IS Routs Peshmerga, Takes Control of Sinjar Mountains, Jeopardizes Yazidi Homeland

Summary: IS scores major victory today, breaks Peshmerga forces, conquers strategic Kurdish area and displaces hundreds of thousands of Yazidi Kurds. The expulsion of Mosul’s Christians was devastating, but today’s expulsion of Yazidis is much bigger. This raises the question of whether the Kurds can hold out against IS in Iraq, as well as in Syria. It appears that IS’ next major front, in both countries, could be against the Kurds.

Yazidis flee the IS invasion on foot, through Sinjar's desert mountains. Photo was tweeted by Sinjar locals today.

Yazidis flee the IS invasion on foot, through Sinjar’s desert mountains. Photo was tweeted by Sinjar locals today.

 

IS Routs Peshmerga, Takes Control of Sinjar Mountains, Jeopardizes Yazidi Homeland

by Matthew BarberMatthew Barber 3

(thanks to Christine Allison for input)

Beginning in the early hours of the morning, IS forces attacked the Sinjar Mountains. The Kurdish Peshmerga defended the area for two hours before being overcome and retreating.

The Kurdish loss of this strategic territory resulted in the flight of hundreds of thousands of Kurdish refugees.

Sinjar lies west of Mosul and Tel ‘Afar, both under IS control. Though a disputed territory not officially part of Kurdistan Province, and somewhat disconnected from Dohuk, the nearest Kurdish governorate, it has nonetheless been an island of Peshmerga control on the Syrian border. The Kurdish role in administering and protecting the area, as well as the claim that this disputed territory should belong to a future Kurdistan, stem from the Kurdish-speaking population of Sinjar. Located near the Kurdish part of Syria, Sinjar is also surrounded by areas inhabited by Arab tribes that have often been in competition with Kurds. Some of these tribes worked with al-Qaida during the War in Iraq, and yesterday they aided IS in preparing for today’s takeover of Sinjar.

Source: NYT

Source: NYT

Sinjar (“Shingal” in Kurdish) is one of a few key areas that constitute the homeland of the Yazidi religious minority. One of the few remaining non-Abrahamic religions of the Middle-East, the Yazidis are a particularly vulnerable group lacking advocacy in the region. Not belonging to the small set of religions carrying the Islamic label “People of the Book,” Yazidis are branded mushrikiin (polytheists) by Salafis/jihadists and became targets of high levels of terrorist attacks and mass killing orchestrated by al-Qaida-affiliated jihadists, following the instability brought about by the War in Iraq.

Sinjar map bigger

Today’s IS assault is already bringing about devastating consequences for Yazidis, who make up about 340,000 of Sinjar’s 400,000 inhabitants (this is a high estimate). Many have fled on foot through the desert, without food or water.

Others fleeing in cars for Dohuk have been unable to make a clean escape, due to the inability of the roads to accommodate such a large flux of people. Thousands of cars are currently stranded west of the Tigris River.

Cars fleeing Sinjar jammed as capacity of roads exceeded. Photo tweeted by Kurdish sources today.

Cars fleeing Sinjar traffic-jammed as capacity of roads exceeded. Photo tweeted by Kurdish sources today.

As I write this, the fight has moved to the Wana District south of the Mosul Dam Lake, where ISIS is trying to gain control of the Mosul Dam. The fight in that area is about 7km from where today’s Sinjar refugees are trying to cross the Tigris to reach Dohuk.

The mountain stronghold of Sinjar is a special center of Yazidi tradition that has long offered its people refuge from waves of religious persecution, including Ottoman attempts to wipe out all Yazidis who refused to convert to Islam. Modern warfare has made the community’s position more precarious, and today’s IS offensive has the potential to do irreparable damage to the stability of this Middle Eastern minority.

Yazidi religious practice is connected to a network of sacred places within the essential areas of the homeland; if contact with Sinjar’s holy places is severed and its population dispersed, the religious tradition will be further endangered as Yezidism moves a step closer to extinction.

