Showing posts with label Ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ideas. Show all posts

Monday, August 22, 2022

Who is Alexander Dugin, who is described as Putin's brain, and whose daughter Daria was killed by Car Bomb in Moscow?

    Monday, August 22, 2022   No comments

Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin is said to have great influence on Russian politicians including the current president, Vladimir Putin. His daughter killed by a car bomb. The Russian authorities announced the killing by detonating her car with an explosive device planted under the driver’s seat in a suburb of the capital, Moscow. Daria Dugin worked as a press secretary for her father, who is described as "Putin's brain", a nationalist and one of the most prominent theorists of the Kremlin's ideology who predicted the end of the era of Western liberalism.

To learn more about Dugin, we provide a summary of his ideas that he shared with Aljazeera network in an extended set of interviews (See interview1, and interview 2; Arabic) in which he talked about Russia, the West, Christianity, Islam, Chechnya, Sunnism, and other topics.


Russian identity and change

On the other hand, Dugin spoke to Al Jazeera about the Russian identity and the radical change that he said had affected it over the course of one century, as the country was an empire with its faith and perception, and after the Bolshevik Revolution, perceptions changed dramatically, and in 1991 the Russian identity changed again and Russia became part of The Western world, then Putin, changed identity again and Russia became a powerful country that defends its own conservative values, according to what the Russian philosopher says.

 

On Russian identity, "Putin's mind" says that his country is changing its position and "we are in a spiritual search for ourselves", and it is sensitive to changes.

 

However, Dugin confirms - in the first part of his meeting in the episode (14/11/2021) of the "The Interview" program - that Western tendency is still largely present within Russia, and there is a liberal elite and strong resistance to President Putin's reforms on the part of liberal intellectuals, and that This Western tendency hinders the special orientation of Russia.

 

He also believes that other civilizations have the right to rely on their own political teachings that are based on their own values, not on Western values.

 

He indicated in the context of his review of his identical vision with his president's on the Chechen issue, which he said Putin had found a solution for, as well as with regard to Georgia and Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimea in 2014.

 

Fourth political theory

The Russian thinker Alexander Dugin focused in the second part of his interview with the "The Interview" program on the fourth political theory, which he said is an anti-capitalist tendency, and talked about his vision of terrorism and its relations with Iran and Turkey.

 

Dugin described the fourth political theory as the theory of revolution and decolonization for Russian society, and it defends the originality of Russian civilization and human rights, but not according to Western values, which he said are not totalitarian and are unacceptable neither in Russia, nor in the Islamic world, nor in China.

 

Definition of terrorism

In the interview, Ali Al-Dhafiri's guest linked the issue of defining terrorism to the interests of states, and gave an example of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said that he supported Washington's position after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and in return was waiting for the US administration to classify those he called the Chechen separatists in the category of Terrorists, which did not happen, and the Russian thinker says that Putin understood at that time the meaning of geopolitical considerations.

 

In another context, Dugin - one of the most prominent political theorists in Russia - saw that Iran is an ally of Russia and is one of the opponents of globalization and American leadership, and that radical Sunni Islam in the Arab world had supported the American strategy in the MiddleEast, but the new generation of leaders - continues the speaker - In SaudiArabia, Qatar and Egypt, he is looking for a new approach to Arab Sunni Islam, and he believes that staying in the orbit of American policy is bad for the Islamic world.

 

He also talked about his ideas, and said that he is a supporter of Islamic traditional values ​​in Iran, but nevertheless he has strong relations with Turkey, noting in his touch on Russia's future that Russia is Putin and he determines everything in politics, to conclude his speech by saying that in his country "the law does not something and rule everything."

 

It is noteworthy that after Putin took power in Russia, a new phase began in Dugin's political activity when he moved from the radical opposition camp to the pro-power camp.

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

And the winner is: Assad

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017   No comments
The US is increasingly moving away from its anti-Assad course. The Syrian president appears increasingly confident, announcing that conditions will apply to countries wanting to rejig their relationship with Syria. 
  On Sunday, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad gave a speech in front of dozens of his country's diplomats. He came across as confident: Among other things, he declared that there would be no cooperation with countries "that do not clearly and definitively cut their ties to terrorism."

