September 03, 2014
These Aren't The Moderate Opposition We're Looking For
As the Obama administration struggles to address the threat from ISIS and plans to go to Congress in coming weeks to up its commitment against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, multiple media reports indicate that the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) is operating openly with ISIS and other designated terrorist groups. And yet financial and military support for the FSA is the keystone to the administration’s policy in Syria.As they say, Read the Rest.
Last week the Washington Post reported on the Syrian ‘rebel’ takeover of the Golan Heights Quneitra border crossing with Israel (where I reported from last year), with the ‘rebels’ capturing the UN peacekeepers stationed at the crossing. The Post noted:The United Nations gave no further details, but an Israeli military spokesman told CNN that the captors are suspected to be members of al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been fighting alongside more-moderate, Western-backed rebels for control of the area.The “more-moderate, Western-backed rebels” fighting alongside with Jabhat al-Nusra the Post was referring to, but didn’t dare name, was none other than the FSA.
This is not the only time the FSA has been caught allied with US-designated terrorist groups. Just a month ago the New York Times quoted a ‘rebel’ field commander saying that the FSA had joined ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra in attacking a border post in Lebanon:Reached by phone in Arsal, Abu Osama, a member of Mr. Jomaa’s brigade, said that the sole purpose of Saturday’s attacks was to secure the release of Mr. Jomaa and that they were carried out as a combined operation involving fighters from the Free Syrian Army, the Nusra Front and ISIS.The Times report was quick to note that Abu Osama’s claim could not be confirmed, no doubt because that fact would be devastating to the Obama administration’s ongoing narrative about the “moderate, vetted” FSA. But the facts about the true nature of the FSA are getting harder to conceal.
Hat Tip: Achmed.
September 02, 2014
Report: Steven Sotloff Beheaded
If true, prayers for his family.
Update by Howie: I have obtained a copy of the Site Institute's copy of the video. I can confirm that Steven Sotloff was murdered.
And he didn't do well with it, attempting to struggle.
The murder is committed by the same UK Jihadi who murdered James Foley. He complains especially about ISIS losing Mosul dam. At the end he threatens the life of UK citizen David Cawthorne Haines.
Again ISIS cut the worst parts of the video.
Jawa report has obtained a second copy of the video with no site watermark.
I'm tempted not to run it, but the link is here for those who must see the brutality of ISIS for themselves.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sotloff family at this time and also to the family of Mr. Haines and our brothers in the UK.
August 28, 2014
ISIS Massacred 200+ Syrian Soliers
The claim on the first video is that these are captured Syrian army soldiers being marched through the desert in their skivies.
Assad soldiers from the special forces of the Islamic State fist recession
This vid shows te same group of men after being executed. For some reason ISIS seems to be slowing down on the publishing the actual murders. PR problem I guess.
Prisoners Nusayris this Maxpettm kindness of your war on Muslims and next Edhi and orderedHe says (and taken to Hell who disbelieve see troops) Congratulations to you and congratulations humiliation us victory and splendor.
Alawites are sometimes called "Nusayris" (Nuṣayrī Arabic: نصيرية), though this term has come to have derogatory connotations in the modern era; another name, "Ansari" (al-Anṣāriyyah), is believed to be a mistransliteration of "Nusayri"Thanks to Axe Grinder.
August 25, 2014
al-Nusra The Kinder Gentler al-Qaeda Franchise?
An American hostage held by rebels in Syria for 22 months has been freed after Qatari mediation, just days after a video showed a fellow US journalist being beheaded by jihadists.That's a pretty smooth move by al-Nusra, taking advantage of the ire against ISIS by presenting themselves as the more moderate al-Qaeda.
"Finally he is returning home," US Secretary of State John Kerry said late Sunday, confirming the release of Peter Theo Curtis, a 45-year-old author and freelance journalist whose disappearance had not been previously reported.
Curtis was handed over to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights and after undergoing a medical checkup was transferred to US representatives, the United Nations said.
Possibly in hopes of enlisting US help against al-Nusra and allowing the al-Qaeda Central approved version of the franchise to regain the power it enjoyed before the rise of ISIS.
August 22, 2014
Imperial Very Good News! Assad Kills ISIS Jihadi Abu Moussa
“ISIS Jihadi Who Threatened To Raise Flag Of Allah In White House Is Dead”So I guess he’ll be needing a proxy to raise that flag now.
And yes, I’m holding back the urge to say, “like, maybe Obama?”
BOW BEFORE ZOD!
He's dead Jim
August 08, 2014
Wipe ISIS Out. All of Them
*I've never been prouder of President Obama than right now. But Mr. President ISIS is no pushover. See Headline.