Just over two weeks ago, another ancient religious community was eliminated, en masse, from its homeland, when Christians were expelled from Mosul. Prior to this, IS engaged in high levels of violence against the Shabak minority that inhabits villages just outside of Mosul. Many Shabak, as well as Shiite Turkomen, fled IS violence for the relative safety of Sinjar, and today are being made to flee again, joined this time by the indigenous Yazidi population.

No sooner did IS takeover Sinjar when they immediately began destroying religious sites. A Shiite holy place is shown below, before destruction:

Sinjar shrine

And the same site after being blown up today:

Sinjar shrine destroyed

The burden of the refugee crisis on Kurdistan Province is difficult to calculate. Many Iraqi Arabs have taken refuge here since the beginning of the War in Iraq. Afterwards, Kurdistan became inundated with thousands of Syrian refugees during the last several years of conflict in Syria. Then it received Arabs from Mosul when ISIS took over the city. When Mosul’s Christians were expelled two weeks ago, they all fled to Kurdistan, as some Shabak that didn’t flee to Sinjar had done. Now everyone in Sinjar is coming as well (those who fled Mosul plus Sinjar’s Yazidis), except for those in Sinjar’s western areas that have headed for Syria. (Syria a destination for refugees… who would have thought?)

Photo: Rudaw - Yezidi IDPs (internally displaced persons) arrive in Lalish

Photo: Rudaw – Yezidi IDPs (internally displaced persons) arrive in Lalish

Though a number of outstanding issues regarding territory, sovereignty, and borders (involving Baghdad, Kurdistan, Assyrians, Yazidis, etc.) remain unresolved, if the Peshmerga fails to stand, there won’t be much left to resolve. Commitment to a united Iraq notwithstanding, the US must seriously consider the possible outcome of what is transpiring now. A few days ago, everyone in Kurdistan was confident that all areas under Peshmerga control would remain impervious to jihadi incursions. The collapse of the Peshmerga—who had the advantage of the mountain’s higher ground—in the face of the IS onslaught, came as a surprise. Many are voicing concerns about just how resilient Kurdish forces can remain in the long-term, and whether they will maintain a weapons advantage.

Widespread pleas for support of various kinds—humanitarian and weapons—have intensified in Kurdistan, coming from the recently expelled Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, as well as from majority Kurds concerned about defensive capabilities. Amidst these cries, Yazidi religious figures met with US embassy officials today and requested help in the aftermath of the Sinjar disaster.

The question now is: what kind of action can make a difference?

 

Round-Up

A number of sites have reported on today’s events:

IS terrorists take over Yezidi villages: A short chronicleEzidi Press – Ezidi Press

+++01:30 am+++ Terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) attack the Yezidi village Siba Sheikh Khidir and the surrounding villages. Armed Yezidi civilians and Peshmerga fighters stationed on site resist for several hours

+++05:30 am+++ The IS terrorists are gaining the upper hand. The much-needed help by Peshmerga backup remains off

+++07:30 am+++ Peshmerga units withdraw from the disputed areas. Only armed Yezidi civilians continue to resist. Panic spreads over the affected villages, it is certain that the Yezidis will not be able to put up further resistance by their own

+++09:00 am+++ IS terrorists take over the villages Til Benat, Siba Sheikh Khidir, Til Keseb and Til Aziz. Thousands Yezidis flee from their villages to the north of Shingal and try to seek shelter in the mountains. Yezidi civilians provide the refugee flows fire cover

+++10:00 am+++ The IS marches towards the city of Shingal, Yezidi civilians skirmish with them. Desperately, women, children and old men are trying to escape. Yezidi men bring their families to safety and return to the fightings. In the north, YPG and Peshmerga units mobilize in order to go to the rescue

+++10:30 am+++ First major units of YPG and Peshmerga arrive at the disputed territories in the south of Shingal.   More fighters are on the way. Battles now take place on several fronts

+++11:10 am+++ IS terrorists begin to destroy holy pilgrimage sites of Shiites and Yezidis

+++11:25 am+++ There is already a shortage of drinking water and food for toddlers. Because they were forced to leave their homes on the spur of the moment, the Yezidi refugees from Shingal had no way to carry food

+++11:55 am+++ Heavy fightings take place in the border town of Rabia, where YPG and Peshmerga forces fight together against IS terrorists. Shingal is now attacked from both the north and south. As a result Rabia´s residents flee to areas of Shingal which are not occupied yet

Iraq jihadists seize another town from Kurdish forces – AFP

Jihadists raised their black flag in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar on Sunday in a second straight day of advances against Kurdish forces, forcing thousands of displaced people back on the road.