This dig was aimed at several states, including some Arab ones, especially on the Arabian Peninsula. It also refers to a number of European countries – and the United States. Assad accuses them of collaborating with "terrorists."

Assad has reason to be optimistic. He gave this speech three days after a jihadist drove into and killed 14 people in Barcelona, injuring more than 100. Attacks like these are a gift to the Syrian president: They help make him look like a potential partner to those who have, until now, opposed him. Hardly a week goes by the West without an IS-backed terror attack, Assad told the assembled diplomats, adding: "This fact has forced Western politicians to change their attitude" towards Syria.

...

It does seem that Assad is going to stay in power, at least for the time being. He has succeeded in presenting himself as a bulwark against jihadism. From his point of view, this portrayal makes absolute sense. But if the Sunnis should come to the conclusion that they were now facing an alliance of Shiites, Russia and the USA, this would probably once again fuel jihadism. The American think tanks warn that, if this should happen, the terrorism we are seeing now would be just the precursor to a subsequent, even more brutal expression. Source


Thursday, August 10, 2017

'Islam is in a transformative process'

    Thursday, August 10, 2017   No comments
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
Muslims feel conflicted about certain aspects of historical Islam, says the Islamic scholar Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im. How does the notion of Sharia fit within the idea of a secular state?
Sharia in a secular state -  isn't that a contradiction in terms?
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im: The question is: what does one mean by Sharia? People tend to think of the legal end of it, as if that is the whole principle of Sharia. But Sharia consists of the whole normative system of Islam founded in the Koran, the Sunna and the hadith, or tradition of the Prophet. So it is not possible - even in a secular state - to deny Muslims the right to turn to Sharia to answer questions such as how to pray or how to fast.   

Sharia cannot be enforced by the state anywhere. There is absolutely no possibility to enact Sharia as a law of the state whether it be in a so-called "Muslim majority country" or a tiny Muslim minority anywhere. The nature of Sharia defies codification. It is about the interpretation that people choose through their own conviction.

So what is Sharia for you?
Sharia provides moral guidance for Muslim individuals. State and religion should be clearly separated. For me, as a Muslim, I need the state to be secular so that I can practice Islam through conviction and choice. The need of the state to be secular derives from an Islamic point of view; it has nothing to do with the European Enlightenment. The state has nothing to do with my being a believer or an atheist.

If state and religion are to be clearly separated, what role can religion play in public discourse?

I make a distinction between the state and politics. The state has nothing to do with Islam, but politics is a field where religion is always relevant. You cannot keep religion out of politics. Just like the CDU [editor's note: Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats] in Germany believes that its political platform is inspired by Christianity, believers - whatever their religion - act politically out of their conviction as believers. Whether you ban Sharia from politics or not, Muslims will continue to act in ways that are consistent with their understanding of Sharia. You cannot prevent that possibility unless you disenfranchise Muslims. source...

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.  ...

Monday, March 07, 2016

Early Medieval Muslim Graves in France: First Archaeological, Anthropological and Palaeogenomic Evidence

    Monday, March 07, 2016   No comments
On the outskirts of the ancient Roman city of Nimes in southern France, archaeologists have discovered the graves of three Muslim men that date back to the 8th century.

The finding, reported Wednesday in PLOS One, suggests the early medieval presence of Muslims north of the Pyrenees was more complicated, and perhaps more welcome, than previously thought.

The medieval history of Muslims in Spain and Portugal is well established, but information about the experience of Muslims in France during the same time period has been more difficult to find.

According to historical documents, around the year 719, Muslim troops from the Umayyad army crossed the eastern Pyrenees and occupied the region around Narbonne 530 miles south of modern-day Paris. But the occupation was short-lived. By 760, the Franks, who came from the north, took over the region known as Septimania.
Very little known is about these early invaders. Historians cannot say for sure whether they lived in garrisons or created more long-term establishments, or what cities they could be found in. They don't even know if the occupiers were Arabs, Berbers or converts.

And that's why the three Muslim graves that date back to this time period are so valuable.

"They could start to answer these questions," said Yves Gleize, who studies archaeo-anthropology at the University of Bordeaux and was the lead author on the study.