President Obama authorized airstrikes "if necessary" against Islamic militants if they move toward Erbil in northern Iraq where American military, diplomats and civilians are stationed.If you're going to use our powah, Use it very liberally Mr. President.
During a late night statement Thursday from the White House, the president said he's okayed "targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death."
Mr. Obama explained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in recent days has "continued to move across Iraq and have neared the city of Erbil, where American diplomats and civilians serve at our consulate and American military personnel advise Iraqi forces to stop the advance on Erbil.
US military aircraft conduct strike on ISIL artillery. Artillery was used against Kurdish forces defending Erbil, near US personnel.— Rear Adm. John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 8, 2014
And you keep saying if necessary Its long past necessary, sir. Failure to crush ISIS will be a mistake we'll pay dearly for.
Update: Right on cue the ISIS supporters whine, but but civilians.
You mad bro?
BREAKING: US official: US launches second round of airstrikes on targets near Irbil, Iraq— The Associated Press (@AP) August 8, 2014
*Didn't take much to reach that level, but if he bombs the living crap out of ISIS he begins filling that very large hole he's been digging.
July 29, 2014
Yesterday a defector from the Assad regime called Caesar released a report on the Assad's regime, its eliminating its opponents on an industrial scale.
At Hospital 601, not far from the presidential palace in Damascus, Syrian guards ran out of space to store the dead and had to use an adjoining warehouse where military vehicles were repaired.The report comes complete with graphic images of the dead and highlighted evidence of torture. And Assad's forces to torture. I've seen videos of them chopping off wounded Jihadi's fingers and general abuse of corpses and the living. I've seen Assad's forces dumping Jihadi bodies by the dozen into ravines and rivers. In general they are pretty brutal..
A forensic photographer working for Syria's military police walked the rows and took pictures of the emaciated and disfigured corpses, most believed to be anti-Assad activists. Numbers written on the bodies and on white cards, the photographer said, told regime bureaucrats the identities of the deceased, when they died and which branch of the Syrian security services had held them.
U.S. investigators who have reviewed many of the photos say they believe at least 10,000 corpses were cataloged this way between 2011 and mid-2013. Investigators believe they weren't victims of regular warfare but of torture, and that the bodies were brought to the hospital from the Assad regime's sprawling network of prisons. They were told some appeared to have died on site.
What a coincidence ISIS is also killing on an industrial scale and yesterday released a new video to prove just how efficient their genocide against the Iraqi Shia can be.
Near the end they are killing people and pushing them into the river. I guess to poison the water down stream. The dock they push the victims from is soaked in blood.
Q: So which side is worse?
Update: More at Gateway Pundit.
ISIS supporters cheered the bloody massacre video.
The comments on YouTube were overwhelmingly positive. One supporter called the massacre a “most beautiful Christmas bonus (present).” Another supporter praised the massacre with, “Allahu Akbar!”
July 22, 2014
Inability of Jihadis to Hit Most of What They Are Aiming At Finally Making Sense: Blind Jihadi Claims Handicap No Excuse for Not Picking up AK47, Firing in General Direction of Infidels
Friends of blind jihadi Taymullah al-Somali play epic prank, urging him to fire at the "Infidel Shia 12th Imam, flying on a carpet over us right now!"
Some things are funny. Other things are funny funny. This is the latter:
A blind jihadist pictured fighting alongside ISIS militants in Syria has reportedly urged others to join the Islamist militants, saying having a disability is no excuse.Thanks to @BellumLetale
Taymullah al-Somali, a Dutch national who is believed to have travelled to the Middle East earlier this year, has been photographed numerous times alongside ISIS militants and is believed to be based in the capital of the self-declared caliphate, Raqqa....
Another post urging more jihadists to join ISIS added: 'My beloved brothers, if there is anyone with a valid excuse to reframe [sic] from jihad, it's me. I am blind!'
June 06, 2014
Jihad News: al-Qaeda in Iraq Now in Full Control of Playground!
That will stop that terrible violation of Sharia law called, you know, kids having fun.
May 30, 2014
American Suicide Bomber in Syria from Florida, of Middle Eastern Background
We still don't have a name for Abu Huraira al-Amriki, the kittay loving American who blew himself up in Syria last week (hopefully no kitties were hurt in the making of the suicide bombing video). But the feds are now confirming that he is an American, of Middle Eastern descent, and who grew up in Florida:
A United States citizen who blew himself up in a suicide attack in Syria on Sunday was of Middle Eastern descent and in his 20s, and grew up in Florida, two senior law enforcement officials said. The American authorities became aware of his presence in Syria in the past year.If any one recognizes the guy or finds his real name anywhere, do me a favor and email me.
The man, who has been identified in jihadist social media by the nom de guerre Abu Huraira al-Amriki, helped carry out a bombing involving a large truck on Sunday in the northern province of Idlib. United States officials said they believed it was the first time an American had been involved in a suicide attack in Syria.