The Islamic State’s capture of Sinjar raised fears for minority groups that had found refuge there and further blurs the border between the Syrian and Iraqi parts of the “caliphate” which the IS declared in June.

“The (Kurdish) peshmerga have withdrawn from Sinjar, Daash has entered the city,” Kurdish official Kheiri Sinjari told AFP, using the former Arabic acronym for the IS. …

… Sinjar had sheltered thousands of people who were displaced by the huge offensive IS launched in the region nearly two months ago.

Among them are many of Iraq’s minorities, such as Turkmen Shiites who fled the city of Tal Afar, about half-way between Sinjar and Mosul, when jihadist fighters swept in.

Sinjar is also a historical home for the Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking minority which follows a pre-Islamic faith derived in part from Zoroastrianism.

IS militants refer to them as devil worshippers and they have been repeatedly targeted.

“Thousands of people have already fled, some to nearby mountains still under Kurdish control and also towards Dohuk,” in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, another PUK official said.

He also said that IS fighters had destroyed the small Shiite shrine of Sayyeda Zeinab shortly after taking control of Sinjar.

“The number of displaced people is not known. However, initial reports range from the thousands of families to a figure of 200,000 people,” said Brendan McDonald, a senior officer of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

“Based on reports we are receiving, there is an immediate need for water, food, shelter and health services,” he told AFP. …

… The peshmerga are widely perceived as Iraq’s best organised and most efficient military force but the autonomous Kurdish region has been cash-strapped and its troops stretched.

Its regional government has not been receiving the 17 percent share of national oil revenues it is owed by Baghdad and is struggling to sell its own, smaller production independently.

According to a senior official, a Kurdish delegation is currently in the United States to demand military equipment. …

 

Jihadists enter Sinjar - photo taken from Ezidi Press

Jihadists enter Sinjar – photo taken from Ezidi Press

 

Aftermath of IS invasion of Sinjar - Photo: al-Arabiya

Aftermath of IS invasion of Sinjar – Photo: al-Arabiya

 

U.N.: jihadist takeover of Iraq town sparks ‘humanitarian tragedy’ – al-Arabiya

UN Calls for Urgent Cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil in the wake of Sinjar tragedyUNIraq

Baghdad, 3 August 2014 – The United Nations in Iraq has confirmed reports that ISIL and associated armed groups have seized control of nearly all of Sinjar and Tal Afar districts in Ninewa Province, including the oil fields of Ain Zala and Batma, bordering the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

According to reports, as many as 200,000 civilians, most of them from the Yezidi community, have fled to Jabal Sinjar.  The humanitarian situation of these civilians is reported as dire, and they are in urgent need of basic items including food, water and medicine.  An unknown number of civilians are also reported to have moved towards Dahuk and Zako in the Kurdistan Region.

The United Nations has grave concerns for the physical safety of these civilians – particularly those now trapped in Jabal Sinjar area, as it is now surrounded by ISIL militants.

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, stated “A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Sinjar.  The Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government should urgently restore their security cooperation in dealing with the crisis.  I call on all Iraqi authorities, civil society and international partners to work with the United Nations to ensure the delivery of life saving humanitarian assistance”.  “I also call on the Kurdistan Regional Government to ensure that those civilians fleeing the violence are facilitated entry to the Kurdistan Region in order to receive protection and humanitarian assistance,” he added. …

