Reader links for Tuesday April 14 – 2015

This post has all its contents in the comments. For the newest freshest videos and news stories of interest to the Counter-Jihad and the Geopolitics of Islam, please click comments and add to, or read what is posted there.

Some will be integrated into the day’s posts and others not. But this way we can keep a great news flow going without interfering with the conversations about the issues under the various essays and news items in the posts that will be presented throughout the day.

Thank you all for your informative and important contributions.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

66 Replies to “Reader links for Tuesday April 14 – 2015”

  1. As always, this looks promising! 😉

    Islamic State conflict: Iraq PM to seek weapons on US visit (BBC, Apr 13, 2015)

    “Iraq’s prime minister is leaving for Washington for talks with US President Barrack Obama, whom he is expected to ask for substantial weapons deliveries.

    Haider al-Abadi will also seek to agree a strategy for dislodging Islamic State (IS) militants from the large parts of the country which they still control.

    Last week, Mr Abadi launched a campaign to drive them out of Iraq’s biggest province, Anbar, west of Baghdad.

    IS responded with a renewed onslaught on the provincial capital, Ramadi.

    The US-led coalition carried out air strikes on IS positions on Sunday in an attempt to halt the assault, inflicting heavy damage on large military units, officials said.

    Tanks and other armoured vehicles were also hit near the northern IS-held city of Mosul and Iraq’s main oil refinery at Baiji, which is also under attack….”

  2. Iran suspends Saudi pilgrimage flights over ‘assaults’ (BBC, Apr 13, 2015)

    “Iran has suspended flights for pilgrims to Saudi Arabia after the alleged sexual assaults of two Iranian boys.

    Culture Minister Ali Jannati said flights would only resume once those responsible had been punished.

    The teenagers allege that before returning to Tehran from the Umra, or lesser Islamic pilgrimage, in March they were abused by security officials at Jeddah airport.

    The move is likely to deepen tensions between the two regional powers.

    They are currently at odds over the conflict in Yemen, where a coalition led by Sunni Muslim-ruled Saudi Arabia is carrying out air strikes on Shia Houthi rebels, which the US says are receiving military assistance from Iran. Iran and the Houthis deny this.

    On Saturday, hundreds of people protested outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran and demanded that the Iranian government “end the unnecessary Umra”.

    On Monday, Mr Jannati told state television: “I have ordered the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organisation to suspend the Umra until the criminals are tried and punished.”

    “Considering what has happened, Iranians’ dignity has been damaged and a public demand has formed,” he added.

    The minister said Saudi officials had “promised to punish the persons in custody”.

    “They even asserted that they would execute them, but nothing has been done in reality so far.”

    Each year about 500,000 Iranians undertake the Umra, an optional pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time of the year other than during the main pilgrimage, or Hajj.

    Although the Umra includes some of the rituals of the Hajj, which every sane adult Muslim must undertake at least once in their lives if they can afford it and are physically able, they are shortened and there are fewer of them.”

    • It’ll be a complication, that much we’ll concede.
      But that’s just when things start getting interesting for guys on our side.

      S-300 will not prevent potential Israeli strike on Iran

      Analysis: Should Russia give Iran the advanced missile defense system it will undoubtedly effect the possibility of a military strike – but Israel’s air force is well trained in the system’s ins-and-outs.,7340,L-4646802,00.html

      • Uncle Vlad and POTUS may be on the same page this time!

        I found this description of the S-300 helpful:

        It can track aircraft, cruise or ballistic missiles at a distance of 300 km (185 miles). It can engage up to six targets at the same time. Its mobile launchers can traverse unimproved roads and launch within five minutes of stopping. The capabilities of the S-300 system would make an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities much more difficult — and possibly costly in lives and aircraft.

