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Bombing Yemenis? You bet. Fighting IS in Iraq? Not so fast
Washington: To be sure, there’s a lot of suffering in Yemen. Since March 19, the World Health Organisation estimates that more than 600 Yemenis have been killed and more than 2000 injured. The longer-term conflict since 2011 has seen more than 250,000 Yemenis leave the country and more than 330,000 internally displaced.
Yet this war is still what Americans like to call a teachable moment – think of it as an opportunity to learn the difference between window dressing and true grit in the Middle East.
Exhibit A: A murderous insurgency runs amok in Syria and Iraq, committing unspeakable acts of violence – beheadings, mass executions and the sexual enslavement of women. It makes a third of each country its “caliphate” and declares that it will expand its borders. The so-called Islamic State is the biggest threat to the region since its borders were redrawn by Britain and France during and after World War I.
Exhibit B: In the chaos of Yemen, which is squeezed against the region’s southern rim by the weight of Saudi Arabia, an insurgency led by a militant group known as the Houthis has taken the capital Sanaa and is marching on the southern port city of Aden.
How does the region respond?
on this page :
Yemeni militiamen say captured two Iranian officers in Aden
Local militiamen in the Yemeni city of Aden said they captured two Iranian military officers advising Houthi rebels during fighting on Friday evening.
Tehran has denied providing military support for Houthi fighters, whose advances have drawn air strikes by a regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic’s main rival for influence in the Gulf.
If confirmed, the presence of two Iranian officers, who the local militiamen said were from an elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, would further worsen relations between Tehran and Riyadh who are vying for dominance in the region.
Three sources in the southern port city’s anti-Houthi militias said the Iranians, identified as a colonel and a captain, were seized in two separate districts that have been rocked by heavy gun battles.
“The initial investigation revealed that they are from the Quds Force and are working as advisors to the Houthi militia,” one of the sources told Reuters.
“They have been put in a safe place and we will turn them over to (the Saudi-led coalition) Decisive Storm to deal with them.”
Saudi-led air strikes, entering their third week, hit Houthi and military targets throughout the country on Saturday, pounding government buildings and a presidential palace used by the group’s leaders in the Red Sea port city of Hodaida.
Ground combat between armed factions battered southern Yemen, killing around 20 Houthi fighters and two rival militiamen, residents and militia fighters said.
Muslim Brotherhood death sentences confirmed in Egypt
Kenya orders U.N. to move massive Somali refugee camp after attack
NAIROBI, April 11 (Reuters) – Kenya said on Saturday it had given the United Nations three months to move a massive refugee camp mostly used by Somalis over the border into Somalia, after militants from that country killed 148 people in a Kenyan university.
Kenyan authorities have in the past accused Islamist militants from Somalia of hiding out in Dadaab camp.
The Kenyan government has come under increasing pressure to do more to secure its citizens after a series of attacks claimed by Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab.
Turkey sends extra troops, aerial support to fight Kurdish militants
Turkey sent extra troops, reconnaissance planes and helicopter into its eastern Agri province on Saturday after four soldiers were wounded in a clash with Kurdish insurgents that started during the night, the military said.
Ankara and the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which wants greater Kurdish autonomy, agreed a ceasefire two years ago but the fragile peace process has faltered ahead of Turkey’s parliamentary elections in June.
No one from the PKK was immediately available for comment.
The fighting was still going on in Agri’s Diyadin district near the Iranian border, the military said on its website.
“Terrorists with rifles opened fire on our forces, who immediately returned fire,” it said.
“We have sent reconnaissance planes, armed helicopters and additional ground troops to the region and the clash is still on-going.”
Last month Turkish forces exchanged fire with Kurdish rebels in the southeast, the Turkish military said, just days after jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan said the group’s 30-year insurgency had become “unsustainable”.
About 40,000 people have died in the insurgency.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has invested significant political capital in the Kurdish peace process that started in 2012 and his authority, to some extent, is linked to its success.