May 27, 2014
American in Syria Loved Kitties, Blowing Self, Others Up
I hope no kitties were killed when Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki blew himself up. Any one know this American suicide bomber in Syria's real name?
Over at Long War Journal Tom Joscelyn reports:
An American was one of four suicide bombers who took part in a recent coordinated assault in Syria, according to an Al Nusrah Front sharia official who is active on Twitter.That is no confirmation until today when Australian Abu Sulayman al Muhajir tweeted what you see above.
On May 25, the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, announced that the joint attacks had been launched in conjunction with another rebel group, Suqour al Sham. A rumor circulated on Twitter that one of the four suicide bombers was an American, but there was no official confirmation from either of the groups responsible for the attacks.
On the bright side: that's one less jihadi we'll have to worry about coming home to do damage here.
Former Dearborn Resident and Canadian Citizen On FBI's Most Wanted List Killed Fighting in Syria
Will the good news coming out of Syria ever end?
Reports from Lebanon say that a Lebanese-Canadian, who has been on the FBI's most-wanted list of terror suspects, has been killed in Syria...I know it's heartless and I know what a humanitarian nightmare Syria has been, but part of me really does love the fact that mostly the combatants on both sides of the war are bad guys. That part of me says keep it up. I have plenty of popcorn to enjoy during the show.
Ayoub, 48, was a commander of the Islamic militant group Hezbollah, which Canada and the United States have classified as a terrorist organization.
Before moving back to Lebanon, Ayoub lived in Toronto and Dearborn, Mich.
May 21, 2014
Awesome: 100+ Americans Fighting in Syria
Maybe I should have stayed in Scotland? Who am I kidding, the problem is just as bad in the UK. At least here I can own guns. Lots and lots of guns:
Western intelligence services have been warning that European and American jihadists have been flocking to Syria to fight. But they’ve been reluctant to say how many Americans have joined the extremist forces there—until now. The latest U.S. intelligence estimates say that more than 100 Americans have joined the jihad in Syria to fight alongside Sunni terrorists there.But it gets worse:
The problem, U.S. counter-terrorism and intelligence officials tell The Daily Beast, is that there are just so many jihadists with Western passports traveling to fight in Syria that they worry some of them may slip back into the United States without being detected.*sigh*
“The NSA does not have the ability to track thousands of bad guys—and on the human intelligence side, this is even more difficult,” another senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. “So we are worried that people are slipping through the cracks.”
May 20, 2014
War Porn: Syrian SU-22 Bombs the Muj
Hat Tip: The Aviationist.
May 16, 2014
Sandcrawler PSA: Just Say No
And Abu Huzaifa after.
Ooooh Oooooh! I have one, "Is Syria free yet?" LOL
May 08, 2014
He's Dead Jim! Hi Mommy! Edition
14-year old Abu Muhammad ash-Shami died fighting for Al-Qaeda in Syria. Omar Khadr was older than him when he killed. pic.twitter.com/PZ58tYLwnX— Tarek S. Fatah (@TarekFatah) May 8, 2014
May 07, 2014
Islamic State of Losers Lose Homs Syria: Rebellion Crushed
End result of all that terrorist red on red infighting. Assad takes the birthplace of the rebellion.
Syria Direct:AMMAN: An agreement to allow safe passage to rebels and civilians out of Old Homs has left regime opponents divided, with some saying the battle will move to the provinces and others yearning to move on with their lives after two years of a strangling encirclement of their districts.Pussies! You were so close to achieving martyrdom?
The estimated 2,500 fighters and citizens inside the 13 rebel-controlled districts of Homs agreed in principle on Friday to hand over to the government its territory in Syria’s third-largest city. A UN-supervised departure is scheduled to begin this week, Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi told AFP on Monday, adding that the ceasefire is holding.
With a ferocious government military campaign in recent weeks and gnawing hunger from a regime blockade in place since June 2012 that allowed almost no movement in or out, regime opponents said they had little choice but to surrender.
“We must put ourselves in the place of the people who lived in the siege and saw their children die from hunger, they saw their brothers die because of infected wounds due to shelling,” Suhaib Ali, a Homs-based FSA spokesman, told Syria Direct.
Rebels inside had little choice given “the neglect from the political opposition and the international community,” Ali said.
“What would you do?” he asked.
April 30, 2014
2k+2 Words on Islamic State Governance Strategy in Syria
April 21, 2014
Out: Teen Girls Running Away to Hollywood in Search of Stardom -- In: Teen Girls Run Away to Syria in Search of Martyrdom
Didn't Guns & Roses have a song about this?
