Published time: July 19, 2014 16:17
The Islamic State militant group is on the rise in Iraq and Syria after crushing Baghdad’s plans to retake Tikrit. Hundreds of troops have been captured and 270 people were murdered in a Syrian gas field following the jihadists’ biggest attack yet.
ISIS gunmen stormed a former US base in Tikrit, a city the group has held since June 11 and government forces have battled unsuccessfully to reclaim. The latest failed attempt marks what may be the army’s final push to reclaim the lost ground.
According to McClatchy DC, witnesses testified that by Friday the last of the government troops had surrendered to ISIS, and Camp Speicher had fallen. Officials in Baghdad declined to give comment, while the terrorist group boasted on Twitter about the losses the government had incurred. Statements from local residents corroborated the story.
The last pocket of government troops attempting to recapture Tikrit reportedly consisted of 700 troops, accompanied by more than a 100 Iranians, according to one local resident. He added that plenty of government equipment has been captured or destroyed in the process. The militants had previously captured millions of dollars in army equipment, which they paraded through every area they seized.
“They were being bombarded and mortared all night, and by Friday morning you could see burning helicopters everywhere and the fighting had stopped,” the resident told the news portal. Many executions were also allegedly carried out, while some prisoners were paraded through Tikrit – Saddam Hussein’s birthplace.
The campaign has been viewed as one of the most potent successes of the terrorist faction on the Iraqi battlefield.
Meanwhile, ISIS also appears to be on the ascendency in Syria. According to reports, at least 270 Syrian troops and civilians died Thursday at the hands of ISIS in Homs province, when a seized gas field was set ablaze, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. Like with Iraq, the watchdog is calling this the “biggest” success of the jihadist group in the country.
“A large majority of the men killed were executed at gunpoint after being taken prisoner following the takeover of the camp,” the group’s director Rami Abdel said. “Eleven of the dead were civilian employees, while the rest were security guards and National Defence Forces members,” he continued.
“Thirty martyrs were brought to Homs hospital from the Shaar gas field… Homs is still bleeding,” a pro-government Twitter user was quoted by The Telegraph as saying. He called the events a “massacre,”although no official comment from the Syrian government was given.
The anti-Assad Observatory also reported on the deaths of 40 ISIS fighters in the offensive. About 30 people managed to escape the violence into the neighboring Hajjar field, according to the group.
There is talk of bloody footage filmed by ISIS, in which fighters pose with corpses. One fighter celebrating the killings speaks a mixture of German and Arabic.
The news was followed by condemnation from The Observatory.
“Summary execution is a war crime – whether of civilians or combatants. They are prisoners of war and must not be executed,” Abdel Rahman said.
The latest violence comes on the heels of a UN report detailing the militant group’s activities. The document tells of 5,000 Iraqi deaths at its hands, many of whom were women and children.
The Islamic State has declared a “caliphate” in areas it captured in both Iraq and Syria, while the harshest and most unforgiving form of Islamic Sharia law has been imposed.
In Eastern Syria, in Raqqa, two women were stoned to death on Friday and Saturday for adultery, the report by the Observatory claims.
The death toll in the Syrian conflict, meanwhile, has climbed to 170,000 following three-plus years of fighting.
When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000.
In a region where Christians predate Muslims by centuries, over one million Christians have been killed or have had to flee because of jihadi persecution, while America is basically standing by and watching. This is the sad news that Breitbart’s National Security Editor and one of the world’s leading experts on asymmetric warfare, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, brought to Breitbart News Saturday, hosted by Editor in Chief Alex Marlow on Sirius XM Patriot Radio.
Dr. Gorka explained that “in the last 48 hours, ISIS, which is now called the Islamic State in Mosul, has painted the letter “N” for Nazarene on the houses of all the surviving Christians in the city. ISIS has basically given an ultimatum to all the Christians left: You can either flee or convert to Islam, or we will kill you.”
Gorka points out that, over the last 20 years, America has stood up around the world to save Muslims. “Whether it was to save the Muslims in Bosnia or the Albanians, Kosovars, and Muslims in Serbia, it is now time for a humanitarian operation to save the remaining Christians in Iraq,” he said. “It is time for the American people and our representatives to do something for our co-religionists remaining in the Middle East.”
Marlow observed that the blatant religious cleansing is horrifying and asked Gorka: “Why is it that the mainstream press is not interested in the story?” Gorka first responded by saying “Let’s face it, this is a Christian version of the Holocaust and nothing less.”
