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Posts Tagged ‘Safin Hamed

 

Testimonies from Mosul, Sinjar, Zummar: How Yazidi minorities are coping with the ISIS onslaught?

‘We need to act, and act now’ says US president, as military carries out aid drops to Iraqi civilians forced to flee by Islamist ISIS group
And Obama dispatched 130 military advisers to Erbil to secure the US consulate and started to bomb by drones and F18 moving artillery regiments of ISIS near the Erbil borders.
For many months all kinds of minorities living in the northern provinces of Iraq, particularly Mosul,  have been fleeing the carnage and exactions of the extremist Wahhabi terrorist factions.  All kinds of Christian sects, Yazidi, and all Muslim sects that  are considered heretics have been persecuted.
And Obama and all the Western governments kept their silence and refused to react to the atrocities and genocides committed in Iraq and in Gaza.
So why Obama decided to act now a little and reluctantly?
Obama said it clearly: The ISIS have crossed the red lines and approached quickly toward the refugee camps near Erbil in Kurdistan Iraq.  The US has vast investment in Kurdistan, a self-autonomous province where businesses are mushrooming as during the Far West style of “Faite comme chez vous”.
And Obama has no confidence that the Kurdish Bishmerka militias can stop the advances of ISIS.
Actually, these Kurdish autonomous armies have fled promptly as ISIS advanced toward their positions and left the minorities fend for themselves and refused to provide them with necessary means for fleeing or survival.

This report was sent to us by Ms. Christina Patto, VP Assyrian Aid Society of Iraq.

Here what she wrote: Here is our report and some of our testimony concerning the events happening now in North of Iraq.

It is a tragic situation, nobody can imagine how terrible it is, as much as I write to you and send you reports it will not be enough to describe the suffering of people.

For Zummar and Sinjar: they are under Da’esh control, thousands of Yazidis died in the last two days, they are facing a real genocide.  Hundreds have been buried alive in mass graves.

Till yesterday (45) children died of thirst. Some families throw their children from the top of Sinjar mountain in order not to see them die from hunger or thirst, or not to be taken by the terrorists. (1500) men were killed in front of their wives and families, (50) old men died also from thirst and illness.

More than (70) girl and women (including Christians) were taken, raped and being captured and sold. More than (100) families are captured in Tel Afar airport.

Yazidi women who fled the violence in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar sit Tuesday at a school where they are taking shelter, in the city of Dohuk in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. (Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)

Report from Iraq: families throwing children from a mountain to keep them from terrorists

The nightmare that is Iraq gets worse. This was just posted at the CNEWA blog:  

There is about (50) Christian families in Sinjar. The terrorists were able to control the Syriac church there and cover the Cross with their black banner.

Till now we do not know anything about those Christian families.

For Nineveh Plain: As a reason to the continuous bombing on Telkeif, Deacon (Lujain Hikmat Nano) died, most of the families left their houses and would leave one member of the family in the house, but this tragic led to an exodus from Telkeif. the same thing happened in Shekhan and the surrounded villages (shekhan center, Karanjo, Dashqotan and Ein biqri). Ba’ashiqa: an exodus from there because there was boming and battles near Ba’ashiqa as the terrorists are trying to control that area too.

Ba’ashiqa Monastery is being evacuated from the inhabitants and from IDPs.

Ein Sifni: an exodus of the Yazidi families which forced the christian families to flee too.

Mosul Falls (Dam where most electricity is produced for the province) are now under the control of the terrorist, these fall are about (10-15 Km) from Ein sifni.

Batnaye and Tellisquf: also an exodus because of the threats and bad circumstances they are going through.

Duhok: Our Dorm, the empty houses in the villages, the halls of the churches, school and mosques are full of IDPs and in very bad conditions. I cannot give you the exact number of those families. Also it is very hard to describe their needs in food baskets only, on one can imagine this tragedy, one may cry to see those people in this situation. Concerning Zakho and Center Duhok: Till now they are under the KRG control.

