October 31, 2015

ISIS Murders Four Kurdish Soldiers in Revenge Video

So ISIS seems a little pissed off about the raid on the prison. Our hearts go out to the Kurds.

A video purportedly from ISIS surfaced online Friday and shows the terrorists beheading four Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in retaliation for the daring raid by U.S.-led coalition forces last week in northern Iraq.


At the end of the 15-minute video, a masked English-speaking man delivers a warning to U.S. President Barack Obama before he executes one of the prisoners, who is wearing an orange jumpsuit.


The three other prisoners are also seen being beheaded at the end of the video and Arabic text appears onscreen. It translates as "Peshmerga soldiers that Americans came down to rescue."

Earlier in the video, ISIS also claims to show the aftermath of the raid during which 70 hostages were rescued by Kurdish, U.S. and Iraqi forces from an ISIS prison in Hawija, in the northern Iraq province of Kirkuk.




Here is the English spoken bu the first killer to Obama. He sounds American to me. But he's not very eloquent, obviously reciting a prepared statement in a halting fashion. Despite his claims of "victory" it seems we made quite the mess for ISIS.

Obama you have learned a new lesson. Six of the soldiers of the Caliphate faced Four Hundred of your children. They killed and injured them by Allah's grace. You are probably surprised by this.

Oh Crusader, it is the support of Allah.

You did not gain anything, you returned to your bases and with losses and humiliation. Obama you wage war against Allah, he supports us against you. It is the promise of Allah. Allah will never fail in his promise.

This man then beheads the first prisoner as the other three are forced to watch. Its a as gruesome a beheading as I've witnessed.


Then a warning in Arabic is given to the Kurds and the other three prisoners are beheaded. (screencap and video below the fold)


The video is available here by request.
(I'm not around to approve the requests so if you didn't get it by now, sorry.)

Its not clear if the following strike was before or after the video. But from the damage shown on the ground it may be after.

By Howie at 10:09 AM | Comments |

July 25, 2015

Obama Paid the Price For Turkish Airbases

So I guess the price Turkey asked to stop helping ISIS and start hurting ISIS was for the US to f*ck over the Kurds.

Turkish fighter jets, which on Friday attacked Islamic State targets in Syria, have launched a wave of airstrikes in northern Iraq, targeting camps of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party for the first time in four years, the prime minister’s office said Saturday.

The Iraq raids, which began late Friday and continued into Saturday, effectively ended an unstable two-year cease-fire between the Turkish government and the Kurdish militants, also known by the initials of their Kurdish name, P.K.K. After a three-decade conflict that claimed at least 40,000 lives, the two sides reached a fragile peace in 2013, though there have been a few minor clashes since then.

Nice job Obama you just sold out the very last progressive people in the Middle East who supported freedom and loved the United States.

Obama, Sir. You suck. And I don't just mean suck in the ordinary sense, you megafookingsuckshitthroughastraw.

By Howie at 02:18 PM | Comments |

January 28, 2015

Angelina Jolie Visits Iraqi Kurdistan

She recounts her visit here in the NYT's

I HAVE visited Iraq five times since 2007, and I have seen nothing like the suffering I’m witnessing now.

I came to visit the camps and informal settlements where displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees are desperately seeking shelter from the fighting that has convulsed their region.

In almost four years of war, nearly half of Syria’s population of 23 million people has been uprooted. Within Iraq itself, more than two million people have fled conflict and the terror unleashed by extremist groups. These refugees and displaced people have witnessed unspeakable brutality. Their children are out of school, they are struggling to survive, and they are surrounded on all sides by violence.

For many years I have visited camps, and every time, I sit in a tent and hear stories. I try my best to give support. To say something that will show solidarity and give some kind of thoughtful guidance. On this trip I was speechless.

What do you say to a mother with tears streaming down her face who says her daughter is in the hands of the Islamic State, or ISIS, and that she wishes she were there, too? Even if she had to be raped and tortured, she says, it would be better than not being with her daughter.

By Howie at 09:58 AM | Comments |

December 19, 2014

Islamic State of Losers Lose Again

Is it just me of is ISIS making a habit of getting its ass kicked lately?Schweet!

BAGHDAD — Kurdish forces, backed by a surge of American airstrikes in recent days, recaptured a large swath of territory from Islamic State militants on Thursday, opening a path from the autonomous Kurdish region to Mount Sinjar in the west, near the Syrian border.

The two-day offensive, which involved 8,000 fighters, known as pesh merga, was the largest one to date in the war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, according to Kurdish officials. It was also a successful demonstration of President Obama’s strategy for battling the extremist group: American air power combined with local forces doing the fighting on the ground.