Peshmerga Forces Prepare for Major Offensive Against ISIL – Rudaw

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Ali Awni, an official from Kurdistan Democratic Party reveals to Rudaw that despite claims to the contrary, not all of Sinjar is under the effective control of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He said, “Peshmerga forces are stationed in one part of Sinjar, and are waiting for reinforcements to arrive”. He also added,”A heavy force from Peshmerga under the leadership of Mansoor Barzani has arrived in the area, and in the next few hours will conduct a major offensive operation against ISIL to get rid of them in the area”. Anwar Haji Osman from the Ministry of Peshmerga briefly commented saying, “Peshmerga are planning an operating, and will have a big victory in the area soon. ISIL will have no choice but to leave this country, and they know this very well”. – See more at: http://old.rudaw.net/news/Live-Blog/#sthash.l8U334xt.dpuf
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Ali Awni, an official from Kurdistan Democratic Party reveals to Rudaw that despite claims to the contrary, not all of Sinjar is under the effective control of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He said, “Peshmerga forces are stationed in one part of Sinjar, and are waiting for reinforcements to arrive”. He also added,”A heavy force from Peshmerga under the leadership of Mansoor Barzani has arrived in the area, and in the next few hours will conduct a major offensive operation against ISIL to get rid of them in the area”. Anwar Haji Osman from the Ministry of Peshmerga briefly commented saying, “Peshmerga are planning an operating, and will have a big victory in the area soon. ISIL will have no choice but to leave this country, and they know this very well”. – See more at: http://old.rudaw.net/news/Live-Blog/#sthash.l8U334xt.dpuf
Peshmerga Forces Prepare for Major Offensive Against ISIL – See more at: http://old.rudaw.net/news/Live-Blog/#sthash.l8U334xt.dpuf
Peshmerga Forces Prepare for Major Offensive Against ISIL – See more at: http://old.rudaw.net/news/Live-Blog/#sthash.l8U334xt.dpuf
Peshmerga Forces Prepare for Major Offensive Against ISIL – See more at: http://old.rudaw.net/news/Live-Blog/#sthash.l8U334xt.dpuf

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Ali Awni, an official from Kurdistan Democratic Party reveals to Rudaw that despite claims to the contrary, not all of Sinjar is under the effective control of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He said, “Peshmerga forces are stationed in one part of Sinjar, and are waiting for reinforcements to arrive”. He also added,”A heavy force from Peshmerga under the leadership of Mansoor Barzani has arrived in the area, and in the next few hours will conduct a major offensive operation against ISIL to get rid of them in the area”. Anwar Haji Osman from the Ministry of Peshmerga briefly commented saying, “Peshmerga are planning an operating, and will have a big victory in the area soon. ISIL will have no choice but to leave this country, and they know this very well”.

Yazidis flee westward from Sinjar to Syria – from @ArjDnn

 

An IS jihadist makes himself at home inside Peshmerga headquarters in Sinjar

An IS jihadist makes himself at home inside Peshmerga headquarters in Sinjar

Added August 4, 2014:

Yazidi refugees from Sinjar sleep on the ground, first night after fleeing - Photo: EzidiPress

Yazidi refugees from Sinjar sleep on the ground, first night after fleeing – Photo: EzidiPress

Comments (81)


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51. Passerby said:

Jets, explosions reported near Islamic State lines as Kurds beg for U.S. help

IRBIL, Iraq — Jet aircraft attacked Islamic State positions outside the town of Kalak, 25 miles northwest of Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, a resident of Kalak told McClatchy early Friday.

The resident, reached by phone from Irbil, said she had seen the aircraft and had heard the explosions coming from behind Islamic State lines, which are slightly more than a mile away. The resident said because it was dark she could not see any markings on the aircraft.

Kurdish television reported that the bombers were American. There was no confirmation from U.S. officials in Washington.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/08/07/3338835/islamic-state-pushes-back-kurdish.html#storylink=cpy

I am so proud to be an American.

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August 7th, 2014, 5:49 pm

 

52. Passerby said:

A Return to the Fight in Iraq

With the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria growing more horrific and dominant, and even reliable Kurdish forces having trouble holding ISIS back, President Obama may have already begun airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops…

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/08/07/a-return-to-the-fight-in-iraq

Well, I”ll give him credit, he’s doing the right thing, even if it does mean political suicide.

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August 7th, 2014, 6:03 pm

 

53. Passerby said:

*Your comment is awaiting moderation.*

DOHUK, Iraq — American military forces bombed at least two targets in northern Iraq on Thursday night to rout Islamist insurgents who have trapped tens of thousands of religious minorities in Kurdish areas, Kurdish officials said.