        So it seems that the ‘agreement’ which is not an agreement that the Obama Administration has negotiated with Iran on behalf of the P5+1 will not only fail to significantly impede Iran’s development activity, allow it to ignore the several Security Council resolutions against it for violating the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty that it signed, and provide sanctions relief, but has also served as an excuse for Putin to make a few bucks while destabilizing the region.

        You may be asking “but aren’t there sanctions against arms sales to Iran that haven’t been lifted yet?” Unfortunately, back in 2010 when UN sanctions were applied, the Obama admin cut a deal with Russia in order to gain its support. The deal lifts sanctions previously applied to various Russian suppliers of arms and material for nuclear and missile development, and includes a “loophole” that specifically exempts the S-300 purchase from the Iran sanctions. In return Russia promised to voluntarily suspend the delivery of the S-300s, which were originally ordered in 2005.

        It is reasonable to assume that if Israel is planning to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, it would prefer to do so before the S-300 systems become operational.

        Combined with the probability that the non-agreement agreement will quickly clear the path for Iran to become a nuclear weapons state, this development makes it more likely that Israel will take action sooner rather than later.
        =>CAUTION<= Lots of blinking junk + cache-crap at the link. "Putin & Obama destabilize Mideast" by Vic Rosenthall,

  3. Turkey launches construction of first nuclear power plant

    Turkey on Tuesday launched the construction of its first nuclear power plant, a controversial $20 billion project slammed by ecologists which Ankara hopes will begin a new era of greater energy self-sufficiency.

    The nuclear power station, in Akkuyu in Mersin province on the shores of the Mediterranean is being built, like Iran’s first nuclear power plant, by Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom.

    “Development cannot happen in a country without nuclear energy,” said Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz at a ceremony attended by the head of Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko and other top officials.

    It is the first of three nuclear power plants Turkey currently plans to build to reduce its dependence on importing energy from exporters like Russia and Iran.

    A second plant is due to be built by a French-Japanese consortium in the Black Sea city of Sinop while a third plant whose location is yet to be finalised is also planned.

    “If we had built this power station 10 years ago, we would have saved $14 billion in natural gas purchases,” said Yildiz.

    Yildiz and Kiriyenko were to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the power station, which is expected to be completed by 2020 and will have four power units with a capacity of 1200 MW each.

    The Turkish authorities have swatted away concerns that the Akkuyu facility lies in a seismic zone, saying it can resist quakes registering up to nine on the Richter scale.

    However the Akkuyu plant has become a bete noire for environmentalists who have raised alarm about safety issues and the building of the power station in an area rich in wildlife.

    Environmental campaign group Greenpeace in January lodged a complaint in court against the awarding of an environmental impact licence to the plant and says it should not be built.

    “Turkey is not ready to build nuclear reactors — the country is still missing the key pieces of necessary legislation,” Jan Beranek, the director of Greenpeace Mediterranean, told AFP, saying that the seismic assessment had been “totally inadequate”.

    The launch of the power plant comes two weeks after Turkey suffered its most serious nationwide power cut in 16 years which exposed the shortcomings of its energy system.

    The project is strongly backed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of his plan to make Turkey one of the world’s top ten economies.

  4. EGYPT – Western criticism of death sentences is ‘flagrant interference’ in Egypt: Foreign ministry

    Egypt’s foreign ministry has defended a recent rash of death sentences against Islamists accused of violence, slamming western condemnation of the rulings as “flagrant interference” in its judicial system.

    In the latest of a series of mass death sentences, a court on Saturday confirmed death sentences for the spiritual leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, Mohamed Badie, Muslim Brotherhood member and journalist Hani Salah and 12 others over violence-related charges. Dozens of others were given life terms, including an Egyptian-American, Mohamed Soltan, who was convicted of supporting the Islamist group and transmitting false news.

    New-York based Human Rights Watch condemned the sentences as “politically motivated” and “blatantly unjust,” while the White House called for the immediate release of 27-year-old Soltan, a dual national.