Meantime, additional details from The Washington Post:

Stranded on a barren mountaintop, thousands of minority Iraqis are faced with a bleak choice: descend and risk slaughter at the hands of the encircled Sunni extremists or sit tight and risk dying of thirst.

Humanitarian agencies said Tuesday that between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians remain trapped on Mount Sinjar since being driven out of surrounding villages and the town of Sinjar two days earlier. But the mountain that had looked like a refuge is becoming a graveyard for their children.

Unable to dig deep into the rocky mountainside, displaced families said they have buried young and elderly victims of the harsh conditions in shallow graves, their bodies covered with stones.

Iraqi government planes attempted to airdrop bottled water to the mountain on Monday night but reached few of those marooned. “There are children dying on the mountain, on the roads,” said Marzio Babille, the Iraq representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“There is no water, there is no vegetation, they are completely cut off and surrounded by Islamic State. It’s a disaster, a total disaster.” Most of those who fled Sinjar are from the minority Yazidi sect, which melds parts of ancient Zoroastrianism with Christianity and Islam. They are considered by the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State to be devil worshipers and apostates…. …

“Children have died because of dehydration and lack of food,” Vian Dakheel, a Yazidi parliamentarian from Sinjar, said through tears. “My people are being slaughtered (and women and girls sold in open markets as slaves)” she continued, referring to reports of mass killings of those who had stayed behind.

Note 1: Vian Dakheel, woman deputy of Kurdistan, explained that refugees in the south side of Mount Sinjar has no exit route, are trapped and encircled by ISIS and will certainly die, one way or another. Those who managed to reach the northern side of Mount Sinjar have an opening to flee to neighboring towns and have been receiving airdrop supplies.
Vian recounted a typical testimony: A mother with 6 children had her husband and male sons slaughtered. She fled with the little girls. Two of the youngest died of thirst. A crippled daughter was left to die. The mother is trying to save her remaining daughter by walking, and keep walking to safety and water and food.
Note 2: Israel has a major Mossad headquarter in Erbil since 1980’s and is the agency distributing the funds received from Saudi Arabia to the various extremist Islamic factions in Iraq and Syria.
When Iraq PM Maleki declared that ISIS main headquarter is in Erbil, he meant exactly the close association of Israel and these salafist factions for funding and planing the expansion of this “Islamist State”.

 

Iraqi Government Losing Control of Border Crossings and Syria extending a hand by bombing towns on the Syrian/Iraqi borders that fell in ISIS (Da3esh) control.

ISIS fighters captured the border crossing at Qaim on Friday. Over the weekend, the group appeared to be trying to seize the remaining Iraqi government controlled border crossings with Syria and Jordan. RELATED ARTICLE »

Sources: Caerus AssociatesLong War JournalInstitute for the Study of War

ISIS partial or complete control   Contested    Recent fighting

Al Waleed There were unconfirmed reports that government forces had fled. Frightened police officers, reached by telephone, said that the army had already left and that the police scattered when militants arrived. Qaim ISIS captured this crossing on Friday. Bukamal, on the Syrian side, was also out of government control, with groups including the Free Syrian Army and Al Nusra Front maintaining a strong presence. Rabia Kurdish forces secured this crossing following the fall of Mosul. Yaroubia, on the Syrian side, is controlled by Kurdish forces of a different political affiliation.

Consequences of Sectarian Violence on Baghdad’s Neighborhoods

Baghdad became highly segregated in the years after the American-led invasion of Iraq.

The city’s many mixed neighborhoods hardened into enclaves along religious and ethnic divisions. 

These maps, based on the work of Michael Izady for Columbia University’s Gulf 2000 project, show how the city divided from 2003 to 2009.

KEY Sunni majority Shiite majority Christian majority Mixed areas

2003

Sadr

City

Kadhimiya

Adhamiya

BAGHDAD

Green Zone

Baghdad

Airport

Tigris River

2 MILES

2009

Adhamiya

Huriya

BAGHDAD

Green Zone

Amiriya

Baghdad

Airport

Tigris River

2 MILES

2003: Before the Invasion

Before the American invasion, Baghdad’s major sectarian groups lived mostly side by side in mixed neighborhoods.