Interpol is searching for two Austrian teenage girls who they believe were tricked into going to Syria to fight for Islamist rebels.The parents, Bosnian refugees living in Austria say the girls were "tricked" into going to Syria. Presumably by a guy in a limo.
Samra Kesinovic, 16, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, vanished from their homes in Vienna on April 10.
But the first hint their parents received as to where the girls might have gone was a spate of social media posts claiming they had gone to fight a 'holy war'...
n the latest posting they announced plans to marry so that they could become 'holy warriors' and in the messages they say: 'Death is our goal'.
April 10, 2014
Red on Red: ISIS & al Nusrah Continue to Kill Each Other in Syria
Popcorn levels now at critically low:
Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate lost ground to its jihadist rivals around a town on the Iraqi border on Thursday in heavy fighting that left 24 people dead, a monitoring group said.Let's hope they've improved their collective aim and the only ones killed are each other.
Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), a cross-border group which has been disowned by Al-Qaeda's leadership, launched a three-pronged assault on positions held by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front and its allies, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said....
"ISIS are attacking our positions in Albu Kamal, and the battles since yesterday (Wednesday) are in three different areas about 15 kilometres (10 miles) from the centre of the city. The battles are still continuing."
April 02, 2014
Awesome: Moderate Syrian Rebels "Happy to fight Alongside of al Qaeda" -- Provide Arms
With everything else happening around the world, I tend to forget that there's still a civil war raging in Syria. And our "allies" are fighting alongside al Qaeda. "Happily":
The leader of a Syrian rebel group [Jamal Maarouf} feted as an alternative to the tide of Islamism which dominates most other rebel brigades has said he has no interest in fighting Al Qaeda...He goes on to say that not only does he fight side by side with al Qaeda, but that:
Moreover, Maarouf - who has been forced to flee the front lines in Syria to neighboring Turkey out of fear of assassination by ISIS - says his forces have often fought side-by-side with the Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra), Al Qaeda's official franchise in Syria...
"It’s clear that I’m not fighting against Al Qaeda," Maarouf said. "This is a problem outside of Syria’s border, so it’s not our problem. I don’t have a problem with anyone who fights against the regime inside Syria."
Perhaps more worryingly for western state, he admits to having "shared" his arms with Islamist fighters at timeGreat.
Just. Freaking. Great.
March 13, 2014
Brit Rapper Goes to Syria to Become Jihadist, Gets Kidnapped, Robbed by Other Jihadists
This guy is the son of Adel Abdel Bari, one of Osama bin Laden's closest associates, who has been indicted in the US for his role in the al Qaeda bombings of two US embassies in Africa. So, lulz!
A British rapper who joined rebels fighting the Syrian regime has claimed he was kidnapped, tortured and robbed by members of rival Islamic terror groups.Unfortunately, it looks like Assad and Hezbollah are going to win this one. Which is sad because every day that this war drags on is another day when one bad guy kills another bad guy -- and often in an extraordinarily hilarious and ironic way.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, walked out of his family's £1million home in Maida Vale, west London, last year to join militant groups, telling them he was 'leaving everything for the sake of Allah'.
Now Bary - whose music has featured on BBC Radio 1 - has posted on Twitter that he and another Briton were abducted and robbed, with their money, phones and guns stolen by other jihadists.
Also, who said war couldn't be funny?
When the war ends you know what I'll miss the most? The jokes.
March 04, 2014
al-Nusra Offensive in Yarmouk Cuts Off UNRWA Food Distribution
You might recall just last week, the unbelievable photo from those awaiting UNRWA aid.
Miami Herald:More here from Ma'an news agency which is a Palestinian outlet.The news is bad out of Yarmouk, the strategic Damascus neighborhood that for a brief while seemed to offer proof that humanitarian aid to a civilian population could be carried out in spite of the ongoing Syrian civil war. Turns out optimism was misplaced. The deal between rebels and supporters of Bashar Assad to let aid be distributed appears to have fallen apart.
Feb. 27 – last Thursday -- was the last day food would get handed out, however, despite the optimism of the day before. Here’s how Gunness reported the day’s events: “UNRWA distributed only 75 food parcels and 200 packages of bread in Yarmouk today, after access was granted at 15:30. At 17:00 the UNRWA team was forced to withdraw following sounds of gunfire in the vicinity of the Tabgha School distribution point.”
Every day since apparently there has been fighting in the northern part of the district. The peace agreement apparently has fallen apart. Nusra, according to some reports, has returned to the area, and pro-government forces are apparently fighting to prevent them from re-establishing themselves.
DAMASCUS (AFP) -- Firefights and shelling on Sunday shattered a weeks-old truce at the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, but a ceasefire allowed residents to return to another besieged area near Syria's capital.That's good news about Marc Marginedas release. He is reported safe in Turkey.