    On Tuesday, Egypt’s foreign ministry snapped back, condemning countries that “deliberately distort truths and mischaracterise things, overlooking the fact that such verdicts are issued by completely independent judicial bodies that are trusted by the masses of Egyptian people.”

    In a statement it called on states which it said “install themselves as sponsor[s] of the human rights situation in the world” to focus efforts on giving attention to the conditions of their people and confronting racism directed against particular groups.

    The men sentenced earlier this week were among thousands of people detained following the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 as part of a sweeping crackdown on his supporters and allies.

    The government has banned the Brotherhood, designating it a terrorist organisation, but the group has said it is committed to peaceful activism.

    The rulings can be appealed before the Court of Cassation, the country’s highest judicial authority which has overturned dozens of previous death sentences against Islamists.

  5. Erdo?an warns Pope Francis not to repeat ‘mistake’ about Armenian claims

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has condemned Pope Francis, warning him to not repeat the “mistake” of describing the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians as “genocide.”

    “Whenever politicians, religious functionaries assume the duties of historians, then delirium comes out, not fact. Hereby, I want to repeat our call to establish a joint commission of historians and stress we are ready to open our archives. I want to warn the pope to not repeat this mistake and condemn him,” Erdo?an said at a meeting of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (T?M) on April 14.

    Erdo?an said he greatly regretted the pontiff’s weekend remarks in which the leader of the world’s Catholics referred to the killings of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as “the first genocide of the 20th century.”

    “In the past century our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies,” the pope said. “The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your own Armenian people,” he said in the presence of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

    Recalling the pope’s visit to Turkey in 2014, the president said he thought the pope was “a different politician.” “I don’t say a religious functionary,” he added.

    “His remarks display the appearance of a mentality different to that of a religious functionary,” Erdo?an said. “I won’t let historical events be brought out of their own course and turned into a campaign against our country and nation.”

    The pope made the pronouncement during a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica commemorating the centenary that was attended by Armenian church leaders and Sargsyan. Francis said it was his duty to honor the memory of the innocent men, women and children who were “senselessly” murdered by Ottoman Turks.

    On April 13 the European Union urged Turkey and Armenia to normalize ties.

    EU foreign affairs spokesperson Maja Kocijancic said the EU was encouraging the countries “to consider additional, meaningful steps that would pave the way toward full reconciliation.”

    Armenia says up to 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians were killed in a genocide starting in 1915. Turkey denies that the deaths amounted to genocide, saying the death toll of Armenians killed during mass deportations has been inflated and that those killed in 1915 and 1916 were victims of general unrest during World War I.

      • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “condemned” Pope Francis for using the word “genocide” to describe the events surrounding 1915 in the former Ottoman Empire and urged him “not to commit the same mistake again,” during an address at a Turkish Exporters’ Assembly meeting in Ankara on Tuesday.

  6. UN rejects Pope’s Armenian ‘genocide’ definition

    UN spokesman: Ban deems the 1915 Armenia genocide as an ‘atrocity crime’ and a ‘tragic event’

    United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deems the 1915 Armenia genocide as an “atrocity crime” and does not follow Pope Francis’s labeling of the incidents as “the first genocide of the 20th century.”

    Dujarric said the UN general secretary described the incidents as “tragic events” and “atrocity crimes” refraining from taking sides in such a sensitive matter that has been politicized.

    He also added that Ban believes that the commemoration and continuing cooperation between Armenians and Turks “with a view to establishing the facts about what happened should strengthen our collective determination to prevent similar atrocity crimes from ever happening in the future.”
    UN Chief Doesn’t Support Pope’s Comments on Armenian Genocide

  7. Three-year-old girl found wandering streets alone had been kidnapped from her home then DUMPED in a trash can by her father, officials say

    Faiz Ikramulla, 35, was charged on Thursday with aggravated kidnapping
    He allegedly dumped daughter Aliya, 3, in a trash can in a forest in Prospect Heights, Illinois
    His wife had just reported the girl missing when she was found
    Passer-by found her wandering the streets crying and waving her hands
    Authorities say Ilkramulla was trying to hide her
    He was arrested in Van Buren County, Michigan