A statement released Thursday night by the office of Masrour Barzani, the head of the Kurdistan Regional Security Council, called the operation “the single biggest military offensive against ISIS, and the most successful.”

Its always nice to start off with a feel good story, don't you think?

Hat Tip: Small Wars Journal.

By Howie at 08:24 AM | Comments |

October 28, 2014

What To Do About The PKK?

Today the Kurdish commander in Kobani asks for more help in fighting ISIS.

Since Sept. 15, we, the people of the Syrian town of Kobani, have been fighting, outnumbered and outgunned, against an all-out assault by the army of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

Yet despite a campaign that has intensified in the past month, including the deployment of United States-made tanks and armored vehicles, the Islamic State has not been able to break the resistance of Kobani’s fighters.

We are defending a democratic, secular society of Kurds, Arabs, Muslims and Christians who all face an imminent massacre.

Kobani’s resistance has mobilized our entire society, and many of its leaders, including myself, are women. Those of us on the front lines are well aware of the Islamic State’s treatment of women. We expect women around the world to help us, because we are fighting for the rights of women everywhere. We do not expect them to come to join our fight here (though we would be proud if any did). But we do ask women to promote our case and to raise awareness of our situation in their own countries, and to pressure their governments to help us.

We are thankful to the coalition for its intensified airstrikes against Islamic State positions, which have been instrumental in limiting the ability of our enemies to use tanks and heavy artillery. But we had been fighting without any logistical assistance from the outside world until the limited coalition airdrops of weapons and supplies on Oct. 20. Airdrops of supplies should continue, so that we do not run out of ammunition.

None of that changes the reality that our weapons still cannot match those of the Islamic State.

Another story of Kurdish resistance against ISIS on NPR this morning brings up the terrorist designation of the PKK who are also fighting ISIS.
At a checkpoint outside the northern Iraq town of Makhmur, I saw something I'd never seen before in Iraq.

Two men were checking cars. One was young and wearing a sand-colored uniform of the official Iraqi Kurdish forces, called the peshmerga. The other was older, grizzled and dressed in an olive-green, traditional Kurdish overall, and he's with Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"We're happy to be working together," said the older man, Hajji Hussein Abdulrahman.

This is a new development. Until recently, Iraqi Kurdish authorities and the peshmerga didn't deal much with the PKK. There's a long rivalry between the two. Plus, Turkey and the U.S. consider the PKK to be terrorists based on their attacks against civilian targets in Turkey for many years.

But some of those attitudes began to change when the self-described Islamic State, also known as ISIS, charged into northern Iraq and overran large chunks of territory, including this town in June.

The peshmerga were struggling to fight back. But thousands of PKK supporters, who had been kicked out of Turkey, were living in a nearby refugee camp. They picked up their old rifles and joined the fray.

...This isn't the only place were Kurdish fighters have been active. On northern Iraq's Mount Sinjar in August, the PKK helped tens of thousands of minority Yazidis escape the advancing Islamic State.

And the Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the YPG, has been battling to keep the Islamic State out of the town of Kobani.

In the main Iraqi Kurdish city, Irbil, Shiman Eminoglu is a politician from the BDP party, which leans strongly toward the PKK. She says the PKK is fighting for everyone's benefit, and that this should be recognized by the United States.

The mention is that the PKK got into trouble during the 1990's while trying to carve a Kurdish homeland out of southern Turkey. Today a Kurdish female fighter blowing herself up as a last desperate resort against ISIS is a story of bravery. But back then such attacks against Turkish police and other civilian targets in Turkey earned the PKK a terrorist designation.

Then there was no hope of a Iraqi Kurdistan, any hope of Kursish independence in Iraq was quickly dealt with by Saddam's general Chemical Ali. That's not true today. Today there can be an Iraqi Kurdistan. An opportunity is within reach.

I propose that in return for the PKK swearing off any further actions in Turkey some sort of assurance that the Kurds will get their independence or at least a Semi-Autonomous state in Northern Iraq should be offered.

If the parties agree the terrorist designation on the PKK under a strict trial basis could be lifted. It would help the Kurds against ISIS which helps US against ISIS and also Turkey would see its interests protected.

So long as the PKK held up its end of the bargain it could create a larger more unified Kurdish force fighting for their own unified interest. An interest that would dovetail nicely with US, Turkish and Iraqi interests.

The Turks would be hard to drag along, but with the right agreement that gives the Kurds a hope possibly Turkey might bite.

By Howie at 10:06 AM | Comments |

October 03, 2014

Kurds In Kobane Still Standing


A BBC correspondent across the border in Turkey saw explosions and smoke rising from buildings hit by shells.

