Category Archives: Middle East News

Middle East News

Israeli offensive against Hamas in Gaza

Israel bombarded the Gaza Strip on Tuesday , stepping up what threatens to become a long-term offensive against Islamist terrorist group Hamas after torrents of rockets being fired from Gaza in the last few days.  A rocket was lauched targeting Tel Aviv (70 km north of the Gaza Strip) today, but was intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” defence system.  The rocket attack was the deepest strike yet of rockets since Israel launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier Tuesday.

But the continued rocket fire had become too much by Tuesday morning, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a green light to “Operation Protective Edge.” At least 50 terrorist targets were hit in aerial bombardments during the predawn hours, and Israeli officials warned that a ground invasion of Gaza could follow.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that while a ground incursion into Gaza is not Israel’s “first choice,” the government will do whatever necessary to provide security to its citizens.

Speaking at the Israel Conference on Peace, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak stated, “We have to respond forcefully, with determination and reason. ”Israel cannot afford to have millions of civilians under rocket threat.”

Netanyahu, meanwhile, ordered the Israeli army to prepare for a major operation and to “see it through to the end.” He did not elaborate.

Online:  Israel: If Gaza Wants to Fight, We’ll Fight
Israel intercepts rocket aimed at Tel Aviv, reports say

Saudi Arabia Barricades Its Borders

Saudi Arabia MapIs Saudi Arabia terrified of its neighbors?

The country with the largest border fence market in the world is Saudi Arabia with a forecasted budget (2009-2018) of $20 billion.

Saudi Arabia first built a separation barrier along its 900km(560 miles) border with Iraq.  After the northern security barriers where finished construction began on a separation barrier along the 1,800km(1,100 mi) border with Yemen.  Then Saudi Arabia tripled the length of its border security barriers to additionally cover Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE; with a final cost estimate close to $40 billion.

In 2011, the Saudis increased their Homeland Security & Public Safety procurement budget by 46%; cumulative cost $70 billion, making them the highest per capital spenders on Homeland Security & Public Safety in the world. Saudi Arabia is almost entirely walled in.

In 2014, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah inaugurated the first phase of the border security project along the northern frontier of the  kingdom, soon after ISIS’s Sunni insurgency swept across Iraq.

saudidefences

The multi-layered barrier, which will eventually stretch across the Saudi-Iraq border from Jordan to Kuwait, includes 78 monitoring towers, eight command centers, 10 mobile surveillance vehicles, 32 rapid-response centers, and three rapid intervention squads, reports Janes.com. The capture of the Mosques at Medina and Mecca is a key ISIS objective.

iraqsaudiborder
Security barriers on the Iraq and Yemen borders.

Saudi Arabia’s policy for homeland security spending is: “No Expense Spared.” High-tech border security.  A border security system of fences, watchtowers, radar, day/night cameras, communications with links to command centers, razor-wire fence, sand berm barriers, no-man-land areas, and mines. Continue reading Saudi Arabia Barricades Its Borders

ISIS State-Building

Al-Qaeda-FlagLast  weekend ISIS changed its name to “the Islamic State” (IS).  IS also declared the establishment of a caliphate, or Islamic state, and declared that its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was now caliph of the Muslim world.

ISIS state-building has a sophisticated bureaucracy that offers governance and social services-Judicial services, Investment in Public Works, Media Outlet, Health and Welfare Programs.  Very organized.

The best way to get a sense of ISIS’s blueprint for state-building is to look at how it has ruled al-Raqqa governorate and other territory in neighboring Syria. The group’s first move is often to set up billboards around town that emphasize the importance of jihad, sharia, women’s purity, and other pietistic themes. It reaches out to local notables and tribal leaders as well to blunt the kind of backlash that greeted AQI and its harsh interpretation of sharia during the sahwa movement last decade

Continue reading ISIS State-Building

Israel: AbductedTeenagers Bodies Found

israelteensmissing
From L-R: Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16.

How Awful!  The bodies of the three Israeli teenagers abducted earlier this month have been found. The three teenagers were reportedly kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist group. Naftali Frenkel had duel American and Israeli citizenship.