    […]In May 2014 he was arrested the Wisconsin man was arrested in Portage, accused of violently attacking police officers during a traffic stop and shouting God is great in Arabic.
    Father of girl found wandering near forest preserve may have left her in garbage can: DCFS

  8. Al Qaeda Group Says Top Cleric Killed in Yemen (abcnews, Apr 14, 2015)

    ” Al Qaeda’s most lethal branch said today that its top cleric, a man with a $5 million American bounty on his head, has been killed in Yemen, as the Arab nation falls deeper into chaos.

    The group said in a statement posted online that former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, also spelled al-Rubaish, was killed in a “crusader strike” over the weekend “after he spent almost two decades carrying out jihad against America and its agents.” The statement did not say who exactly AQAP believed carried out the purported strike.

    The U.S. has killed a number of high ranking AQAP leaders in recent years through targeted drone strikes, as part of its sustained counter-terrorism operations in the area. U.S. officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this report. …”

  9. German Minister: Too Early to Reward Iran Over Nuclear Talks (abcnews, Apr 14, 2015)

    “Germany’s foreign minister said Tuesday it’s too early to reward Iran for a preliminary agreement on its nuclear program, criticizing Russia’s decision to lift a ban on delivery of an air defense missile system.

    Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke to reporters shortly before welcoming his counterparts from the Group of Seven powers to a meeting in the northern German city of Luebeck.

    Asked about the Russian decision, Steinmeier said negotiators were still “in the middle of a process” of trying for a final deal with Iran.

    “It is too early to offer rewards,” he said.

    Steinmeier also urged U.S. senators not to obstruct further talks, saying he hoped that the “constructive” spirit which helped broker a preliminary deal would prevail. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s arrival in Luebeck was delayed by a day as he met with lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday to press for time to reach a robust final deal with Iran….”

  10. Attacks Kill 28 Civilians in and Around Baghdad (abcnews, Apr 14, 2015)

    “A wave of attacks in and around Baghdad on Tuesday killed at least 28 people as Iraqi security forces repelled an attack by the extremist Islamic State group on the country’s largest oil refinery, officials said.

    The attacks came as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with President Barack Obama in Washington and appealed for greater support from the U.S.-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against IS militants who captured a third of both Iraq and neighboring Syria in a blitz last year.

    Obama pledged $200 million in U.S. humanitarian aid to Iraq to help those displaced by Islamic State attacks — an offer of assistance that appeared to fall short of the Iraqi prime minister’s request for greater military support.

    The Islamic State group and other Sunni extremists carry out near-daily attacks targeting Iraq’s security forces and the country’s Shiite majority.

    The deadliest of Tuesday’s attacks came at night, when a car bomb explosion at a commercial street killed eight people, including two women, and wounded 21 in eastern Baghdad, police said.

    Earlier in the day, seven people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a commercial area in the town of Mahmoudiyah, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, a police officer said. The car was parked in a mainly Shiite section of the town near a bakery and went off as people were standing in line to buy bread.

    Thirteen civilians were wounded in that attack, the officer said.

    In the afternoon, two car bombs went off simultaneously in Baghdad’s southeastern outskirts, in al-Wihda area, killing six civilians and wounding 13, another police officer said. One of the cars was parked in a commercial area while the second was in a nearby parking lot.

    Another car bomb exploded in a parking lot outside Baghdad’s Yarmouk hospital on Tuesday morning, killing four civilians and wounding 10, police said. Three more civilians were killed and eight wounded when a bomb ripped through an outdoor market in Baghdad’s northern Sabi al-Bor area, police added.

    Medical officials in nearby hospitals confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information.

    The bombings came a day after attacks in and around Baghdad killed at least 15 civilians.

