into cooking pots or played with by children.

CCR and Iraq Veterans Against the War have filed a Freedom of Information Act Request in an attempt to learn the locations targeted in Iraq during and after the 1991 and 2003 assaults. The UK and the Netherlands have revealed targeted locations, Shah pointed out, as did NATO following DU use in the Balkans. And the United States has revealed locations it targeted with cluster munitions. So why not now?

"For years," Shah said, "the U.S. has denied a relationship between DU and health problems in civilians and veterans. Studies of UK veterans are highly suggestive of a connection. The U.S. doesn't want studies done." In addition, the United States has used DU in civilian areas and identifying those locations could suggest violations of Geneva Conventions.

Iraqi doctors will be testifying on the damage done by DU before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commissionin Washington, D.C., in December.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration said on Thursday that it will be spending $1.6 million to try to identify atrocities committed in Iraq . . . by ISIS.

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 25, 2014


Pentagon: “The coalition continues to gain both momentum and strength and we know we’re having a direct effect on Islamic State - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Hagel: Islamic State Strategy Working - DoD Videos


VIDEO: Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby Briefing - DoDNEWS Videos


VIDEO: Pentagon says 1,700 bombs dropped in Iraq and Syria - YouTube


At least 500 Islamic State militants killed in US-led strikes in Syria, observer group says - The Boston Globe


US airstrike obliterate Islamic State' banner and Kurdish fighters raise their own (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


VIDEO: Air strike targets Islamic State militants on a hill in Kobane obliterating their flag - YouTube


Islamic State said to be using chlorine bombs in Syria and Iraq - AP


FBI warns news outlets that group affiliated with Islamic State is targeting journalists - The Washington Post


POLL: 2 of 3 Americans say Islamic State threat is important - AP


Airstrikes against Islamic State diminish oil financing but more is needed to end the group's reign of terror - UPI.com


Cutting off Islamic State' cash flow, the U.S. government’s assessment of the terror group' finance and a strategy to counter it - Brookings Institution


U.S. warns of sanctions on buyers of Islamic State oil, threatens Kurdish and Turkish middlemen - ekurd


How Long Will Islamic State Last Economically? - Oye Times


Jihadist training camps proliferate in Iraq and Syria - The Long War Journal


The White Shroud: A Syrian Resistance Movement to the Islamic State - Syria Comment


-------------------------------------------------------

Syrian Kurdish factions unite over Islamic State threat, reach an agreement to share power after years of disputes - Middle East Eye


VIDEO (Kurdish): Barzani’s statement after the signed agreement of the Kurdish parties - YouTube


Interview of PYD leader Salih Muslim after the signed agreement of the Kurdish parties - diclehaber.com


PYD leader's assessment of the fight agaist Islamic State in Kobani - Yahoo News


"We do not have organic links with the PKK...The PYD doesn't take orders from anyone", PYD leader says - Daily Sabah


150 Peshmerga will go to Kobani: Erdogan - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Peshmerga forces won’t receive order from YPG: minister - Kurdpress News Aganecy


The White House online Petition to officially arm YPG may have a Tallying Glitch - ekurd


Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Free Syrian Army rebels to aid besieged Kobani, "no such agreement has been reached yet" - Reuters


Syria Kurds say Free Syrian Army rebels should focus on fighting Islamic State elsewhere, not Kobani - ekurd


Rebels plead for U.S. military help against Assad forces closing on Aleppo, deny that they are sending 1,300 troops to Kobani - FresnoBee.com


Here is the Aleppo FSA military council denying sending troops to Kobane, this follows lots of criticism from locals - lou zay on Twitter: “


Zahran Aloush (Jaysh al-Islam/Islamic Front leader) rejects all media reports that he's sending troops to Kobane - Ibn Nabih on Twitter


Syrian Rebels Oppose New U.S. War Strategy - foreignpolicy.com


U.S.: Rebel force in Syria to be built from scratch, building an opposition capable of mounting offensive operations against Islamic State militants will take at least a year - usatoday.com