...Meanwhile some good news emerged with Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas released by Wahhabi militants in Syria after six months in captivity, said his employer El Periodico newspaper.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front and the pro-regime Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command had resumed hostilities in Yarmouk.
Here is a pic of what are called ISIS troops in Yarmouk.
This particular branch of ISIS seems to be a unit specific to Damascus rather than the al-Qaeda in Iraq ISIS from the more western part of Syria. There were clashes between that group and allied FSA and al-Nusra groups last week.
The regime put out this video of accused Jihadis in Yarmouk as "proof that their blockade of Yarmouk is justified. Although the translated claim is of Hussein Alouti Brigade which is an extremist Shia group out of Yemen.
An extremist Shia group out of Yemen? Well Islam certainly is creative and diverse when it comes to extremist groups, no?
Anyway, other regime tilted info shows more fighting in the area around Yarmouk.
Update: One analyst commenting on the ISIS feeds confirms that the ISIS presence in Yarmouk is a limited and local splinter group. Their claims of control are stretching it. Yet there is enough activity among all factions of the rebels in Yarmouk to stop the aid flow.
Q: What’s your sense of ISIS’s presence elsewhere in Damascus and Outer Damascus, particularly in Qalamoun?It does kind of shatter last week's portrayal of aid distribution where Youmouk is portrayed as containing only helpless unarmed starving Palestinian orphans.
Damascus province stands out because this is one of the few areas where ISIS is not fighting with other rebels, everyone's really focused on the regime. That's not to say there are no tensions, but there's been a lack of infighting. Again, it's in this range of dozens at most. But they are not fighting with other rebels. [In Qalamoun], it's pretty much that they're all focused on the priority to push back against regime forces. ISIS in Qalamoun does have a bit of history, in that in the past they did have joint fronts with Jabhat a-Nusra and this Saudi muhajireen-led battalion called the Green Battalion, which basically was announced in August and is led by Saudis, though it does have a number of other nationalities, including native Syrians.
There are fighters of all groups in and around the area.
March 03, 2014
Surenos Gangbangers in .... Syria? (UPDATED)
This is pretty surreal. What the hell are two gang-bangers doing in Syria fighting for Hezbollah? One of the guy says he's Armenian the other guy says he's Surenos which would make him, what, Mexican?
What the hell?
UPDATE: Thanks to Birbal Dhar, here's a video of these guys posted last year which is straight gang banger. Growing up in LA it's hard for me to put Armenians into the category of gang bangers. All the Armenians I've ever known were straight out of the immigrants make good category -- recent immigrants who quickly became middle class.
But looking at some of the symbols these guys are sporting, it's interesting to note that they use Cyrillic script which Armenians don't do (they have their own alphabet which is neither Latin nor Cyrillic) . So I can't help but wonder if there's aren't ties to the Russian mafia here? Now when I lived in Moscow if you asked who the criminals were they would tell you Armenians, Georgians, Chechens, and generally any one from the Caucuses who would generally be described with an adjective meaning "dirty".
Of course that was never my experience, especially growing up in LA but maybe there's this other element out there I just don't know much about. Also, there's some speculation in the comments by Birbal and MtB that they could be jailhouse converts or maybe they just see the Syrian government as more sympathetic to the Armenian minority there?
February 26, 2014
1K Words on the Syrian Civil War (Bumped for Pallywood Shenanigans?)
We're actually not too bad at picking these, well some are obvious.
Syrians waiting for aid at
UNRWA humanitarian distribution, Yarmouk Camp, Damascus. 2014
The tweet is of an incredible image, it is incredible. But so far it appears legit.
Update: We're calling shenanigans on this, you know Hezbollah Green Helmet Guy type of shenanigans.
It's a faked/composite picture. If you look at the edge of the jacket of the guy centre frame (go to the larger tweeted file) wearing the white baseball cap back to front, you will see the poor cutout work. Also note that people that visually appear to be the same distance from the camera are at different scale.
Thanks to The Realist of Qld
I'm sure there are more, knock yourselves out kids.
Update: Here is a Yahoo Video on the same story.
Here is a screen grab from that video.
Note the upper left of the shot, here is an enlarged version.
Now here is the same area in the crowd image. Note the matching area. The artifacts in this section are numerous, the flags are removed, there are outlines around the vertical pole with a dark area underneath. The missing Palestinian flags.
click for larger
You can also see the layering of the crowd in the original image. So why question the image ? One commenter suggests that questioning this image means I must believe there is no crisis among Palestinians in Syria?
Now, by calling this photo "shenanigans" without further commentary, are you saying there's no humanitarian crisis in the Yarmouk camp? Or are you just trying to get your readers to dismiss the problem in the camp?That's a nice straw man you built there. If I say the pic is "enhanced" then the conclusion is there is no crisis? That's silly, Syria is one big crisis.
