Thursday, June 30, 2016

Who killed 150 to 250 ISIS fighters and destroyed their vehicles near Fallujah?

    Thursday, June 30, 2016   No comments

It seems that the different players in the fight against ISIL are now competing for credit.

On Wednesday, Iraqi military released footage showing destroyed cars and trucks. Military officials claimed that the raid was carried out by Iraqi pilots who were using Russian made helicopters. It should be noted that it was reported that "Iraq has received their final batch of Russian Mi-28 NE Night Hunter military helicopters". The attack footage indicated that these helicopters were used. NBC News reported the same story.

Reuters, on the other hand, reported the following:

U.S.-led coalition aircraft waged a series of deadly strikes against Islamic State around the city of Falluja on Wednesday, U.S. officials told Reuters, with one citing a preliminary estimate of at least 250 suspected fighters killed and at least 40 vehicles destroyed.

Iraqi officials indicated that U.S. refused to assist with the attack they took credit for. These conflicting reports show that the U.S. led anti-ISIL coalition is not as unified behind the mission as they claim.

Video footage of the attack, one of the attacks, or something like that:


Meanwhile, more American weapons fell in the hands of ISIS when another so-called "moderate" Syrian rebel group attempted to push out ISIS from a town near the Iraqi border. According to reports, 40 of the rebel were killed and 15 taken prisoners by ISIS.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the group's offensive against ISIS was being mounted with the backing of Western special forces and US-led air strikes.


Monday, June 13, 2016

U.S. ally, Bahrain, rearrests top human rights activist Nabeel Rajab

    Monday, June 13, 2016   No comments
DM, UK: Bahraini security forces on Monday rearrested leading human rights activist Nabeel Rajab in a dawn raid in the Gulf kingdom, his family said on Twitter.

Rajab, 51, who was detained in 2014 for tweets deemed insulting to the authorities before his release on health grounds, was apprehended at his home in the mainly Shiite village of Bani Jamra near Manama, his family said.

"Rajab was arrested from his house and his house was searched," tweeted his wife Sumaya Rajab.

There was no immediate clarification on the reason for his latest arrest.

Rajab, who has led anti-government marches and heads the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, had previously served two years in jail for taking part in unauthorised protests.

He was sentenced to six months in jail for his tweets but pardoned in July 2015 after King Hamad issued a royal pardon "for health reasons".

Bahrain, home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, has been rocked by unrest since security forces crushed Shiite-led protests in 2011 demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Washington had previously called for Rajab's release, and international rights groups have condemned trials against opponents of the Sunni regime.

His arrest comes a week after another leading opposition activist, Zeinab al-Khawaja, fled Bahrain following her release from jail on "humanitarian grounds".

"It pains me to leave, but I leave carrying our cause on my back, and my love for my country in my chest," Khawaja, who left for Denmark where she also holds nationality, said on Twitter.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights has said Khawaja was jailed for three years and one month on charges including tearing up the monarch's picture and insulting a police officer.

Amnesty International's deputy MENA director James Lynch said Rajab's arrest "appears to be another alarming example of Bahrain's zero-tolerance stance towards peaceful dissent and activism, which it enforces through arbitrary measures including revolving-doors detention".


Wednesday, June 08, 2016

#IslamicSocietiesReview: Saudi Arabia blackmails UN, "no money unless the Kingdom is removed from the blacklist"

    Wednesday, June 08, 2016   No comments
FP published an exclusive story reporting that "Saudi Arabia threatened to break relations with U.N. over human rights criticism in Yemen." The magazine added that "Riyadh warned Turtle Bay it would pull hundreds of millions of dollars from U.N. programs if it was singled out for killing and maiming children in Yemen."

FP reported:

Saudi Arabia threatened this week to break relations with the United Nations and cut hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to its humanitarian relief and counterterrorism programs to strong-arm the U.N. into removing Riyadh and its allies from a blacklist of groups that are accused of harming children in armed conflict.

The threat — which has not been previously reported — worked, and the U.N. subsequently dropped the Saudis from a rogues’ gallery of the world’s worst violators of children’s rights in conflict zones.