The city’s Shiite and Sunni populations were roughly equal, according to Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor and Middle East expert.

2009: Violence Fuels Segregation

Sectarian violence exploded in 2006. Families living in areas where another sect was predominant were threatened with violence if they did not move.

By 2009 Shiites were a majority, with Sunnis reduced to about 10 percent to 15 percent of the population.

• Kadhimiya, a historically Shiite neighborhood, is home to a sacred Shiite shrine.

• Adhamiya, a historically Sunni neighborhood, contains the Abu Hanifa Mosque, a Sunni landmark.

• The Green Zone became the heavily fortified center of American operations during the occupation.

• Sadr City was the center of the insurgent Mahdi Army, led by the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr.

• Huriya was transformed in 2006 when the Mahdi Army pushed out hundreds of families in a brutal spasm of sectarian cleansing.

• More than 8,000 displaced families relocated to Amiriya, the neighborhood where the Sunni Awakening began in Baghdad.

• Adhamiya, a Sunni island in Shiite east Baghdad, was walled and restricted along with other neighborhoods in 2007 for security.

• Neighborhoods east of the Tigris Riverare generally more densely populated than areas to the west.

Source: Dr. M. Izady, Columbia University’s Gulf 2000 project

Battle for the Baiji Oil Refinery

Witnesses reported that Sunni extremists seized Iraq’s largest oil refinery on June 18 after fighting the Iraqi Army for a week, but officials disputed the reports and the situation remains unclear.

Workers were evacuated, and the facility, which provides oil for domestic consumption to 11 Iraqi provinces, including Baghdad, was shut down. RELATED ARTICLE »

Source: Satellite image by NASA

ABOUT 100

MILES TO

MOSUL

ABOUT 50 MILES

TO KIRKUK

Power

plant

1

Tigris

River

Oil refinery

Employee

dormitories

Village

Employee

village

Village

Smoke plume

at 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday.

Baiji

ABOUT 115 MILES

TO BAGHDAD

1 MILE

Encroaching on Baghda

Since seizing Mosul on June 10, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has been attacking towns along the main highway heading south, coming closer and closer to the capital.RELATED ARTICLE »

Sources: Institute for the Study of War,Long War Journal

KEY  Towns attacked  Bomb attacks

ABOUT 140 MILES

TO MOSUL

MILES FROM

CENTRAL BAGHDAD

ABOUT 80 MILES

TO KIRKUK

70

Adhaim

JUNE 15

Samarra

JUNE 11, 13, 17

60

Al-Mutasim

JUNE 14

Dhuluiya

JUNE 12

50

Ishaqi

Muqdadiya

The Iraqi army retook control of Ishaqi and Muqdadiya on June 14. In Muqdadiya, a Shiite militia assisted the government forces.

40

Dujail

JUNE 14

30

Militants took control of several neighborhoods inBaquba on June 16 but were repulsed by security officers after a three-hour gun battle.

Baquba

JUNE 16, 17

Tarmiyah

JUNE 11

20

Falluja and many towns in the western province of Anbar have been under ISIS control for about six months.

Tigris

River

10

At least five bomb attacks occurred in Baghdad, mainly in Shiite areas, in the week after the rebel group took Mosul.

