MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : MERKEL’S & MACRON’S WELL PAYED PARTNERS IN CRIME

LIBYA: A new UN report describes widespread abuses of migrants (VOA), including rape and torture, by smugglers, traffickers, Libyan officials, and armed groups. The UN assistant secretary-general for human rights called on Europe to cease its support to the Libyan coast guard, which intercepts Europe-bound migrant ships.

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : MAJOR ROADS OPEN IN SYRIA  / TO IRAQ & BEIRUT

 

Elijah J. Magnier‏ @ejmalrai 22 Mar 2019  – The Iranian leader of the revolution Sayyed Ali Khamenei said, with reference to the US (and Saudi Arabia): “we thank Allah, who rendered our enemies imbeciles”. Why? US policy failure reopens Iraqi-Syrian borders and the Iran-Beirut road https://ejmagnier.com/2019/03/21/us-policy-failure-reopens-iraqi-syrian-borders-and-the-iran-beirut-road/ … via @ejmalrai

More via www.mesop.de

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS “SATIRYCON”  : FEMALE CULTURAL APPROPRIATION ?  NEWZEALAND

 

Seth Frantzman‏Verified account @sfrantzman  21 März 2019 – Women encouraged to wear headscarves in solidarity after NZ terror attack: “‘Scarves in Solidarity’ campaign, encouraging women to wear a scarf around head to support Muslim women of Christchurch.” Not sure what men are encouraged to wear in solidarity.

More via www.mesop.de

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : KEINE SICHERHEITSZONE FÜR KURDEN

USA suchen verbündete Truppen für Syrien

21 März 2019 – „General Joseph Dunford, der Vorsitzende des Vereinigten Generalsstabs der USA, weist einen Bericht des Wall Street Journal zurück, wonach das US-Militär an Plänen arbeite, die den Verbleib von bis zu 1.000 Soldaten in Syrien vorsehen. Er nannte den Bericht ‚sachlich falsch‘. ‚Es gibt keine Änderungen des im Februar angekündigten Plans, und wir setzen weiterhin die Anweisungen des Präsidenten um, die US-Streitkräfte bis auf einen Restbestand zu reduzieren,‘ sagte Dunford in einer Erklärung am Sonntag. Das Wall Street Journal berichtete sonntags unter Berufung auf US-Beamte, die USA hätten geplant, weiterhin mit den kurdischen Kämpfern in Syrien zusammenzuarbeiten, die von der Türkei bedroht werden. In dem Bericht heißt es, dass die neuen Pläne ausgearbeitet wurden, nachdem die Verhandlungen zwischen den USA, der Türkei, den europäischen Verbündeten und den Kurden nicht zur Schaffung einer sicheren Zone in Syrien geführt hatten.

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS INTEL BY MEIR AMIT INTELLIGENNCE & TERRORISM INFORMAT ION CE NTER / ISAREL – Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 14-20, 2019)

ISIS operatives patrolling in a hilly area, apparently in a desert. Left: ISIS operatives in a wooded area (Shabakat Shumukh, March 17, 2019).

