Reader submitted news items for July 26 – 2015

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About Eeyore

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

70 Replies to “Reader submitted news items for July 26 – 2015”

  1. Teen girl bomber kills 20 in Cameroon (CNN, July 26, 2015)

    “A teenage girl with a bomb killed at least 20 people and herself and injured dozens Saturday in the town of Maroua, Cameroon, near the Nigerian border, according to residents and a military officer.

    The evening attack on a crowded bar comes just two days after two female suicide bombers disguised as beggars struck in the same town. At least 11 people were killed and 32 others were wounded in the Wednesday attacks at the entrance to a market and a nearby neighborhood.

    Maroua serves as a military base for Cameroon’s elite force fighting Boko Haram Islamists. In recent months, the terror group has intensified suicide attacks and deadly raids on Cameroonian territory from its base inside Nigeria.

    In eastern Nigeria’s Adamawa state, a bloody and terrifying raid by Boko Haram on Friday left at least 25 people dead in three villages, according to residents and a local government official. Adamawa state borders Borno state, Boko Haram’s birth place and main stronghold.

    Storming in on motorcycles, the gunmen attacked the neighboring villages of Kopa, Maikadire and Yaffa around 9 a.m. local time, shooting and killing residents, according to witnesses and local government chairman Maina Ularamu.”

  2. Somalia Parliament member killed by al-Shabaab (CNN, July 25, 2015)

    “It took only minutes — a vehicle approaches and then overtakes a car winding through the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia. Gunshots whiz though the air, glass shatters and the blood of a new member of Parliament and his bodyguard spills into the streets.

    The Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, which is fighting the United Nations-backed government in Somalia, on social media claimed responsibility for Saturday’s assassination of Abdullah Hussein Mohamud, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Yusuf Osman.

    Somalia National Intelligence Agency spokesman Salah Yassin tweeted that al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Mohamud was a new MP, stepping into the position left vacant by his father’s death in April from natural causes. He was shot in the Wadajir area of Mogadishu, said Yassin, who said that Mohamud’s bodyguard was killed in the attack.

    “Today is the day the counterterrorism bill went to Parliament, so [the attack was] probably designed to coincide and send a message,” said Yassin….”

      • yucki – Here’s a little trick I learned some time ago to get past their firewall. Take the WSJ headline and google it. The headline will come up. You then click on that and you will get the article!
        Go ahead and try it.

    • WSJ – America’s Marxist Allies Against Isis ( Part 1 )

      SINJAR MOUNTAIN, Iraq—Nine years ago, Zind Ruken packed a bag and left her majority-ethnic-Kurdish city in Iran, escaping a brutal police crackdown and pressure to marry a man she’d never met.

      Now the 24-year-old is a battle-hardened guerrilla, using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades to fight Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq.

      She has deployed to reverse their advances on self-governing Kurdish communities. Last summer, she says, she helped rescue Kurdish-speaking Yazidis besieged on Sinjar Mountain. Her unit has fought Islamist insurgents and conventional armies in Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq—countries where an estimated 30 million Kurds live.

      Ms. Ruken’s journey provides a glimpse behind the remarkable rise of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, the cultlike Marxist-inspired group she fights for and whose triumphs against Islamic State have helped it evolve from ragtag militia to regional power player.

      The PKK and its Syrian affiliate have emerged as Washington’s most effective battlefield partners against Islamic State, also known as ISIS, even though the U.S. and its allies have for decades listed the PKK as a terrorist group. The movement in the past has been accused of kidnappings, murder and narcotics trafficking, but fighters like Ms. Ruken have presented the world an appealing face of the guerrillas—an image of women battling as equals with male comrades against an appallingly misogynist enemy.

      U.S. war planners have been coordinating with the Syrian affiliate—the People’s Defense Units, or YPG—on air and ground operations through a joint command center in northern Iraq. And in two new centers in Syria’s Kobani and Jazeera regions, YPG commanders are in direct contact with U.S. commanders, senior Syrian Kurdish officials said.

      “There’s no reason to pretend anymore,” said a senior Kurdish official from Kobani. “We’re working together, and it’s working.”

      By contrast, Ankara agreed only on Thursday to allow coalition airstrikes from an eastern-Turkey air base, after months of negotiations in which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ’s government resisted international calls to enter the war with Islamic State. U.S. officials said the base deal shouldn’t affect U.S. air support to Kurdish fighters in Syria and may help increase collaboration with the YPG because jets and drones will be closer to the battlefield.

      U.S. defense officials said coordination with YPG units, including some inside Syria, has improved the ability of coalition aircraft to strike Islamic State positions and avoid civilian casualties. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter during a visit to the region this week said YPG forces in Syria are “extremely effective on the ground.”

      Constantly shifting alliances in the region mean the PKK’s rise isn’t certain to continue. But the guerrilla group’s growing stature has alarmed Turkey, a crucial North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally of the U.S., with whom the PKK has fought a three-decade war costing some 40,000 lives. The PKK is in peace talks with Turkey, and a political party linked to the PKK won a record 12% of the vote in Turkey’s June parliamentary elections. Troubled by the PKK’s battlefield victories, Ankara has vowed to prevent the formation of a Kurdish state in Syria.

      “We recognize YPG are fighting [Islamic State] and that Americans are giving support to it,” a Turkish foreign ministry official said. “We transmit our views to American allies.”

      On Monday, an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 32 Kurdish and Turkish activists in a Turkish border town opposite the Syrian city of Kobani, a YPG stronghold. The PKK on Thursday said it had killed two Turkish police officers in retaliation for not stopping the bomb.

      Obama administration officials acknowledged the PKK and YPG have links and coordinate with each other in the fight against Islamic State, but they said the U.S. continues to formally shun the PKK while dealing directly with YPG. The groups operate under separate command structures and have different objectives, the officials said.

      America’s association with a terror-listed Maoist-inspired militia, even if indirect, shows how dramatically Syria’s conflict has reconfigured regional alliances and eroded once-rigid borders.

      Just two years ago, President Barack Obama told Turkey the U.S. would continue to aid its battle against PKK “terrorists.” The U.S. continues to share intelligence about the PKK with Turkey, and military officials from the two countries sit together in an Intelligence Fusion Cell in Ankara established by the George W. Bush administration to help Turkey fight the group.

      But now, “the U.S. has become the YPG’s air force and the YPG has become the U.S.’s ground force in Syria,” said Henri Barkey, a former State Department analyst on Turkey now at Lehigh University.

      Some senior U.S. and British diplomats said the time has come for the U.S. and some European states to consider a broader rapprochement with the PKK. But U.S. officials said Washington is unlikely to revise the PKK’s terror listing without a green light from Turkey, which has itself sent mixed messages to Washington about its own dealings with the group.

