February 26, 2016

Syrian Cease Fire Update

One of of the little known meanings of Allahu Ackbar is Cease fire! Depending on the context.

This is not one of those times.

By Howie at 09:49 AM | Comments |

September 30, 2015

Russia Begins Bombing in Syria ... but not very well

So, Russia has released footage from it's first bombing campaign. Apparently, they're not very good at this whole "precision" thing.

Expect protests over all the innocent civilians being killed in 4 ... 3 .... 2 .... never.

On a related note, the DOD confirmed today that none of the fighters killed in Russian air strikes were American trained.

I dunno, but since only 3 or 4 of the approximately 100,000 anti-Assad forces (this includes ISIS and al Qaeda) were trained by the US I'd be kind of astounded if they were. I mean, what are the odds?

Update by Howie: Like the new iPhone, behold pictures that move.

But the camera is not on the biog boomah 3/4 of the time. Just on the bomblets, that's pretty neat, a big bomb that filled also with cluster bombs.

I'm sure Russia is not worries about the bad PR of using clusterbombs, because Putin, not a pussy. See how this works, no one will bash the Communists for using these like they do us, except for maybe Obama, because Obama, pussy.

Update: Take 2:

Cut! Print!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:11 PM | Comments |

September 15, 2015

Finally Russia Enters Syrian Conflict!

I've said all along that we needed the Russians to kind of go into Syria and fisk it. With that familiar Russian er um pragmatism yeah that's it pragmatism.

Now the problem will be if Obama can't figure out how to make Russian help pay off.

Remember we are on the same side.

Um uh yah, Uh hold on now. I'm uh er extremely er confident......

By Howie at 10:51 PM | Comments |

September 02, 2015

Placeholder: Allies in Syria Learning Important Military Skills, Like Jumping Through Flaming Hoops of Fire, Breaking Cinder Blocks w/ Head
Also, prayers for Howie (Update Your Prayers Work! Howie is Alive!)

Behold, our allies in the FSA (Jaysh al-Thuwar)! Our common ISIS enemies fear and tremble at their might!

jaish al-thuwar karate kings.JPG

jaish al-thuwar flaming hoops.JPG

Stolen from Grotbags McTroll who, unfortunately, closes his tweets from the public at large.

Also, yeah it's been a while since any one posted. Howie is sick. It's serious. Keep him in your prayers.

Update by Howie the Undead:

Sorry to disappoint the Jihadi community, but the Jews saved my ass again!

Thanks for all your prayers, especially the ones rooting for my death.

Allah knows best.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:22 PM | Comments |

July 01, 2015

ISIS Snuff Video No Really

In this video its ISIS getting snuffed by Jaysh al-Islam in revenge for attacks against the group and the execution of its members by ISIS.

Beirut (AFP) - A Syrian rebel group operating around Damascus has executed 18 alleged members of the Islamic State group in a video mimicking the extremist organisation's own productions.



The video, which emerged overnight, shows fighters from Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) wearing the orange prison clothes that IS victims often sport.

The IS prisoners however are wearing black clothes and chained together wearing ankle and hand shackles with metal balls attached.

The nearly 20-minute production mimics many aspects of IS's own execution videos, with similar sound effects and visuals.




Jaysh al-Islam fighters in the video say the IS forces are being executed in part as revenge for the deaths of at least three of the rebel group's members who were beheaded by IS

Looking at the video Jaysh al-Islam is itself extremist, accusing ISIS of working with the Assad regime and also with Christians the same talking points ISIS often uses calling Christians and basically everyone not Sunni the enemy. Both Jaysh al-Islam and ISIS are Sunni groups.

And they are killing each other for being the wrong kind of Sunni.

The entire video is here for the time being. Please pass the popcorn.

More frames below the fold, some are graphic.

Update: The above link to the video is dead, its availible by request here.





By Howie at 09:30 AM | Comments |

March 27, 2015

A Message to Bronco Bamma From Allepo

0:46 LOL!


By Howie at 12:08 PM | Comments |

December 30, 2014

Syria! Visit The New Islamic Utopia Camping! Fun Athletics! Children's Activities!

Buy a sex slave and reserve your martyrdom today! Limited Time Offer!

Several jihadist groups operating in Iraq and Syria continue to showcase facilities used to train their fighters. Since Dec. 1, seven new camps have been identified by The Long War Journal. Of the seven, six are in Syria and one is in Iraq. This brings the total number of training camps identified in Iraq and Syria to 64.

Luxury accommodations!

The facility in Iraq, called the "Abu Hamza al Muhajir camp," is run by the Islamic State. Located in Fallujah, the camp is named after the former emir of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al Masri (his nom de guerre was Abu Hamza al Muhajir). He headed the group from 2006 to 2010 after its founder, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was killed in a US airstrike in 2006. Al Masri and Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the previous leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, were killed by US and Iraqi forces in 2010.