  • The battle for the takeover of the ISIS outpost in Al-Baghouz is coming to an end. According to the spokesman of the SDF forces, the village and the concentration of ISIS operatives outside it (Al-Baghouz Camp) were taken over by the SDF. According to him, ISIS operatives were repelled into a narrow strip along the Euphrates River. In Al-Baghouz Camp, the SDF captured hundreds of sick and wounded ISIS operatives who were transferred to military hospitals.
  • Following are the main events in the various arenas in Syria:
    • In the Upper Euphrates River (the Al-Mayadeen area), this week ISIS engaged in intensive activity against the SDF forces and the civilians collaborating with them. In the ITIC’s assessment, the attacks carried out by ISIS in this area are intended as an attempt to divert attention from the battle taking place in the village of Al-Baghouz. Moreover, this activity indicates that even after the anticipated fall of the “pocket” in Al-Baghouz, ISIS will still possess operational capabilities in the Euphrates Valley.
    • In the Idlib area, exchanges of artillery fire continue between the Syrian army and the jihadi rebel organizations. This week, Russian fighter jets carried out airstrikes in Idlib, one of which caused damage to the central prison. Several dozen prisoners (mostly ISIS operatives) escaped, but most of them were caught by Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham operatives.
    • In the city of Manbij and its environs, the SDF forces and the SDF-backed local military council launched an operation aimed at exposing ISIS and pro-Turkish elements. It can be assumed that this move is liable to increase the tension with Turkey, which seeks to take control of Manbij and its environs.
  • In light of the pressure exerted on ISIS in Syria, ISIS’s provinces in Iraq and abroad carried out intensive activities this week:
    • In Iraq, ISIS operatives continue their guerrilla activities against the Iraqi security forces. The conspicuous modus operandi this week was attaching sticky bombs to vehicles of the Iraqi security forces.
    • In Kabul and Jalalabad, Afghanistan, several attacks were carried out against the Afghan security forces, mainly by detonating IEDs.
    • In Tunisia, ISIS reported on military activity, including patrols, the preparation of IEDs, and the execution of a Tunisian security official. These operations may have been carried out by a new province established in Tunisia (although no official announcement has been made to date).
    • In the southern Philippines (the island of Mindanao), ISIS continues to wage fierce fighting against the Philippine army.
  • Following the massacres in two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, ISIS’s spokesman and its websites issued calls for revenge. In the ITIC’s assessment, beyond the sense of revenge, ISIS seeks to leverage the terrorist attack against the worshipers to present itself as the protector of the Muslims, precisely at a time when it is under attack in Syria.
The Idlib area
Exchanges of fire continue between the Syrian army and the jihadi rebel organizations
  • This week as well, incidents continued between the Syrian army and the jihadi rebel organizations. Following are the main ones:
  • The Syrian army continued to fire artillery at rebel organization targets in the southern Idlib area. On March 16, 2019, Syrian army units exchanged fire with “terrorist squads” which tried to infiltrate from two villages about 50 km northwest of Hama. According to the Syrian army, many of the “terrorist operatives” were killed or wounded (SANA, March 16, 2019). The Syrian army also fired at positions of the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and related organizations about 40 km northwest of Hama (SANA, March 17, 2019).
  • The jihadi organization Ansar Al-Tawhid (“supporters of the oneness of Allah”)[1] announced that its operatives had fired artillery at Syrian army forces 4.5 km north of the military airbase of Abu ad-Duhur (Telegram, March 18, 2019). The “Awaken the Believers” operations room (affiliated with Al-Qaeda) reported on machine gun fire at Syrian army positions 14 km southwest of Jisr Al-Shughur (Telegram, March 19, 2019).
Russian fighter jets hit the Idlib main prison
  • Russian fighter jets carried out several airstrikes against targets in the city of Idlib this week (on March 13 and 16, 2019). One of those airstrikes reportedly killed 26 people, of whom 17 were civilians, eight children and nine prisoners held at the main prison of the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham. In the wake of the airstrike, dozens of prisoners managed to escape, including many ISIS operatives. According to the spokesman of the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham, most of the prisoners who managed to escape (over thirty) were caught (Ibaa, March 16, 2019; Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, March 17, 2019).
ISIS operatives who escaped from the Idlib main prison after the Russian airstrike (Telegram, March 14, 2019)    Russian fighter jets carrying out airstrikes in Idlib (Ibaa, March 16, 2019).
Right: Russian fighter jets carrying out airstrikes in Idlib (Ibaa, March 16, 2019). Left: ISIS operatives who escaped from the Idlib main prison after the Russian airstrike (Telegram, March 14, 2019)
Eastern Syria
The battle in the village of Al-Baghouz (updated to March 20, 2019)
  • The decisive battle in the village of Al-Baghouz Fawqani, which started on March 1, 2019, is still ongoing, with Coalition air cover. About 500 ISIS operatives reportedly remain in the village (Furat Post Facebook page, March 16, 2019). SDF Spokesman Mostafa Bali announced that the village of Al-Baghouz and most of the area adjacent to it, which was held by ISIS (“Al-Baghouz Camp”), were taken over by the SDF. According to him, the ISIS operatives were repelled into a narrow strip along the Euphrates River (Mostafa Bali’s Twitter account, March 19, 2019).
  • On March 13, 2019, ISIS operatives attacked the area taken over by the SDF in the village of Al-Baghouz. The Kurds reported that the attack had failed. A total of 38 ISIS operatives were killed, including eight suicide bombers. The SDF forces sustained four fatalities (Mostafa Bali’s Twitter account, March 13, 2019). After repelling the attack, the SDF operatives resumed their advance and took over several buildings in the village, with the assistance of Coalition airstrikes and massive artillery fire (March 14-16, 2019). The ISIS fighters retreated from several sites in the village towards the Euphrates (Furat Post Facebook page, March 16, 2019). On March 18, 2019, the fierce battles continued. The SDF forces managed to penetrate into the northern part of the “pocket” in Al-Baghouz (ANHA, March 18, 2019).
 ISIS operatives during the fighting against the SDF forces in the village of Al-Baghouz (Shabakat Shumukh, March 16, 2019)   ISIS operatives during the fighting against the SDF forces in the village of Al-Baghouz (Shabakat Shumukh, March 16, 2019)
ISIS operatives during the fighting against the SDF forces in the village of Al-Baghouz (Shabakat Shumukh, March 16, 2019)
ISIS operatives shooting at the SDF forces in Al-Baghouz (Telegram, video released by the Amaq News Agency, March 18, 2019)    ISIS operative in the “pocket” in Al-Baghouz speaking against the “Crusaders” (i.e., the Christians, members of the International Coalition) and noting that ISIS protects the Muslims.
Right: ISIS operative in the “pocket” in Al-Baghouz speaking against the “Crusaders” (i.e., the Christians, members of the International Coalition) and noting that ISIS protects the Muslims. Left: ISIS operatives shooting at the SDF forces in Al-Baghouz (Telegram, video released by the Amaq News Agency, March 18, 2019)
  • According to the reports of SDF Spokesman Mostafa Bali, the village of Al-Baghouz and the concentration of ISIS operatives outside it (“Al-Baghouz Camp”) were taken over. In the “Al-Baghouz Camp,” hundreds of sick and wounded ISIS operatives were captured and transferred for treatment at military hospitals (Mostafa Bali’s Twitter account, March 19, 2019).

