Showing posts with label ISIL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ISIL. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Newsweek: How Ukraine Followed the ISIS Playbook

    Wednesday, May 31, 2023   No comments

Newsweek reports that Ukraine is using commercial drones to score frontline victories, uploading videos with commercial GoPro cameras, accurately capturing enemy tank destruction, sniper kills and grenade blasts.

Inspired by the innovations made by ISIS during its rapid rise in Syria nearly 10 years ago, the terrorist group pushed out sophisticated, polished, and sometimes violent videos as part of a broader recruitment campaign, and distributed emotionally appealing footage to exploit vulnerable sentiment. I have the target.


In her speech, she referred to "Ukrainian brigades, such as the White Wolves, who film footage to publish on social media platforms, with the aim of bringing battles closer to real-life fighting games."


This unit publishes videos showing how its forces succeeded in destroying Russian targets. One such clip, posted on Twitter, published by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), shows an aerial view of military vehicles exploding after being hit from above, according to the magazine.

For Ukraine, “the drive to create great videos from battlefield scenes is more existential: footage from the front lines of the war must attract enough viewers globally to ensure that the country’s fight against Russia is not forgotten, and to prove that the West’s financial and military support Kiev was not in vain," according to "Newsweek."

Professor Sean Huston, who teaches courses on propaganda, social conflict, and media studies at The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, told Newsweek that the clip is "a great example of the manipulation of combat video and the strange overlap between video games and snapshots of life." The realism associated with the video techniques used by ISIS.

"ISIS has been focusing on using this type of propaganda video, which is unfortunately more attractive to a younger audience," Houston added.

It is not clear, or the magazine did not explain, if this inspiration was due the effective tactics of ISIS or the tactics were developed by the handlers of ISIS who are now involved in the war in Ukraine.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Who armed ISIS? A three year study provides some answers

    Thursday, December 14, 2017   No comments

Supplies of materiel, including advanced light weapons systems the U.S. military, from foreign parties — notably the United States and Saudi Arabia, ended up in the hands of ISIS fighters.


This report is the result of more than three years of field investigation into Islamic State supply chains. It presents an analysis of more than 40,000 items recovered from the group between 2014 and 2017. These items encompass weapons, ammunition, and the traceable components and chemical precursors used by the group to manufacture improvised explosive devices.


.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Syrian army on the verge of ending ISIL's siege of the city of Deir Ezzor

    Sunday, September 03, 2017   No comments
Syrian government soldiers and allied fighters have advanced to the edge of a government enclave besieged by the Islamic State group in the country's east, a monitoring group said Sunday.

Syria's army, backed by Russian military support, has been advancing towards the city of Deir Ezzor on several fronts for weeks.
Units from the Syrian Arab Army continued their campaign against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Saturday.

The soldiers conducted a raid in the direction of Tallet Alloush and the surrounding areas, attacking IS militants and seizing their weapons and ammunition.


 















Sunday, August 06, 2017

Saudi Arabia signals a shift in its policy, advises the Syrian opposition faction it supports to come up with new strategy guided by the fact that Assad will be in power for the foreseeable future

    Sunday, August 06, 2017   No comments
In an interview on Almayadeen, a member of the Syrian Opposition faction supported by Saudi Arabia, Ahmad Asrawi, the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir has advised the group to rethink their political strategy to factor in the possibility that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, will remain in power. Jubeir signaled that the new Saudi position is guided by the idea that the future of Assad, like that of Syria, is entirely in the "hands of Syrians, not the Saudis."

 Al Asrawi said that Al Jubeir assured them that that Supreme Council of Saudi Arabia supports any efforts, aimed at finding a political solution in Syria, a solution wherein Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity remain intact. 

  
According to Asrawi, Al Jubeir said that the international community's approach to fight terrorism in the wake of terrorist act that devastated the French capital city of Paris, is not right and has led to the killing of dozens of people.

Hours after the interview was aired, the Saudi Foreign Ministry released a statement claiming that the information is inaccurate and stressing that there is no change of policy: Saudi Arabia does not see a future Syria with Assad in charge.
   