The Middle East expert went on to explain that the mainstream media is in full support of the White House narrative “that the President single-handedly killed Osama Bin Laden, and that Al Qaeda is now on the ropes; therefore, jihad must be shriveling up around the world.” This myopic strategy of only targeting Al Qaeda has provided great opportunities for other jihadists and has given rise to ISIS.
“On top of that,” Gorka asserts that, “the mainstream media are warped in terms of their world view.” According to Breitbart’s national security expert, the media is “post-modernist, sophisticated, and secularist. So when it comes to the idea of religious persecution, they say, ‘Well who really cares because I don’t believe in God. If you are not sophisticated enough to be a post-modernist secularist… tough on you!’”
Gorka didn’t finish there with his scathing indictment of the mainstream media. He added that it is their racism that will let this genocide of Christians continue. “To the mainstream media,” Gorka charged, “the dark skin person always has to be the victim. Either the Hamas terrorist in Gaza, the Nicaraguan gang bangers coming across the border likened to juvenile political refugees… the idea that the white skin Christian or the Israelis as victims, that goes against every narrative this media wishes to pedal. They are necessarily so locked into their own ideological vision of the world.”
Marlow summed it up by saying, “Christians are politically targeted in America frequently; they are being physically targeted in Africa, Syria, and Iraq.” Gorka emphasized that, from his first hand experiences in Africa, Christians will always be blamed for starting any upheaval.
A few days ago we reported that the blitz surge of the “cool”, social network-friendly faction of Al-Qaeda known as ISIS, which over the past week went so far as to declare the formation of its own sovereign state, the Islamic State on the territory of Iraq and Syria, has so irked not only the conventional enemies of extremist fundamentalist Islam but also none other than al-Qaeda itself, which as we explained beforemay be forced to go to war against ISIS in order to preserve its waning relevance, status and credibility.
At the center of this rapid and dramatic ascent by a group virtually nobody had heard of as recently as a month ago is a man called Aby Bakr al-Baghdadi, who unlike the leaders of al-Qaeda, has kept an extremely low profile despite his recent appointment as “caliph” by the jihadists.
As BBC reports, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamist militant group Isis, has called on Muslims to obey him, in his first video sermon. The video appears to have been filmed on Friday during a sermon at the al-Nouri Mosque in Mosul, northern Iraq. It surfaced on Saturday amid reports that he had been killed or wounded in an Iraqi air raid.
The release is notable because the reclusive militant leader has never appeared on video before, although there are photographs of him.
In the sermon, at Mosul’s most famous landmark, Baghdadi praised the establishment of the “Islamic state”, which was declared by Isis last Sunday.
“Appointing a leader is an obligation on Muslims, and one that has been neglected for decades,” he said.
He also said that he did not seek out the position of being the caliph, or leader, calling it a “burden”. “I am your leader, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, support me, and if you see that I am wrong, advise me,” he told worshippers.
In other words, his first video was merely an ideological and emotional appeal to Muslims everywhere to side with him. It remains to be seen if Baghdadi will transform into just another typical Muslim blaming the sorry economic state of his country on Bush, something al Qaeda and others have done before him.
For those curious to see Baghdadi’s complete video appearance, it is shown below in its entirety.
