US, Turkish Troops Headed For Military Showdown In Syria

 

Two days after we reported that Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, when Turkey’s foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu also said that Ankara is calling upon the US to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias, not surprisingly the US refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.

Speaking on CNN, General Joseph Votel, head of the United States Central Command, said that withdrawing US forces from the strategically important city is “not something we are looking into.”

Last week Turkish troops crossed into Syria in an push to drive US-backed Kurds out of Afrin. As part of the Turkish offensive, which is grotesquely code-named ‘Operation Olive Branch’, president Erdogan warned that the offensive could soon target “terrorists” in Manbij, some 100km east of Afrin.

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Fiercely resistant ISIS seizes two Iraqi cities

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US soldiers were Monday ordered to use gas masks after ISIS poured oil on a sulfur mine 70km south of Mosul that continues to burn near the US and Iraqi military center at Qayyarah.One obstacle after another – often unforeseen – is slowing the coalition’s advance on Mosul – as debkafile was the first publication to reveal last week. It is becoming obvious that ISIS is following a plan to circle around Mosul in a wide radius and pouncing on important spots for diversionary attacks:

Last week, they overran Kirkuk; this week, Sinjar and Rutba. Continue reading

US Dispatches F-22 Stealth Fighters to Intercept Syrian Aircraft

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An F-22 Raptor from the 43rd Fighter Squadron takes off in Savannah, Ga., during Sentry Savannah 16-3, Aug. 2, 2016. The F-22 is a fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for the U.S. Air Force. (Photo by Solomon Cook/U.S. Air Force)

 

The U.S. military on Friday dispatched two F-22 Raptors stealth fighter jets to intercept a pair of Syrian Su-24 Fencer aircraft that flew in the vicinity of Hasakah, Syria, according to news accounts citing an unnamed Pentagon official.

The American pilots of the fifth-generation fighters made by Lockheed Martin Corp. tried to radio the Syrian pilots but didn’t receive a response, according to CNN’s Barbara Starr. Continue reading

Ashton Carter: U.S. to Begin ‘Direct Action on the Ground’ in Iraq, Syria

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that the U.S. will begin “direct action on the ground” against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria, aiming to intensify pressure on the militants as progress against them remains elusive.

“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” Carter said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services committee, using an alternative name for the militant group. Continue reading

Turkish Army Chiefs Meet to Discuss Syria Invasion: Report

Turkey has boosted its military defenses on the volatile border over the past week, stationing tanks and anti-aircraft missiles there as well as bolstering troop numbers, as fighting between Islamist-led groups and Syrian regime forces in the northern city of Aleppo has intensified.The Turkish build-up has fed speculation that the government is planning to intervene in Syria to push ISIS  jihadists back from the border and halt the advance of Kurdish forces who have made gains against the extremists in the area.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday ruled out any prospect of an immediate intervention in Syria. Continue reading

Isis on the run? The US portrayal is very far from the truth

The map issued by the Pentagon to prove that Isis had lost territory shows how false optimism dominates the actions of the outside powers towards the Middle East

A graphic illustration of Western wishful thinking about the decline of Islamic State (IS) is a well-publicised map issued by the Pentagon to prove that the self-declared caliphate has lost 25 per cent of its territory since its big advances last year.

Unfortunately for the Pentagon, sharp-eyed American journalists soon noticed something strange about its map identifying areas of IS strength. While it shows towns and villages where IS fighters have lost control around Baghdad, it simply omits western Syria where they have been advancing in and around Damascus. Continue reading

No More Taboos For the German Army

Germany removes the last restraints on its use of the armed forces, while its defense minister declares that there will be “no taboos”.

The year 1993 pivotal for the German military. Germany established its armed forces in 1956, but memories of two world wars meant that they were restricted to defensive operations within nato territory.

In 1991, this slowly began to change. Thirty German soldiers deployed in Baghdad, Iraq, to help with airlift operations. The same year, 150 medics were sent with a United Nations mission to Cambodia.

The first substantial foreign mission came in 1993, with over 2,000 military personnel deploying to Somalia as UN peacekeepers. The same year, German soldiers joined in aerial operations over Yugoslavia.

The world had no problems with these operations. In fact, the UN and United States desperately wanted the German army to do more, but to many Germans, this was too much. Germany’s main left-wing party, the Social Democratic Party (spd), and the free market Free Democratic Party (fdp) complained to the German Constitutional Court that these deployments violated Germany’s Basic Law—its constitution. Continue reading

Berlin’s Priorities

BERLIN/ANKARA/RIYADH (Own report) – The German Chancellor is raising strong accusations against Turkey. One should “be able to expect from a NATO member country” that it “will set the right priorities” and ultimately give precedence to the struggle against IS, Angela Merkel said yesterday (Wednesday), in reference to the catastrophic situation in the North Syrian border town of Kobani. Ankara is refusing any form of assistance to the Syrian-Kurdish combatants, trying to fend off the terrorist troops of the “Islamic State” (IS) storming the city. Observers are suspecting that an IS conquest of Kobani may even be to the Turkish government’s geostrategic advantage. Merkel’s accusations of Ankara are surprising – not solely, because Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been systematically spying on Turkey. Therefore, Berlin had known of how Turkey has been supporting IS, without objecting. Likewise, Berlin had not intervened against the strategic measures being taken in Lebanon and Syria by the USA and Saudi Arabia, even though these also benefited the IS or other Salafist militias, that are today supporting the IS. Experts are warning that in the short-term, the strengthening of IS can no longer be halted. In the Turkish regions bordering on Syria, there could even be a similar development to the Afghan-Pakistan border.

