Reader’s Links, October 26, 2019

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

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

94 Replies to “Reader’s Links, October 26, 2019”

  1. Syria clashes between pro-Turkish forces and Kurds leave 15 dead, monitor says

    “Clashes in northeast Syria between pro-Ankara fighters and a force led by Syrian Kurds left 15 dead on Saturday, a monitor said, as a former UN prosecutor said Turkish leader Erdogan should be investigated and prosecuted for war crimes.

    Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP that nine pro-Turkish fighters and six members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were killed in a zone between the towns of Tal Tamer and Ras al-Ain.

    State news agency SANA said earlier that Syrian government forces had entered the provincial borders of Ras al-Ain near Turkey’s border on Saturday, an area that was taken by Turkish forces in their weeks-long offensive against Syria’s Kurds. The Observatory said the Syrian government’s deployment there was its largest in years…”

  2. Turkey, Syrian allies accused of torture, mutilation of Kurdish fighters after footage surfaces

    “Footage of alleged atrocities committed by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria have circulated online and across Kurdish areas of the war-torn country, sparking calls for war crimes investigations.

    The videos reportedly show Turkish-backed Arab fighters torturing captives and mutilating dead combatants.

    A video which surfaced earlier this week purportedly shows the Ankara-linked fighters dragging a Kurdish fighter while threatening to behead him. Another video shows an alleged Arab fighter mutilating the body of a dead Kurdish fighter to the sound of jeering from other members of the Turkey-backed force.

    The videos have sparked strong criticism, including from the United States’ special envioy for Syria, who described the acts depicted in the footage as “potential war crimes”.

    Kurdish officials, meanwhile, have insisted the footage proves allegations of “ethnic cleansing” by Ankara and its allies.

    Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced as a result of the assault by Turkey and Turkish-allied Syrian fighters to push Kurdish rebels back from the Turkey-Syria border…”

  3. Egypt’s unemployment rate drops to lowest rate in 30 years–.aspx

    “Egypt’s cabinet media center announced that the unemployment rate in Egypt reached the lowest level in 30 years with 7.5% in the second quarter of 2019, compared with 9.9% one year earlier.

    The drop has been achieved thanks to main factors; including the implementation of 9,039 projects by the state during the period from July 2014 to December 2018 at a total cost of EGP 2.1 trillion, the center said in an info-graphic posted on its official website on Saturday.

    The drop was also attributed to loans and facilities granted to companies and MSEs institutions at a value of EGP 144.2 billion during the period from December 2015 to June 2019, serving over 565,000 clients.”

  4. ‘Every third cop guilty of misuse of authority’

    “The internal accountability mechanism of Punjab police is in a shambles as it has failed to curb the number of violations by members of the force.

    Every third member of the police department has been found guilty of corruption, misuse of authority and other illegalities every year, an analysis of five years of data revealed.

    Even with the rate of punishment, the action proved ineffective when it came to reforming the approach of members of the force. This has been proven by the fact that the proportion of police officials punished remains unchanged over the passage of time. Data showed that, on average, that 60,000 policemen were given punishments every year…”

  5. Nearly 900 irregular migrants held in NW Turkey

    “Security forces on Oct. 25 held a total of 893 irregular migrants attempting to cross to Europe through the northwestern Edirne province of Turkey.

    According to local sources, the provincial gendarme forces conducted operations against those seeking to go to Europe, searching for them in border villages and train stations.

    Among the migrants held were people from Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nepal, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Iran, and Afghanistan.

    They were later referred to the provincial migration office for the official process.

    Turkey’s Edirne neighbors Greece and Bulgaria, therefore the irregular migrants who desire a life in Europe use the province as a transit road; however, security forces’ tight monitoring activities significantly prevent their entrance to the continent.”

  6. Spain plans to give migrant data to police met with outcry

    “More than 100 rights groups in southern Spain raised the alarm Friday over plans to hand police details on illegal migrants following a political deal with the far-right Vox party.

    The measure was raised in the 2020 budget proposal for Andalucia, which was agreed by the regional government on Wednesday following a deal with Vox, prompting the Association for Human Rights of Andalusia (APDHA) to threaten legal action.

    The budget clause refers to “a proposed cooperation agreement with the interior ministry” which the APDHA said would facilitate the collection of data from doctors and social services to identify and expel undocumented migrants.

    In a joint statement, 125 rights groups said such a move would “constitute a flagrant attack on the fundamental rights of migrants,” warning the Andalusian government they would take legal action to block it.

    “It is illegal,” said APDHA spokeswoman Natalia Garcia Caballos.