Word of the bombings, reported on Kurdish television from the city of Erbil, came as President Obama was preparing to make a statement in Washington.

Kurdish officials said the bombings targeted fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria who had seized two towns, Gwer and Mahmour. Residents who had fled those areas by car were heard honking their horns in approval…

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/08/world/middleeast/american-forces-said-to-bomb-isis-targets-in-iraq.html?_r=0

They’ll forget. No one ever thanks us, never any gratitude, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc. etc. etc. but we always step forward and stand in the breech.

Yeah, all your failures, and all the failures of those like you, are the fault of the USA. The he11-hole you live in would be paradise if it weren’t for us.

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August 7th, 2014, 6:11 pm

 

54. Passerby said:

(CNN) –
U.S. humanitarian airdrop missions have started in Iraq, a senior U.S. official told CNN Thursday.

“An effort has begun,” the official said. Planes are in the air, the official said, but they have not yet started dropping aid. There are fighter jets for protection, the source said…

Is it the Rusian air force saving them? The Europeans? Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, China? How hard can it be to drop some food?

But it isn’t is it?

It’s the United States of America, and yeah, we ARE special, we”re the only ones that show up.

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August 7th, 2014, 6:48 pm

 

55. Passerby said:

Ok, that’s two votss for letting them all die and be sold into slavery.

And you are wondering why where you live is such a sewer?

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August 7th, 2014, 9:38 pm

 

56. Passerby said:

“Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, ‘there is no one coming to help.’ Well, today America is coming to help,” the president said.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/defense/did-the-u-s-just-bomb-iraq-20140807

So proud to be an American. So proud.

And shame on the rest of the world!

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August 7th, 2014, 9:59 pm

 

57. JOSHUAH DAVIDSON said:

HERE WE COME TO SAVE THE DAY!!!

THE CHRISTIANS AND THE JEWS!!!

O YEAH!!!

AMERICA THE CHRISTIAN/JEWISH NATION GETS IT DONE!

ALL PRAISE THE POWER OF YHVH/YESHUSHUAH/JESUS NAME! LET ANGELS PROSTRATE FORTH. BRING FORTH THE ROYAL DIADEM AND CROWN HIM LORD OF LORDS!!!

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August 7th, 2014, 10:53 pm

 

58. ALAN said:

You like someone who sings to himself in the bathroom! Stop chatter
The number of your posts 18 times on the subject of bla bla

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August 8th, 2014, 1:22 am

 

59. Syrialover said:

One thing the dazed and dysfunctional Arab League SHOULD be doing:

Setting up a Middle Eastern Guantanamo in which to dump all the sickos, sadists and juvenile fantasists of ISIS and their Shia counterparts when they are rounded up.

1. It should be in some grim remote desert location with rules that make Guantanamo look like a holiday camp.

2. Significantly, have it internationally agreed there will be ZERO channels for “human rights” junketers and representatives of governments to plead for special rights and return of their own nationals.

and 3. Though it also goes against my normal beliefs, I also advocate routine mass executions without trial for the degraded real-life nobodies and nasty sub-animals who invaded and did the same to unprotected innocent citizens or locals who were defending their home countries.

The world is starting to realise that people aboard these super terrorist junk ships are too debased, brain-damaged and dangerous to have a future in any human society anywhere.

Don’t passively wait for the west to figure out a plan – let the functioning governments of the region take the lead and start preparing rubbish disposal units for them, and do it now!

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August 8th, 2014, 5:27 am

 

60. Passerby said:

“Those who are preventing or delaying such a strike are friends of terrorists and virtual allies of Israel.”
Ghufran

Ok, according to Ghufran’s understanding of the world, everyone on the planet is a friend of terrorists except the United States of America.

A broken clock is right twice a day.

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August 8th, 2014, 6:10 am

 

61. Passerby said:

57. ALAN said:
You like someone who sings to himself in the bathroom! Stop chatter
The number of your posts 18 times on the subject of bla bla

From YOU Alan?

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August 8th, 2014, 6:13 am

 

62. Jasmine said:

Passerby
You posted nearly 20 times to tell us how great USA is,we got it.
You should give the credit to Bush who ruined Iraq,now the Iraquis are paying the price of spreading your democracy.
Now Saint Obama is coming to protect its own interest under the pretext of saving humanity.
Are you going to change your name to staying put?