    Also Tuesday, the deputy governor of the northern Salahuddin province said IS militants had used suicide armored car bombs to try to break into the Beiji refinery over the past two days. Ammar Hikmat said security forces repelled the attacks and remain in control of the facility. He said more than 20 militants were killed during the clashes and that several security forces were killed or wounded, without elaborating….”

  11. AP Interview: Libya Army Chief Bets on Military Solution (abcnews, Apr 14, 2015)

    “The military chief of Libya’s internationally recognized government says in an interview that he is “betting on a military solution” if U.N.-led talks fail to end a conflict that has split the country in half.

    The internationally recognized government and elected parliament have been confined to the east of Libya since Islamist-allied militias seized the capital Tripoli last year and set up a rival government.

    The two sides are negotiating in Morocco to end months of fighting. The United Nations wants to keep Libya’s elected parliament and set up a unity government led by independents.

    Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who commands troops in the east, expressed skepticism Tuesday about the U.N. efforts.

    He told The Associated Press that if there is no political solution, “we are betting on the military solution.””

  12. UN Gives Iran Leadership Post in Agency for ‘Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women’ /b>

    With little fanfare, a U.N. body has given Iran seats on several entities, including one dealing with women’s empowerment, another with children, a third with narcotics and a fourth with crime prevention and criminal justice.

    From January 1 next year, Iran will be a member of the executive board of the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (U.N. Women), the executive board of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, and Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

    U.S. taxpayers account for 22 percent of the U.N.’s regular operating budget, plus millions of additional dollars to individual U.N. agencies. The State Department’s fiscal year 2016 request includes $7.7 million for U.N. Women and $132 million for UNICEF.

    The decisions were made between Wednesday and Friday last week, at sessions of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a 54-member U.N. organ that coordinates socio-economic and related affairs.

    Iran each time was on a “closed slate” of candidates put forward by its regional group, Asia. The contentious U.N. practice, which entails submitting the same number of candidates as there are vacancies available, effectively rules out any contest.

    Closed slates have enabled repressive regimes to take up leadership posts across the U.N. system. Unless objections are raised, there is no actual vote, and the regionally-endorsed candidates are instead given the nod “by acclamation.”

    Arguably the most controversial of the ECOSOC decisions was the one giving Iran a seat on the executive board of U.N. Women for a three-year term.

    In that instance the United States did object, calling for a secret vote ballot for the five vacant seats open to the Asia group.

    video on the page :

  13. Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg: Junge stirbt nach Messerattacke in der Schule (RTL, Apr 14, 2015)

    “Vor den Augen entsetzter Mitschüler hat ein 17-Jähriger in einer Schule in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg einen gleichaltrigen Jugendlichen im Klassenzimmer erstochen. Das Opfer erlag noch am Tatort seinen Verletzungen, wie die Polizei mitteilte. Der mutmaßliche Angreifer wurde festgenommen, die Tatwaffe beschlagnahmt. Eine Schülerin erlitt einen Schock und kam in ein Krankenhaus. Warum der 17-Jährige ein Messer mit in die Schule nahm, ist unklar. Die Mordkommission ermittelt.

    Nach allem, was die Polizei bisher weiß, ging das spätere Opfer in einer Pause in den Klassenraum des Tatverdächtigen – um mit ihm zu reden. Bei dem Gespräch soll der 17-Jährige seinen gleichaltrigen Mitschüler dann unvermittelt mit einem Küchenmesser niedergestochen haben. Worüber sich die beiden unterhielten, ist noch unklar. “Hinweise auf das Motiv liegen derzeit noch nicht vor”, sagte ein Polizeisprecher…..

    Der Verdächtige ist ebenfalls Schüler und absolviert in einer Parallelklasse einen zweijährigen Deutsch-Vorbereitungskurs, der auf den Unterricht in der Stadtteilschule vorbereiten soll. Er kennt sein Opfer aus der Schule, beide waren Flüchtlinge.