“Al-Baghouz Camp” with the concentration of ISIS operatives taken over by the SDF forces, and the narrow strip along the Euphrates River to which ISIS operatives were repelled (Mostafa Bali’s Twitter account, March 19, 2019)
“Al-Baghouz Camp” with the concentration of ISIS operatives taken over by the SDF forces, and the narrow strip along the Euphrates River to which ISIS operatives were repelled (Mostafa Bali’s Twitter account, March 19, 2019)

ISIS operatives continue to try to escape or turn themselves in
  • SDF Spokesman Mostafa Bali said that another group of ISIS operatives turned themselves in to the forces (Mostafa Bali’s Twitter account, March 15, 2019). Mostafa Bali said that ISIS operatives had carried out three simultaneous suicide bombing attacks against ISIS families and operatives who turned themselves in to the SDF forces. The attacks were carried out in the passage leading from Al-Baghouz to the area under SDF control, in order to prevent them from turning themselves in. As a result of the attack, six ISIS operatives who were trying to escape from the “pocket” were killed and several others were wounded (Mostafa Bali’s Twitter account, March 15, 2019).

ISIS operatives who had turned themselves in to the SDF forces near the village of Al-Baghouz (Furat Post Facebook page, March 16, 2019)
ISIS operatives who had turned themselves in to the SDF forces near the village of Al-Baghouz (Furat Post Facebook page, March 16, 2019)

Northeastern Syria
Terrorist attacks in the Al-Mayadeen area continue
  • ISIS carried out intensive activity this week against the SDF forces and civilians collaborating with them in the area of the city of Al-Mayadeen (on the banks of Euphrates River, southeast of Deir ez-Zor). In the ITIC’s assessment, this activity was intended to divert the attention from the battle in the village of Al-Baghouz and alleviate the pressure exerted on the besieged ISIS operatives in the village.
  • Following are the main attacks carried out in the regions of Al-Mayadeen and Deir ez-Zor:
    • Two local council members of villages southeast of Al-Mayadeen, operating under the SDF protection, were shot to death (Shabakat Shumukh; Deir ez-Zor 24 Twitter account, March 14 and 15, 2019).
    • An ambush was set up for one of the SDF fighters about 14 km southwest of Al-Mayadeen, and he was killed (Shabakat Shumukh, March 14,2019).
    • A Syrian regime “agent” was shot to death in a village about 5 km east of Al-Mayadeen (Shabakat Shumukh, March 16, 2019).
    • An ambush was set up for SDF fighters in a village north of Al-Mayadeen. Two SDF fighters were killed and three others were wounded (Shabakat Shumukh, March 16, 2019).
    • An SDF fighter was murdered 27 km southeast of Al-Mayadeen (Shabakat Shumukh, March 16, 2019).
    • An ambush was set up for SDF fighters northeast of Deir ez-Zor. Three fighters, including a commander, were killed (Shabakat Shumukh, March 16, 2019).
    • A motorcycle bomb was detonated near an SDF checkpoint in Al-Basira, 14 km north of Al-Mayadeen (Shabakat Shumukh, March 18, 2019).
    • The AMN news network reported that during the past week, a Russian soldier was killed in an ambush set up by ISIS for the Syrian forces in eastern Deir ez-Zor (AMN, March 16, 2019).
Northern Syria
Kurdish counterterrorist activity in the Manbij area
  • Recently, the SDF forces reportedly launched counterterrorist activity with the intention of uncovering ISIS networks and Turkish-affiliated elements. It can be assumed that this move may escalate the tension with Turkey, which seeks to take control of the city of Manbij and its environs.
  • On March 16, 2019, the SDF forces and the Manbij Military Council backed by them launched a campaign with the purpose of locating ISIS squads and Turkish-affiliated elements in the city of Manbij and its rural area (Kurdish ronahi.tv website, March 16, 2019; Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, March 17, 2019). On March 18, 2019, checkpoints were reportedly set up in Manbij and its environs (Facebook, March 18, 2019).