Sadr City

Kadhimiya

Falluja

Bab al-Sheikh

Al-Bab Al-Sharqi

Baghdad

Saidiyah

Ten Years of ISIS Attacks in Iraq

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Sunni militant group that staged a stunning operation to seize Iraq’s second largest city, has been fueling sectarian violence in the region for years. RELATED ARTICLE »

100

80

60

Attacks That Could Be Attributed to ISIS

40

20

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Mosul

Kirkuk

Baghdad

IRAQ

Basra

2004

51 attacks

 

2005

58 attacks

2006

5 attacks

2007

56 attacks

2008

62 attacks

2009

78 attacks

2010

86 attacks

2011

34 attacks

2012

603 attacks

2013

419 attacks

2004-05 The group emerges as “Al Qaeda in Iraq” following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Its goal is to provoke a civil war. 2006-07 The group’s February 2006 bombing of one of Iraq’s most revered Shiite shrines ignites sectarian violence across the country. After merging with several other Sunni insurgent groups, it changes its name to the Islamic State of Iraq. 2008-10 I.S.I. claims responsibility for more than 200 attacks, many in densely-populated areas around Baghdad. 2011-12 The group is relatively quiet for most of 2011, but re-emerges after American troops withdraw from Iraq. 2013 Seeing new opportunities for growth, I.S.I. enters Syria’s civil war and changes its name to reflect a new aim of establishing an Islamic religious state spanning Iraq and Syria. Its success in Syria bleeds over the border to Iraq.
Note: Before 2011, less information was available on who was responsible for attacks, so the number of ISIS attacks from 2004 to 2010 may be undercounted.

Sources: Global Terrorism Database, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (attack data); Congressional Research Service; Council on Foreign Relations; Long War Journal; Institute for the Study of War

A Week of Rapid Advances After Taking Mosul

After sweeping across the porous border from Syria to overrun Mosul, insurgents aligned with the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and Syria continued to press south down the main north-south highway toward Baghdad. RELATED ARTICLE »

Mosul

Area of

detail

Tikrit

June 13

June 10

Mosul captured

Baghdad

IRAQ

Jalawla

Kirkuk

Sadiyah

June 11

Tikrit

captured

Basra

June 12

Dhuluiya captured

June 11-12

Samarra

Tigris R.

About 110 miles

Attacks in

the days after

Mosul captured

30

June 11

Parts of Baiji

captured

20

30

Baghdad

Ishaki   Dujail

June 14

Taji

Lake Tharthar

Falluja

Ramadi

Euphrates R.

After capturing Mosul, Tikrit and parts of a refinery in Baiji, insurgents attackedSamarra, where Shiite militias helped pro-government forces.

Then, they seized Jalawla and Sadiyah but were forced back by government troops backed by Kurdish forces. They continued their moves south by Ishaki and Dujail.

Which Cities Does ISIS Control?

UPDATED JUNE 23

Having occupied crucial sections of Syria over the past year and more recently seizing vast areas of Iraq, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria controls territory greater than many countries and now rivals Al Qaeda as the world’s most powerful jihadist group.

The group seized Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, on June 10. RELATED ARTICLE »

Deir al-ZourRaqqahQaimAl WaleedAnaHadithaHitRawaaFallujaSaadiyahHawijaMosulRamadiBaijiTikritHasakahSamarraKirkukBaqubaTal AfarAzazJalawlaRutbaIRAQSYRIAJORDANTURKEYIRANKUWAITDamascusBaghdadAleppoHamaHomsErbilBasraKarbalaNajaf

ISIS control of cities

Partial or complete

Contested

Attacks since Mosul

Sources: Caerus AssociatesLong War JournalInstitute for the Study of War

What the Militants Want: A Caliphate Across Syria and Iraq

PUBLISHED JUNE 13

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has vowed to establish a caliphate — a unified Islamic government ruled by a caliph, someone considered to be a successor to Muhammad’s political authority — stretching from western Syria across Iraq to the eastern border with Iran.

This map shows the boundaries envisioned by ISIS.

Source: “The Islamic State in Iraq Returns to Diyala” by Jessica Lewis, Institute for the Study of War

TURKEY

Hasakah

Mosul

Erbil

Aleppo

Raqqa

Kirkuk

Deir al-Zour

IRAN

Baiji

SYRIA

Tikrit

Homs

Jalawla

LEBANON

Samarra

Dhuluiya

Damascus

IRAQ

Baghdad

ISRAEL

SAUDI

ARABIA

JORDAN

KUWAIT

Attacks Follow Sectarian Lines

PUBLISHED JUNE 12

The insurgents, originating in Syria, moved through Iraq’s Sunni-dominated north and west, occupying cities and towns surrendered by Iraqi soldiers and police.