IS has moved to within a few kilometres of the town despite US-led air strikes seeking to halt its two-week offensive.

On Thursday, Turkey's prime minister promised it would do whatever it could to prevent the fall of Kobane.

Ahmet Davutoglu spoke only hours after the Turkish parliament authorised military operations against militants in Iraq and Syria who threaten Turkey's security, and for foreign troops to use Turkish bases.

If Turkey is going to allow it we need to get some tank killers and AC-130's to support Kobane PDQ.

We must help these people stand against ISIS.

There are reports that ISIS is currently trying to enter the southern portion of the city, and may have taken some houses.

The situation is very fluid and there's a lot of information pollution on both sides.

Update: Live feed here.

Update: Apparently that is an ISIS tank burning near the cell towers. I'm not sure what happened as I was busy.

Update resident says no. ISIS shelled a building there.

Update 1:54 CDT USA:

Report of drones and strikes against ISIL outside Kobane/Kobani.

By Howie at 07:43 AM | Comments |

October 01, 2014

Peshmerga Get Some Equipment

Honeybadger just takes what it wants.

Sucks to be ISIS.

By Howie at 01:45 PM | Comments |

July 15, 2014

Ministry of Jiggly: Free Kurdistan Edition

If you're against the Kurds you're against America, against freedom and for al-Qaeda.

Kurdish pop singer Helly Luv says she will not be put off by death threats from Iraqi Islamist militants since release of her first music video but, drawing on its title, insists she will "Risk It All" to help a push for an independent Kurdistan.

Iraqi-born Luv, 25, has seen her video rack up more than 2.5 million views on YouTube since its release in February; but she has faced criticism for what some see as provocative imagery in the clip accompanying the modern mix of dance, hip-hop and traditional Middle Eastern music.

Luv said the video, which includes exploding petrol bombs, backing dancers with AK-47 rifles, and the singer dancing in a mid-thigh silver dress atop a citadel, represents the Kurdish spirit and struggle for an independent state.

"There were death threats from many Islamic groups... it was a really hard time for me," Luv said in an interview in Arbil, the autonomous Kurdistan region's capital. "(But) my whole message is that, Kurdish people, we need to risk everything for our dreams and fight for our country."

Free Free Kurdistan! Say it with me! Free Free Kurdistan!

Kurdistan! F*ck Yeah!

By Howie at 09:20 AM | Comments |

November 12, 2013

Kurds in Syria Move Towards Independence

Like killing all the lawyers, it's a good start:

The main Kurdish party in Syria has announced plans to create a transitional government in the areas dominated by Kurds in the north-east of the country.

The move is the clearest sign yet that Syria’s Kurds are moving towards a long-held ambition of autonomy in the areas they inhabit.

And why do I love the Kurds so much? Because they're neither supporters of Hezbollah, like Assad, or supporters of al Qaeda, like many on the other side. In fact:
In recent months, it has fought fierce battles with various Islamist rebel groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra. After being pushed back in some areas, YPG forces last week regained the ground they had lost.

The clashes came just a week after Kurdish fighters seized the Yaarubiyeh crossing on the Iraq border from jihadists.

If I'm in charge I recognize a free and independent Kurdish state today. Who do we piss off by doing this? The Iranians, the Iraqis, the Syrians, and the Turks.

It's win-win-win-win-win.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:10 PM | Comments |

July 19, 2013

Why I Love the Kurds (part of an ongoing series)

Normally when I say, Let's give these guys a state, it's understood that I'm being sarcastic.

But not this time: Let's give these guys a state:

"At least 19 Al-Nusra Front (jihadist) fighters and 10 Kurds have been killed since the day before yesterday in clashes in the oil region of Hassakeh," the NGO said.

On Wednesday, the group said Syrian Kurdish fighters had pushed members of Al-Nusra and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant out of the town of Ras Al-Ain and its nearby border crossing with Turkey....

Kurdish fighters, meanwhile, advanced elsewhere in the northeastern province, taking control of part of the Sweidiya area of Hassakeh, which is the only majority Kurdish province in Syria.

Of all the peoples in the world without a state, surely the Kurds deserve one. Unlike some "nations" (I'm looking at you Palestinians) Kurds are distinct from Arabs, Persians, and Turks and speak their own language with distinct customs.

And most important: they hate Islamists and love America.

Now that we're out of Iraq and have no vested interest in seeing that country remain whole, can someone tell me a single compelling reason why we don't support Kurdish statehood?

They pretty much run a defacto state as it is inside of Iraq, and it would be a thumb in the eye of Iran, Syria, and Turkey -- all of which could use a little bit of humiliation at this point in history.

H/T: Rantburg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:13 AM | Comments |