Saudi Arabia often uses its wealth to influence poor countries' diplomatic policies and actions. The Arab coalition that is ostensibly supporting its war on Yemen consists of the weaker and smaller GCC partners and several other Arab countries who depend on Saudi money. The Same applies to the so-called "anti-Terrorism" coalition, assembled by the heir apparent, Mohammed Ibn Salman. 
The Saudis might have told the UN that it will use its influence over these 34 countries to leave UN institutions unless Saudi Arabia is removed from the list.

The UN cave in to the rulers of Saudi Arabia shows that an intergovernmental organization, such as the UN, is not fit to objectively and effectively report on human rights abuses, which are by definition, committed by governments and large corporations with immense influence over governments. The proper way to advocate for human rights is to support NGOs and strengthen civil society institutions instead.

The rulers of Saudi Arabia also use religion for political ends. Reuters reported that, in addition to using OIC, which is a tool created by Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi religious figures were to meet and issue a fatwa, declaring UN, anti-Muslims. This bizarre use of fatwa-on-demand shows the true nature of Saudi brand of Islam which uses religious institutions to legitimize the rulers archaic political power structure.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Saudi-led military coalition added to UN's blacklist over the deaths of hundreds of children in Yemen

    Thursday, June 02, 2016   No comments
children are among the victims of Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen
On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  placed the Saudi-led military coalition that launched a war on Yemen on an annual blacklist over the deaths of hundreds of children in airstrikes.

Yemen's Shiite Huthi rebels who seized the capital Sanaa in September 2014 were also added to the list of children's rights violators released Thursday, detailing offenses in 14 countries.

"Emerging and escalating crises had a horrific impact on boys and girls," said a statement from the office of the UN envoy for children and armed conflict.

"The situation in Yemen was particularly worrisome with a five-fold increase in the number of children recruited (by armed groups) and six times more children killed and maimed compared to 2014," it said.

The Saudi-led coalition is responsible for 60 percent of the total 785 children who were killed and 1,168 wounded last year in Yemen, said the report.


Saudi Arabia to behead 14 people--under "haraba" law

    Thursday, June 02, 2016   No comments
Absence of details provided by government officials, local Saudi media reported Wednesday that 14 people were sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. According to Alarabiya, the decision was made by a court in the eastern city of Al Qatif with the predominantly Shia population.
The 14 people were charged of crime of "haraba", whose punishment is beheading by the sword.


The suspects were accused of several crimes, including the murder of representatives of law enforcement forces, the destruction of private property, the armed attack on collectors of a bank.

Some family members accuse the government of torturing their relatives to secure false confessions. They deny that their relatives were involved in any armed activities. They add that their relatives were arrested for participating in peaceful protests in 2011.


Saudi Arabia often uses anti-terror laws to prosecute dissidents, bloggers, and human rights activists.

In 2015, a Saudi blogger convicted of "insulting Islam" received a 1,000-lash sentence in addition to prison. Raif Badawi has been behind bars since 2012 for his online posts and running a blog called "Saudi Arabian Liberals," where he hosted political and religious debate and advocated secularism in a highly religious society.

In January 2016, 47 people were executed in Riyadh, including a prominent Shia theologian Nimr al-Nimr.

Saudi Arabia is among the top five countries with the highest number of executions in 2015. Other countries include China, Iran, Pakistan and the United States, according to Amnesty International.

Saudi Arabia's alliance with Western powers provide it with cover to commit human rights abuses at human and interfere in other nations affairs and face no consequences. For instance, Saudi Arabia is known supporter of terrorist groups in Syria but beheads dissidents who protest its abuses at home, while meeting no condemnation from Western governments.

The rulers of the kingdom often use perverted interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism, to carry out practices that are cruel and inhumane.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Dalai Lama: 'Refugees Go Home... Germany should never be an Arab country"

    Wednesday, June 01, 2016   No comments
Refugees should only be accepted in Europe on a temporary basis, and Germany can never become an Arab land, the Dalai Lama told German newspaper FAZ.
Too many people have arrived recently in Europe seeking refuge and most of them should go home, the Dalai Lama told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Tuesday.

"If you look at each individual refugee, especially women and children, we feel their suffering. A person who is doing better has a duty to help them," the Dalai Lama said.

"On the other hand, there are now too many. Europe, for example Germany, can't become an Arab country. Germany is Germany. There are so many (refugees), that things are difficult in
practice. Also from a moral point of view I think that these refugees should only be accepted on a temporary basis. The goal should be that they return and help to rebuild their own countries."




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