A sweeping majority in June for the AK Party he founded would allow it to change the constitution and give Erdogan the broader presidential power he seeks.
IS video – Kirkuk – Iraq – ( graphic )
Bill Maher’s epic new anti-religion critique: “People say ISIS hijacked Islam. Actually the opposite is true”
Bill Maher took direct aim at religion on “Real Time” on Friday night, connecting Indiana’s religious freedom law, a horrible anti-gay California ballot initiative and ISIS in one epic piece.
AUSTRALIA – ‘This doesn’t encourage integration, this encourages separateness’: Local council slammed for asking non-Muslim women to wear hijabs to raise awareness and combat Islamophobia
Council asks non-Muslim women to wear hijab to promote understanding
‘Social experiment’ planned by Greater Dandenong council in Victoria
Critics say it will only create further division and ‘encourage separateness’
Controversy comes after ugly protests at anti-Islamic protests last week
COPENHAGEN – DENMARK – 10-year-old boy attempted raped in Copenhagen’s new Mega Mosque
Stop! cried the big brother of a 10-year-old boy who had been dragged into a toilet in the new mega mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark, where a 47-year-old Muslim man apparently was in the process of raping the boy.
The Big brother’s cries and knocks on the door was, according to the indictment which Ekstra Bladet has gained access to, the reason why the 47-year-old gave up the attempted rape.
He pushed the 10-year-old boy out of the toilet and locked the door again. Shortly after, the 47-year-old arrested.
The 47-year-old is now charged with attempted rape or other sexual assault and on Tuesday he met for the Copenhagen City Court, where he might not be sentenced to prison because of his mental state.
He is currently in custody at a psychiatric ward.
According to the indictment, the attempted rape took place on December 27 last year in the new mega mosque, also called Hamad Bin Khalifa Civilisation Centre in Copenhagen.
The 47-year-old told the boy that he could try to drive the truck, then grabbed the boy’s arm and led him to the bathroom, where he locked the door.
There he exposed the boy to an assault, although the boy said ‘No’ and ‘Don’t’, and shortly after the child’s brother cried up and knocked on the door.
Prosecutors will during the trial claim that the boy is entitled to a compensation.
I’d say the would-be rapist should be “compensated” but good!
They should have never removed rape from the capital crime list.
Yemeni militiamen say captured two Iranian officers in Aden
IS video – Iraq – Pious muslims destroying archaeological artifacts
Descendants of Ishmael following Grandpa Abraham’s example. Over-enthusiastic.
The video is from today but it happened at the beginning of March
IS ‘bulldozed’ ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud –
on the Daily Mail – March 06 2015 :
what's a month this way or that?
They should make the deliberate destruction of historical sites crimes against humanity.
Libya: Italian Coastguard pick up 1,000 migrants from Libyan waters
WASHINGTON DC -Capitol on lockdown after shots fired
The U.S. Capitol Building is on lockdown after shots were fired on the West Front of the building, US Capitol Police said.
The suspected shooter has been neutralized. The building has been locked down as a precautionary measure, according to officials.
The building and the Capitol visitor center were both locked down by US Capitol Police due to a potential security threat, officials added. At this time nobody is allowed to enter or exit the Capitol or the visitors center.
Authorities are also investigating a suspicious package on the lower west terrace of the Capitol in connection with this incident.
The following roads are currently closed: First St. between Independence Ave, SW and Constitution Ave, NW
US Capitol Police are investigating this incident.
U.S. Capitol on Lockdown After Reported Suicide
Police Also Investgating Suspicious Package at Capitol
The U.S. Capitol and the Capitol Visitors Center is on lockdown amid police activity on the scene, according to the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Office.
Related to this incident, the U.S. Capitol Police are continuing to investigate the suspicious package on the lower West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol Building. They said the suspected shooter has been neutralized, but the U.S. Capitol Building has been locked down as a precautionary measure.