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Islamic State booby traps massive Iraqi dam which could kill thousands if breached

The bid to seize back Mosul dam from extremists falters as US backed forces are hampered by explosive devices

The American backed offensive to recapture Iraq’s biggest dam slowed on Monday, as fighters from the Islamic State rigged part of the area with booby traps and remotely triggered bombs.

Whilst a series of air strikes by American F-18 fighter jets reportedly sent most of the jihadists fleeing from the central parts of Mosul dam, a network of landmines and planted explosives they left behind impeded Kurdish ground forces from recapturing the strategically vital terrain.

“The jihadists have escaped from their positions beside the water pumps – the most important levers for the dam,” said General Kawa Kawani, spokesman for the Kurdish special forces. “But we cannot enter the area because of the explosives.” Continue reading

Iraq crisis: Iraqi minority says massacre of civilians not over yet

Yazidi activist claims President Obama’s statement that a military evacuation of Mount Sinjar was no longer necessary encouraged Isis militants

A leading Yazidi politician said yesterday that he was preparing to make a last stand in his home village in northern Iraq, as members of the religious minority warned that another massacre of civilians by the extremist militants of the Islamic State (formerly Isis) showed that the crisis was far from over. The United Nations said it was trying to confirm reports of the worst single atrocity against Yazidis since the Islamic State offensive began on 3 August, with two separate sources saying up to 400 men had been executed in the village of Kocho after refusing to convert to Islam.

Last night, Kurdish forces backed by US air strikes were attempting to retake control of the Mosul Dam, which helps power parts of northern Iraq, with some eyewitness reports claiming a ground offensive had been launched as part of the operation. Eleven fighters from Islamic State, which has controlled the dam since 7 August, were said to have been killed. The strikes came a day after Barack Obama said it was no longer necessary to carry out a military evacuation of Mount Sinjar – where tens of thousands of people had been trapped by militants earlier – since many people had managed to escape following US air strikes.

But a leading Yazidi activist, Dr Mirza Dinnayi, who had spoken to Kocho’s senior official before the massacre, claimed there were still 25,000 people in the area and described Mr Obama’s remarks as “a very big mistake”.

When the US said that the siege of Sinjar was effectively over, “this encouraged Islamic State to attack 24 hours later”, he told Jonathan Rugman, of Channel 4 News. “We had a massacre yesterday [and] could have another.”

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Iraq crisis: ‘It is death valley. Up to 70 per cent of them are dead’

Two American aid flights have also made it to the mountain, where they have dropped off more than 36,000 meals and 7,000 gallons of drinking water to help the refugees, and last night two RAF C-130 transport planes were also on the way.

However, Iraqi officials said that much of the US aid had been “useless” because it was dropped from 15,000ft without parachutes and exploded on impact.

Handfuls of refugees have managed to escape on the helicopters but many are being left behind because the craft are unable to land on the rocky mountainside. There, they face thirst and starvation, as well as the crippling heat of midsummer.

Hundreds, if not more, have already died, including scores of children. A Yazidi Iraqi MP, Vian Dakhil, told reporters in Baghdad:

“We have one or two days left to help these people. After that they will start dying en masse.” Continue reading

Anglican Vicar of Baghdad: “Child I baptised cut in half by ISIS”

For a heart-wrenching audio interview from Canon Andrew White, who during this very same interview was hiding from (and still is) ISIS and helping his congregation, please see the following link:

Thursday August 7, 2014 – Canon Andrew White & Forrest Mims

Topic : Rick has an exclusive interview with Canon Andrew White, pastor of St. George’s Anglican Church in Iraq. Most of his congregation is missing. The remaining members of the flock and Canon White are hiding from Islamic jihadists who are beheading and crucifying Christians who refuse to renounce Jesus Christ and worship Allah. Later in the program, scientist Forrest Mims recalls the 2006 lecture by Professor Eric Pianka who boasted that he desires an airborne Ebola virus pandemic that kills 90 percent of the human population. Interviews you will not hear on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC!

Interview begins around the 13:45 minute mark.

 

The five-year-old son of a founding member of Baghdad’s Anglican church was cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State1 on the Christian town of Qaraqosh.

In an interview today, an emotional Canon Andrew White told ACNS that he christened the boy several years ago, and that the child’s parents had named the lad Andrew after him.

“I’m almost in tears because I’ve just had somebody in my room whose little child was cut in half,” he said. “I baptised his child in my church in Baghdad2. This little boy, they named him after me – he was called Andrew.”

The fact that Andrew’s brother was named George after St George’s Anglican Church in Iraq’s capital demonstrates the strong ties the family had to the church there. The boy’s father had been a founder member of the church back in 1998 when the Canon had first come to Baghdad. Canon White added, “This man, before he retired north to join his family was the caretaker of the Anglican church.” Continue reading