    “It would allow for the identification, the localisation and the possible expulsion of those people who have been identified after going to see the doctor or the social services,” she told AFP.

    “This would leave them in a very vulnerable situation,” she told AFP, saying people in need would no longer seek help if they thought it could result in them being deported.

    In June, the Andalusian government — a rightwing coalition grouping the conservative People’s Party and the centre-right Ciudadanos — signed a deal with Vox to push through the 2019 budget.

    But the deal involved “clear concessions to Vox’s ultra-rightwing ideas,” APDHA said, urging the Andalusian government to “step back from the agreement signed with Vox”.

    “The agreement violates article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article eight of EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, the EU’s 2016 Data Protection directive and Spain’s data protection law,” it said.

    In March, the Andalusian government estimated there were more than 32,000 people living illegally in the southern region.

    Launched in 2014 by disillusioned PP lawmakers, Vox made a breakthrough in December 2018 by winning 12 seats in the Andalusian assembly, thus becoming the first far-right party to sit in a regional parliament since Spain returned to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco Franco.

    In April, the party entered the Spanish national parliament for the first time, after winning 24 seats in the general election.

    Andalusia, Spain’s most populous region, is the main entry point for migrants reaching the country by sea.”

    • reuters – U.S. targeted Islamic State’s al-Baghdadi: official

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has carried out an operation targeting Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

      The official did not disclose details of the operation and did not say whether it was successful.

      Other U.S. officials contacted by Reuters declined comment.

      Newsweek, citing a U.S. Army official briefed on the result of the operation, said al-Baghdadi was killed in the raid.


      Trump to make ‘major statement’ as speculation grows that U.S. killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

      WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump plans to make a “major statement” at the White House at 9 a.m. Sunday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said late Saturday.

      Gidley gave no further details, and it was unclear what the topic of Trump’s statement might be.

      There was speculation, however, that Trump might have news about Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the elusive militant who has been the subject of an international manhunt for years.

      Newsweek, citing a U.S. Army official briefed on the results of the operation, said that al-Baghdadi “was killed in the raid.” The report also said the U.S. Defense Department had told the White House they have “high confidence” that the high-value target killed was al-Baghdadi, but further verification is pending, adding that Trump had approved the mission nearly a week before it took place.

      Newsweek said members of a team from the Joint Special Operations Command carried out the high-level operation on Saturday after receiving actionable intelligence, according to sources familiar with the move. The location raided by special operations troops had been under surveillance for some time, the report added.

      The president gave an indication that something was afoot earlier on Saturday night when he tweeted without explanation, “Something very big has just happened!”

      News of his “major statement” came amid reports Saturday of U.S. military helicopters over Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, the last bastion of the country’s Islamist-dominated opposition in the country’s bloody civil war.

      However, observers have said that the province would make an odd location for a last stand by al-Baghdadi since it is controlled by a group now known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which has in recent years clashed with the Islamic State group.

      Trump has been frustrated by the U.S. news media’s heavy focus on the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry, which he calls an illegitimate witch hunt.

      He has also faced withering criticism from both Republicans and Democrats alike for his U.S. troop withdrawal from northeastern Syria, which permitted Turkey to attack America’s Kurdish allies.

      Trump was expected to make the statement in the White House Diplomatic Reception Room, which he has used to make a number of major announcements.

      Earlier this month he used the same room to announce that a cease-fire between Turkey and the Kurds had taken hold.


      he United States military has conducted a special operations raid targeting one of its most high-value targets, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), Newsweek has learned. President Donald Trump approved the mission nearly a week before it took place.

      Amid reports Saturday of U.S. military helicopters over Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, a senior Pentagon official familiar with the operation and Army official briefed on the matter told Newsweek that Baghdadi was the target of the top-secret operation in the last bastion of the country’s Islamist-dominated opposition, a faction that has clashed with ISIS in recent years.

      A U.S. Army official briefed on the results of the operation told Newsweek that Baghdadi was killed in the raid, and the Defense Department told the White House they have “high confidence” that the high-value target killed was Baghdadi, but further verification is pending. The senior Pentagon official said Baghdadi had killed himself by detonating a suicide vest.

      Members of a team from the Joint Special Operations Command carried out Saturday’s high-level operation after receiving actionable intelligence, according to sources familiar with the operation. The location raided by special operations troops had been under surveillance for some time.

      On Saturday night, after the operation had concluded, President Trump tweeted: “Something very big has just happened!” The White House announced later that the president will make a “major statement” Sunday at 9:00 a.m.