      U.S. military personnel aren’t on the ground inside Syria vetting Kurdish forces, making it difficult to discern the affiliations of individual Kurdish fighters who may benefit from U.S. airstrikes, said a senior U.S. defense official. “These guys don’t exactly wear patches identifying what groups they’re fighting for,” the official said, “but they are fighting the right guys.”

      The PKK says its affiliates—Syria’s YPG and groups called the PJAK in Iran and the HPG in Iraq—are separate but closely linked. PKK fighters and some analysts say they are one and the same.

      “It’s all PKK but different branches,” Ms. Ruken said, clad in fatigues in her encampment atop Sinjar Mountain this spring as a battle with Islamic State fighters raged less than a mile away at the mountain’s base. “Sometimes I’m a PKK, sometimes I’m a PJAK, sometimes I’m a YPG. It doesn’t really matter. They are all members of the PKK.”

      On the battlefield, fighters like Ms. Ruken have the momentum. Since the Syrian uprising flared in 2011, the PKK and YPG have seized and defended large swaths of oil-rich territory in Syria and Iraq and are busy building state institutions. U.S. airstrikes last year helped the YPG repel an Islamic State onslaught on the Kurdish city of Kobani.

      In June, the fighters captured the Islamic State stronghold of Tal Abyad, supported by U.S. air power, connecting long-disjointed Kurdish regions and dramatically expanding the territory they control.

      • ‘WSJ – America’s Marxist Allies Against Isis ( Part 2 )

        We’re not terrorists’

        “People look at us as if we’re terrorists and they put us on this blacklist. We’re not terrorists,” said Ms. Ruken, who like all PKK fighters uses a nom de guerre—hers means “alive smiling”—and declined to give her real name. “The Kurds know what we are fighting for. They know we will give our souls for them.”

        The Kurdish guerrilla groups pledge allegiance to Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK chief imprisoned on a Turkish island since 1999. From jail in 2005, he established PKK affiliates that evolved into today’s YPG, HPG and PJAK.

        The PKK and affiliates have car-bombed Turkish cities, kidnapped hundreds and killed Turkish and Kurdish state employees. In 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department designated their leadership as significant narcotics traffickers. The PKK ruthlessly dispatches Kurdish political rivals in Syria and elsewhere, according to New York based Human Rights Watch.

        Zagros Hiwa, a PKK spokesman, said: “We have been defending our people against the denial and elimination policies of the Turkish state against the Kurds. Our struggle has always been on the basis of legitimate self-defense.”

        The PKK practices an offshoot of Marxism it calls Democratic Confederalism. The group’s utopian goals echo those of some Cold War-era leftist militias. It aims to create a Maoist-inspired agrarian society that opposes landowning classes, espouses gender equality and distances itself from religion. Its guerrillas speak of a leaderless society of equals but also glorify Mr. Ocalan with fanatical devotion. They talk of needing to inculcate Kurdish populations with their ideology, rigidly centralized around Mr. Ocalan’s writings.

        The group’s largely pro-West stance, and its deployment of female fighters like Ms. Ruken, has brought sympathy from Western governments and populations. Hundreds of volunteers from the U.S. and Europe have enlisted with the group since 2014.

        Calls are growing from European and some U.S. policy makers for the PKK to be removed from terror lists and directly receive arms from Washington. In February, two fighters from the YPG’s all-female YPJ militia were invited to Paris’s Élysée Palace to meet with President François Hollande —their first such meeting with a NATO leader.

        “The Kurds have emerged as the best buffer against Islamic State, and the PKK’s military prowess has shifted perceptions of them in the West,” said Marc Pierini, former European Union ambassador to Turkey now at the Carnegie Endowment in Brussels. “It looks like their moment may be coming.”

        But Ankara, which relaunched peace talks with the PKK in 2012, is nervous its advances and burgeoning links with the West will strengthen its negotiating position, said Western diplomats and analysts. And the PKK’s expanding strength comes amid a rising tide of Kurdish autonomy that could augur a push for Kurdish independence across the Middle East, deepening the region’s fault lines.

        At the PKK’s Qandil Mountain base in Iraq, the group’s chief commander, Cemil Bayik, said in an interview that perceptions of the PKK were shifting dramatically. “Islamic State’s attacks on the Kurds, and the Kurds fighting back against Islamic State, has changed the international attitude toward all Kurds, especially the perception of the PKK,” he said. “Now I want to ask: Who are the terrorists?”

        Around the base’s cluster of buildings, fighters with AK-47s patrol in baggy Kurdish shalwar pants. The winding road there snakes past a massive color image of the imprisoned Mr. Ocalan etched into the mountainside, maintaining vigil on the soldiers below.
        Ms. Ruken’s war

        Fighters like Ms. Ruken trace the arc of a Kurdish militia expanding its sway across these troubled borderlands. While her tale isn’t independently verifiable, interviews with other footsoldiers like her echo elements of her story.

        In 2006, aged 15, she resolved to join the PKK after Iranian security forces broke up her family’s New Year celebrations, beating and arresting her mother, father and older brother. Their crime: celebrating with a traditional Kurdish bonfire while clad in traditional Kurdish dress.

        “That made a fire inside me,” said Ms. Ruken, whose ginger-colored hair sets her apart. “I couldn’t accept it.”

        She joined an underground Kurdish women’s group with PKK links in her northern-Iran hometown of Sanandaj, training for two years in small arms and light artillery. She then traveled to Mr. Bayik’s Qandil Mountain base, the heart of the group’s operations in exile.

        Fighting with the PKK meant abandoning personal identity and accepting extreme austerity. Ms. Ruken and her comrades go by battlefield names chosen to honor fallen friends or convey political convictions. They are forbidden to own property, have romantic relationships or speak much of their pre-PKK past.

        The fighters often use a vocabulary of Marxist revolution honed in obligatory study of Mr. Ocalan’s writings. Stories of personal sacrifice are often so extreme as to seem exaggerated.

        “We are not fighting just for ourselves,” said Chavon Ageet, a fighter in Ms. Ruken’s unit who chose his name, meaning “sheep herder,” after a fallen friend. “If any Kurd fights only for their own family, we will never have our own Kurdistan.”

        “We need to establish the greater Kurdistan first,” said Mr. Ageet, adding that he regularly fights under the command of women, “and then think about marriage.”

        Ms. Ruken’s first deployment was in 2010 to fight Iranian forces, she said. Tehran had agreed with Ankara to confront the PKK’s Iranian affiliate.

        She was schooled in guerrilla tactics honed during decades of conflict against Turkey’s army, NATO’s second largest. Lightly armed and operating in small groups, PKK fighters used hit-and-run attacks against better-armed enemy positions.

        Ms. Ruken described the battles as lopsided, often with only seven or eight guerrillas attacking more than 100 Iranian soldiers, sometimes creeping across open fields in ambush. When the Iranians fought, “they’re thinking about their families, their children, their lives, how they shouldn’t die,” she said. “For us, when we join the PKK, we abandon our lives.”