    Die Nelson-Mandela-Schule besuchen 1.000 Schüler aus mehr als 50 Nationen. Auf dem Gelände der benachbarten Grundschule wurden Klassenzimmer in Containern eingerichtet. Hier gehen Jugendliche zu Deutsch-Vorbereitungskursen. In einem dieser Kurse kam es zu der tödlichen Attacke.”

    Summary in one sentence: knife attacker kills another “student” in a preparatory school for refugees somewhere in Hamburg, Northern Germany.

  14. Toronto man who nearly decapitated wife appeals conviction

    The case of Peer Mohammad Khairi will be heard by Ontario’s highest court Wednesday, where his lawyer is expected to ask that a new trial be ordered for the father of six.

    An Afghan immigrant found guilty of second-degree murder after nearly decapitating his wife is appealing his conviction, arguing the judge who presided over his trial made several errors.

    The case of Peer Mohammad Khairi will be heard by Ontario’s highest court Wednesday, where his lawyer is expected to ask that a new trial be ordered for the father of six.

    “The appellant respectfully requests that the conviction be set aside,” lawyer Richard Litkowski wrote in a factum submitted to the Court of Appeal.

    If a fresh trial can’t be ordered, Khairi’s lawyer is asking that the man’s period of parole ineligibility — currently set at 15 years after he was sentenced to life in prison — be lowered to 10 or 11 years.

    A jury deliberated for three days in 2012 before finding Khairi guilty of second-degree murder in the March 2008 death of his wife.

    His lawyer now argues the trial judge erred by not declaring a mistrial after what was allegedly an “improper” opening statement from Crown prosecutors, whose effect was allegedly to prevent Khairi from receiving a fair trial. The prosecution’s closing address was inflammatory, Khairi’s lawyer argued.

    The trial judge then made errors in instructions to the jury on the evidence of a psychiatrist, the issue of the statutory defence of provocation and the jury’s ability to accept “some, none or all” of Khairi’s evidence, Litkowski claimed.

    The Crown is arguing that the appeal should be dismissed.

    There were two issues at trial, Khairi’s lawyer said — whether Khairi had the requisite intent for murder, as opposed to manslaughter, and whether he committed a crime in the heat of passion caused by a sudden provocation.

    Khairi, who was born in Afghanistan, immigrated to Canada with his wife and their six children in 2003 after having spent the previous 15 years in India.

    They settled in Toronto but due to their limited education and inability to speak English, neither of them could find work, Khairi’s appeal factum notes.

    In 2006, the family had financial troubles and the relationship between Khairi and his wife became strained, the document said.

    “His wife routinely criticized him for not working and not supporting his family,” the factum noted. “She also accused him of having no honour.”

    The situation worsened and Khairi, who took the stand at his trial, testified he felt his life was not going well.

    A psychiatrist said Khairi exhibited symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder and some form of personality disorder, Khairi’s lawyer said.

    Court heard that he tried to commit suicide about six times. It also heard that Khairi’s wife had said she wanted to leave him.

    Crown prosecutors noted, however, that Khairi disapproved of his children’s behaviour as they integrated into Canadian society, but his wife defended them.

    “The appellant was verbally abusive,” the Crown’s reply factum said. “By March 2008 the deceased was fed up…she knew her rights and he resented it.”

    The sequence of events leading up to the death of Khairi’s wife remains in dispute as well.

    His lawyer said that on March 18, 2008, Khairi told his wife he was sick and didn’t want to fight her.

    “His wife kept swearing at him loudly. She told him he was ‘honourless,’ illiterate and she called him a ‘cuckold,’” his lawyer said in the appeal factum. “She also called his mother a ‘whore,’ and called him a ‘pimp.’ This made him ‘totally mad.’”

    Khairi’s wife went into the kitchen, grabbed a small knife and came towards her husband, who grabbed the utensil and her throat, the document said.

    He then picked up a nearby knife his wife used to cut meat, and slashed her throat and stabbed her repeatedly in the torso, the document said.

