We see heart breaking events unfold… for months now, we knew they were happening in Syria. And yet Dutch Foreign Minister Timmermans could only mention that Iraq had freedom of religion in its constitution.
- Come again? I earlier made notion of Timmermans response to injustice worldwide. With only interest in some particular unjustice in some countries. At the moment we are the people doing nothing. We see it happen and go on holiday, and ignoring it. We do accept Islamist hatred of the same ISIS during protests in the Hague and Amsterdam. We ignore it al to well.
Responsibility to protect
DutchForce21 is saddened by the news that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)[i], have overrun Iraqi security and armed forces and effectively control the city of Mosul. A city which previously held a large Christian minority[ii] which happened to live in relative peace with her Muslim neighbours. ISIS terrorists directly labelled Christian houses and buildings, and summoned them to either, convert, pay extra “protection tax” (Dhimmi) leave or be killed. Christian decided to flee to a safer place. And thankfully such a safer place is there thanks to the people of Kurdistan. Besides that ISIS after a couple of days stand at the gates of Baghdad. It kills everybody who do not want to bow down for their worldview, they sell (Christian) woman as sex slaves, they do whatever God has forbidden… yet they are allowed in the name of Jihad. That’s in Iraq.. and Syria.
Learn from the past
Recent history is repeating itself over and over again. Both European and US governments decisions to support, arm and train Islamist militant groups in their “struggle” to free themselves from “dictatorship” The Arab (or Islamist) spring received support of many European governments as they argued it would force those Arab countries to open up for democracy. In some cases European governments and the US decided to support the newly formed resistance groups made up of several types of organisations. These organizations varied from liberal secular groups to Islamist groups. Support of European Governments and the US varied from political pressure on existing governments to military intervention in Libya. As we now know large amounts of weapons stockpiled by Khadafy and the Libyan army where stolen from their barracks and transported to many places where we have heart about the last couple of years. Heavy weapons, anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank weapons were transported and used in Mali, Gaza, Central African Republic and Syria. With many civil casualties as a consequence.
Besides this there where many other forms of support which now have very big consequences for Europe and the existence of Christians and non-Muslim freedoms in the whole Middle-East and Arab peninsula. It is very bad to hear that what is happening now is a direct consequence of decisions taken by several EU member states, the US, Saudi Arabia (and other Sunni majority countries) to support, train and equip these so called (Islamist) resistance groups. These governments should have learnt from their past mistakes (not so long ago) of doing the same to Al Qaida[iii] which happened to be a CIA sponsored organization to fight the Russian invaders of Afghanistan to balance power. The same thing has been done in several Middle Eastern, African, Asian and former Soviet Union states, almost all have gone terribly wrong. 9/11 is just one example… And still the Western governments keep on supporting islamist groups, training them with special warfare tactics and weaponry. At the same time, many “young” Muslim people living in Europe and the rest of the Western countries like America, Australia and Canada are inspired by these fundamentalist groups and do their utmost to joining them in the fight for an Islamist Caliphate. The amount of violence and sectarian murderous behaviour is frightening to say it softly. Numbers of European citizens taking part in these massacres vary but around 3.000 should be a very moderate estimate.
Europe has a responsibly to protect
- Firstly because as mentioned above we bear responsibility for our governments support of the Arab Spring, our bombings, training delivery of weapons and our money donated to these terrorist groups.
- Secondly because Europe claims to protect Human dignity, freedom rights and freedom of religion, expression and conscience.
- Thirdly because our own interests benefit of a safe world with free waterways and delivery of goods, raw materials and other resources.
- Fourthly because Kurdish forces secure not only area’s in Iraq against ISIS/ISIL extremist invasion, they also do this in Syria. In both cases they protect innocent people and minorities.