        That fighting faded in 2011, but hostilities with Turkey re-emerged. Aided by U.S. intelligence, Turkish warplanes bombed the PKK’s Qandil Mountain base. Ms. Ruken traveled to the Turkish border town of Semdinli to fight more than 2,000 Turkish troops in a battle where more than 100 PKK guerrillas died.

        By the time Ankara restarted peace negotiations, the PKK was on the offensive in Syria, bolstering its affiliate in the Kurdish-dominated northeast. Ms. Ruken was posted there as the group solidified its grip over the province, boosting conscription and training and suppressing opposition Kurdish factions.

        When Islamic State surged into northern Iraq last summer, Ms. Ruken found herself fighting an enemy whose misogyny reminded her of some aspects of the Iranian regime she fled. Her unit deployed to rescue thousands of Yazidis—Kurdish-speaking adherents to an ancient religion who fled to Sinjar Mountain after Islamic State singled them out for murder and enslavement.

        As images of starving Yazidis shocked the world, PKK and YPG commanders punched through jihadist lines, opening a humanitarian corridor. Washington took note. When the YPG liberated the mountain, some U.S. officials helicoptered in and met YPG commanders.

        Ms. Ruken said she typically fights with an AK-47 or a Soviet-era heavy-infantry machine gun about as long as she is tall. “We fight our enemies whoever they are,” she said. “Perhaps Islamic State will stand for a while. But they will fall.”

    • Translation into English:
      “The plan, codenamed Operation Pacifier, would see troops guard Establishment Figures alongside armed police officers, providing ‘protective security’ against further attacks while counter-terror experts and MI5 officers hunted down the isolated Lone Wolves.”

      Tony Blair’s armchair posse of political advisors and spin doctors of various degrees of mental illness, certainly didn’t see this coming – but their one-world Communist blackmailer/advisor certainly did.

      Who’s left watching out for invasion from sea and sky?

  3. Tour de France: Police fire at car in Paris square ahead of race (BBC, July 26, 2015)

    “Police in France are searching for the driver of a vehicle that tried to crash through a barricade for the Tour de France which ends in Paris later.

    The incident on the Champs-Elysees took place at about 08:00 local time as the security barriers were beginning to go up.

    Officers opened fire on the car to try to stop it but it drove away.

    BBC Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield reports there is no suggestion of terrorism as a motive.

    He says the car first hit a parked vehicle in the Place de la Concorde.

    Trying to speed away, the driver tried to pass through a police cordon that was being put in place ahead of the final stage of the tour.

    There was no exchange of fire and our correspondent suggests it could have been a reveller driving home from a night out.

    Tour de France race director Thierry Gouvenou told AP he did not foresee any impact on the race.”

  4. Car bomb in Turkey kills 2 as country steps up anti-terrorism efforts (CNN, July 26, 2015)

    “A car bomb exploded Sunday in southern Turkey, killing two security officers and wounding four other people, officials said.

    The attack was launched when a vehicle carrying security personnel was ambushed on its way to an emergency call, the Diyarbakir provincial office said.

    Diyarbakir is a province in southeastern Turkey, a heavily Kurdish area, and is home to the city of the same name.

    No one has been arrested in connection with the explosion, officials said

    The bombing comes as Turkey grapples with a wave of violence near its southern border with Syria and is ramping up its effort to fight terrorists….”

  5. Australian man accused of going to help ISIS due in court (CNN, July 26, 2015)

    “A man accused of going overseas to support ISIS now faces terror-related charges back home.

    A 39-year-old Australian is set to appear Monday in a Melbourne court on charges of knowingly providing support to a terrorist organization and supporting a person to engage in a hostile activity in a foreign state, Australian Federal Police said.

    Authorities said the man, whose name was not released, is from the Melbourne suburb of Coolaroo. He voluntarily surrendered to Turkish authorities in Turkey last week.

    “We make no apology in taking action against people who may bring a radicalized ideology, and potentially other skills, back to Australia,” said Neil Gaughan, assistant commissioner for the federal police’s counterterrorism office.

    “There is no evidence of a threat in Australia in this instance, and the ongoing safety of the community was the primary factor in all of the arrangements made to facilitate this individual’s return to Australia.”

    ISIS has gained a reputation for luring supporters around the world — particularly with its social media prowess. The U.S. State Department has admitted that ISIS’ ability to spread its propaganda “is something we have not seen before.”

    The terror group has been on a bloody rampage across parts of Iraq and Syria, trying to establish a strict Islamist state….”

  6. Somalia blast: Mogadishu hotel rocked by bomb (BBC, July 26, 2015)

    “At least 10 people have been killed in a huge bomb explosion at a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

    A BBC correspondent in the city reports that a lorry was used to attack the Jazeera hotel near the city’s airport.

    Ambulances have begun collecting the dead and wounded in what he describes as one of the worst scenes of destruction he has seen in Mogadishu.

    Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack on the hotel.
    It said it was responding to assaults on the group by an African Union force and the Somali government.

    International diplomats often stay at the hotel, which has been targeted in the past. It accommodates several embassies including those of China, Qatar and Egypt.

    “A suicide car bomb exploded at the gate of Jazeera Hotel,” Major Nur Osoble, a police officer, told Reuters news agency.

    A government security officer was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that hotel security guards were among the dead.”

  7. Syria: President Assad admits army strained by war (BBC, July 26, 2015)

    “The Syrian army has been forced to give up some areas in order to retain others in the war against rebels, now in its fifth year, President Bashar al-Assad has acknowledged.
    The Syrian leader also said the army faced a shortage of soldiers. A day earlier, he declared an amnesty for draft-dodgers and deserters.

    The conflict is thought to have left more than 230,000 dead and displaced millions. Vast areas are no longer under government control. Syria’s conscript army was once 300,000 strong, but has been roughly halved by deaths, defections, and a rise in draft-dodging, AFP news agency said.

    The Syrian leader said the army did not have the manpower to defend the entire country, especially as rebel groups were receiving increased support from outside – a reference to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

    “Sometimes, in some circumstances, we are forced to give up areas to move those forces to the areas that we want to hold onto,” Mr Assad said in a televised speech to dignitaries in Damascus. “We must define the important regions that the armed forces hold onto so it doesn’t allow the collapse of the rest of the areas.”

    The BBC’s Jim Muir – in neighbouring Lebanon – says it has been evident for some months that Syrian government forces have been focusing on defending certain key areas while not doing everything they might to defend outlying regions where the army is really overstretched. This year, the Syrian military has lost the north-western provincial capital Idlib, parts of the south, and Palmyra in the north-east, which was taken over by militants of Islamic State.