We'll spend countless words, posts and news stories on "Were the asses on the SI Swimsuit cover photoshopped?" because it fits the feminist narrative that it damages girls who try to achieve an unachievable false image.
But when it comes to a really serious issue like this, when the image has been presented by the media as authentic, questioning the accuracy of a photo the press describes as "incredible" is wrong?
Incredible indeed. Incredible in the sense that its not very credible.
As for the makers, well its from the Syrian regime so probably Hezbollah. Iran's standard operation. Iran's propaganda wing is in full swing lately, publishing outright lies and half truths.
If we are to make judgments about what to do with Syria then we need accurate information, this is not an accurate representation of reality, its tragedy marketing just the same as marketing the asses of those girls on the SI cover to sell swimsuits.
Its OK to do that, but people need to be skeptical and aware that they are being marketed to. This is presented as "real". If it were it would be pulitzer prize material, but its only semi-real. Truthy if you will.
I for one would prefer a more accurate representation UNRWA aid distribution in Yarmouk. I would also like to question why these Palestinians, after 40 years of being in Syria, are not by now Syrians? Is it because they are mostly Sunni and Assad's regime refused to give them a permanent home and dignity? But I digress.
I'm not going to take an incredible Pallywood doctored image at face value just because the news media presents it as reality. It is a collage, a work of art, a commercial for Palestinian suffering, but not an accurate representation of the crowd at Yarmouk that day.
There was a significant crowd, there is suffering, a crisis. But I guess the real images just weren't quite good enough, they had to come up with something groundbreaking. Something to really catch the eye. So that's what they did.
The shame is that if you read the comments on the Yahoo story, the number of people who just look at it, then go off on an emotional tangent discussing the tragedy, blissfully unaware of the Pallywood nature of the image.
The image is indeed, incredible. It seems beyond reality because it is.
Update: Here is some video from the scene from AFP. At 11 seconds you can see the people in the background from the image above. It seems to confirm the presence of the very large crowd in the image. Maybe not to the extent to explain some of the strange artifacts in the pic, especially the tiny woman next to fire jacket guy, But indeed the crowd is pretty surreal.
AFP copy here
If anyone has more evidence supporting or detracting from the image, I'll run it. Because that's the purpose of this post is to determine for ourselves what this image means.
And also this plate full of crow is delicious.
Updated again: This report says that these people claim that the reason they are in such dire straits is because the Assad regime will not left them leave Yarmouk. The roads are blocked. So they are trapped. Since they are mainly Sunnis the regime may fear that those allowed to leave will join FSA or another rebel group.
There are two videos mentioned in the report appear to be genuine. Other vids with interviews all seem to be tainted with regime views of the rebels, accusing them of being well fed but not helping the Palis. An Iranian slant.
Here is the first.
The article mentions a woman saying, "Open the road and we will leave and find food and water." Its probably this older video although its translated it seems less slanted than other PressTV reports.
February 25, 2014
The leader of the al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel group in Syria has given rival jihadists an ultimatum to accept arbitration by clerics or be expelled.Its feared the continued Red on Red violence could cause a massive shortage in the western popcorn supply.
Abu Mohammed al-Julani of the al-Nusra Front warned the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIS) that it would be driven from Syria and "even from Iraq" if it did not comply within five days.
The threat came after the killing of an al-Qaeda emissary, Abu Khaled al-Suri.
He had reportedly been sent to end the clashes between ISIS and other rebels.
...Abu Khaled al-Suri died along with several members of the hardline Islamist rebel group, Ahrar al-Sham, in a suicide attack on its headquarters in the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday.
There was no claim of responsibility, but the Islamic Front, an alliance to which Ahrar al-Sham belongs, said the "fingers of blame" pointed to ISIS.
Hot butter and salt supplies are for now sufficient, but recent price spikes raised questions on how just how long the west can hold out in the face of such wonderful developments.
Hat Tip: Switched.
February 24, 2014
Why Its Pretty Much OK When Jihadis Kill Assad's Soldiers And Visa Versa
I've spent a lot of time on atrocities committed by various factions of the Syrian rebellion. Beheadings, mass murders, strangling women, murdering wounded. Many are terrorist butchers of the worst sort.
But Assad's forces aren't much, if any, better. I've seen them strike off the fingers of wounded rebels, murder wounded rebels, mass murder, make videos where they murder someone while pretending to be the opposition, stick sticks down wounded rebels throats, abuse corpses, On and on....
But this takes the cake. (Assad's forces torture wounded cat and puppies, no kidding, don't watch it).
Nuke them! Nuke them all!
Its the only way to be sure.
February 18, 2014
Meanwhile in Tafas Syria
....to what? Resurrect all of Syria?