-----------------------------------------------------

Erdoğan: US carried out airdrops to Kobani despite Turkish objection - todayszaman.com


Airdrops to Kobani not wrong at all, US says after Erdoğan's criticism - todayszaman.com


US reiterates PYD is not terrorist after Erdoğan's critical remarks - todayszaman.com


Turkey's U.S. relations show strain as Washington's patience wears thin - Reuters


PYD leader accuses Turkey of allowing ISIS militants into Kobane - Al Akhbar English


Turkish PM reiterates: CHP, HDP collaborators of Assad’s cruelty - hurriyetdailynews


Report: Suspect in assasination attempt on Danish writer released in Turkey - todayszaman.com


Danish PM: Turkey must face repercussions over suspect's release - todayszaman.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 23, 2014

 

Pentagon: 1 airdrop of 28 bundles of weapons to Kurds intercepted by Islamic State in Kobani, not enough to advantage the enemy - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Islamic State Intercepted Supplies From U.S. Airdrop - YouTube


US working closely with Kurds to save Kobani, report says - Fox News


PYD not terrorist under US law: Washington - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Pentagon: Six more airstrikes near Kobani in support of Operation Inherent Resolve - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Huge Blasts Rock Kobani in Effort to Oust Islamic State - NBC News.com


The Administration Goes All In On Kobani - foreignpolicy.com


Pentagon: Kurds hold majority of Syria's Kobani town, Islamic State stalled - ekurd


VIDEO: John Kirby, Pentagon Full Press Briefing - DoDNEWS


TRANSCRIPT: Department of Defense Press Briefing by Admiral Kirby - Defense.gov


Islamic State video shows jihadis on patrol in Kobane as US warplanes circle overhead (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Daily Mail Online


Possible Islamic State Chemical Attack On Kurdish Civilians In Kobani - ibtimes.com


PHOTOS: Doctors release these photos about symptoms of a possible chemical attacks in Kobani - Kobane News ! on Twitter


Islamic State used chemical weapons in Kobane, says American fighting with Kurds in Syria (VIDEO) - UPI.com


AUDIO (Arabic): Dr Dara Mahmud on Claims of Chemical Attacks in Kobane - Kobane News ! on Twitter


Interview with the President of Syrian Kurdistan's Kobani Canton Anwer Muslim - ekurd


-----------------------------------------------------

Kurdish parliament approves the proposal to send its Peshmerga to support under-armed Kurdish fighters in Kobane - Rudaw


Kurdish presidency: Peshmerga to fight in Kobane “within days”, will be operating heavy weapons - Rudaw


Report: KRG to initially send 200 peshmerga fighters to KobanI - todayszaman.com


Syrian Kurdish parties are close to make deal: Salih Muslim - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Syria says giving military and logistic support to Kurds in Kobani, supplying ammunition and arms to the town - AFP


Syria claims it destroyed jets seized by Islamic State as they were landing at Jarrah airbase in the eastern countryside of Aleppo - AP


Syria air force strikes 200 times in 36 hours: monitor - Reuters


No Mercy: Islamic State, Father Stone to Death Daughter for Alleged Adultery in Hama, Syria - International Business Times


VIDEO: Islamic State, Father Stone Daughter to Death for Adultery in Hama - liveleak.com


Dutch and German Biker Gangs Arrive in Kobani to Fight Islamic State - breitbart.com


Internet sensation Syrian girl who posts her views on IS, al-Assad, and the US (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Meet Syria's answer to Kim Kardashian - Metro News


-----------------------------------------------

Erdoğan: I don’t understand why Kobani is so strategic for US, weapons airdrop is wrong because it was seized by Islamic State - todayszaman


Kurds Accuse Turkish Government of Supporting Islamic State - Reuters


Kurdish exiles of Kobani, Syria, doubt Turkey's promise of help - LA Times


VIDEO: Kurds' anger at Turkey as Kobane battle rages on - BBC News


PYD not on Turkey's terrorist list, report reveals - todayszaman.com


Turkey unveils stringent new anti-protest laws - Yahoo News


HRW says security bill would reverse reforms, should be rejected - todayszaman.com