We (the European citizens) must recognise that:
- It is ultimately possible that Iraq (as we know it) no longer exists and is not coming back;
- Theoretical concepts of sustaining Iraq as a country, whatever the cost, will be counterproductive, what is needed is a recognition of the immediate situation that does not change if we do nothing;
- There are great differences between Sunni and Shi’ites respectively led by Saudi Arabia and Iran, both countries must do their utmost to deliver a peaceful and long-lasting solution, with respect for the position of the Kurds and also of religious minorities in their respective area of influence.
- Sunni tribal leaders and factions cooperate with ISIS, but we realize that many Sunnis also are victims of this situation.
- That the future of the Kurds and Shi’ites in the south are two different realities;
- The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)for years now, has proven to be an effective and functioning administrative and constructive autonomous region which is fully capable of self-supporting under normal circumstances;
- the deployment of the Peshmerga has been successful in their military operations and they have shown restraint in their operations and executed primarily defensive missions;
- The Kurdish people at this moment form the only “safe-Haven” in the whole region where Christians and other minorities (like the Sjabak) can live in freedom of religion, expression and conscience.
Ways to respond :
- Stop all training, funding and equipping activities of European secret services and military in the whole of Africa, Arabia and middle eastern countries. Force Turkey – as a candidate EU member state to do the same.
- Europe should recognise the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdistan as an autonomous area at very short notice and start talks with their leaders in order to give the region a future, and also to provide them with proper care for the displaced minorities and the necessary security. They now already support almost half a million displaced people[iv]. Europe could:
- Deliver medical equipment, accommodations, physical and mental support.
- Take care of seriously injured people
- Support medical care of Kurdish civil and military casualties
- Take delivery of Kurdish oil and increase commercial activities.
- Create Self Administration Security Area’ (SASA) in area’s secured by Kurdish security forces both in Syria and Iraq.
- Support military/security operations of Peshmerga forces in the areas of operation on order to secure the harmless and innocent. The available means are: supply of spares and ammunition and (Close) Air Support.
Military support is possible because there is a fundamental difference between Peshmerga[v] and the mentioned terrorist organisations previously or still supported by western governments.
- Training and armaments: This shouldn’t be a priority The Peshmerga is already a well trained and fairly modern equipped fighting force with combat experience. They also have sufficient manpower. As part of the Iraqi army, they have 30,000 men. But in total it could well be. Around 200,000. The current situation wont demand a boots on the ground solution unless required for target designation. Peshmerga has indicated on capabilities to designate. Targets
- Ammunition / components:. What Peshmerga has indicated is they are in need of sufficient ammunition and other supplies.
- (Close) Air support: the most effective way of operating, and also saves the Kurds lives and casualties. The EU and its member states have a duty to protect their lives as much as possible by providing (Close) Air Support. They now the situation on the ground, they now the targets of ISIS/ISIL and the places where innocent people are positioned[vi].
DutchForce21 is convinced that our fellow Christian brothers and sisters must be secured. And see just that done by the Kurdish forces both in Syria and Iraq. They are doing what should be the responsibility of the rest of the world, including Europe and its member countries. Dutchforce21 therefore demands that the EU and our US allies will take a firm response by supporting and helping the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in their efforts to secure Iraqi and Syrian Christians and other minorities. It is our responsibility to protect!
ISIS/ISIL has made headlines for two different reasons these past few weeks. Firstly because during Pro-Palestinian Rallies in many European cities the black flags of this organisation appeared. The flags where accompanied by chanting cries like “Death to the Jews”. Also : Protest against France, Spain, the West America and the Jews. Besides these so called protests in support of the people in Gaza there was another news item concerning ISIS/ISIL. The terrorist fighters of this organisation has taken the city of Mosul. The people of Kurdistan themselves have a history of being humiliated and oppressed by all of the countries they belong to. Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran all these countries denied basic human rights, and held apartheid regime’s to the Kurdish people. Apartheid is a popular word taken from the South African example of white people oppressing black people.