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August 8th, 2014, 7:42 am

 

63. Observer said:

Here we go again.

The Golf of Tonkin incident that was not one.
The UN force to defeat the commies in Korea.
The massive airlift to save the Jewish State in 73.
The Iraqi soldiers removing babies from incubators in Kuwait in 91.
The non existent relation between OBL and Saddam.
The WMD and the mushroom cloud over our cities.
The genocide of Yazidis in Iraq.

All of a sudden, Barak finds his lost humanity. The same Barak that said we should not go an save the Congo, and the same Barak who forgot his humanitarian intervention when the iPad Retard was gassing his own people and when 9 million Syrians were being displaced. Barak needed congress to save millions of Syrians but does not need one to save 40 000 Yazidis. What an incompetent farcical nincompoop of a leader of the free world we have today.

The advisors in Vietnam swelled to 450 000 and the liberation of Kuwait so that the family can enjoy once again their golden toilets was 500 000.

It is not Yazidis it is Erbil and the oil fields you stupid. After all we are allies of such abominations as the Royal Family of Saud, the Right Wing Extremist Parties of Bibi and Lieberman in the Jewish State, the Mullahstan when it suits us of Iran, and who knows perhaps the Islamic State when it starts to gobble up most of Syria and Iraq and parts of Lebanon.

Airstrikes my foot, humanitarian droppings my toes, we are about to enter into another 150 year if not a 1000 year Shia Sunni civil war as well as a 100 year at least Jewish Muslim war.

Winston Churchill said it correctly: Americans will always do the right the thing; after they have exhausted every other means. We never learn, and we continue to go out and try to slay monsters only to have blowback after blowback come our way.

Protecting the consulate in Erbil or so he says. Where was he in Benghazi then?

I think he is trying to outdo GWB as the worst President we ever had, certainly in Foreign Policies he outdid his predecessor.

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August 8th, 2014, 8:59 am

 

64. Passerby said:

Oh yeah, Jasmine, Iraq was a paradise, a mere 100,000 slaughtered per year on average, many by WMD, including his own people.

Your kind of place, huh?

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August 8th, 2014, 10:20 am

 

65. Passerby said:

So many deliberate lies, so little time…

Non-existant, Observer? Don’t read the papers much, huh?

Like Saddam offering Osama sanctuary, even the 9/11 commission saying they had constant meetings, set up by Saddam’s old friend, Zawahiri.

Did the 9/11 Commission know what they were meeting about? No they didn’t. No one knows.

And Bill Clinton long before GW bombing Osama’s “pharmecutical” plant with it’s connections with Saddam’s WMD program?

And the fact that Saddam Hussein was the biggest supporter of state terrorism in world history. The open reward of $50,000 for the suicide bombers. Safe haven for Abu Nidal, always Saddam’s boy, who blew up and hijacked more airplanes than Al-Qaeda ever dreamed of. Too bad he shot himself in the head 6 times in Baghdad right after 9/11, he was the expert.

Or ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Iraq being created by Saddam to plant in the No-Fly Zone to torment the Kurds. Always supplied by Saddam and getting their medical care in Baghdad.

Or the rather obvious fact that ISIS is still controlled by the Saddam Regime that increasingly are openly running their army.

And more…

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August 8th, 2014, 10:29 am

 

66. Passerby said:

And yea, Observer, we did defeat the Kingdom of Communist Korea and Communist China in Korea.

But the Kingdom of Communist Korea is your kind of place, huh? The way a government should be run and how it should treat it’s people, huh?

Will/would have the Saddam Regime-ISIS/Saddam use WMD in the US cities?

Hard to day, my guess is yes. In your opinion, what happens after that? What will happen to the human race? What is at stake? Here’s a hint, there won’t be an internet for us to be talking on, in the event we are still alive.

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August 8th, 2014, 10:42 am

 

67. Jasmine said:

Passerby
Saddam looks like a saint compare it to your new creation ISIS.
Regime change didn’t work brilliantly in Iraq and you never learn from your mistake,you tried it again in Syria,or you didn’t want to learn at all,this is always the plan.