This new development is reflective of the new reality in which the Syrian government and its allies are gaining more ground while opposition forces are engaged in infighting and looking for way out of a war they now know cannot be won.
Some rebel groups decided to move from Syria's eastern country side to Kurdish control areas and form a new army they want to call Syria's liberation army. Others refused to move and formed a second coalition that will continue fighting the government. Meanwhile, Islamists in Idlib continue to fight each other. The Syrian army and its allies are closing in on ISIL's stronghold, Deir Ez zor.



Syrian troops are advancing towards Deir Ez Zour from the northwest and southeast.




Friday, June 09, 2017

Syrian and Iraqi forces reach the Syrian Iraqi Border, near al Tanf for the first time

    Friday, June 09, 2017   No comments
ISR comment:  The U.S. forces attacked Syrian government forces and its allies three times to prevent them from reaching the Iraqi border and clearing the highway that links Baghdad to Damascus. On Friday, the Russian defense ministering claimed that the Syrian army reached the border. This is an important development since US officials say that it is protecting  "moderate" rebels who are fighting ISIS. Now that these rebels have no open front with ISIS, it will be interesting to see what other justification for their continued operation in the region.
 -----------

Control map in Syria and Iraq on June 8, 2017
Control map in Syria and Iraq on June 9, 2017
 According to media reports, Russian Ministry of Defense claim pro-Assad forces reached the border of Iraq. The Ministry claims that the air forces of the US-led coalition are working to undermine the anti-terrorist efforts of the Syrian government, Colonel General Sergey Surovikin of the Russian ground forces has said.

“Despite promoting the aim of fighting international terrorism, the coalition is striking the Syrian military, allowing IS militants to leave encircled areas unhindered, thus strengthening the terrorist groupings near Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor,” Surovikin said.

“The coalition air forces and the strongholds of the forces of New Syrian Army [now known as the Revolutionary Commando Army] have blocked the way of the government forces, tasked with defeating IS [Islamic State] groups,” he said at a briefing on Friday.“This is a violation of the sovereign right of Syria to protect it borders,” he said.

The statement comes after US warplanes stuck pro-government forces near At Tanf on Thursday, the third such incident in the space of several weeks. source

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia for complicity in terror attacks

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017   No comments
 Saudi Arabia knowingly provided material support to Al Qaeda — including funding, training and passports — in order to facilitate the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on 9/11, according to a new federal lawsuit filed Monday.

Outraged families of Sept. 11 victims did what two presidential administrations would not — compile what they deem to be extensive evidence holding the Saudi’s responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Pennsylvania.


In the lawsuit, the families of 800 victims say the Middle Eastern kingdom was complicit in providing funding for the worst terrorist strike on American soil, saying it “actively supported al-Qaeda in its final preparations for the September 11th attacks.”

It outlines that “through a network of the kingdom’s officers, employees and/or agents who met with and aided the hijackers, providing them with money, cover, advice, contacts, transportation, assistance with language and U.S. culture, identification, access to pilot training and other material support and resources.”

source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/kin-9-11-victims-sue-saudi-arabia-complicity-attacks-article-1.3003438

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Erdogan says he has evidence US-led coalition has given support to Isis

    Tuesday, December 27, 2016   No comments
ISR comment: For four years, some government officials from Syria, Iran, and Iraq have accused members of the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition of supporting the UN-designated terror group. Russia had also accused Turkey of allowing ISIL fighters to cross its borders freely, open its market for ISIL to sell Iraqi and Syrian oil to Turkish dealers, and provide the group with weapons. Now, it is the Turkish president who is accusing the anti-ISIL coalition, in which his government is a member, accusing it, including the United States government of providing support to Daesh [he used the Arabic acronym for ISIL, ISIS, or IS). What is very clear is that, some governments have been supporting all armed groups in Syria, including ISIL and Nusra and the cache of sophisticated weapons left behind in buildings previously controlled by Nusra fighters in east Aleppo is evidence of that. This coming year might reveal the governments that took part in the destruction of Syria and the killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians Erdogan's statement might be just the first of many testimonies.