    Bashar Assad said he was sure the army could defend the core areas where it was consolidating – meaning Damascus, the cities of Homs and Hama and the coast. But other big cities such as Aleppo in the north and Deraa in the south may come under question, our correspondent says. However, Mr Assad pledged to fight on and ruled out the prospect of any negotiated settlement at the moment.

    “The word defeat does not exist in the Syrian army’s dictionary,” he said, adding that “collapse” was not on the cards. “We will resist and we will win.”

    The Syrian army, which is fighting rebels and jihadist groups, began a recruitment drive at the start of July to try to tackle its manpower shortage. At least 70,000 men have avoided military service, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. More than 80,000 soldiers and pro-government militiamen have been killed since the start of the conflict in March 2011.”

      • That it is.

        OT last week you assigned some home work, the first was the BESA memorandum the Perfect Storm

        The following are some comments about the article which for the most part I found excellent.

        Yucki I am writing this on my word processing program while I am reading the BESA Memorandum Perfect Storm and will post it after I am through with that section of the home work.

        1) I object to the way the authors seem to think that a subsequent President won’t do anything to reverse what is currently happening. We will have to stop the attempted conquest of both North America and Europe if we want to survive as free people, the authors seem to think we will simply fade into obscurity and play no part on the worlds stage. OK they are noticing that things are starting to change but still don’t seem to expect much from us.

        2) While I am only about half way through the authors are ignoring the way the Iranian leaders all publicly proclaim that they are out to bring back the Mahdi. Ignoring this factor is a big mistake when projecting what the future will bring.

        3) The authors seem to be making the same mistake that so many people do, they are talking about the entire United States doing things when in reality it is the Obama administration that is doing the things that most people oppose.

        4) The authors are also ignoring of have never thought of the way the US feeds a substantial portion of the worlds population, this fact has to be combined with our energy independence (which we can thank the private oil companies for, the Obama administration tried to stop them from drilling on the private land and to stop them pumping once they found oil) when you start looking at the influence the US will have in the future.

        5) In their statement that there is no military solution to the problem they are both right and wrong, they are right that at the moment there is no nation willing to exert the effort and spend the amount of lives and treasure to end the problem. In the long run they are wrong because if the US, Canada, Australia and the other nations in the Anglo-phone sphere and the rest of the West are to survive as free nations, or even as independent nations the will and the money to achieve a military solution must be found. If one rich man that I have round about contact with is right and the US in invaded by a foreign power (he is talking about more then the current infiltration, he is expecting a full fledged military invasion while we are tied up in a civil war or there are major riots and protests) the will to exert that power will come from our fighting to throw out the invaders.

        6) They are right about what will happen if/when Iran acquires nuclear weapons and right that if Iran doesn’t use them to create the situation to bring back the Mahdi that other states will acquire them and some will end up in the hands of terrorists. Although I am not sure that if Iran gets nukes and doesn’t use them to fulfill their end time prophecies that they will allow any other middle eastern nation to acquire nukes. They are ruthless and murderous enough to use their nukes on any nation that is trying to acquire them in self defense. Granted Pakistan already has them which is a flaw in this scenario but not necessarily a fatal flaw.

        7) They are talking about how Assad turn over advanced military equipment to Hezbollah advanced military equipment, as a matter of semi ideal curiosity how long will it be before they help Hezbollah get fighter planes and the approbate missiles?

        8) They are right (to an extent) about the type of fighting that is going to be experienced in the coming war. There will be some like WWII but most will be some form of asymmetric war. The fighters will be hiding among the civilians and for a while at least the defenders are going to have to be careful about harming civilians whey they attack the fighters. As the war goes on this need will grow less since the Geneva Convention appears to be on its way out. People in all nations (the leftist NGOs are an exception but they only do this when talking about the actions of the western nations).

        9) The following quote “I am against my brother,my brother and I are against our cousin, and the three of us are against our neighbor,” tells a lot about the Arabic culture that most people in the west don’t understand since they have been told for so long that all cultures are essentially the same. This lack of understanding of our enemies brought about by the lefts destruction of the western educational system has already caused a lot of deaths and will cause more in the future.

        10) The following quote spells out our problem in a way that I haven’t seen before, remember it when you are blogging. “its enemies use weapons of the twenty-first century, but fight and kill according to the rules of conduct of the seventh century.” That partial sentence spells out the major danger we are facing, a danger that most people don’t understand.

        11) “It will take a long time and many wars before it will be possible to copy the rules of present-day Europe, or the relations between Canada and the United States, to the Middle East without causing a catastrophe.” This statement is probably optimistic, at the moment is is more likely that some form of their rules will be adopted by the other nations of the world rather then them adopting ours.

        12) “In contrast, the Middle East is headed in the opposite direction: stateborders are disintegrating, sovereignty is meaningless, and much fightingis conducted along the friction lines between tribes, sects, and religions. Indeed, religious differences are the most significant, exerting a very strong influence over the systems of relations between the different groups in a large proportion of the places. Moreover, in some places non-governmental military organizations are taking the place of states. Even in states that seem to be governing unchallenged, strong nongovernmental organizations maintain aid systems and armies no weaker than the state’s.” The paragraph above is a very clear explanation of what is happening, one that most of the readers of Vlad know but which way too many people either don’t know or don’t want to know. One reason that so many people don’t want to know this is because the left has been working hard to destroy all loyalty that isn’t to a socialist government.

        In summery the authors focused their attention on the Middle East alone which is understandable when you have a big powerful friend covering your back like Israel had until Obama took office, now that narrow focus could be fatal.
        Their specialized knowledge of the Middle Eastern nations and culture is a major asset in their analysis and one that we must pay attention to, even though they did ignore the statements by the Iranian leaders about how they were put on earth to bring back the Mahdi.
        I would love to see them do a similar memorandum based on the idea of civil wars combined with war on the Moslem invaders in all western nations and the resulting chaos. It would be interesting to see if they would reach the same conclusion I have.

        I will now go on to the rest of the homework and if you want post similar comments on them and their conclusions.

        • This is terrific!
          I’m going off-line to read it carefully and re-read the original article.
          The reaction to the Walzer piece on ‘Islamism and the Left’ isn’t worth much of your time. The essay itself is good reading, but the response to it has been wildly disproportionate. A mild, tentative challenge to the liberal, intellectual, leftist narrative has provoked waves of anguish. Oceans of virtual ink.

          It’s the messenger that’s shocked them. Michael Walzer is a genuine scholar of the leftist persuasion.
          So that’s not a total oxymoron.

          The most elite of the elite is begins to stir. He can’t be discounted the way most of us are and that’s encouraging.

          Of course the Vlad Tepes gang left these guys in the dust ages ago.

          • I was going to ask if you wanted me to continue to critic the article, while there are signs of original thought and genuine scholarship they are fighting hard against decades of programing to remain on the politically correct side. Hopefully he will continue his move to free thinking because we need people of his stature.