Let the nations decide about choosing their leaders,and stop policing the world in a selective way when it suit your interests,you present always your ideas of democracy and freedom to cover up your hidden agendas.

Propaganda has a short life ,Syrians knew better and proved that they are the real politicians.

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August 8th, 2014, 12:18 pm

 

68. ALAN said:

Jasmine :
I think it is appropriate to say that the United States is a country with no values , no principles, and no ethics. The oil and financial interests blinded their minds and insight. The fact that they are not interested in what is happening in Iraq , Syria,and in Libya! It is important to have the security of oil and provide it marketing by US damned dollars ! America is villainous state par excellence.It is a matter of fact.

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August 8th, 2014, 1:29 pm

 

69. Syrialover said:

Something about the infuriating and sickening images of the massacre by ISIS of the brave young men in Deir Ezzor who tried to fight them:

As usual the filthy cowards of ISIS killing helpless prisoners are masked. Their victims are not. They die as humans, to be recognised and mourned.

And avenged!!!!

They will be. They will be.

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August 8th, 2014, 1:41 pm

 

70. Syrialover said:

And if the weak thrill killers and childish fantasists of ISIS think the masks will protect them from being recognised when it’s all over, they are in for a shock when digital images of their eyes, hairline, body shape and related identification methodology nails them.

They will bawl like babies for their mothers and beg to be rescued by their home governments.

Any “Middle Eastern Guantanamo” (#59) should ensure the walls are too thick and it is too far away from civilization for anyone to hear them.

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August 8th, 2014, 1:59 pm

 

71. ALAN said:

America helps Iraq, With More Bombs?
This is another case of “blowback”. The US funded and trained ISIS to send against Syria’s Assad. Then ISIS decided they had had enough of fighting the US’ war in Syria and took their US taxpayer paid-for weapons and headed into Iraq, which was looking more attractive. The Iraq security forces, also trained by the US, dropped their US taxpayer paid-for weapons and ran, allowing ISIS to add to their arsenal of US taxpayer paid-for weapons and march towards Baghdad. So n ow Obama had ordered US warplanes (paid for again by the US taxpayers) to start dropping bombs (paid for again by the US taxpayers) onto ISIS to destroy their weapons (paid for again by the US taxpayers), along with a token number of food packages (paid for again by the US taxpayers) so Obama can pretend this is a humanitarian mission rather than invasion number three of Iraq.

As heading deeper into WW3, no matter who is fighting who, somehow the US taxpayer gets soaked for the bill!
Herd of taxpayers: Sympathize with you.

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August 8th, 2014, 2:03 pm

 

72. ALAN said:

A Lockheed Martin -death exporter factory- in the US that manufactures Hellfire air-to-ground missiles has been operating seven days a week to provide weapons destined for Iraqi government and Kurdish forces under pre-existing support arrangements.

The White House says it has been consulting with the US Congress over its intervention but does not believe it needs authorisation for military action and merely plans to file a report under the war powers act if air strikes go ahead. Obama’s authorisation for the Pentagon to carry out attacks is “geographically restricted to Iraq” and does not include Syria.

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August 8th, 2014, 2:28 pm

 

73. Jasmine said:

Alan
It is so ironic ,USA is helping the Syrian army indirectly now.
They could still bomb ISIS in Syria without declaring it,if they are really serious about their operation,it is not that hard to locate them,I would never complain.

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August 8th, 2014, 2:41 pm

 

74. Passerby said:

Passerby
Saddam looks like a saint compare it to your new creation ISIS.

Let’s see now, the United States of America is the only country on earth helping the refugees, the only one fighting ISIS to save them, but somehow is some twisted way, they are our creation?

And black is white, up is down, and words have no meaning.

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August 8th, 2014, 3:51 pm

 

75. Passerby said:

“68. ALAN said:

Jasmine :
I think it is appropriate to say that the United States is a country with no values , no principles, and no ethics…”

Only to those that support genocide of those with a different religion. Only to those with those “principles and ethics”.

And who cares what they think.