ISILfighters killing civilians accused of being spies this month.
*****
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he has evidence that U.S.-led coalition forces give support to terrorist groups including the Islamic State and Kurdish militant groups YPG and PYD, he said on Tuesday.

"They were accusing us of supporting Daesh (Islamic State)," he told a press conference in Ankara.

"Now they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD. It's very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos," he said. source
...

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has uncovered evidence that US-led coalition forces have helped support terrorists in Syria – including Isis.

American-led forces have been working alongside Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad but have attempted to avoid helping Isis and other Islamist militant groups.

However, speaking on Tuesday in the Turkish capital, Ankara, he said he believed they had given support to a variety of militant groups, including Isis Kurdish outfits YPG and PYD. source
...
Throughout Syria's five-year civil war, Turkey and the U.S. have been opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad and have backed various rebel factions against the Syrian army and its allies, which include Russia and Iran. Recent major victories by the Syrian government and its supporters, however, have brought Turkey to the negotiating table. Source

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Cross Shield: ISIS burns Turkish soldiers alive

    Saturday, December 24, 2016   No comments
The armed group calling itself "the islamic state" [IS] released another video depicting its cruel and unusual acts. The video depicts group members carrying out execution of Turkish captured soldiers, being burned alive

Turkey launched a campaign against IS in northern Syria in August and is currently fighting IS around the group's stronghold of al-Bab.
...
The Turkish army previously reported losing contact with two soldiers in northern Syria last month but it is unclear whether either are the men in the video.

At least one of the purported victims appears to have been captured by the group as far back as September 2015.

Turkish officials did not immediately respond to the publication of the video late on Thursday. source

Monday, November 21, 2016

Disturbing video out of Mosul, Iraq, raises concerns: charred bodies suggest use of illegal weapons or abuse of human dignity

    Monday, November 21, 2016   No comments
A video submitted to sites documenting human rights abuses shows burnt bodies of "hundreds of Daesh fighters", as suggested by the videographer, laying on top of the rubble. The charred bodies suggest that the dead were either burnt after they were killed or killed by some incendiary weapon. The video was not shown because of its graphic nature, but pictures, censored still, show the charred bodies. Since there are so many actors in this war theater, U.S., Kurdish fighters, Hashd fighters, Iraqi military, Turkish trained Sunni fighters, and Iraqi security forces, the UN is called upon to investigate.
In 2014, it was reported that ISIL burned the bodies of its dead foreign fighters in Syria, but no such claims emerged this time to suggest the same practice.

The graphic images are commonly associated with ISIL's practices who burned people alive. But ISIL's cruelty cannot be adopted by those who claim that they are repulsed by its practices, justifying their war of the terror group. All human beings, including ISIL fighters, need to be treated with dignity in life and death.





Monday, September 19, 2016

ISIL calls ISIS calls Erdoğan, beheads one of his alleged spies

    Monday, September 19, 2016   No comments

Screen-grab of ISIL's video

ISIL (ISIS, IS) issued a gruesome declaration against Erdogan calling him, tyrant and a slave of the crusaders. The group released another grisly video condemning Erdogan and the Syrian opposition forces collaborating with him, including al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Fath. The video, entitled fa-`tabiru [be forewarned], included statements by an individual accused of being one of Erdogan’s followers and spies. He was tied to pole, shot by firing multiple shots at him with machine gun, and then beheaded.
Screen-grab of ISIL's video showing the shooting and beheading of what ISIL says is a Syrian spy for Erdogan

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Isis fighter reveals group's plan to spread even after defeat in Iraq and Syria and claims collusion with Turkey

    Saturday, September 10, 2016   No comments
Isis will flourish and survive even if it is defeated in the present battle for Syria and Iraq an Isis militant has told The Independent.

In an exclusive interview, Faraj, a 30-year-old veteran fighter from north east Syria, says that “when we say that the Islamic State [Isis] is everlasting and expanding, it is not a mere poetic or propaganda phrase”. He says the group intends to rebuild its strength in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, adding that “Isis has sleeper agents all over the world and their numbers are increasing”.