TV reporter Serena Shim killed days after she claimed Turkish intelligence services had threatened her (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Iranian TV Says Death Of Journalist In Turkey Is 'Very Suspect' - huffingtonpost.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 20, 2014


US Airdrops Arms to Kurds in Syrian Town of Kobani - Foreign Policy


PYD Syrian Kurds say US discussed arms supplies in direct talks - Rudaw


US confirms sharing intelligence with Syrian Kurds against Islamic State - Kurdpress News Aganecy


US officials in contact with Syrian Kurds “for more than two years”: PYD spokesman - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Kobane's YPG Kurds confirm coordination between them and factions of the Free Syrian Army - Rudaw


Statement of YPG General Command on Kobani and fight against IS, affirming its coordination with factions of the Free Syrian Army - Mutlu Civiroglu


More on the FSA factions helping Kurds in fight against IS militants - Middle East Eye


We won't stop any one from defending Kobani: Salih Muslim - Kurdpress News Aganecy


FSA 1st Dawn Brigade says controls parts of Kobane in video (VIDEO) - Al Arabiya News


Fifteen-year-old boy taken captive with suspected jihadist 'shot in the head by FSA Revolutionaries of Raqqa Brigade fighting against Islamic State - The Independent


VIDEO: Here’s what's likely the child Islamic State fighter reportedly executed after being captured by the FSA faction in Kobane - Brown Moses on Twitter


--------------------------------------------------------

Islamic State incurs heavy losses in battle for Syrian border town Kobane - The National


Kurds: Four areas liberated from Islamic State gangs in Kobanê - ANF


VIDEO: Kurdish fighters 'recapture' parts of Kobani - YouTube


Dozens of Islamic State mortars, two car bombs pound Kobane - Al Jazeera America


There are still IS forces in Kobani: journalist tells Kurdpress - Kurdpress News Aganecy


VIDEO: This is allegedly a video that shows one of IS car bombs in security zone of Kobane today. Huge explosion - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


IS commits ‘fatal’ blunders in Kobane battle: Analyst - Al Arabiya News


My sources inside Kobane confirms: 5000 civilians are cut from food and water as we speak, caught in the middle between fighting factions - Mudar Zahran on Twitter


YPJ fighter: Aid corridor for Kobane civilians is essential - ANF


Islamic State Group Destroys Three Kobani’s Hospitals and All Ambulances - teleSUR


‘Even animals don’t do it’: Kobani siege survivors on Islamic State brutality (VIDEO) - RT News


Syrian Kurds found vile image of baby girl being 'beheaded' on phone taken from dead IS militants - ekurd


Syrian Kurdish female 'Lions' warriors terrorising Islamic State: The real story of Narin Afrini - ekurd


IS Attacks Kurdish Town of Serêkanîye - BAS NEWS


IS chief Baghdadi's video 'being reviewed' by U.S. intelligence (VIDEO, English Subtitles) - Al Arabiya News


---------------------------------------------------

Erdogan opposes transfer of US arms to Kurds fighting Islamic State, "PYD is for us equal to PKK. It is a terror organization" - CSMonitor.com


No way for change to Öcalan’s prison conditions: President Erdoğan - hurriyetdailynews


Islamic State foiled in attempt to kidnap FSA leader in Turkey, raising questions on Ankara’s readiness to stop jihadists in its soil - Telegraph


200,000 Syrian Kurds find a cold reception as they flee Kobani across border into Turkey - The Independent


Camp on the Turkish-Syrian Border Funded by Kurdistan for Kobane Refugees - Rudaw


VIDEO: Kurds say Turkey stops people returning to Kobane - CNN


YPG member Dilek remanded in Turkey before treatment completed - ANF


Second Democracy and Peace Conference begins in Turkey under the slogan “We salute the Kobanê resistance” - ANF