*Its the third video left to right, top of the list, don't watch it, trust me, just don't watch it.
February 14, 2014
Frontline: Syria's Second Front
Its worth the time to watch this report.
February 13, 2014
More Please! British Boxer Killed Fighting w/ Jihadis in Syria
Sure there's a risk that those going to Syria eventually come home and are better trained to commit acts of terrorism here, but it seems to me that most of those going to Syria aren't going to come home:
An amateur boxer has become the tenth known Briton to have died fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria.Hell, instead of prosecuting these guys if we discover their intentions why not buy them a one-way ticket?
On Thursday police were searching the house where Anil Khalil Raoufi, 20, a mechanical engineering student, lived with his family in a suburb of Manchester.
Officers said they were attempting to establish how "a man from the North West" could have come to be killed in Syria, although they did not confirm his identity.
It is believed that Raoufi was fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda.
Update by Howie: He's Dead Jim!
February 12, 2014
Chechen Terror Supporters Now Big Fans of John McCain
I don't follow John McCain on my Twitter account, but I do follow the Chechen terror supporters at the Kavkaz Center who, apparently, are big fans of John McCain's stance on Syria.
These would be the same people who ran the following stories recently:
Caucasus Emirate Mujahideen use prayers against Satanic games in Sochi -- in which a Dagestani terrorist justifies the murder of 6 Russian civilians as tit-for-tat retribution
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan airs Kabul CIA office attack video -- Yes, these people support the Taliban
I'm sure John McCain means well, and who doesn't hate the Assad regime? But when it comes right down to it the fighters on the ground aren't just anti-Assad -- many of them are for replacing Assad with a Taliban like state. And when these guys think you're awesome, maybe it's time to reevaluate your position?
PS - We got hit by snowmaggedon so I'm pretty much out for the rest of the day. I don't know where the other lazy bastards are.
February 11, 2014
"American" Jihadi Accuses al Qaeda affiliate of being spies, mean to other group of al Qaeda
This guy calls himself "Abu Muhammad al-Amreki" and he claims to be a former fighter for the al Qaeda affiliatd al-Nusrah Front. In the video he claims to have left al-Nusrah for the no longer al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria after al-Nusrah went into this town and massacred a bunch of people and stole their weapons and what not.
Pop some popcorn before watching. It's real inside baseball and filled with mundane details about the dispute, but at least it's the kind of inside baseball that's red-on-red. Seriously, what could be better than one group of fanatical Islamists turning their guns on another group of fanatical Islamists?
Any guess as to where he's from? He claims to have lived in the US for 10 - 11 years, but from the accent it's clear that he's not from here. Russian, maybe?
February 08, 2014
Red on Red Continues in Syria
I'm snowed in so I won't be able to get to the store to restock the popcorn supply. Alas, today's show will be popcorn free.
Here's a report from the al Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al Nusra on their recent operations against the formerly al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq & Syria:
Reports: Jabhat al-Nusra Strikes Back at Islamic State of Iraq in Eastern SyriaSource: Jabhat al Nusrah.
Numerous reports indicate that the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra has hit back at the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham in Deir Ez Zor Province in eastery Syria, retaking facilities seizing by ISIS earlier this week.
ISIS had claimed control of a gas plant, several grain stores, and factories.
Jabhat al-Nusra reportedly retook the positions and launched more attacks with the assistance of local tribes, killing/martyred Libyan-born ISIS commander Abu Dujana.
February 03, 2014
Al Qaeda Now Requiring Parking Decals in Syria
So I'm watching this video of former German rapper "Deso Dogg" (now calling himself Abu Talha al-Almani) delivering aid in Syria on behalf of al Qaeda's al Nusrah Front when I noticed that the car he's driving has ... well, just check it out.
I suppose you have to be pretty high on the al Qaeda chain of command to merit a parking sticker.
January 29, 2014
Shia Terror Supporters Making Fun of Sunni Terrorists Killing Each Other
The irony here is killing me. And the fact that some guy in Tehran doesn't get the irony? That makes it doubly delicious.
Thanks to @BellumLetale
Red on Red in Syria: Hezbollah Terrorists Massacre al Qaeda Terrorists
If this keeps going on, I'm going to have to invest in popcorn futures. I'm putting the video below the fold because it shows a bunch of dead bodies and so consider yourself warned.
The only other caveat is that there's no way to verify any of it. The video is labeled "Hezbollah ambush Jabhat Al-Nusra on Syria/Lebanon Border," but as we've seen in the past, the videos coming out of Syria are often flat out lies. They take a video of a bunch of dead people, and then both sides use the same video to either claim responsibility or claim the other side did it and it was a "massacre".
But still, one can hope, right? Worst case scenario this isn't the result of a Hezbollah assault on al Qaeda, it's the result of an al Qaeda assault on Hezbollah. Or one group of al Qaeda on another group. Or on Syrian regulars.