The Muslim population of Iraq is approximately 60-65 percent Arab Shi’a, 15-20 percent Arab Sunni and 17 percent Kurdish. Iraqi Kurds are mostly Sunni, with about 10% being Shi’a Faili Kurds. Most Kurds are located in the northern areas of the country, with most following the Shafi school of Islamic law. With some being members of either the Qadiri or the Naqshbandi Sufi tariqah. The Iraqi government fails to form a unity government which represents both the Sunni and Shi’a groups. This is the reason why the government couldn’t control the uprising by ISIS and other extremist groups and the sectarian violence which is going on for years now. (Taken from Wikipedia)The Iraqi Defence Force is badly organized and motivated. The best units are placed around Baghdad.
Possible execution of military options
My preference: Would be that the Close Air support would be delivered by NATO member and aspirant EU member state Turkey, but also by Jordan. Participation of allied U.S. and European countries could also be done from Turkey. Incirkel Air Base is a modern available base. It is also the area where Turkey has its ISIS/ISIL training facilities and where Dutch Patriot Missile defend airspace from attacks by Syrian / Assad forces. http://www.incirlik.af.mil/units/index.asp / / http://www.danielpipes.org/14486/turkey-isis
- I can imagine many European governments will be reluctant to intervene. The large numbers (largely unknown also) of ISIS / ISIL supporters means increased risk of terrorist attacks.
- There are some factors which make it possible to influence Turkey and other regional powers to intervene. Turkey with Erdogans AKP as a AECR member could be influenced by ECR / AECR
- Besides Turkey (as far as I know still) have operational ISIS/ISIL training camps in Incirkel and also delivers logistical and financial support to them, at least I have seen some recent pictures of an ISIS meeting said to be in Turkey. Turkey should be forced/influenced to stop:
- these training and support activities and they also should take ISIS/ISIL members into custody, not let them flee into Syria and Iraq.
- Saudi Arabia and other gulfstates should also be forced to stop support ISIS/ISIL, this not only should be forced unto counties but also on their Rich inhabitants. What is it worth to us? Come on with that embargoes
- Problems between Turkey and Kurdistan (Iraq) seem to be relative, and there are already some good signs such a deal could work:
- Turkey sees Kurdistan (Iraq) as a safe area along its borders. It forms a buffer between ISIS / ISIL and Turkey. It is also in its interest that there is peace and quiet reigns in those area’s.
- Turkey has several contracts with Kurdish authorities for the transportation of oil to Mediterranean sea. There is a pipeline to the port of Ceyhan[vii] (Turkey).
- Europe could purchase more or all oil from Kurdistan, and thereby putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to stop funding ISIS/ISIL.
- There are other means: stop supplying weapons parts and instructions to Saudi forces. Similarly to other Gulf countries!
- Besides Turkey (as far as I know still) have operational ISIS/ISIL training camps in Incirkel and also delivers logistical and financial support to them, at least I have seen some recent pictures of an ISIS meeting said to be in Turkey. Turkey should be forced/influenced to stop:
Some background articles and their highlights
Counter-Terrorism: What The Kurds Have Done And Why The Arabs have Not
July 28, 2014: ISIL (al Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant) made a surprising move into northeastern Iraq in June, seizing control of Mosul and sending over half a million civilians running. Many of these refugees headed for the nearby autonomous Kurdish territories. The Kurdish controlled areas are known to be safe but because of the ISIL threat Kurdish border security became even tighter. Kurds and Christians, or Arab Moslems with a sponsor in the Kurdish area passed border control quickly. But non-Christian Arabs, especially Sunnis and Turkomen (Turkic Moslems), had to wait a lot longer. After a while the Kurds set up temporary transit camps on the Iraqi side of the border because so many people were trying to get in that the screeners could not keep up. Arabs and some refugee NGOs complained but anyone who has paid attention over the last decade knows that what the Kurds are doing works, even if it takes longer. Sunni Islamic terrorists are not happy with this tight security because it has made the Kurdish areas largely immune to Islamic terrorist attacks. ISIL was particularly determined to attack the Kurds where they lived and Kurdish security officials believed ISIL would try to slip terrorists in with the flood of refugees. That did not happen. This was no accident.