In his account of his life in Isis, Faraj makes plain that only a year after the caliphate was declared in the wake of the capture of Mosul in 2014, its leaders could foresee that it might be overrun militarily. He reveals hitherto unknown details of the apparent close cooperation between Isis and Turkey and the degree to which foreign fighters who flooded into Syria to fight for Isis alienated local people from the movement by ordering them about and interfering in their lives.  source

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.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

#IslamicSocietiesReview: ISIL's cruelty as catalyst for positive social change in Syria and Iraq

    Thursday, May 12, 2016   No comments

They share little more than an enemy and struggle to communicate on the battlefield, but together two relatively obscure groups have opened up a new front against Islamic State militants in a remote corner of Iraq.

The unlikely alliance between an offshoot of a leftist Kurdish organization and an Arab tribal militia in northern Iraq is a measure of the extent to which Islamic State has upended the regional order.

Across Iraq and Syria, new groups have emerged where old powers have waned, competing to claim fragments of territory from Islamic State and complicating the outlook when they win.

"Chaos sometimes produces unexpected things," said the head of the Arab tribal force, Abdulkhaleq al-Jarba. "After Daesh (Islamic State), the political map of the region has changed. There is a new reality and we are part of it."

In Nineveh province, this "new reality" was born in 2014 when official security forces failed to defend the Sinjar area against the Sunni Islamic State militants who purged its Yazidi population.

A Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) came to the rescue, which won the gratitude of Yazidis, and another local franchise called the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) was set up.

The mainly Kurdish secular group, which includes Yazidis, controls a pocket of territory in Sinjar and recently formed an alliance with a Sunni Arab militia drawn from the powerful Shammar tribe.
source

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jordan's king accuses Turkey of sending terrorists to Europe; Turkey is deliberately 'unleashing' Isis terrorists into Europe, says Jordan's King Abdullah

    Sunday, March 27, 2016   No comments
Turkey is exporting Isis-linked terrorists to Europe, according to King Abdullah of Jordan.

The monarch's remarks came in a meeting with members of the US Congress, in which he said that Islamist militants were being "manufactured in Turkey" and "unleashed" into Europe.

He also used the debriefing, held after a cancelled rendezvous with US President Barack Obama, to remind the US politicians of Turkey's alleged complicity in buying Isis oil....

King Abdullah of Jordan accused Turkey of exporting terrorists to Europe at a top level meeting with senior US politicians in January.

The king said Europe’s biggest refugee crisis was not an accident, and neither was the presence of terrorists among them: “The fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy and Turkey keeps on getting a slap on the hand, but they are let off the hook.”

Asked by one of the congressmen present whether the Islamic State group was exporting oil to Turkey, Abdullah replied: ”Absolutely.”

Abdullah made his remarks during a wide-ranging debriefing to Congress on 11 January, the day a meeting with the US president, Barack Obama, was cancelled.

The White House was forced to deny that Obama snubbed one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East, attributing the cancellation to "scheduling conflicts," although Obama and Abdullah met briefly at Andrews Air Force Base a day later.

Present at the meeting in Congress were the chairmen and members of the Senate Intelligence, Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, including Senators John McCain and Bob Corker, and Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, the Senate Majority and Minority leaders respectively.  ...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

#IslamicSocietiesReview : Turkey blames Kurdish militants for Ankara bombing

    Thursday, February 18, 2016   No comments
As it has done in the past, whenever terrorists attack civilians inside Turkey, the Turkish government used the Ankara bombing to launch fresh strikes against Kurds. It has done so in the past even after instances when ISIL (Daesh) has carried out (and took credit for) the attacks. This time, too, AKP leaders were quick to blame the Kurds of Syria. Even before the investigation concluded, the Turkish government accused "Syrians" to justify its campaign against Kurds in Iraq and Syria. This practice could undercut support for their cause since the Turkish government could be perceived as leveraging terrorism for geopolitical aims. Turkey's reluctance to fight ISIL and shut down the flow of fighters and weapons into Syria adds to the volatility of the region and will add risks to Turkey's security.
...
Turkey blames Kurdish militants for Ankara bomb, vows response in Syria and Iraq

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed a Syrian Kurdish militia fighter working with Kurdish militants inside Turkey for a suicide car bombing that killed 28 people in the capital Ankara, and he vowed retaliation in both Syria and Iraq.