            • This analysis from Besa is Mideast-specific; global implications serve us mainly as a jumping-off point.
              Here’s my take on your very pertinent comments. I’m not replying by points because they merge and flow differently in my less organized mind.
              It does seem as if Amidror is selling the US short. It’s as if we’re already marginal as a security asset to them . According to the author, the US may or may not “snap-back” [I couldn’t resist], but Israel can’t afford to depend on us.

              I hear a wounded tone in the analysis. It must be in response to these years of abuse from the administration and the lack of support from the dhimmi-dummies of the American Jewish community. The Iran farce has left many profoundly disillusioned. Such betrayal rips the flesh, bone and connective tissue that’s been the US-Israel relationship.

              Though as an American I’m more optimistic for the long-run, the Israeli defense establishment has to take the worst-case scenario and work backwards from there. That means a cold hard look at reliable assets for the war[s] in the very near future, perhaps even _before this president leaves office_.

              […] the entire United States doing things when in reality it is the Obama administration […]
              If Obama prevails over Congress on Iran, the sympathy of ordinary Americans won’t be perceived by ordinary Israelis. Think Hezbollah on steroids – the best money can buy, including mercenaries. Who made that possible?

              Even American Jews are unreliable. Chuck Schumer could pressure sufficient Democrats to KILL this deal, but he’s “thinking it over”?! His name Schumer is Shomer in Hebrew, which means “guardian” or “watchman”. Fat lot of good that does. *

              Amidror absolutely takes Iranian eschatology seriously. For the mullah regime it’s the be-all and end-all. For tiny Israel, every war is existential anyway. That’s why some of us [me] favor decapitation of the mullocracy – or call it ‘regime change’ – over attacking hardened nuclear facilities.

              Military solution:
              For the IS phenomenon, killing them is the only solution. Amidror calls a spade a spade: religious fanaticism and Islamic cruelty together with the feeling that the world’s unfair – that’s just got to bleed out. I’d say the West should take out as many as possible over there, less mess to clean up over here.

              For Israel there is no definitive military solution. She’s surrounded by radical terrorist enemies. And the trend is degenerative, increasingly tribal primitives with whom no one can negotiate. Beduin drug-smugglers, with Rolexes and Toyotas.

              Whatever. Her neighbors are just going to have to get used to “a cancer” in their heartland. They won’t, they’re stupid. Israel’s had to mow the lawn regularly, beat back the most aggressive weeds.

              I fear we’ll look back at those limited engagements with nostalgia. Iran and the Sunnis might shake hands on “Islam is the solution” and go after their mutual enemy.

              I think nuclear proliferation is a forgone conclusion. None of the players – 7th century inbreds- should be trusted with a pack of matches, let alone nukes.

              Israeli R&D is probably working 24/7 on shelters and cures for radiation sickness. Horrid thought.

              * I was encouraged reading in today’s NYT about my cousin, an American Near East senior diplomat [in the Republican Admin, but State Dept professionals go both ways]. He’s finally weighed in against this bad deal. Very cautiously, but it means something.

            • Walzer has said his piece. However reticently, that’s enough to stir the pot. He’s an elder stateman; he won’t play defense against minnows he accuses of “professorial pomposity”.

              His new book is coming out soon: The Paradox of Liberation: Secular Revolutions and Religious Counter-Revolutions (Yale University Press). That might be worth a look.

        • As I said in my response the main problem I have with the predictions is they are so narrowly focused on the Middle East, the actions in Europe and the Far East have major implications for the Middle East and shouldn’t be ignored.

          • His expertise is military intelligence. He’ll may be more expansive in interviews, but he’ll limit his writing to his strengths.
            This article is the first in a series. We’re sure to read more policy positions in the weeks to come from different authors.
            Israeli retired military often end up in Knesset or ministerial positions. That’s mostly positive.

  8. White House says Turkey has right to defend itself after Kurdish attacks

    The White House said late Saturday Turkey has the right to defend itself against terror attacks by Kurdish rebels, after bombing Kurds in northern Iraq.

    For months, Turkey had been reluctant to join the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State terror group despite gain made by the group on Turkey’s doorstep. Now, Turkish warplanes are directly striking ISIS locations, which started Saturday in Syria and continued with a bombing run against Kurds in northern Iraq.

    The strikes against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, muddle the U.S.-led right against ISIS. The U.S. has relied on Syrian Kurds affiliated with the PKK to carry out attacks against ISIS militants.

    National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks by the PKK, which the U.S. has designated a terrorist group, and said the PKK should renounce terrorism and resume talks with Ankara.

    “We urge de-escalation by both sides and encourage everyone to remain committed to the peaceful ‘solution process’ to bring about a just and sustainable peace for all Turkish citizens,” said Pentagon spokesman Maj. James Brindle.

    Turkish jets hit shelters and storage facilities belonging to the PKK in seven areas in northern Iraq, including Mount Quandil where the group’s headquarters are located, authorities said. It was Turkey’s first aerial raid in northern Iraq against the PKK since Turkey brokered peace talks with the Kurds in 2012. The PKK declared a cease-fire in 2013.

    Turkey’s recent shift in policy toward the fight against ISIS also comes amid a closer cooperation between Iran and the U.S. following the recent nuclear agreement. An analyst told The Associated Press the agreement threatened to lessen Turkey’s strategic importance, prompting it to cooperate with the U.S.-led strikes against the extremists.

    Turkey conducted raids on the Islamic State following a suicide-bombing by the terror group, which killed 32 people, and an ISIS attack on Turkish forces, which killed a soldier. IT also declared that it had reached an agreement with Washington to open up its southern air bases to coalition aircract, giving itself a front-line role in the fight.

    A senior Obama administration official said there was no connection between the move to deepen U.S.-Turkish cooperation against IS and the airstrikes that Turkey is currently carrying out against the PKK. The official wasn’t authorized to comment by name and requested anonymity.

    Fadi Hakura, a Turkey analyst at the Chatham House in London, said Turkish leaders feared that increased cooperation between Tehran and Washington in the battle against ISIS could sideline Turkey from U.S. calculations, providing impetus to allow U.S. fighter jets to use Turkish air bases near the Syrian border.

    In addition, Islamic State has grown substantially more powerful in the last year, and controls a wider swath of the Turkey-Syria border, leading Turkish intelligence to change its assessment so that it now views the militant group as an imminent threat to Turkish security, said Hakura.

    “The use of the Turkish air base is extremely important,” he said. “Before, the U.S. had to traverse 1,000 miles to target IS in Syria. Now it will be much less, so naturally the air campaign will be far more intense and far more effective.”

    The attacks against PKK positions in Iraq comes amid signs of trouble in the peace process, with Turkey accusing the Kurdish rebels of not keeping a pledge to withdraw armed fighters from Turkey’s territory and to disarm. Turkey is also concerned that Kurdish gains in Iraq and in Syria could encourage its own minority to seek independence.