The bodies of three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped 18 days ago in the West Bank have been found, it was announced Monday night. Their families have been notified.

In light of the dramatic developments in the case on Monday, the Israeli security cabinet called an emergency meeting for 9:30 P.M.

The bodies were found north of the Palestinian town Halhul, just north of Hebron.

Online:  Haaretz LIVE UPDATES: Israeli forces find bodies of three

Christians Flee from Qaraqosh

sunset iraq photoQaraqosh is a town near Mosul, Iraq.  Last night 50,000 Assyrians, mostly Christians,  fled  from the Nineveh township of Qaraqosh,  a result of shelling by ISIS. The township includes the historic Christian villages of Keremles and Bartella.  Since the collapse of the Iraq military in Mosul, the only armed defenders of Qaraqosh are the Kurdish Pershmerga militia.

Nearly all of the population of Qaraqosh, 50,000 Assyrians, has fled the city amid fighting between ISIS and Kurds. Syrian Catholic Archbishop Mar Youhana Boutros Moshe attempted to negotiate with ISIS and the Kurds to convince them to leave the city, but the negotiations failed. ISIS and the ‘Revolutionary Tribes’ (Sunnis) are set to storm the city.

According to Bishop Yousif Habash of the Syriac Orthodox Church in New Jersey, Qaraqosh (also known as Baghdede) is now almost completely abandoned. A source reporting from Qaraqosh told AINA the population has fled to Arbel, Dohuk, Alqosh, Tel Kepe, Telsqop and Ankawa. Monasteries and churches are filled with displaced Christian refugees from Baghdede. AINA

A Christian Solidarity International (CSI) team is in the area to assist with relief efforts.  According to CSI’s local partner, the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, the ISIS attack against Qaraqosh “portends a humanitarian catastrophe for all the people in the Nineveh Plain, and a disastrous emigration of Christians out of the country.”

Continue reading Christians Flee from Qaraqosh

Internationals Waging Jihad

Al-Qaeda-FlagAs ISIS grew in Syria the terrorist group’s overseas recruitment went up.  As the ISIS horde sweeps across Iraq their recruitment is increasing even more with the terrorist group courting people the world over to join their terror campaign.   Many that have joined the terrorist campaign have returned home or will return home posing an increased threat to countries around the world.

1,000 Chinese Jihadists Training In Pakistan
Some 1,000 Chinese jihadists are receiving military training at a base in Pakistan, as an indeterminate number of Chinese nationals are already fighting inside Syria, Jacques Neriah told a top-flight delegation from China visiting the country. JPost

Women among radicalised Britons fighting in Syria
British women are travelling to Syria to fight alongside hardline extremists in a bloody holy war, the Home Secretary has said. Theresa May said last night that radicalised women were among an estimated 400 Britons to have left the UK to fight for an Islamic state. The Scotsman

Continue reading Internationals Waging Jihad

Congressional Gold Medal: Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres photo
Shimon Peres

This week the Congressional Gold Medal will be awarded to Shimon Peres, Israeli statesman and the ninth and current President of the State of Israel. President Peres will be the first sitting President of Israel to receive this prestigious award.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award in the United States and is awarded to individuals, organizations,  or events that have made a tremendous contribution to the history and culture of the United States.

Peres and Reagan shared jokes, Nixon sent him books, and Kennedy grilled him on Israel’s nuclear plans. On the eve of siuch an honor, Israel’s ninth president reminisced about 50 years of meetings with 10 American presidents.

Throughout the decades, Peres’ meetings with American presidents have played a major role in Israel’s ability to form deep friendships with other nations. Nixon sent him all the books he had written, Bush senior hosted him at his summer home in Maine, and he and Reagan had regular joke-telling contests.

Continue reading Congressional Gold Medal: Shimon Peres

The Kurds

Kurdish female in Qoser
Kurdish female

Who Are The Kurds?

The Kurds ancient ancestors were known as the Medes (an Indo-European people). For most of their history the Kurds were overshadowed  by the Persian Empire and overpowered by the Ottoman Empire. During the conquests of Islam most Kurds became Muslim, most are Sunni Muslims.