Do Not Belittle the Islamic State
In Iraq, the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is engaged in both regaining ground and defending the territory it controls, including Baghdad. It is doing so with U.S., Russian, and Iranian military support on the ground and in the air. This array of assistance, which would have been unavailable to the Iraqi government until recently, is itself an illustration of the complete reshuffling of Middle Eastern geopolitics.
Despite that assistance, Iraq may be on an irreversible path toward fragmentation. The country’s political leaders have failed to agree on how to bridge divergences between the country’s Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish communities. Whatever compromises leaders had previously achieved were in fact induced—if not imposed—by intense U.S. diplomacy. When the United States disengaged from Iraq militarily and politically, traditional divisions surfaced again. Some think that “it’s not too late to reengage with Iraq,” but many others are now predicting a partition of the country.
The emergence of the Islamic State has further threatened the existing state setup by greatly emboldening Iraqi Kurdistan. The jihadists were no match for the Kurdish peshmerga armed forces, and they were careful not to challenge them. Even though Kurdistan is still formally a semiautonomous region of Iraq and is grappling with its own “domestic” political hurdles, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) now has an opportunity to transform itself into a much bigger political and military entity.
The KRG already enjoyed good relations with Turkey, to the extent that the Kurdish authorities have been able to directly export their oil via a pipeline to the Turkish city of Ceyhan, to the dismay of the government in Baghdad. The KRG recently made an opportunistic move by taking control of the city of Kirkuk, which is now the major center for Iraqi Kurds. The Turkish authorities are uneasy about the Kurdish takeover, although they consider Kirkuk a Turkmen city and therefore ethnically closer to Turkey.
In the medium term, the prospect is looming of an independent Kurdistan made up of areas controlled by the KRG in Iraq and the Kurdish territory in the northeastern tip of Syria. On July 1, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, declared that Iraq was already “effectively partitioned” and that the KRG would “hold a referendum” on independence and be bound by its results. Baghdad will strongly object, and not all Iraqi Kurds will agree on subjects ranging from economic policy to how to deal with Baghdad, Ankara, and the Islamic State. Therefore, nothing can be taken for granted. But an independent Kurdistan is no longer just a distant pipe dream.
ISIS Trained by US Government
The plan appears to have been designed to train 10,000 “moderates” of Islam in the hope that they would follow American interests in the region. Arizona Senator John McCain even paid a visit to the group during training to show his support for the group, and to demonstrate the support of the US government for their cause. McCain was photographed with General Salim Idris, who was later expelled from the group because he was seen as too moderate for them. The new leader of the group is General Ibrahim al-Douri, who was the Vice-President of the Revolutionary Council under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. He was supposed to be the successor to Hussein, and looks like this goal may still be reached.
Al-Douri has been on the US most wanted list since just shortly after the second Gulf War began, but many inside the United States government thought he was dead. This is clearly not the case. Most disturbing is that he seems to have a huge war chest at his disposal, which has come from US allies, including Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These are all Sunni based countries which support the ISIS group.
Many are questioning why these nations would support this group, and it appears that they are acting this way out of frustration for President Barak Obama’s failure to oust Al-Assad. These nations had expected Obama to take action already and since he has not, they have decided to take actions of their own.
Whatever the overall agenda of these nations, the US government seems to be behind the training of ISIS and visits by Senator John McCain seem to support this conclusion. The agenda may have been to destabilize Syria, but it looks like the group is doing this in Iraq.
The Muslim who gave up his life for Mosul’s Christians
He refused to keep silent about the violence agaist Mosul’s Christians who are forced to choose between converting to the Muslim faith, paying thejizyah (the Islamic tax for non-Muslims) or fleeing. Professor Mahmoud Al ‘Asali, a law professor who lectures on pedagogy at the University of Mosul, had the courage to make a stand against this brutal duress which he believes go against the Muslim commandments. But he paid for this gesture with his life: he was killed by ISIS militants in Mosul yesterday.