The "Cubs of the Caliphate camp" in Syria is also operated by the Islamic State. Photographs of the facility, which was advertised by the jihadist group on Dec. 6, show various children training with weapons, martial arts, and in sharia law. This camp is just the latest in a long list of training centers run exclusively for children in Iraq and Syria. [For more on children's camps in Iraq and Syria, see LWJ report, Jihadists tout training camps for children in Iraq and Syria.]

By Howie at 09:13 AM | Comments |

December 26, 2014

Islamic State of Losers Plagued By Problems of Running a State

In stark contrast to earlier reports where IS paves some roads and passed out some of the war booty, IS has run out of booty.

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — The Islamic State’s vaunted exercise in state-building appears to be crumbling as living conditions deteriorate across the territories under its control, exposing the shortcomings of a group that devotes most of its energies to fighting battles and enforcing strict rules.

Services are collapsing, prices are soaring, and medicines are scarce in towns and cities across the “caliphate” proclaimed in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State, residents say, belying the group’s boasts that it is delivering a model form of governance for Muslims.

Slick Islamic State videos depicting functioning government offices and the distribution of aid do not match the reality of growing deprivation and disorganized, erratic leadership, the residents say. A trumpeted Islamic State currency has not materialized, nor have the passports the group promised. Schools barely function, doctors are few, and disease is on the rise.

When your only tool is a Koran, everything looks like a neck, but it will be be hard from Islamic State to murder its way out of winter.
In the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group’s self-styled capital, water and electricity are available for no more than three or four hours a day, garbage piles up uncollected, and the city’s poor scavenge for scraps on streets crowded with sellers hawking anything they can find, residents say.

Videos filmed in secret by an activist group show desperate women and children clamoring for handouts of food, while photographs posted on the Internet portray foreign militants eating lavish spreads, a disparity that is starting to stir resentment.

Bombs falling from the sly, the gutters running with blood, death, destruction and starvation!

Its Islamic Utopia!

Update thanks to pst314 for the awesome edit.

By Howie at 09:23 AM | Comments |

November 10, 2014

Today Jawa Report Picks on Assad

You know I'm not too thrilled about the alternatives to Assad, on the one had you have al-Qaeda and on the other worse than al-Qaeda.

But here are Assad's forces directly targeting children. Assad is bad guy, unfortunately the choices Syria don't include good.

*The video is remarkable because that kid is one brave little SOB.

*Some question how the boy gets hit in a cloud of smoke then gets up, suggesting its "fake" I'm not sure what to think of it at this point.

By Howie at 01:08 PM | Comments |

October 01, 2014

ISIS Attacks Civilian School in Homs Behead Kurdish Women

Wonderful, freaking just wonderful.

The bombs went off in the city of Homs, in a neighborhood dominated by minority Alawities, a Shiite offshoot sect that President Bashar Assad also belongs to. It was one of the deadliest strikes to hit the government-controlled area in months.

The blasts occurred just as the children were leaving at the end of class at the Ekremah al-Makhzoumi elementary school, according to an official with the Homs governorate.

A Syrian pro-government channel aired a brief footage of the aftermath, showing distraught parents rushing about frantically looking for their children, amid strewn schoolbags and blood stains on the ground. Black flames rose from a car nearby.

Well so much for ISIS claim that they don't attack civilians.

The other big news is that ISIS captured some Kurdish fighters near Kobane and beheaded them all including three women.


By Howie at 09:21 AM | Comments |

September 30, 2014

Oh No We Didn't Underestimate The threat

Or why James Clapper should be fired!Institute for the Studya of War:

ISW has predicted the rise of the Islamic State since 2012. Read our forecasts here.(pdf)
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) provides accurate geostrategic forecasts and advanced warning of growing threats. ISW analysts have accurately forecasted the political fragmentation of Iraq and the return of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), now the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), since 2011. ISW analysts have correctly predicted the origins, pathways, methods, and aims of ISIS’s return.

ISW conducts strategic forecasting as a core intellectual contribution to foreign policy. ISW’s leaders believe that strategic surprise can be averted by monitoring the trajectories of complex problems over time, even from unclassified information. Over the last 18 months, ISW has published a number of forecasts that anticipated the resurgence of AQI, the devolution of the Iraqi Security Forces, and the emergence of the ISIS campaign to control territory inside Iraq and Syria. This document is a compilation of forecasts made by ISW’s analysts that have come true. Strategic forecasting does not presume that complex situations will always unfold as predicted. ISW strives to apply concrete knowledge of the present in order to deliver insight about the future. ISW hopes that this policy makers can use these insights in order to take a proactive rather than a reactive posture to emerging crisis situations and prevent their escalation.

Except that the guy doing the firing was also the one who directed him to say a lot of stupid stuff. I mean canning Clapper without Canning his boss is just, you know, pissing into the wind.

Or the President could just read Jawa Report.

A Google search for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, starting in Jan 2012 and ending in December 2013 yields over 10 pages of results.

Among them.