A car laden with explosives detonated next to military buses as they waited at traffic lights near Turkey's armed forces' headquarters, parliament and government buildings in the administrative heart of Ankara late on Wednesday.

Davutoglu said the attack was clear evidence that the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia that has been supported by the United States in the fight against Islamic State in northern Syria, was a terrorist organization and that Turkey, a NATO member, expected cooperation from its allies in combating the group. 
Source

Monday, February 15, 2016

#ISR: Chemical weapons had been used by ISIL (#daesh) fighters

    Monday, February 15, 2016   No comments
Islamic State militants attacked Kurdish forces in Iraq with mustard gas last year, the first known use of chemical weapons in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, a diplomat said, based on tests by the global chemical weapons watchdog.

A source at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed that laboratory tests had come back positive for the sulfur mustard, after around 35 Kurdish troops were sickened on the battlefield last August.


The OPCW will not identify who used the chemical agent. But the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because the findings have not yet been released, said the result confirmed that chemical weapons had been used by Islamic State fighters.

The samples were taken after the soldiers became ill during fighting against Islamic State militants southwest of Erbil, capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

The OPCW already concluded in October that mustard gas was used last year in neighboring Syria. Islamic State has declared a "caliphate" in territory it controls in both Iraq and Syria and does not recognize the frontier.

Experts believe that the sulfur mustard either originated from an undeclared Syrian chemical stockpile, or that militants have gained the basic know how to develop and conduct a crude chemical attack with rockets or mortars. source

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is furious over a senior U.S. official’s visit to northern Syria

    Sunday, February 07, 2016   No comments
Erdoğan protested in Ecuador: Erdoğan loves ISIS
ISR comment: The Turkish president, who has resisted pressure to take actual actions against ISIL, is now furious that the U.S. has made contact with a Syrian group that has fought and defeated ISIL. Erdoğan, instead, insists that Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party is a terrorist organization, but his government still refuses to legally classify ISIL (also known as ISIS, Daesh) as a terrorist organization. His insistence on denying the Syrian Kurdish people any level of autonomy within their country is unrealistic and is a direct interference in the affairs of other countries. 
It is likely that the new Syria will be decentralized and that the Kurdish people will have autonomy there with or without the consent of the post-civil war Syrian government. The only thing Erdoğan can do to stop that from happening is to invade northern Syria. He may do that with the help of his sectarian backers like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and local allies such as Daesh, al-Nusra, Jaysh al-Fath, and Jaysh al-Islam. If the U.S. allows that to happen, the Middle East will be further destabilized and more states will fail, creating the perfect environment for ISIL and al-Qaeda.


Erdoğan has said Turkey would not “make the same mistake it did in Iraq in 2003 vis-à-vis the creation of a de facto situation” in neighboring Syria, voicing his country’s readiness in order to protect its national interests in case of all kinds of developing scenarios in Syria.

Meanwhile, he also reiterated Turkey’s stance on the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Defense Units (YPG). Turkey considers the party and its affiliates in the same category as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“We will take this issue to all international organizations. Each moment that we haven’t taken it there is a loss for us. If steps are not taken for their [classification] as a terrorist organization, we would be delayed. Look, [U.S. Vice President Joe] Biden arrived with an assistant. He is a national security official whose name has earlier ben cited with Mr. Obama too. Just during the meetings in Geneva, he travels to Kobane. He receives a plaque from a so-called general in Kobane. How will we trust? Am I your partner or are the terrorists in Kobane?” Erdoğan asked, while speaking with reporters en route from Dakar to Istanbul as he wrapped up a Latin America tour that covered Chile, Peru and Ecuador.