And so are many other Muslims, who have launched the “I am Iraqi, I am Christian” campaign in response to the letter N’s written on the walls of Christian homes in Mosul. Yesterday some of them turned up outside the Chaldean Church of St. George in Baghdad, with a banner displaying the slogan and posted a picture on Facebook.
But these acts of rebellion have not been successful in stopping the madness of Islamic State fundamentalists. And so today, the ethnic cleansing continued, with the jizyah – the Islamic “protection” tax which all non-Muslims are required to pay if they wish to stay or return to Mosul – being applied. The monthly figure to be paid is 450 dollars, which is an impossible sum for anyone living in Northern Iraq to pay. Today, yet another historic Christian location fell intot he hands of the Islamic State: the building in question is the Syro-Catholic monastery of Mar Benham, close to Qaraqosh, the Christian city in the Nineveh Plain where the majority of Christians have fled to. Monks have been present in mar Benham since the 4th century approximately. “They forced the three monks and some families residing in the monastery to go away and leave the keys behind,” the Syro-catholic bishop of Mosul, Yohanna Petros Moshe toldFides news agency. The Bagdadhope blog reported that the monastery underwent restoration work in 1986 and became a pilgrimage destination for Christians and some Muslims too.
ISIS Terrorists Received U.S. Training In Jordan
It’s little wonder that terrorists who are members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are doing so well in seizing large parts of Iraq. They were trained by U.S. forces in a secret base in Jordan in 2012. The Obama Administration trained ISIS terrorists (called “rebels” by the liberal media) to overthrow the president of Syria, Bashar Assad.
According to WorldNetDaily, Jordanian and Syrian sources say that Saudi Arabia has been arming ISIS and that the Saudis are a “driving force in supporting the Al-Qaeda-linked group.
Another training camp is located in Turkey near the Incirlik Air Base near Adana.
A WND source stated that after getting training in Turkey, these ISIS terrorists entered Iraq through Syria to begin their terrorist campaign against the Iraqi government.
These monsters are engaging in a relentless killing spree against Christians and Shiite Muslims as they head toward Baghdad – with Americans weapons, Humvees, stinger missiles, and the training Obama operatives gave them in Turkey and Syria.
LiveLeak posted a video of ISIS terrorists driving down a freeway and randomly shooting unarmed civilians. The video was taken inside the terrorists’ car as they used an AK-47 to shoot car drivers and men walking home after going shopping. CAUTION. This video is very disturbing, and it shows the brutality of the killers the Obama Administration helped train. http://www.religiousfreedomcoalition.org/2014/06/23/isis-terrorists-received-u-s-training-in-jordan/
Iraqi Christians are raped, murdered and driven from their homes – and the West is silent
The West’s response to Mosul is worthy of contempt: if we won’t speak out for Christians, who will? But any disgust at our own moral cowardice should be balanced by admiration for the Iraqis who continue to bear witness to their faith in a land that moves closer and closer to outlawing it. Their resilience illustrates the difference between fundamentalist Islam and Christianity: the former is a religion of killers, the latter is a religion of martyrs. And for those of us who share the faith of the thousands fleeing Mosul, Jesus’s own sacrifice offers hope – a reminder that victory is guaranteed for those who endure: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Whatever your faith, please pray for the Christians of Mosul. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100280803/iraqi-christians-are-raped-murdered-and-driven-from-their-homes-and-the-west-is-silent/
ISIS Forces Last Iraqi Christians to Flee Mosul
“They did not destroy the churches, but they killed us when they removed the cross, this is death for us,” he said.
Christians are among several minorities who are being systematically expelled or killed by ISIS, according to a United Nations report on civilian casualties in Iraq released on Friday.
Among them are Yazidis, a tiny sect that has survived for centuries and whose theology fuses elements of Islam, Christianity and Zoroastrianism; Shabaks, who are often described as Shiites whose language is close to Persian and who take beliefs from different traditions; and Shiite Turkmen.