Man Shoots Himself Near U.S. Capitol; Suspicious Package Investigated
A man shot himelf near the U.S. Capitol Building today, poilice said, prompting the building to be put on lockdown and staff told to shelter in place.
The man shot himself near the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building today, according to police.
The man was wearing a blue backpack and had a sign taped to his hand, and there was also a suitcase nearby.
Bomb technicians were preparing to approach soon the suitcase to check its contents.
Although the man shot himself, the Capitol was locked down as a precautionary measure, Sgt. Kimberly Schneider of the U.S. Capitol police said.
Bangladesh Executes Islamist Party Official for War Crimes (abcnews, Apr 11, 2015)
“Authorities in Bangladesh on Saturday executed a senior Islamist party official convicted of crimes against humanity during the country’s 1971 independence war against Pakistan, two officials and TV stations said.
One prison official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, told The Associated Press that Mohammad Qamaruzzaman was put to death by hanging Saturday night inside the central jail in the capital, Dhaka.
A police official who was present during the execution inside the jail confirmed that Qamaruzzman was hanged.
There was no official announcement regarding carrying out the sentence against Qamaruzzman.
Popular channel, Somoy TV, reported that Qamaruzzman was hanged after performing all legal and religious procedures. Channel 24 said Qamaruzzman’s body would be taken for burial to his ancestral home in the Sherpur district in central Bangladesh.
Prosecutors say Qamaruzzaman, an assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, headed a militia group that collaborated with the Pakistani army in central Bangladesh in 1971 and was behind the killings of at least 120 unarmed farmers….”
UN to Help Guantanamo Refugees With Houses in Uruguay (abcnews, Apr 11, 2015)
“Uruguay’s president says the U.N. refugee agency will help six former Guantanamo prisoners obtain housing in his country.
President Tabare Vazquez told reporters at the Summit of the Americas in Panama that each of the six will soon have a home, thanks to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
The six freed prisoners have struggled to adapt to life in Uruguay since arriving in December following years of captivity at Guantanamo. They have not gotten work and are getting by on about $600 a month provided by a non-governmental organization.”
Turkish state TV bans opposition advert (BBC, Apr 11, 2015)
“Turkey’s state television has banned the main opposition party’s election campaign advert because it directly targets the government.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) accused broadcaster TRT of “abusing public office” and vowed to take legal action.
It has previously protested at TRT “bias” towards President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The election will take place on 7 June.
In a statement on the CHP website (in Turkish), deputy leader Bulent Tezcan said: “By taking the decision not the broadcast the advertisement, TRT has created a new scandal.
“The main purpose of state-funded television in all democratic countries is fairness of broadcasting. TRT’s direction are committing the crime of abuse of public office,” he added.
Mr Tezcan also reminded the broadcaster that it is “owned by the public”.
TRT has so far declined to comment….”
Militants in motorcycles open fire on Pakistani labor camp, killing 20 (CNN, Apr 11, 2015)
“Armed militants on motorcycles opened fire at a labor camp in southwest Pakistan early Saturday, killing 20 workers, authorities said.
The gunmen targeted workers who were building a bridge in Turbat in Balochistan province, said Imran Qureshi, a local police officer.
They sped away after the attack, which left three other workers injured.
“It was an act of targeted killing,” Qureshi said.
The workers belonged to Pakistan’s Sindh province.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. In the past, Baloch separatists have targeted area security forces and laborers.”
Islamic State group planned kidnappings, an execution and attacks on Jewish shops and public buildings in Spain.
The jihadist cell broken up by police in Catalonia on Wednesday was planning to kidnap someone in Spain, dress them in an orange suit of the type used by Islamic State for its executions, and make a video recording of their “interrogation” before slitting their throat.
S O R R Y !
I put a whole bunch of links in the wrong place. They’re meant to be here.
How’s this for islamonausea:
Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia sees first Koran reading in 85 years
Former church and mosque-turned-museum debuts exhibit on Muhammad, raising concern among secular activists it will be repurposed as house of worship
Its bad, this one is enough to get everyone grabbing a barf bag.