They have largely avoided the Kurd-dominated northeast, but have threatened to march on to Baghdad and into the Shiite-dominated areas of the south.

Source: Dr. M. Izady, Columbia University’s Gulf 2000 project

Mosul

Kirkuk

Baiji

Tikrit

Dhuluiyah

Samarra

Ramadi

Baghdad

IRAQ

Falluja

Tigris

Euphrates River

Basra

Predominant group

Sunni Arab

Shiite Arab

Kurd

50 MILES

Iraqi Cities, Then and Now

PUBLISHED JUNE 13

Many of the Iraqi cities that have been attacked and occupied by militants in recent days were also the sites of battles and other major events during the Iraq War.

Mosul

Then: American forces took control of Mosul in April 2003. What followed was a period of relative peace until mid-2004 when periodic insurgent attacks flared, resulting in a large-scale battle in November.
The death toll reached dozens, including a number of Iraqi soldiers who were publicly beheaded. RELATED ARTICLE »
Now: In perhaps the most stunning recent development, Sunni militants drove Iraqi military forces out of Mosul on June 10, forcing a half-million residents to flee the city.
Iraqi soldiers reportedly dropped their weapons and donned civilian clothing to escape ISIS insurgents.
MosulMoises Saman for The New York Times
Falluja

Then: Falluja played a pivotal role in the American invasion of Iraq. It was the site of a number of large-scale battles with insurgents.
In April 2003, it became a hot bed for controversy when American soldiers opened fire on civilians after claiming they had been shot at.
Incessant fighting left the city decimated, leveling a majority of its infrastructure and leaving about half its original population. RELATED ARTICLE »
Now: Sunni militants seized Falluja’s primary municipal buildings on Jan. 3. The takeover came as an early and significant victory for the group, initiating a slew of attacks south of the city.
FallujaMax Becherer for The New York Times
Tikrit

Then: The home of Saddam Hussein, Tikrit became the target of an early American military operation during the Iraq war.
Securing it proved cumbersome, however, as insurgents mounted continued attacks on the city for years afterward.
On Dec. 14, 2003, Hussein was found hiding in an eight-foot deep hole, just south of Tikrit. RELATED ARTICLE »
Now: Tikrit fell to ISIS insurgents on June 11, clearing a path for them to march on to Baiji, home to one of Iraq’s foremost oil-refining operations.
After taking the city in less than a day, militants continued the fight just south, in Samarra.
TikritChang W. Lee/The New York Times
Samarra

Then: Samarra is home to the Askariya shrine, which was bombed in 2006, prompting an extended period of sectarian violence across the country. RELATED ARTICLE »
Now: After an initial attack on June 5, ISIS insurgents have now positioned themselves just miles away from Samarra.
It is unclear whether they are capable of capturing the city in the coming days, but the Shiite shrine makes it a volatile target.
SamarraAyman Oghanna for The New York Times

Video: Iraq’s Factions and Their Goals

PUBLISHED JUNE 13

A look at the goals of of the three main groups in Iraq — Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish — as the country threatens to split apart along sectarian lines.

Growing Humanitarian Crisis

PUBLISHED JUNE 12

The United Nations estimates that at least 500,000 Iraqis were displaced by the takeover of Mosul.

Food supplies are low and there is limited fresh water and little electricity.

An additional 430,000 people were displaced by fighting In Anbar Province, which insurgents have controlled for more than six months.

Safin Hamed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
An Iraqi family, one of thousands who have fled Mosul for the autonomous Kurdish region, walks past tents at a temporary camp.

Video: Behind the Group That Took Mosul

PUBLISHED JUNE 10

Background on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Islamist group that appears to be in control of the second largest city in Iraq.


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