    Tensions between Turkey and the Kurds have flared in days following the ISIS bombing in Suruc on Monday. Kurdish groups have blamed the government for not doing enough to combat ISIS. On Wednesday, the PKK claimed responsibility for killing two policemen in the Kurdish majority city of Sanliurfa.

    The PKK said the strikes spelled the end of the peace process aimed to end three decades of conflict in Turkey’s mainly-Kurdish southeast that has killed tens of thousands of people.

    “Turkey has basically ended the cease-fire,” Zagros Hiwa, a PKK spokesman, told The Associated Press.

    Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party, the People’s Democratic Party, also said the strikes amounted to an end of the two-year-old truce. It called on the government to end the bombing campaign and resume a dialogue with the Kurds.

    While conducting raids, Turkey has simultaneously been clamping down on suspected IS and PKK militants and other groups inside the country. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday nearly 600 suspects were detained in two days of raids in 22 provinces.

    “Turkey’s operations will, if needed, continue until the terror organizations’ command centers, all locations where they plan (attacks) against Turkey and all depots used to store arms to be used against Turkey are destroyed,” Davutoglu said.

    On Friday, three F-16 jets struck Islamic State targets that included two command centers and a gathering point near the Turkish border in Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine Islamic State militants were killed in the raids. The extremists have yet to comment on the strikes.

    The Syrian government has so far refrained from commenting on Turkish strikes inside Syrian territory, but Syria’s main political opposition group, which is backed by Ankara, welcomed Turkey’s move.

    Turkey: Water cannon deployed as Istanbul protesters unleash Molotov cocktails

    • Jerusalem: Woman Arrested for Saying ‘Mohammed is a Pig’

      Gang of Muslim women follows Jews around shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar’ near Temple Mount; only the Jews arrested.

      A young Jewish woman was arrested Friday night, after she was recorded stating insults about the Muslim prophet Mohammed during a clash with Arab women on the Temple Mount.

      The Arab women, apparently part of the “Morabiton,” a gang of Muslim women who get paid by Islamist groups to disturb and harass Jews that visit the site, were shouting “Allahu Akhbar” repeatedly at the group of Jews making their way to the Mount, and could be seen actively trying to get physically close to the group.

      At one point, the Jewish woman, who remains mostly quiet, says “Mohammed was a pig” – and was then arrested for it.

      The exchange was recorded by leftist and Arab activists, as can be seen in the video, and the Israel Police apparently arrived at the Jewish woman’s door at her Binyamin home later that night after one of the Muslim women complained, Walla! News reports. Her husband was also detained.

      Fight for rights

      Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir of rights group Honenu filed an urgent request from the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Tamar Bar Asher Zaban, who issued the detention order, to reconsider her decision.

      “The Israeli police is used to being two-faced,” Ben-Gvir said. “At a time when hundreds of Arabs are shouting anti-Jewish incitement police arrest a mother and daughter just a few hours before Shabbat. We will demand that the court release her immediately.”

      At a hearing, the police representative claimed that the young woman shouted “Muhammad is a pig” at a number of Arabs exiting from the Temple Mount, while Ben-Gvir argued, as is seen in the video evidence, that the answer was a response to Arab rioting.

      Judge Bar-Asher Zaban released the woman and wrote that “during the hearing, video evidence was presented to me of what seems to be a full video of a group of young Muslims shouting ‘Allahu Akbar,’ and the remarks were in response to those cries.”

      “The video clearly shows that an uproar began even before the Jews arrived to the area,” she continued.

      The Judge eventually released the young woman, with the provision that the woman be prevented from visiting the Temple Mount area for a few days to calm down the security situation.

      Ben-Gvir praised the response.

      “The police tried to mislead the court, which was then exposed to the full material and subsequently ordered the immediate release of my client,” he said. “I hope they arrest all Muslim women who riot as they do in the video, raging [at Jews] and making death threats.”

      “Temple Mount police must not reward terrorism and give in to violence. ”

      “The case of the detention of a woman with a family just hours before the Shabbat is crossing a red line on the ratio of police to settlers,” Honenu added. “Selective and discriminatory enforcement against Jews on the Temple Mount is skyrocketing and disturbing and must be put to an end.”

      The Temple Mount: closed off to Jews

      The Jordanian Waqf retains de facto control of the Mount, which is Judaism’s holiest site, even since its liberation in the 1967 Six Day War, and it has forbidden Jews from praying at the site despite Israeli law ensuring freedom of worship.

      Arabs have repeatedly tried to erase the Jewish nature of the site, where the First and Second Temples stood, by destroying ancient Jewish artifacts and building illegally.

      Arab riots are also frequent on the Mount, as is incitement against Jews. Just Friday, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership called on Muslims across the world to use “all means necessary” to prevent “extremist settlers” from ascending the Mount, directly inciting to violence against Jews who attempt to visit the site on Tisha B’Av.

      Police have repeatedly been shown to discriminate specifically against Jews visiting on the Mount, including a de facto ban on Jews visiting during the recent month of Ramadan and reports of them arresting Jews for such crimes as drinking water.

      • I can’t watch videos of these shrews screaming at Jews at the Temple Mount. It’s just too upsetting.
        This provocation should not be allowed to continue. Bibi, et al., have been into appeasement too long. Time to put a stop to this intolerable status quo.

        • It is time to stop the intolerable status quo in all western nations, the left has pushed us so far towards oblivion that it will take a long time and many lives to restore order.

        • It is time for all western nations to stop kow towing to the people who want to destroy us, if we will show some backbone they will back off and we can rebuild our nations.

  9. Turkey -Anadoly Agency –

    Neo-Nazis threaten refugees in Dresden

    Recently established tent city in eastern Germany has become the target of far-right

    Hundreds of asylum seekers feel threatened after violent protests by neo-Nazis in the eastern German city of Dresden.

    Around 200 far-right extremists violently protested refugees on Friday night as they were brought by buses to the recently established tent city in an industrial area, around five kilometers away from the city center.

    Shouting racist slogans, neo-Nazis threw stones and bottles, and set off firecrackers.

    More than 350 people gathered in the area for a counter-demonstration and to show solidarity with the refugees.

    22-year old Syrian refugee Abdullah told Anadolu Agency that they had deep disappointment upon arrival, with seeing dozens of far-right extremists flipping them the bird and swearing at them.

    “I have lost all my family, my girlfriend due to the war in Syria. I took many risks and came to Germany with the hope of beginning a new life. But what I came across here has been a big disappointment,” he said.

    Abdullah said when he went out on Saturday to make some shopping at the supermarket, he again came across with a group who swore at him.

    “I was upset and returned to our camp without shopping,” he said.

    Tensions remained high also on Saturday, as authorities were bringing new refugees to the tent city, which is expected to house 1,000 people.

    Around 20 far-right extremists continued protests in front of the camp.