Senior AKP deputy slams Erdoğan, his party over Kurdish policies: BBC - hurriyetdailynews


Dropping of Dec. 17 probe draws widespread criticism - todayszaman.com


New government-drafted bill to further suppress dissidents - todayszaman.com


UK finally sanctions Qatari terror funder, 10 months after US - RT UK


Lebanon pulled into war with Islamic State - Al Arabiya News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 18, 2014

 

Kurds are repelling Islamic State attack on Kobani with help of US air strikes - The Independent


Kurds: Islamic State 'being driven out of Syria's Kobane’ - BBC News


VIDEO: Islamic State pushed back with help of U.S. airstrikes in Kobani - CNN.com


Rights Group: More Than 600 Killed on Both Sides in Fight for Kobani - VOA


Kobani fight an opportunity to blunt Islamic State, general says - CNN.com


VIDEO: Pentagon: Expanded airstrikes show desired effects against Islamic State - YouTube


VIDEO: Full Pentagon Briefing On Operation Inherent Resolve Against Islamic State - DoD News


Kobani key to US strategy against Islamic State - Yahoo News


Why The Fight Against IS In Kobani Matters - huffingtonpost.com


Islamic State Militants Have Been Flying 3 Captured Warplanes Over Syrian Airport, Witnesses Say - Reuters


The Islamic State operating fighter aircraft, fact or fiction? - Oryx Blog


VIDEO: Expert: decades-old warplanes stand almost no chance against the modern ones of the US-led coalition - Fox News


VIDEO: This video shows the jets captured at Jarrah airbase last November by Jaish al Islam now used by the Islamic State - Brown Moses on Twitter


Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula portrays US-led bombing campaign as 'Crusade' against Islam - The Long War Journal


Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula Statement: Solidarity with the Islamic State - Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi


Foreign Fighters Bring Their Kids To Join IS, But Moms Are Fighting Back - huffingtonpost.com


-------------------------------------------------------

In policy shift, U.S. opens direct talks with Syrian Kurds - McClatchy DC


VIDEO: State Department: U.S. holds first direct talks with Syrian Kurdish PYD party - Ohaber


Syrian Kurds Gain Importance In Campaign Against Islamic State - huffingtonpost.com


Syrian Kurdish official calls for antitank weapons for Kobani - The Boston Globe


Syrian Kurdish parties to reach an Agreement on Rojava, which will be a principle for governing jointly in Syrian Kurdistan - BAS NEWS


Interview with Ibrahim Biro, secretary-general of the Union Kurdish Party in Syria: Syrian Kurds seeking unity in face of ISIS threat - Rudaw


Kurdistan Parliament Wants KRG to Recognize Kurdish Syrian Cantons - BAS NEWS


Peshmerga train Syrian Kurd fighters in northern Iraq - Worldbulletin News


Peshmerga head speaks of struggle against IS - Al-Monitor


--------------------------------------------------------

Exclusive: Turkey OK’s American drones for reconnaissance to monitor Islamic State, but does not allows the use of manned aircraft - Daily Beast


Air strikes against Islamic State in Kobani are just a PR exercise, Turkey says - National Post


Turkey will not allow its citizens to fight in Kobane: PM Davutoğlu - hurriyetdailynews


Ankara outlines border of possible ‘safe zone’ inside Syria (MAP) - yenisafak.com


Islamist Terrorists Are Quiet Neighbor for Turkey 20 Miles From Kobani - Bloomberg


Kurdish militants warn of “violent conflict” if Turkish police given more powers - Rudaw


Turkey, Qatar Complicate Operation Against IS: Special Report - Fox News Channel


UNSC failure a strong message to Turkey on its faulty foreign policy - todayszaman.com


Turkey's massive corruption case dropped by prosecutor - hurriyetdailynews


HSYK inspector requests prosecutor Akkaş be barred from profession, He carried out an investigation into the corruption scandal - todayszaman

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

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