Forces of the Manbij Military Council reinforcing their troops in Manbij (Kurdish ronahi.tv website, March 18, 2019)
Forces of the Manbij Military Council reinforcing their troops in Manbij (Kurdish ronahi.tv website, March 18, 2019)

Main developments in Iraq
ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla activity
  • This week, ISIS continued its guerilla warfare against the Iraqi security forces. Prominent in these activities was the use of sticky bombs which ISIS operatives attached to vehicles of the Iraqi security forces.
  • Following are the highlights of ISIS’s activity in the past week (based on ISIS reports):
  • Diyala Province: On March 13, 2019, ISIS snipers shot at members of the Iraqi oil police (engaged in the protection of oil facilities) 39 km east of Baqubah. One policeman was killed, and another was wounded (Shabakat Shumukh, March 14, 2019). In the same area, ISIS operatives detonated an IED against a vehicle of the Popular/Tribal Mobilization. Four of the passengers were killed or wounded (Shabakat Shumukh, March 14, 2019).
  • Nineveh Province:
    • On March 13, 2019, ISIS operatives attached a sticky bomb to an Iraqi army vehicle in the western part of the city of Mosul. Three soldiers were killed (Shabakat Shumukh, March 14, 2019).
    • On March 13, 2019, ISIS operatives attached a sticky bomb to a vehicle of one of the Tribal Mobilization members in the neighborhood of Al-Intisar, in the southeastern part of Mosul (the east bank). The Tribal Mobilization member was killed (Shabakat Shumukh, March 14, 2019).
    • On March 14, 2019, ISIS operatives attached a sticky bomb to a vehicle in the village of Rabia, near the Iraqi-Syrian border (about 50 km northwest of Tal Afar). A Popular/Tribal Mobilization commander was wounded (Shabakat Shumukh, March 16, 2019).
  • Salah al-Din Province: On March 14, 2019, ISIS operatives set on fire the houses of two Tribal Mobilization members 6 km west of Samarra (Shabakat Shumukh, March 16, 2019). Breaking into an apartment near Lake Tharthar, ISIS operatives shot dead four Iraqi intelligence personnel (about 50 km west of Samarra) (Shabakat Shumukh, March 15, 2019).
ISIS operative setting fire to the house of one of the Tribal Mobilization members in a village west of Samarra (Shabakat Shumukh, March 18, 2019)     Equipment of four Iraqi intelligence personnel who were shot to death by ISIS operatives (Shabakat Shumukh, March 15, 2019).
Right: Equipment of four Iraqi intelligence personnel who were shot to death by ISIS operatives (Shabakat Shumukh, March 15, 2019). Left: ISIS operative setting fire to the house of one of the Tribal Mobilization members in a village west of Samarra (Shabakat Shumukh, March 18, 2019)
Counterterrorist activities by the Iraqi security forces
  • Following are the main counterterrorist activities carried out by the Iraqi security forces:
  • The 2nd Brigade of the Popular Mobilization and the Iraqi security forces located a cache of weapons containing rockets and mortar shells in the Najaf Desert (138 km south of Baghdad) (al-hashed.net, March 13, 2019).
Weapons located in the Najaf Desert (al-hashed.net, March 13, 2019).     Popular Mobilization personnel and the Iraqi security forces near a hideout of the weapons.
Right: Popular Mobilization personnel and the Iraqi security forces near a hideout of the weapons. Left: Weapons located in the Najaf Desert (al-hashed.net, March 13, 2019).
  • The Iraqi Military Intelligence Directorate announced that 10 ISIS hideouts had been destroyed about 40 km southwest of Kirkuk (Al-Sumaria, March 14, 2019).
  • The Baghdad Operations Command announced that Iraqi army forces had killed Sabah Nouri, a senior ISIS operative who had served as the administrative and military commander of ISIS’s North Baghdad Province. He was killed north of Baghdad (Iraqi News Agency, March 15, 2019).
  • The spokesman of the North Diyala Province Police reported that a security force had broken into a hideout in the eastern part of the province and killed four “terrorist operatives” (i.e., ISIS operatives) who planned to attack the province (headquarters) (Iraqi News Agency, March 17, 2019).