    Ali, an asylum seeker who fled Libya, said they were facing difficult conditions both inside the camp and outside.

    “I am deeply saddened by hearing that they do not want us here. I have made a three week long dangerous boat ride. I was not sure whether I would survive. Now I am here but I see that I am not wanted. That makes me really sad,” he said.

    The police announced that it will step up security around the tent city throughout the weekend by deploying additional personnel.

    Germany received 202,834 asylum applications last year — an increase of almost 60 percent compared with 2013. Almost 47,000 of the asylum seekers were Syrians.

    This year, the government estimates double the 2014 figures at 450 thousand.

    The surge in asylum applications has been exploited by far-right and populist parties recent months, which organized weekly rallies against immigration and refugees across Germany.

    Far-right extremists carried out 202 attacks against asylum seekers and their houses in the first six months of 2015, according to police records.

    There were 162 such attacks in 2014, and 58 in 2013.–neo-nazis-threaten-refugees-in-dresden

    Germany: Migrants receive aid in Dresden as refugee numbers rise

  10. Critical Points To Consider In Understanding The Iranian Nuclear Deal

    The following analysis is the first in a series which will discuss the Iranian nuclear deal and will examine the JCPOA from the American perspective. It will focus on the components of the JCPOA as a legal document. It will also draw on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231 which endorsed the JCPOA for reference. It will not discuss possible future implications, nor does it mean to be an overall assessment of the deal.
    It should be emphasized that, contrary to how it is perceived, the JCPOA is not a bilateral or multilateral contract between the United States and/or Europe and Iran. Nothing has been signed and nothing is judicially binding between any of the parties. It is a set of understandings that was sent to a third party, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), for endorsement. This structure is a result of Iran’s insistence to not sign any bilateral or multilateral contract.

  11. IRELAND – DUBLIN – Around 50 people take part in ‘Not in Our Name’ demonstration

    Up to 50 people took part in a rally organised by the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council to protest over the actions of the so-called Islamic State.

    The demonstrators gathered on Dublin’s O’Connell Street to distance Islam from the group, and show that it is a peaceful religion.

    The “Not in Our Name” demonstration was organised in the wake of last month’s terrorist attack in Tunisia which killed 38 people, including three Irish citizens.

  12. Criminalize vilification of religious symbols, says Saudi official

    LILLE, France — Saudi Arabia has reiterated its call on the international community to criminalize any act vilifying religious beliefs and symbols of faith as well as all kinds of discrimination based on religion.

    Addressing an international symposium on media coverage of religious symbols based on international law, which started in this French city on Saturday, a senior Saudi official said the Kingdom emphasized years ago that the international community must act urgently to confront ethnic, religious and cultural intolerance, which has become widespread in all communities and peoples of the world.

    “We have made it clear that freedom of expression without limits or restrictions would lead to violation and abuse of religious and ideological rights,” said Abdulmajeed Al-Omari, director for external relations at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

    “This requires everyone to intensify efforts to criminalize insulting heavenly religions, prophets, holy books, religious symbols and places of worship,” he added.

    Al-Omari pointed out that such abuses bred intolerance, extremism and human rights violations and contributed to the growing phenomenon of defamation of religions.

    The Kingdom is participating in the forum, with representatives from 16 European countries, a number of international organizations led by UNESCO, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Association of Islamic Universities.

    Al-Omari said the Saudi participation in the symposium falls in line with its efforts to support the principles of justice, humanity, promotion of values and the principles of tolerance in the world as well as to emphasize the importance of respecting religions and religious symbols. — SPA

  13. AUSTRALIA – Anzac Day terror plot suspect pleads guilty to 19 weapon supply charges

    Mehran Azami has pleaded guilty to 19 charges of importing weapons
    The 19-year-old was arrested following police raids back in April this year
    He appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court and remains in custody
    Amzai and four other teenagers allegedly plotted an Anzac Day attack

    A teenager accused of supplying weapons for an alleged Anzac Day terror plot has pleaded guilty to his charges.

    Mehran Azami, 19, was arrested after police raided a number of homes in Melbourne’s south-east back in April and appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, the ABC reported.

    A total of 19 charges of importing weapons were brought against the man from Narre Warren.

    He was accused of bringing in more than 200 weapons into Australia – including flick knives, and Tasers designed to look like iPhones.

    Azami also admitted to a further three offences relating to the alleged plot and remains in custody.

    He will reappear before the County Court of Victoria in October.

    The court heard earlier this year investigators had found phone calls exchanged by Azami, Sevdet Besim and Haurun Causevic, both 18.

    Besim, from Hallum, and Causevic, from Hampton, have been charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act.

    It is alleged the pair were planning to behead a police officer at a Melbourne Anzac Day service.

  14. Turkish jets hit PKK targets in Iraq after soldiers killed – sources

    Turkey attacked Kurdish insurgent camps in Iraq for a second night on Sunday, security sources said, in a campaign that could end its peace process with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    Ankara, which called for a special NATO meeting on Tuesday to discuss its security concerns, said two soldiers were killed and four wounded in an earlier attack by PKK militants.

    Long a reluctant member of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, Turkey made a dramatic turnaround this week by granting the alliance access to its air bases and launching air raids against both the jihadist movement and the PKK.

    It has no plans to send ground troops into Syria and the air strikes there are meant to give support to moderate Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the Hurriyet newspaper.

    He said the Syrian Kurdish PYD, which has links to the PKK, could “have a place in the new Syria” if it did not disturb Turkey, cut all relations with President Bashar al-Assad’s administration and cooperated with opposition forces.

    But the relapse into serious conflict between Turkey and the PKK has raised doubts about the future of NATO member Turkey’s peace efforts with its own Kurdish foes that started in 2012, after 28 years of bloodshed, but have recently stalled.

    Four Turkish F-16 fighter jets deployed from the Diyarbakir air base in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast hit PKK targets in Hakurk in northern Iraq, the sources told Reuters.

    The strike came after a car bomb and roadside explosives hit a passing military vehicle on a highway near Diyarbakir overnight on Sunday, the army said. Kurdish militants then opened fire on the vehicle with rifle fire, it said. Two soldiers were killed and four were wounded.

    At least six people had been detained in connection with the attack, Dogan news agency reported.

    The renewed conflict has sparked protests in parts of Istanbul as well as the southeast. A police officer was killed in clashes in the city’s volatile Gazi district on Sunday, the third day of violence there following the death of a leftist activist during police raids on suspected militants.

    The PKK, which Ankara and Washington deem a terrorist group, has also targeted police officers in the southeast and elsewhere, accusing the Islamist-rooted central government of covertly helping Islamic State to the detriment of Syrian Kurds.

    The outlawed PKK has waged an insurgency against Ankara for Kurdish autonomy since 1984. Opposition politicians and critics accuse President Tayyip Erdogan of taking up the campaign against Islamic State as political cover to clamp down on Kurds.

