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Showing posts from January 22, 2016

ISIS commits largest massacre since Syrian conflict by dumping 280 dead in the river and taking 400 hostages

ISIS committed a massacre in Eastern Syrian city of Deir el-Zour on Sunday leaving as many as 280 people dead.

News agencies reported different death tolls with state news agencies reporting a number as high as 300 people and opposition groups and news agencies reporting between 85 and 135 deaths including combatants.

Where the London-based activist group said that at least 42 ISIS fighters had died.

In the onslaughts ISIS committed killings of whole families for their cooperation with Syrian Army troops, according to Reuters, with some of those killed being beheaded.

The residents in the area of the massacre called al-Bagilya, had received Russian humanitarian aid earlier.

Sputnik news quoted a local in the area as saying:

“The horrific massacre carried out today by ISIL militants in al-Bagilya in Deir ez-Zor. 280 victims, including women, children and old people. Reason – cooperation with the Syrian army,”

The massacre is considered as one of the worst mass killings committed in Syria ever…

When anti-Shiism becomes a euphemism for religious eugenics: The real face of Wahhabism

Back in 2013 Fanar Haddad, a Research Fellow at the Middle East Institute (National University of Singapore) raised the issue of radical sectarianism in Wahhabism, (Riyadh’s very own dystopian interpretation of Islam) when he warned that latent anti-Shiism in the Middle East had already metastasized into a full doctrinal ostracization movement - thus positioning Shia Islam, and all Shiites outside the Islamic realm.

He wrote for Foreign Policy: “The recent wave of anti-Shiite rhetoric and sectarian polarization has caused profound concerns across the Middle East. Sectarian tensions are not new, of course, but the vocabulary of anti-Shiism in the Middle East has changed dramatically over the last 10. Shiites who used to be accused of ethnic otherness are now being cast as outside the Muslim community itself. Exclusion on doctrinal grounds was a mostly Saudi exception in the framing of Shiism. It is now increasingly becoming the regional rule.”

This “vocabulary” Haddad refers to is course…

Why the US anti-terror Coalition is Failing

By Finian Cunningham

There was an underwhelming sense when Pentagon boss Ashton Carter met this week in Paris with other members of the US-led military coalition supposedly fighting the ISIL terror group.

The US-led coalition was set up at the end of 2014 and in theory comprises 60 nations. The main military operation of the alliance is an aerial bombing campaign against terrorist units of IS (also known as ISIL, ISIS or Daesh).

At the Paris meeting this week, Secretary of Defense Carter was joined by counterparts from just six countries: France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Australia. Where were the other 54 nations of the coalition?

Carter and French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian patted themselves on the back about “momentum”in their campaign against the terrorist network. However, platitudes aside, there was a noticeable crestfallen atmosphere at the meeting of the shrunken US-led coalition.

One telling point was Carter exhorting Arab countries to contribute more. As …