The body of one of the ISIS operatives who were killed in the Diyala Province in a counterterrorist operation of the Iraqi security forces (Iraqi News Agency, March 17, 2019)
The body of one of the ISIS operatives who were killed in the Diyala Province in a counterterrorist operation of the Iraqi security forces (Iraqi News Agency, March 17, 2019)

  • The Iraqi army Al-Anbar Operations Command announced a controlled detonation of about 140 IEDs and five explosive belts of ISIS south of Fallujah (Iraqi News Agency, March 18, 2019).

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : BARZANI LAND AS NO GO AREA FOR JOURNALISTS ?

SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ)

THE COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALIST / REPORT MARCH  2019

In Iraqi Kurdistan, journalists are victim of political tension

Mission journal: Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan are under pressure from authorities in the autonomous northern Iraqi region, with news outlets shuttered and critical reporters arrested. With government formation talks underway, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa representative Ignacio Miguel Delgado travels to Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Duhok to hear from local journalists on how the partisan divide in Iraqi Kurdistan makes them vulnerable to attacks and harassment.

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS UPDATE BAGHOUZ : Toll Climbs at Syria’s al-Hol Camp as SDF Presses Offensive Against ISIS

Thursday, 21 March, 2019 – 12:00 Asharq Al-Awsat – Twelve people died overnight after arriving at a camp in northeastern Syria from ISIS’ final enclave at Baghouz, the International Rescue Committee said on Thursday, as the US-backed forces pressed an offensive against the extremist group in its last redoubt.

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : SHORT CUTS – UPDATE BAGHOUZ / SYRIA

 

Liz Sly‏Verified account @LizSly 21 Mar 2019 – 2,000 more women and children arrived at al-Hol camp from the last sliver of ISIS-held Baghouz last night. 12 of them died, 60 in very bad shape. There are now 72,000 people there & 138 died, almost all of them babies & some children. @theIRC

More via www.mesop.de

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : THE NEW SULTAN AND THE CRISIS OF MODERN TURKEY –  WHY TURKEY’S LOCAL ELECTIONS MATTER

by Murat Yetkin and Soner Cagaptay  – PolicyWatch 3093 – March 20, 2019

Many major jurisdictions are up for grabs, with potentially weighty foreign policy implications if Erdogan maintains his current coalition’s hardline nationalist trajectory.

Turkey will hold nationwide local elections on March 31, with voters picking mayors as well as city and provincial council members. Due to a unique alignment of domestic and foreign policy issues, these elections could affect U.S.-Turkish relations and Ankara’s actions in the Middle East, warranting greater attention from Washington than one might expect.

AN ‘EXISTENTIAL’ VOTE

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : DAS FASCHISMUS PARFÜM – AJELET SCHAKED – Israelische Hardlinerin provoziert mit Wahlwerbung

Von Gil Yaron  – 20 März  2019

Ajelet Schaked, israelische Justizministerin im Kabinett Netanjahu, hat durch einen Wahlwerbespot für ihre Partei „Die Neue Rechte“ eine Kontroverse ausgelöst. Mit einem sehr speziellen Duft. Die israelische Justizministerin Ajelet Schaked macht mit einem Video von sich reden, in dem sie sich mit einem Parfüm der Fantasiemarke „Faschismus“ besprüht. Dahinter versteckt sich ein ambitionierter Plan, der viele Israelis ängstigt.

Nur wer Ajelet Schaked nicht kennt, könnte glauben, ihr Schneewittchen-Look habe sie in vergangenen Jahren auf die Titelseiten fast aller Magazine Israels katapultiert. Die amtierende Justizministerin wurde aber nicht wegen ihres pechschwarzen Haares, der sinnlichen roten Lippen oder himmelblauen Augen berühmt.

weiterlesen / click to continue

« neuere Artikel / next articles   ältere Artikel / previous articles »