One Less Website for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria: rawabit.tv December 26, 2013.
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Murder Boy 14 For Insulting Prophet Jun 11, 2013
What Do You Mean America Not Helping in Syria? Jul 29, 2013
Shocking News! AQI Claims Syrian Jihadi Front al-Nusra Apr 9, 2013
The Jawa Report: Shocking News! al-Qaeda Active in Syria Jul 26, 2012
Ansar al-Sunnah Leader Arrested Crossing Into Syria March 17, 2012
When Syria Ends, Europe is Going to Get Bloody (bumped) Nov 12, 2013

Hat Tip: Switched.

By Howie at 08:13 AM | Comments |

September 03, 2014

These Aren't The Moderate Opposition We're Looking For

Pajamas Media:

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.

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.
As they say, Read the Rest.

Hat Tip: Achmed.

By Howie at 03:07 PM | Comments |

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.

By Vinnie at 12:07 PM | Comments |

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.

The term Nusayris means Alawite.

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.

By Howie at 10:37 AM | Comments |

August 25, 2014

al-Nusra The Kinder Gentler al-Qaeda Franchise?

The al-Nusra Front pulles PR coup and releases American Journalist.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

By Howie at 09:17 AM | Comments |

August 22, 2014

Imperial Very Good News! Assad Kills ISIS Jihadi Abu Moussa

Protein Wisdom:

“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?”


He's dead Jim

By Howie at 01:00 PM | Comments |

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.

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.

If you're going to use our powah, Use it very liberally Mr. President.

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?

*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

Dueling Atrocities

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.

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.

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..

The full report is here(pdf). And embedded her at the Guardian.


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?

A: Both.

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!”

By Howie at 08:38 AM | Comments |

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

Taymullah al-Somali-blind.jpg
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.

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!'

Thanks to @BellumLetale

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:36 PM | Comments |

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.


By Howie at 10:06 AM | Comments |

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.

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.

If any one recognizes the guy or finds his real name anywhere, do me a favor and email me.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:21 PM | Comments |

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.

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.

That is no confirmation until today when Australian Abu Sulayman al Muhajir tweeted what you see above.

On the bright side: that's one less jihadi we'll have to worry about coming home to do damage here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:42 PM | Comments |

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...

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.

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.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:17 AM | Comments |

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.

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.”


By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:03 PM | Comments |

May 20, 2014

War Porn: Syrian SU-22 Bombs the Muj

Ackbar 5.0!

Hat Tip: The Aviationist.

By Howie at 07:49 AM | Comments |

May 16, 2014

Sandcrawler PSA: Just Say No

This is Abu Huzaifa the Tunisian before his Jihad.


And Abu Huzaifa after.


Any questions?

Ooooh Oooooh! I have one, "Is Syria free yet?" LOL

By Howie at 12:51 PM | Comments |

May 08, 2014

He's Dead Jim! Hi Mommy! Edition

By Howie at 07:51 AM | Comments |

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.

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.

Pussies! You were so close to achieving martyrdom?

By Howie at 07:56 AM | Comments |

April 30, 2014

2k+2 Words on Islamic State Governance Strategy in Syria

Jesus wept

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:30 AM | Comments |

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.

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'.

The parents, Bosnian refugees living in Austria say the girls were "tricked" into going to Syria. Presumably by a guy in a limo.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:02 AM | Comments |

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.

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."

Let's hope they've improved their collective aim and the only ones killed are each other.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:56 AM | Comments |

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...

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."

He goes on to say that not only does he fight side by side with al Qaeda, but that:
Perhaps more worryingly for western state, he admits to having "shared" his arms with Islamist fighters at time

Just. Freaking. Great.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:20 PM | Comments |

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.

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.

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.

Also, who said war couldn't be funny?

When the war ends you know what I'll miss the most? The jokes.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:34 AM | Comments |

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:
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.

More here from Ma'an news agency which is a Palestinian outlet.
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.

...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.

That's good news about Marc Marginedas release. He is reported safe in Turkey.

Here is a pic of what are called ISIS troops in Yarmouk.


Its from an ISIS feed Twitter feed here. A translatable page is here in this Indonesian site.

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?

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.

It does kind of shatter last week's portrayal of aid distribution where Youmouk is portrayed as containing only helpless unarmed starving Palestinian orphans.

There are fighters of all groups in and around the area.

By Howie at 11:31 AM | Comments |

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?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:06 PM | Comments |

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

Here's the original via Nic at CNN.

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: Large high resolution source image here.

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

Thanks to B'emet Or.

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.


By Howie at 04:34 PM | Comments |

February 25, 2014

Mirror Mirror

Radical hard line group of al-Qaeda linked terrorists threaten war with other group hard line group of al-Qaeda linked terrorists.

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.

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.

Its feared the continued Red on Red violence could cause a massive shortage in the western popcorn supply.

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.

By Howie at 11:05 AM | Comments |

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.

By Howie at 04:01 PM | Comments |

February 18, 2014

Meanwhile in Tafas Syria

*A Mujahideen holds up a dead child and asks America........

....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.

By Howie at 09:00 AM | Comments |