Hezbollah Backing Houthi Rebels in Yemen, According to Reports
Increasingly open Iranian footprint in Yemen, as Hezbollah fighters reportedly operating alongside Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
This is the area and possibly fight that will determine if nuclear weapons will be used in this conflict, personally I think it is a given that Iran is going to use them in the future, posssibly the near future.
Not nukes quite yet, though they don’t need nukes against Israel.
My guess is they’d hit the Saudis before Israel. They’ll tie Israel up via Hamas and Hezbollah, then go for the KSA.
They don’t need the nukes against KSA unless they are trying to physically destroy a couple of cities quickly to fulfill their end times prophecies.
They don’t need nukes against Israel unless the US has a leader that will support Israel. In that case they need nukes on both Israel and the US. And Obama is working to see that the US has very little missile defense.
Thoughts Best Left Unsaid
I don’t understand, but there’s this:
Sweden To Join Coalition Against Islamic State
They are sending a small number of troops to keep the other members of the EU semi happy.
They so adore themselves, do they need approbation from lesser mortals?
Possibly, either that or from Æsir and the Vanir.
I looked them up.
Aesir, Odin, Thor, and Balder.
Figures. Not my kind of gods, anyway.
UAE condemns Pakistan’s vote on Yemen
Dubai — The UAE on Friday strongly condemned a Pakistani decision to stay out of the conflict in Yemen, rejecting Saudi demands for Islamabad to join its military coalition against Houthi rebels.
“The Arabian Gulf is in a dangerous confrontation, its strategic security is on the edge, and the moment of truth distinguishes between the real ally and the ally of media and statements,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash tweeted after a unanimous resolution passed by a special session of Pakistan’s parliament.
The resolution, however, backed the government’s commitment to protect Saudi Arabia’s territory, which has so far not been threatened by the conflict.
Gargash said Pakistan is required to show a clear stand in favour of its strategic relations with the six-nation Arab Gulf cooperation Council, as contradictory and ambiguous views on this serious matter will have a heavy price to pay.
“This is nothing but another chapter of laggard impartial stand,” Gargash said, criticising identical views held by Turkey and Iran about the armed conflict in Yemen, as affirmed by the Turkish foreign minister, who had said a political way out of the crisis is the responsibility of Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Tehran seems to be more important to Islamabad and Ankara than the Gulf countries, Gargash added. “Though our economic and investment assets are inevitable, political support is missing at critical moments,” Gargash said.
“The vague and contradictory stands of Pakistan and Turkey are an absolute proof that Arab security — from Libya to Yemen — is the responsibility of none but Arab countries, and the crisis is a real test for neighbouring countries.”
The Pakistan parliament resolution turned down long-standing ally Riyadh’s request for troops, ships and warplanes, saying: “Pakistan should play a mediating role and not get involved in fighting in Yemen.”
“Parliament of Pakistan…underscores the need for continued efforts by the government of Pakistan to find a peaceful resolution of the crisis,” the resolution said.
“(Parliament) desires that Pakistan should maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis.”
Saudi Mufti calls for youth conscription
Riyadh — The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al Shaikh, who is also chairman of the senior scholars authority has called for military conscription of youth.
Shaikh Abdul Aziz said: “We must prepare our youth properly to become a shield for us in the holy war against the enemies of religion and the nation.”
In his Friday sermon at Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh, he said: “We should well look after our youth and prepare them for enlistment, which will enable them dis-charge their duties effectively.”
“This step is important for our youth towards their religion and for protecting their homeland,” he said, adding that the nation should always be prepared to face enemies.
“We are leading a secure life, a boon that others envied us for,” Shaikh Abdul Aziz said and added that while we should be thankful to Allah for this mercy, our nation should remain alert to defend the religion and country through compulsory military training.
“We should be careful and cautious of the enemies who want to spoil our religion, morals and economy, as well as destroying our unity”, he said, adding that to face such chal-lenges, “we must prepare our youth militarily, intellectually and educationally”.