    Khairi testified that he lost control, and had been thinking of killing himself at the time, not his wife, the document said.

    The Crown’s theory, however, was that Khairi and his wife argued on that day and he intentionally killed her.

    “He pinned her down on the bed and cut her throat,” the Crown factum said.

    video – Oct 2012 – Peer Khairi on trial for wife’s murder

  15. CNN – Boehner: Obama not likely to get ISIS war authority

    House Speaker John Boehner said the debate over a new war resolution was stalled in Congress and it would be “virtually impossible” to pass the authorization President Barack Obama sent in February to fight the terror group ISIS.

    “Until the President gets serious about fighting the fight, until he has a strategy that makes sense, there’s no reason for us to give him less authority than what he has today. Which is what he’s asking for,” Boehner told a small group of reporters on Tuesday, according to reports by The Washington Post and Associated Press.

    […]The speaker, who just returned from a trip to several countries in the Mideast, including Iraq and Israel, also said that U.S. troops fighting in the region now should allowed to engage more directly in the fight.

    Boehner criticized the Obama administration for putting “”artificial constraints” on military leaders overseeing the 4,500 U.S. forces in the region, according to The New York Times. These troops are tasked with “training and equipping” allies who can directly fight ISIS forces.

    The speaker didn’t appear to urge the President to send additional U.S. combat forces, but he has previously said at some point American troops may be needed inside Syria to beat back ISIS advances.

    • YEMEN – Popular committees in Shabwa control 2nd Infantry Brigade

      SANA’A, April 13—Shabwa governorate, to the west of Yemen, is currently witnessing a tense security situation following the seizure of local armed tribesmen over the key battalion of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, positioned in Ataq city, the capital of Shabwa governorate.

      Fierce confrontations broke out on Sunday morning between the local tribesmenand Houthi fighters, who are fighting alongside military forces loyal to the former President Ali Abdulla Saleh, before the tribesmen were able to gain control over the battalion.

      The local tribesmen are also known as the popular committees and are loyal to President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

      Salem Al-Sael, the Director of the Ministry of Information’s Office in Shabwa, told Yemen Times that soldiers of the first battalion of the 2nd Infantry Brigade ceded to the popular committees after fierce clashes that claimed dozens on both sides.

      Although dozens of casualties were reported on both sides, no official death toll has been made public so far, according to Al-Sael.

      However, Al-Sael estimates that 200 peoplewere killed and hundreds injured on both sides during the past three weeks

      YEMEN – Tribesmen seize Yemen’s only gas terminal in Shabwa

      Armed Yemeni tribesmen have reportedly taken control of Yemen’s sole gas export terminal at the Gulf of Aden as crisis continues unabated in the country.

      According to Yemeni military sources, the tribesmen managed to seize the Balhaf plant in the southern province of Shabwa on Tuesday after the soldiers in charge of protecting the gas terminal surrendered.

      The gas terminal is operated by the Yemen LNG firm, with Total, a French multinational integrated oil and gas company, having a stake of around 40 percent in it.

      Yemen LNG said it has stopped working at the terminal due to a “force majeure” and will begin evacuating the site of its personnel.

      The Yemeni energy firm added that due to “further degradation of the security situation in the vicinity of Balhaf,” it has decided to stop production and exporting operations.

      • .... difficult to figure out

        it could be this story :
        At Least 14 Dead Yemeni Soldiers Found in Southern City of Ataq

        A military source said that at least 14 dead Yemeni soldiers have been found by local residents in the southern Yemeni city of Ataq.

        “The security and military forces arrived at the scene and removed the bodies of the soldiers in order to investigate the circumstances of their deaths,” a military source said, adding that the al-Qaeda group is most likely behind the murder.

        Ataq is the capital of the Shabwa Governorate


        there is this other video – when they find the dead bodies

        • That would be al-Queda cutting heads that Saudi airstrikes missed. The Saudis might just find al-Queda more reliable than non-Arab Sunnis like Turks and Pakis.