The U.S. envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Brett McGurk, confirmed on Feb. 1 that he visited Kurdish-controlled northern Syria the previous weekend. McGurk said his trip aimed to review the fight against the jihadist group that controls swathes of Syria and Iraq.

He also said that it was long-planned and not “in any way” related to Syria peace talks in Geneva.
source

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Israel's defense minister: Islamic State "enjoyed Turkish money for oil"

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016   No comments

Israel's defense minister said on Tuesday that Islamic State militants had been funded with 'Turkish money', an assertion that could hinder attempts to mend fences between the two countries after years of estrangement.

"It's up to Turkey, the Turkish government, the Turkish leadership, to decide whether they want to be part of any kind of cooperation to fight terrorism. This is not the case so far," Moshe Yaalon told reporters in Athens.

"As you know, Daesh (Islamic State) enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time. I hope that it will be ended," Yaalon, a right-wing former armed forces chief, told reporters after meeting his Greek counterpart, Panos Kammenos. source

Friday, January 22, 2016

Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia: The game of chess is prohibited [haram]

    Friday, January 22, 2016   No comments
Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia:

"The game of chess is proscribed. It is included in the category of gambling (maysir) [then he quotes the Qur’anic verses about the prohibition of maysir]. It is a waste of time. It squanders money. It causes enmity and hatred between people. By playing it, a rich will end poor and a poor will end up rich. It causes enmity and hatred between people. And people playing it are spending time where it is not supposed to be spent"



The Mufti often issues decrees about insignificant matters and ignores cases of government abuses and human rights violations. In fact, the Mufti often issues decrees justifying the Saudi rulers’ abuses and never speaks on behalf of the victims of government's abuses and restrictions.


In October 2014, three lawyers, Dr Abdulrahman al-Subaihi, Bander al-Nogaithan and Abdulrahman al-Rumaih , were sentenced to up to eight years in prison for using Twitter to criticize the Ministry of Justice.
In March 2015, Yemen’s Sunni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was forced into exile after a Shia-led insurgency. A Saudi Arabia-led coalition has responded with air strikes in order to reinstate Mr Hadi. It has since been accused of committing war crimes in the country.
Women who supported the Women2Drive campaign, launched in 2011 to challenge the ban on women driving vehicles, faced harassment and intimidation by the authorities. The government warned that women drivers would face arrest.
Members of the Kingdom’s Shia minority, most of whom live in the oil-rich Eastern Province, continue to face discrimination that limits their access to government services and employment. Activists have received death sentences or long prison terms for their alleged participation in protests in 2011 and 2012.
All public gatherings are prohibited under an order issued by the Interior Ministry in 2011. Those defy the ban face arrest, prosecution and imprisonment on charges such as “inciting people against the authorities”.
In March 2014, the Interior Ministry stated that authorities had deported over 370,000 foreign migrants and that 18,000 others were in detention. Thousands of workers were returned to Somalia and other states where they were at risk of human rights abuses, with large numbers also returned to Yemen, in order to open more jobs to Saudi Arabians. Many migrants reported that prior to their deportation they had been packed into overcrowded makeshift detention facilities where they received little food and water and were abused by guards.
The Saudi Arabian authorities continue to deny access to independent human rights organisations like Amnesty International, and they have been known to take punitive action, including through the courts, against activists and family members of victims who contact Amnesty.
Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison for using his liberal blog to criticise Saudi Arabia’s clerics. He has already received 50 lashes, which have reportedly left him in poor health.
Dawood al-Marhoon was arrested aged 17 for participating in an anti-government protest. After refusing to spy on his fellow protestors, he was tortured and forced to sign a blank document that would later contain his ‘confession’. At Dawood’s trial, the prosecution requested death by crucifixion while refusing him a lawyer.
Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested in 2012 aged either 16 or 17 for participating in protests during the Arab spring. His sentence includes beheading and crucifixion. The international community has spoken out against the punishment and has called on Saudi Arabia to stop. He is the nephew of a prominent government dissident.


ISIL and other terrorist organizations around the world follow the same religious sect, Wahhabism, which is the official religious authority in the kingdom. 

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