Islamic State Burn 45 Iraqi’s To Death In Western Iraqi Town Of Al-Baghdadi; Egypt Seeking U.N. Mandate For Libyan Islamic Intervention Mandate; U.S./Turkey Agree In Principal To Train/Equip Syrian Rebels
While the White House and the State Department play mental and semantic gymnastics with “Violent Extremism,” the Islamic State burned 45 Iraqi’s to death, in the Western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi. The BBC is reporting this evening that the group of Iraqi’s were believed to be members of the local town’s security forces. Islamic State fighters had taken over most of the town last week after heavy fighting. Local Iraqi officials are pleading for assistance and are warning that the security forces’ homes and family members are now in great danger from the Islamic State.
Meanwhile in Libya, a day after beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians — also known as Egyptian ‘citizens’ by this White House — London’s TheDailyMailOnline reports that the Islamic State has released a [propaganda] video, “showing the Islamic militants moving in a fleet of Toyota land cruisers/pickup trucks, while flying the iconic black flag of the group as they drive through the town of Benghazi. The Islamic State declared Benghazi an ‘Islamic Emirate,’ in July 2014; before pledging allegiance to the Islamic State just three months later,” TheDailyMailOnline wrote. More ominous, there are reports that as many as 35 more Egyptians may have been recently kidnapped by Islamic State elements.
The descent into chaos and the ascent of the Islamic State in Libya/North Africa; and, the brutal execution and murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians gave Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the casus belli to launch a series of airstrikes against Islamic State personnel and facilities in Libya; and, President Sisi is calling for a United Nations Resolution allowing international forces to intervene against the Islamic State in Libya. The U.N. is currently scheduled to take the issue up for discussion in New York tomorrow (Wed.).
Sisi and Egypt has a lot at stake. Islamic State militants in Libya have established ties with their Sinai Province counterparts — Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis — who have been active lately conducting suicide bombings against Egyptian military security forces in the heavily guarded/patrolled eastern Sinai Peninsula that abuts the Gaza Strip. In January, 40 Egyptian soldiers were killed and 100 others wounded, in a coordinated attack, which the Christian Science Monitor wrote, “shocked even the even close watchers of guerrilla warfare in that region.” Mokhtar Awad, who researches Islamic movements for the Washington D.C.-based think tank, Center For American Progress called the Sinai attack “unparalleled, in scale and impact.” According to Zack Gold, a Visiting Fellow at The Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis’s future operations in the Sinai, as well as the strengths of its links with its Islamic State overlords — will be better assessed in terms of frequency — than size.” “Sporadic, major attacks — the last being three months ago — are not out of the ordinary,” he says. “If the group….resumed major attacks across the country on a monthly basis, this would likely indicate greater assistance by the Islamic State.”
A researcher who specializes in security affairs and jihadist groups in the Sinai,” but requested anonymity from the Arab-based newspaper/website al Monitor, said at the time of the Sinai attack in January that defeating terrorists in the Sinai required “forces knowledgeable of the landscape of the place — trained in guerrilla tactics and, most important, on combat elements,” he said. “The problem is not in armament, since the military unit had two U.S.-made M-60 tanks, which have highly protective armor against [many of the] existing weapons in the Sinai — in addition to two armored half-track [vehicles] and a significant number of rockets and mortar systems, as well as heavy weapons. These weapons fell into the hands of Ansar bayt al-Maqdis, which will be used against them in the future — as the battles intensify.”
Finally, the al-Monitor added that “a source sympathetic to the jihadists, in the border region, who also requested anonymity from Al Monitor, said “the announcement of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis to join the Islamic State — was the result of attractive offers of supplies and weapons from [ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi]. These will be given in return for Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis expanding its attacks in Egypt. This allegiance also aims to boost the morale of the fighters, as it reflects their spread into neighboring countries, and confirms they are not affected by violent coalition airstrikes.”
Presiddent Sisi and Egypt is under assault, not just in Libya; but, in the Sinai Peninsula as well; and let’s hope that he gets more assistance from the United States and others. This is a very delicate and nervous time for Egypt’s leader; and, the situation in the eastern Sinai is extremely tenuous.
Turkey/U.S. Reportedly Agree In Principal To Equip/Train Syrian Rebels
The Middle Eastern news outlet, al-Arabia News/In English, is reporting this evening that the U.S,. and Turkey have agreed in principal to train and equip Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State in Syria. The devil is in the details. One issue that should be part of the agreement is what to do if Syrian forces under Bashar Assad bomb Syrian rebel positions. If this White House and State Department have negotiated such an agreement and are close to announcing it — one certainly hopes there is a clause in there that the U.S. would strike Assad’s air force — should they attempt to bomb the rebels — as they have been doing throughout the civil war. Otherwise, this agreement isn’t going to be worth the paper it is printed on. We, the U.S., will spend time, effort, resources, and money, supporting and training Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State — only to have them bombed by Assad’s Air Force. Having seen this White House so far, being even unable to clearly identify the adversary, or even its victims — ‘Egyptian citizens — when even the Pope called them Coptic Christians — well, let;s just say I am skeptical that the issue of Assad’s Air Force was addressed. They are too busy discussing “Violent Extremism,” while a religious genocidal, militant Islamic group plants its flag across North Africa and the Middle East. All for now. You just can’t make this stuff up. Perhaps we need the British band from at the surrender of Cornwallis at York Town to come back for an encore of “The World Turned Upside Down.” V/R, RCP