The Yazidis and the Shabaks are being persecuted in the Sinjar area west of Mosul, according to the United Nations and interviews with members of both communities. The United Nations has documented scores of abductions and killings as well as the destruction of shrines. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/19/world/middleeast/isis-forces-last-iraqi-christians-to-flee-mosul.html?_r=0
Facing ISIS threat, Kurdish fighters favor US air power
A sweeping offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has shaken Iraq to the core. Kurdish officials say they saw it coming and tried to warn Western intelligence agencies about the jihadi threat emerging from Syria’s civil war, where ISIS and other Sunni militant groups found fertile ground to expand.
Now they want to see the US military launch air strikes on ISIS forces – and are prepared to provide intelligence on targets.
“We know the locations of these fighters. We know their headquarters with their bombs and their missiles. It would be nice to have (international) troops but if not we would appreciate something from the air,” Rooz Bahjay, a senior security official of the Kurdish Regional Government, told journalists here.
Kurdish security officials estimate that ISIS fighters have seized enough Humvees, Howitzers, tanks, sniper rifles, and ammunition to keep on fighting for another year. “[ISIS] has more weapons now than the central government in Baghdad,” claims Bahjay, adding that the militant group captured two helicopters.
US-led air strikes, these officials argue, would throw ISIS off its tracks. “It is not a matter of us trying to get the West involved in this war but we are fighting a war with ISIS. We cannot afford to lose,” says Mr. Talabani. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2014/0619/Facing-ISIS-threat-Kurdish-fighters-favor-US-air-power
Some more articles with background info.
[i] alternately translated as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
[iii] The origins of al-Qaeda as a network inspiring terrorism around the world and training operatives can be traced to the Soviet War in Afghanistan (December 1979 – February 1989). The U.S. viewed the conflict in Afghanistan, with the Afghan Marxists and allied Soviet troops on one side and the native Afghan mujahideen, some of whom were radical Islamic militants, on the other, as a blatant case of Soviet expansionism and aggression http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda
[iv] One can argue that the tolerance and acceptance that Kurds display toward ethnic minorities, despite their own history of being discriminated against, is astounding. Kurdistan is a mosaic of ethnicities and religions. Assyrians, Armenians, Chaldeans, Turkmens, Shabaks and Arabs are in the ranks of Pehmerga forces, and they fight side by side with their Kurdish compatriots to defend their families, hamlets and a peaceful future for their people. The region includes more than five religious denominations: Christians, Jews, Muslims of both Shia and Sunni allegiance and adherents of Kurdistan’s own indigenous religions, Zoroastrianism and Yezidism, all of whom live serenely as neighbors. Few other nations in the Middle East, if any, can boast that church bells and mosque muezzins can be heard simultaneously in one and the same hamlet.
With roots in such diversity, the Peshmerga are an example of unity in the face of growing sectarianism for the rest of the Middle East. More recently, the Peshmerga and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have taken in half a million refugees fleeing from ISIS in Mosul alone. A staggering number, considering the KRG itself has a population of just 5.2 million according to the KRG’s own official numbers.
[v] The Peshmerga is the well-organized military organisation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). They are in no way comparable with terrorist organisations like ISIS/ISIL, Al Qaeda which are/where supported by our governments before.
[vi] Taken from a CS-monitor article: Now they want to see the US military launch air strikes on ISIS forces – and are prepared to provide intelligence on targets.
“We know the locations of these fighters. We know their headquarters with their bombs and their missiles. It would be nice to have (international) troops but if not we would appreciate something from the air,” Rooz Bahjay, a senior security official of the Kurdish Regional Government, told journalists here. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2014/0619/Facing-ISIS-threat-Kurdish-fighters-favor-US-air-power
[vii] Kurdistan authorities have created a pipeline from several oilfields in their area. Since the invasion of ISIL/ISIS terrorist groups they have also taken over Kirkuk area and the oilfields in that area. Trough the pipeline Kurdistan exports large amounts of oil. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkuk%E2%80%93Ceyhan_Oil_Pipeline