So basically I'm saying that whoever it is who is dead, they probably deserved it.
Thankst to Golem Bar
January 28, 2014
al Qaeda in Syria Mujahideen at Glory Hole
Two al Qaeda fighters wait in line for their turn servicing a glory hole at a rest stop in Homs, Syria.
H/T: al Qaeda
January 27, 2014
Al Qaeda Unionizes in Syria
Q: How many members of al Qaeda does it take to man a check point?
A: 4. Two to man the check point, and two more to sit on their asses making sure the other two man the check point.
H/T: al Qaeda
January 24, 2014
Hey, let's support al Qaeda -- but, you know, the more "moderate" al Qaeda"
Wow, this is possibly one of the worst ideas ever. Generally I respect the guys who wrote this ... but supporting one branch of al Qaeda over the other because, you know, one is worse. This is like supporting Stalin over Hitler if they had actually fought over Poland:
First, Ahrar al-Sham and its partners in the Islamic Front, Syria’s largest rebel coalition, are at war with ISIS, which is a far bigger concern for the United States. ISIS has the strongest track record of supporting global jihad, and it has American blood on its hands from its war against U.S. forces in Iraq. ISIS is an indiscriminate killer of Syrian civilians and, finally, it is the primary conduit through which the conflict in Syria is spreading to al-Anbar in Iraq. The Islamic Front, including Ahrar al-Sham, represents the best hope in Syria for defeating ISIS.Wow, I don't know where to start with this. We should ally with militant Islamists because they are: a) less militant than ISIS; b) only want to impose Taliban style law locally; c) would bloody the nose of Iran.
Second, designating Ahrar al-Sham as a terrorist group would destroy what little chance the United States has of building relationships with the other militias in the Islamic Front. Those relationships will be important for ensuring that the Front treats Syrian civilians well during the war and after, should Assad ever be toppled. Making a direct enemy of Ahrar al-Sham would also make it extremely difficult for U.S. nongovernmental organizations to move aid through territory controlled by it and the Islamic Front, because U.S. law prohibits working with terrorist organizations.
Finally, Ahrar al-Sham’s leader, Hassan Abboud, has never endorsed bin Laden’s vision of a global jihad. His struggle is limited to Syria. Designating his group as a terrorist organization might backfire by pushing it completely into al Qaeda’s camp. (Indeed, Suri’s statement itself might be indicative of an internal debate about whether to hew closely to Nusra, ISIS’s rival claimant to al Qaeda’s mantle in Syria.)
Of those, only "c" is a goal worthy of pursuing. It is in our interests to see a weaker Iran in the region. The fall of Assad would bloody Iran's nose. But if that means that he is replaces by an Islamist government organized along the lines of the Taliban, then that's helpful because?
All of this is based on the false notion that if the US makes friends with these guys then we will be able to influence them in the long run. I call BS. Historical example of BS off the top of my head: arms-for-hostages -- remember when we reached out to "moderates" in Iran? How'd that work out for us.
That's just on the fly, I'm sure we could come up with a dozen examples of US policy backfiring when we supported "moderate" fascists.
The truth is that US national interests are served in an even more unsatisfying way than McCants et al. want to believe. Their argument is that keeping one branch of al Qaeda off the designated terror list is the least bad of a number of bad options. I disagree. The one option they haven't considered is that it is in our interests to prolong the war. To see that it ends in a stalemate. No one likes a stalemate, but Iran vs. al Qaeda vs. al Qaeda is a battle that serves or interests the longer it goes, not the shorter.
Moreover, there is a third actor here that has already driven out both militant Islamists and the Baathist regime from many areas in Syria: the Kurds.
Of all the groups involved in the conflict, the secular Kurds are our strongest ally in the region, the most moderate, and also the most successful at governing territory that has been liberated. If any group in this complex civil war deserves our help it is the Kurds. It is in a free and independent Kurdistan that we should be spending our time and efforts, not in failed colonial states like Syria and Iraq.
Let them kill each other until the last man standing claims to be the new Caliph or the Hidden Imam. More power to 'em.
Thanks to @pspoole
January 23, 2014
Zawahiri: Why can't we all just get along?
Al Qaeda's Rodney King moment has arrived:
The emir of al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, has released a new audio message addressing the infighting between jihadist groups in Syria.,,,Let's hope no one listens to the Z-man. All this hot al Qaeda on al Qaeda fighting is giving me a semi.
Zawahiri implores the jihadists to "let go" of their "partisan fanaticism" if it cuts against the "unity of your ranks." The infighting distracts them from fighting their true enemies, including Shiite forces, Russia, and China, all of whom are supposedly colluding with the "Crusader campaign."