      Baghdadi, an Iraqi national, is an ultraconservative cleric who became active in the Islamist insurgency against U.S. forces following the 2003 invasion that toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He was held by U.S. forces in the detention centers of Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca, where a number of future jihadi leaders rubbed shoulders while in military custody.

      He went on to join Al-Qaeda in Iraq, rising up the ranks of the violent group as it merged with others to form the Islamic State of Iraq and eventually inherited its leadership in 2010, when his predecessor was killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation. As the group took advantage of a U.S. military exit to further expand, he renamed the group to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham—or the Levant—better known as ISIS, in 2013, seeking to expand to neighboring Syria, where a civil war was raging.

      Baghdadi’s forces made lightning gains across both Iraq and Syria, and in 2014 he declared his group a global caliphate from the Grand Al-Nuri Mosque in Iraq’s second city of Mosul in his only known public appearance as ISIS leader. Officially known from then on simply as the Islamic State, the group began to grab world attention not only for atrocities committed across the region, but in high-profile strikes on civilians in the West as well.

      The United States involved itself in Syria by backing groups trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in an uprising also supported by Turkey and other regional powers. The Pentagon began to realign itself by partnering with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces as ISIS grew increasingly powerful, Islamists overtook the opposition and Russia joined Iran in backing Assad against these factions.

      Rival campaigns led by the Syrian government and the Syrian Democratic Force were launched to defeat ISIS, which began to lash out abroad with bloody attacks in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and beyond. The perpetrators of at least three mass killings in the U.S. professed their allegiance to ISIS.

      The group began to lose ground in both Iraq and Syria in recent years, however, with a U.S.-led coalition, Iran and Russia among the international powers hunting for Baghdadi. Though various, conflicting reports have been offered as to his fate and whereabouts, no single government has acknowledged any knowledge.

      The most persistent of these reports involved him being in the so-called Jazeera region. Once a hotbed for ISIS activities, the area was often described as being in poor health condition. The region was seized by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces—yet Baghdadi was nowhere to be seen.

      “Baghdadi being in Syria follows his presumed pattern of life operating between Iraq and Syria,” a former senior counterterrorism official, who has tracked and supported the capture of operatives traveling from Pakistan to Iraq and Turkey, told Newsweek. “If he is dead, that would be a tremendous blow to ISIS, especially if other seniors leaders were killed during this operation.”

      As recent as February, Vice-Admiral Igor Kostyukov, head of the Russian general staff’s Main Intelligence Department, told the state-run Tass news agency that Baghdadi’s “whereabouts are unknown,” but “he is definitely not in Idlib.” The site is the base of operations for Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a rival jihadi group with ties to Al-Qaeda’s former Nusra Front, headed by Baghdadi’s former associate, Abu Mohammed al-Jolani, who refused to join ISIS in a move that created a major rift among the militant groups.

      Assad himself was seen on a rare visit to the frontlines of Idlib province in footage released Monday. The Syrian leader told his troops “that the Idlib battle is the core to decisively end chaos and terrorism in all of Syria” and vowed to defeat the array of rebel groups there while also teaming up with Kurdish-led forces against any Turkish-led attempts to push further into northern Syria.

      Facing nationwide defeats at the hands of the government and its allies, a number of Syrian rebel groups have opted to reorganize themselves with the support of Turkey. Ankara has mobilized these fighters to battle the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey due to alleged links to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

      Though Trump has withdrawn U.S. Special Forces from northern Syria, he has called for some troops to remain elsewhere in eastern Syria, where much of the country’s oil reserves remain under Kurdish-led control. A convoy of U.S. military vehicles was seen rolling through the city of Qamishli on its way to eastern Deir Ezzor province.

      Turkey has since halted its incursion following back-to-back deals with the U.S. and Russia, which has sought to restore Assad’s authority at the country’s northern border and facilitate a YPG withdrawal. This process remains ongoing, though reports remain of sporadic violence between the two factions, something that some critics of the U.S. exit worried may give ISIS a chance to resurge.

      Asked how Baghdadi’s death may affect the U.S. withdrawal, the former senior counterterrorism official told Newsweek, “If you are leaving you want to try to find your targets before you leave.”

      The Joint Special Operations Command, out of U.S. Army base Fort Bragg in North Carolina, is a sub-unified command of the U.S. Special Operations Command. Led by U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Scott A. Howell, the command oversees special mission units such as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, known to the public as SEAL Team Six and Delta Force, respectively.

      Contacted by Newsweek, no reply was returned before publication from neither the National Security Council nor the Department of Defense.

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