    Davutoglu, who has said the operations will continue as long as Turkey faces a threat, discussed security with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a telephone call overnight.

    NATO said ambassadors will meet on Tuesday to discuss security at Turkey’s request.


    A senior U.S. diplomat condemned recent PKK attacks but denied any link between Turkey’s new strikes on Kurdish militants and its newfound boldness in tackling Islamic State, which has seized large expanses of neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

    “There is no connection between these air strikes against PKK and recent understandings to intensify U.S.-Turkey cooperation against ISIL,” Brett McGurk, the deputy special presidential envoy for the coalition to counter Islamic State, said on Twitter, using one of Islamic State’s acronyms.

    White House spokesman Ben Rhodes, on an official visit to Kenya with President Barack Obama, told a news conference in Nairobi: “The U.S. of course recognises the PKK specifically as a terrorist organisation. And so, again, Turkey has a right to take action related to terrorist targets. And we certainly appreciate their interest in accelerating efforts against ISIL.”

    Turkey said on Saturday its decision to enter the battle against Islamic State, soon after an IS suicide bomber killed 32 people, mainly Kurds, in the Turkish town of Suruc, would help create “a safe zone” across the nearby border in northern Syria.

    Turkish opposition leaders say they are concerned that Erdogan wants the new attacks on the PKK to whip up anti-Kurdish sentiment before a possible early election later this year.

    The Islamist-based AK Party he founded has until late August to find a junior coalition partner or face an early election.

    The AKP lost its single-party majority last June for the first time in more than a decade, in part due to the success of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which entered parliament for the first time.

    “One of the aims of the air, land and media operations carried out right now is to undermine the HDP in early elections,” HDP head Selahattin Demirtas said on Twitter.

    Turkey conflict with Kurds: Was approving air strikes against the PKK America’s worst error in the Middle East since the Iraq War?

    America’s problem is that its most effective ally against Isis in Syria so far has been the PYD, the ruling political party of the 2.2 million Syrian Kurds, who are concentrated in three enclaves just south of the Turkish border. The PYD and its paramilitary forces, known as the People’s Protection Units or YPG, are the Syrian branch of the PKK. Helped since last year by US air support, they have repelled Isis from its siege of the city of Kobani and have won a series of further victories against the jihadist group. including the capture of an important border crossing at Tal Abyad.

    […]the US had been supplying Turkish intelligence with information about PKK bases in Iraq since 2007.

    This is a peculiarly Machiavellian form of realpolitik since members of the YPG often gained military experience fighting in the PKK against the Turks, explaining why they have had more success against Isis than other groups. In fact, Isis may benefit from the US switch in alliances because some PYD fighters in Syria will now return to fighting the Turkish army.

    […]On the other hand, about 400 US air strikes were unable to prevent Isis capturing Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, on 17 May.

    […]One reason for the Turkish action was that Ankara did not like the way the Syrian Kurds were becoming a favourite US ally. They were also concerned that the US-Iran nuclear deal with Iran risked making Tehran more important than Ankara in Washington’s calculations.

    It is likely that America will tolerate Turkish action against the PKK in Qanduk and Turkey but block any Turkish army moves to push into the Kurdish enclave in north-east Syria. But the PKK may, meanwhile, seek support from Iran and from the Syrian government in Damascus, with which it formerly had close relations.


    Turkey: Violent clashes between pro-Kurdish protesters and police continue in Istanbul

  15. Taliban seizes Afghan police base after mass surrender (BBC, July 26, 2015)

    “The Taliban have seized a police base in northern Afghanistan and captured scores of officers after three days of fighting, officials say. More than 100 officers surrendered at the base in Badakhshan province. They were released after reportedly handing over their weapons.

    The surrender was the largest by Afghan security forces since Nato ended its combat mission in December. The Taliban have stepped up attacks during their annual spring offensive. A police spokesman said the officers were freed following a deal between the militants and the local police commanders who surrendered on Saturday evening.

    Some officials blamed the central government for failing to send reinforcements to break the siege by the militants. The base, in the province’s Wardoj district, was cut off after heavy rains destroyed roads into the area, said Badakhshan police chief General Baba Jan.

    It was not clear why reinforcements were not flown into the area, though the province’s steep valleys often make aircraft landings difficult.

    The Taliban issued a statement saying it had released the 110 police officers, their local commander and the head of the local border police after making an agreement.”

    • One would conclude muslims praying five times a day and ritual washing etc. they would not have time to go to war.
      But in fighting, for the first time, they can taste the life lived by free men where all things are permissible. Anything goes. Sleeping with boys to help pack explosives in their rectums.
      What’s of Jihad not to like?

  16. Yemen conflict: Shelling reported despite ‘truce’ (BBC, July 26, 2015)

    “Shelling has been reported in southern Yemen just as a humanitarian truce between rebels and Saudi-backed pro-government forces came into force. Houthi rebel artillery pounded residential areas near the city of Taiz, witnesses said.

    However, the capital Sanaa and central Yemen are understood to be quiet. Before the truce was due to begin, clashes were reported at a major air base north of Aden after government allies took the nearby town of Sabr.

    The Saudi-led coalition said it would halt air raids at midnight (20:59 GMT) to let much-needed humanitarian aid in. But a Houthi spokesman said the rebels would not adopt a position on the move until they were officially informed.

    Earlier reports suggested that the Houthi leader, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, had pledged to continue the fight. A correspondent with AFP news agency also reported sporadic gunfire in the northern outskirts of Aden barely an hour after the unilateral truce came into force. Rebels there are trying to halt the advance of loyalist forces who have retaken the port city.

    On Saturday, the coalition said it would suspend bombardment for five days but that it reserved the right to respond to “military activity or movement” by Houthi rebels. The unexpected ceasefire was announced after Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi wrote to Saudi’s King Salman asking for a break, to allow humanitarian supplies to be delivered….”

  17. Nigeria Boko Haram crisis: Child bomber hits Damaturu (BBC, July 26, 2015)

    “A girl aged about 10 has carried out a suicide bombing in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least 16 people, police say. The attack took place near a crowded market in the city of Damaturu in Yobe state. About 50 people were wounded.

    No group has said it was behind the attack but Islamists Boko Haram have been blamed for similar bombings in recent months. Two female suicide bombers killed nine people in the city earlier in July.

    Yobe police spokesman Toyin Gbadegesin said that the latest attack happened on Sunday morning. He said the child detonated her explosives in a crowd of people being screened by security services before they were let into the market.

    In the previous attack on 17 July, two female bombers – one also aged about 10 – killed people waiting to say prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid. The army said the blasts targeted a venue where volunteers were waiting to screen worshippers.

    Boko Haram has recently stepped up its campaign of violence after being pushed back by Nigerian forces backed by troops from several neighbouring countries….”

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