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August 8th, 2014, 3:55 pm

 

76. Passerby said:

ALAN said:

“..House says it has been consulting with the US Congress over its intervention but does not believe it needs authorization…”

What a bummer, huh? The Unites States actually being able to save the lives of all those nasty ethnic minorities that are better off dead and sold into slavery. A dark day, huh?

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August 8th, 2014, 4:03 pm

 

77. Passerby said:

“More information has come in from AP. The spokesman for Iraq’s human rights ministry says hundreds of women from the Yazidi religious minority have been taken captive by militants from the Islamic State group.”

Abandoned by the entire world, left to their fate…all except one that is…

“CNN says there was a drone strike on mortar position outside Erbil at 10am. When fighters returned after initial strike, they were re-engaged and at 11.20am, four FA/18 Hornets off carrier George H W Bush hit a convoy of Islamic State fighters.”

It’s not enough, can’t just poke them in the eye with a sharp stick and sit back and congratulate yourself, we are now at the top of their revenge list. It’s on.

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August 8th, 2014, 4:18 pm

 

78. Syrialover said:

OBSERVER #61

I know, I know. Little Barak Obama’s inadequacies and deepening failure in his role are daily spelt out in stinging criticisms and unease about him from all sides of politics in the USA.

So we can leave it to them.

Let’s be glad for ANY high-tech strike against ISIS, no matter how belated, poorly executed and badly rationalized.

They have to be wiped out like a filthy plague of pests or the Ebola disease.

That’s all that matters.

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August 8th, 2014, 4:46 pm

 

79. Passerby said:

In reference to my Fun With Math analysis of Mosul Dam and past dam failures above there’s this independent analysis…

“…Mosul was completed in 1984 on a soluble foundation of gypsum, anhydrite, and karstic limestone. To save construction time, foundation grouting was not completed ahead of time. It began seeping immediately upon filling of the reservoir in 1985.

“This has created a cyclical problem because the seeping of reservoir water into the soluble foundation causes the foundation material to dissolve, which leads to larger open spaces, which in turn leads to larger quantities of water seeping into the foundation and then more dissolution,” Richard Coffman, assistant professor of civil engineering at University of Arkansas, said.

Coffman conducted extensive studies of the dam, using satellite-based radar images taken from March 2003-April 2007. He determined the structure is subsiding at a rate of 8 millimeters per year.

“Simply put, if ISIS does not continue grouting operations, the dam may fail,” Coffman said during the time in which the dam takeover was believed to have been successful. “If failure occurs, Mosul will be inundated with approximately 30 meters of water and Baghdad with 5 meters of water.”
http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2014/08/reports-isis-seizes-control-of-iraq-s-750-mw-mosul-dam.html

And if it’s blown up, more than that in the first surge, and it’s not water, it’s a meat grinder/battering ram of debris.

All now the choice of ISIS. Do they want to take out Baghdad, empty the city, kill or send homeless in the countryside starving 6,000,000 Shiites? Gotta take out Mosul to do it.

Surely they are too moral and reasonable to do that…

It’s the Saddam Regime, do they want to destroy the dam and both cities? Probably not, but it’s their choice now,

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August 8th, 2014, 7:45 pm

 

80. Passerby said:

Dear Clueless Harmless Buffoons running the US Government,

The purpose of this letter is to inform you that it’s now the choice of those “JV” guys “wearing Laker uniforms” whether the Green Zone is hit by a wall of water 30 feet high, full of battering rams.

And something else bad will happen at the same time. Massed suicide bombers, poison air, poison ground, something else.

Please factor that into your plans for defending it.

I just thought I’d point it out, since you have no remote clue, and this would make Benghazi look like a Sunday picnic,
Passerby

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August 8th, 2014, 7:54 pm

 

81. omen said:

43. Matthew Barber said: Majedkhaldoun is very welcome to return to the blog. I informed him of such the same week he was banned. The sole condition was to apologize for using a term of insult offensive to homosexuals. That offer remains open.

really? don’t you think that’s just a wee bit heavy handed? i’ve seen all manner of bigotry slide by without it being sanctioned with something draconian like being banned. we used to get a warning first.

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August 9th, 2014, 9:40 pm

 

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