Full TRANSLATION: In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Especially Merciful. Merciful,al-Furqan presents, The Khutbah and group salah in the great masjid in the city of Mosul, the 6thof Rama’dhan, 1435….Baghdadi: May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all. Then the call to prayer goesoff, he uses a siwak (toothbrush)Opening to khutbah, inna alhamdullilahi etc. with associated Qur’an. Opening ends, “O you whohave believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous”Allah, the exalted, said “The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, aguidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the newmoon of] the month, let him fast it;”O Muslims! The one who ages to see Rama’dhan has been given a great ni’ma. (Blessing.) And agreat bounty from Allah, the Exalted.It is a month which beginning is mercy. And it’s middle is forgiveness. And it’s end is preservation from the hellfire. A month in which if one fasts with conviction and expectation offorgiveness, he will be forgiven. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased withhim, the messenger of Allah, may his peace and blessings be upon him, said: “The one who fastsrama’dhan with conviction and expectation of forgiveness, his sins are forgiven. And the onewho withstands rama’dhan with expectation and conviction of forgiveness, his sins will beforgiven.”A month that brings the opening of the doors of eternal paradise and the shutting of the doors ofthe hellfire. And the jailing of the devils. A month therein is a night which is superior to onethousand nights. Whoever has made it impermissible upon himself (not doing it) has made theentirety of khair (good) impermissible upon himself.(Quran) “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spiritdescend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence ofdawn”A month in it is being divorced. Divorced from the hellfire. And this is true of each of its’ nights.A month that stood in it the chase of jihad. And the messenger of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon him, said: (Prophetic narration about jihad)So take advantage of this noble month, O worshipper of Allah! Fight therein etc. O Muslims!Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, created us to single Him out in monotheism, and to establish Hisall encompassing way of life (deen/Islam). He, the exalted said:(Quran) “I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship me”And Allah likes us to kill his enemies, and make jihad in his sake
He, the Exalted said:(Quran) “Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you”And He, the Exalted, said(Quran) “And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah .And if they cease – then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do.”O people! The religion of Allah, be just in it, stand up for it, and affirm it’s truthfulness, and donot stray from what Allah has given usBe firm with the shari’a of Allah, and the reference to it,and apply and accept of hudud (Islamic punishments).(Quran) “We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with themthe Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice. And We sentdown iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah maymake evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful andExalted in Might.”And this is the application of the religion of Allah. And this is the Book that gives guidance, andthe sword that delivers swift victories (he’s referring to Surat al-Fath)And your brothers the mujahideen, indeed did Allah, blessed and exalted, give them victoriesand conquests which came after many years of hardship and patience. And they were firmagainst the enemies of Allah, and He made them powerful in the land until the declaration of theCaliphate and choice of an imam. And this is a matter obligatory upon all muslims. It is Waajib!(highest level of obligation) And it must be applied upon the earth entirely. Yet most of the people are ignorant.(A bit on those who reestablished caliphate) And they established it, all glory and thanks is toAllah. And if you have forfeited this huge blessing, if you have forfeited this heavy burden, turnaway from that, and you will have forfeited the blessing in you. I’ve been tested by Allah in myelection as caliph. It’s a heavy burden. I’m no better than you. Advise me when I err and followme if I succeed. And assist me against the tawagheet.And I give you an glad tidings from what Allah has promised to the believers who worship Him:(Quran) “Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds thatHe will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] theyworship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then thoseare the defiantly disobedient.”And His promise
(Quran) “So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.”(couple more Qur’anic ayat about victories)And He said:(Quran) “And to Allah belongs [all] honor, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but thehypocrites do not know.”These are the promises of Allah. And if you are pleased with the promises of Allah, fear Him andhave taqwa (righteousness/God-consciousness)Fear Allah in every blessing and in every situation. And spread the truth. And be firm upon it.And spread it upon those you love and those you hate.And if you are pleased with the promise of Allah, then make jihad in his sake! And call the believers to this, and have patience in the times of doubt. If you knew what was in the jihad,from the ajr (reward), karama (generous blessing), raising in rank, the honor in this life and thenext, none of you would stray from the path of jihad!(Quran) “Believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealthand your lives. That is best for you, if you should know. He will forgive for you your sins andadmit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetualresidence. That is the great attainment.”And that which you love, victory from Allah, and an conquest, is close!End of khutbah, I ask Allah to forgive us and you, etc.(continuing)Praise be to Allah in truth.May the peace and blessings be upon the messenger of Allah, hisfriends, companions, family etc. La ilaha il Allah, wahdahu la shareeka lah.I bear witness that none is worthy of worship except Allah, with none in association, who gavevictory to His army.O worshipers of Allah! Apply your religion and act upon it. And fear Allah Who bestows uponyou honor in this life and the hereafter. If you are given hardship, fear Allah. If you are bestowedwith rizq (pre-determined wealth), then fear Allah. And if you are given a life full of blessingsfear Allah, and make jihad in his sake. We ask Allah, the Great, the Lord of the great Throne, tomake your words united. And to repair what is between you, and to give you guidance astowards what He loves and is pleased with
O Allah, give honor to Islam and the Muslims.O Allah, give Islam victory over the disbelief and the disbelievers, and give victory to themujahideen, in the East of this earth and it’s West(Supplications about making them firm and successful.)(Normal supplications about protection from hypocrisy and accepted deeds and forgiveness, etc.)And the last of our call is, all glory and thanks is to the Nourisher of all things. And may peaceand blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad.And stand for salah.END KHUTBAH
**The last few minutes of the video are the sheikh reciting Qur’a