          Once Iran is restrained, Saudis and al-Q can go back to killing each other.

          When the Cat’s away [USA], the Rats eat each other.

  16. Iraq ‘retakes over quarter of Islamic State territory’ (BBC, Apr 14, 2015)

    “Islamic State (IS) has lost more than a quarter of its territory in Iraq since the US-led coalition air campaign began in August, a Pentagon spokesman says. Col Steve Warren said it was too early to say the tide was turning, but that air strikes and Iraqi ground forces had “unquestionably inflicted some damage”.

    IS took over swathes of Iraq and Syria last June. The announcement came ahead of talks between Iraq’s prime minister and US President Barack Obama in Washington. Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi wants the coalition to step up its air campaign against IS.

    Col Warren told a news conference on Monday that IS had lost 25% to 30% of its territory in Iraq, equating to 12,950 to 15,540 sq km (5,000 to 6,000 sq miles).

    The frontline had been pushed either west or south in the provinces of Irbil, Babil, Baghdad and Kirkuk, he said. “Among other strategic infrastructure and sizeable towns where [IS] has lost territory are Mosul Dam, Zummar and the vicinity of Sinjar Mountain.”….”

  17. Yemen conflict: Houthi rebels condemn UN arms embargo (BBC, Apr 14, 2015)

    “Houthi rebels have condemned Tuesday’s UN Security Council arms embargo imposed on them and their allies.They called for protests against what they termed UN support of “aggression”.The Houthis have made rapid advances across the country, sparking air strikes on their strongholds by a Saudi-led coalition.

    The UN says at least 736 people have been killed and 2,700 injured since 26 March, but officials believe the actual death toll may be far higher.

    The Houthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee “called on the masses of the Yemeni people to rally and protest on Thursday to condemn the Security Council resolution in support of the aggression”.

    Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador, Abdallah al-Moualimi, said the resolution was “a very clear endorsement” of the air strikes.

    When asked about a possible ground offensive, he warned that the air strikes were a response to Houthi military action and if the Houthis failed to comply with the resolution, “they will continue to face more of the same”.

    The Egyptian presidency said on Tuesday that Egypt and Saudi Arabia had discussed holding a “major military manoeuvre” in Saudi Arabia with other Gulf states…”

  18. Hundreds of migrants feared drowned off Libya (BBC, Apr 14, 2015)

    “About 400 migrants are feared drowned after their boat capsized off Libya, survivors have told Save the Children.The Italian coast guard had rescued 144 people on Monday and launched an air and sea search operation in hopes of rescuing others.

    Save the Children said that many of the survivors were “young men, probably minors”. The European Union says that more than 7,000 migrants have been rescued from the Mediterranean since Friday.

    Survivors say the latest tragedy happened after the boat, carrying about 550 migrants in total, overturned a day after leaving Libya. Nine bodies have already been recovered, but no more survivors have been found since then…”

  19. Kenya tells UN to close refugee camp for Somalis over alleged al-Shabaab recruitment

    The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has three months to close a refugee camp in eastern Kenya and send the more than 400,000 Somalis living there back to their country or else the Kenyan government will relocate them, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has said.

    The Kenyan government says the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya has become a recruitment center for the extremist group al-Shabaab whose gunmen last week killed 148 people at the country’s Garissa College University. Ruto said in a rally on Saturday that Kenya must be secured at all costs.

    “We have asked the UNHCR to relocate the refugees in three months, failure to which we shall relocate them ourselves. The way America changed after 9/11 is the way Kenya will change after Garissa,” Ruto said in a statement distributed by his press office.
    UN warns Kenya over closing world’s biggest refugee camp

  20. Taflik ceremony in Najaf , Iraq – the celebration of reaching the age of Islamic puberty ( 9 lunar years – i.e. 8 years and 9 months )

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