The Kurds are not Arabs, actually they have a deep hatred for the Arabs. Today the Kurds are the largest ethnic group (27 million) without a homeland.  The Kurds live in northern Iraq, western Iran, eastern Syria, and eastern Turkey.  Kurdistan in northern Iraq is an autonomous region with its own government and military, which was created after Saddam Hussein’s repeated attacks and use of chemical weapons on the Kurds.

Traditionally a pastoral culture, today the Kurds control much of northern Iraq’s oil production. When the Iraqi government’s army abandoned their posts the Kurdish army seized Kirkuk, a major oil city, which is considered an ancestral city to the Kurds. In 615 BC, the Medes joined with Babylonians, to overthrow the Assyrians at Ninevah, Assur, and  Arraphu (modern Kirkuk).

In the month Arahsamna the Medes went down to Arraphu (modern Kirkuk)-The Babylonian Chronicle.

Today the Kurdish army has evolved to a well-trained, disciplined guerrilla force. The term used for the  Kurdish army is Peshmerga, which literally means “one who faces death.”

Prophetic Implications?

Continue reading The Kurds

Sunnis and Shiites

The two main sub-groups of Islam is Sunnis and Shiites

The Sunni-Shiite split stemmed from political differences, who should succeed and lead Muslims after Muhammad’s death in 632. The Sunni branch thinks the most able and pious should be the leader. So after Muhammad’s death his close companion, Abu Bakr, became his successor.  The Shiite branch thinks the succession should be based on family. So after Muhammad’s death succession should go to his cousin/son-in-law Ali bin Abu Talib. Through the years other differences have formed between the Sunnis and Shiites.

The Wahhabi sect of Sunnis are radicals, this sect is dominate in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia spends billions for the propagation of Wahhabism, funding schools, mosques, and charities.

The majority (about 85%) of Muslims are Sunnis.  Approximately 10 to 15 percent of Muslims follow the Shiite branch of Islam.

Islam By Country

Continue reading Sunnis and Shiites

Massive Exodus of Christians from Mosul

mosul photoChristians fleeing Mosul have found a safe haven in Kurdistan (an autonomous region of northern Iraq). Mosul, in northern Iraq, had a Christian population of around 10,000 until Sunni terrorist group ISIS took the city last week. Most of the Christians have fled to Kurdistan seeking refuge and protection.

“There was panic,” he (Father Pios Affas) told FRANCE 24. “Everybody fled, carrying whatever they could. Ninety percent have left and only 10 percent remain.”

“They stayed because they were old, or because they didn’t have cars or simply didn’t have the possibility to leave,” he added. “Those who knew it would be worse for them said: ‘it’s better to die in our homes than on the roads’.”

‘We have left everything behind’

France24 Video: Iraq’s fleeing Christians find safe haven in Kurdistan

Continue reading Massive Exodus of Christians from Mosul

Fatah Posts Cartoon Mocking Kidnapped Teens in Israel as “Rats”

The current administration backs and supports these people and threatens Israel to give in to the demands of Fatah.  As long as the Palestinians do not regard the Jews as people there will never be a peace deal.  The rats represent the three teens kidnapped in Israel.

fatahrats

The official Facebook page Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party has posted a cartoon comparing the three kidnapped Israeli students to rats.

The post on the “Palestinian National Liberation Movement “Fatah” / Central Page” shows three rats with Stars of David dangling from a fishing rod, accompanied by an Arabic caption in red reading “A Master Stroke”; its implications are unmistakable.

Online: Sick: Fatah Posts Cartoon Mocking Kidnapped Teens as ‘Rats’

US evacuates Baghdad embassy as brutal ISIS forces advance

The United States said Sunday it was evacuating some staff from its embassy and beefing up security as deadly explosions rocked the Iraqi capital and advancing militant Islamic insurgents released graphic images appearing to show its fighters massacring captured Iraqi soldiers.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that an undisclosed number of staffers will be moved to Amman, Jordan or U.S. consulates elsewhere in Iraq not immediately threatened by the insurgent group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

Online:  U.S. evacuates embassy as bombs, fighting rock Iraq