Abstract

The rapid Arab-Islamic conquest during the early Middle Ages led to major political and cultural changes in the Mediterranean world. Although the early medieval Muslim presence in the Iberian
Peninsula is now well documented, based in the evaluation of archeological and historical sources, the Muslim expansion in the area north of the Pyrenees has only been documented so far through textual sources or rare archaeological data. Our study provides the first archaeo-anthropological testimony of the Muslim establishment in South of France through the multidisciplinary analysis of three graves excavated at Nimes. First, we argue in favor of burials that followed Islamic rites and then note the presence of a community practicing Muslim traditions in Nimes. Second, the radiometric dates obtained from all three human skeletons (between the 7th and the 9th centuries AD) echo historical sources documenting an early Muslim presence in southern Gaul (i.e., the first half of 8th century AD). Finally, palaeogenomic analyses conducted on the human remains provide arguments in favor of a North African ancestry of the three individuals, at least considering the paternal lineages. Given all of these data, we propose that the skeletons from the Nimes burials belonged to Berbers integrated into the Umayyad army during the Arab expansion in North Africa. Our discovery not only discusses the first anthropological and genetic data concerning the Muslim occupation of the Visigothic territory of Septimania but also highlights the complexity of the relationship between the two communities during this period.

Source

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Majoritarianism-driven democracy and the rise of authoritarianism in Turkey

    Sunday, March 06, 2016   No comments
Turkey has become a rogue state - and even Erdogan must face up to the fact

Under the AKP government, in power since 2002, Turkey risks not only being regarded as a rogue state but its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also risks being branded as a rogue president. Erdogan -  who is already known to meddle with the rule of law, the size of families, young people’s sex lives, smoking, drinking alcohol, art and architecture - has this time excelled himself.

The Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that to hold two journalists in pre-trial detention for 92 days because of their coverage of a covert shipment of weapons to Syrian insurgents was a violation of their rights, and also of their freedom of expression and of the freedom of the press.

When the Turkish secular daily Cumhuriyet last May published video footage of trucks belonging to the Turkish intelligence organisation MIT and their contents, Erdogan vowed that those responsible for the story would “pay a heavy price” and filed a lawsuit against them.The two journalists were released (they will still stand trial for charges that include espionage and seeking to overthrow the government), but Erdogan stated he would neither abide by, nor respect, the Constitutional Court’s ruling.

Monday, February 22, 2016

#IslamicSocietiesReview : BBC report, al-Qaeda in Yemen on the same front as the Saudi Coalition

    Monday, February 22, 2016   No comments
BBC reported that it now has evidence that al-Qaeda in Yemen is fighting on the same front as the Saudi coalition.

The Saudi rulers launched a brutal war that killed tens of thousands of civilians in Yemen, has also created a foothold for al-Qaeda and ISIL in that country. For instance, when the Saudi coalition pushed the Yemeni army and their Houthi allies out of Aden, al-Qaeda and ISIL moved in and they are now in control of many neighborhoods  of that city.

Despite the Saudi rhetoric that they are committed to fighting terrorism, the kingdom's military did not attack, in any significant way, al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen or anywhere else. That makes their offer to send troops to fight ISIL in Syria highly suspicious. 


Saudi Arabian rulers are interested in staying in power, not fight terrorists who espouse Wahhabi-Salafism, which is deeply rooted in Saudi society.

Sources: BBC
 

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. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Indirectly confirming Turkey's implicit support for ISIL, U.S. official calls on Turkey to "do more" in anti-ISIL fight

    Thursday, January 21, 2016   No comments
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said Turkey "can do more" in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, particularly by tightening its border to stop the flow of resources and foreign fighters.

"Turkey occupies a key position in the coalition -- it is hosting aircraft and making other contributions," Carter told reporters in Paris, where he has been meeting defence ministers from several countries involved in the anti-ISIL coalition.   

"I do believe that Turkey can do more, and therefore the kind of campaign plan I was discussing with other ministers... would very, very much benefit from a stronger effort by Turkey," he added.


He said the priority for Turkey, a NATO member, was gaining greater control over its "long and difficult border" with Iraq and Syria.   

"The Turkish border is a place where ISIL fighters have gone back and forth, logistics and supplies for ISIL have been furnished," said Carter.

"Just as I am asking everybody else in the coalition to step up and do more... just as the US military is doing more, so we would like to see Turkey to do more also."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Showing the growing strategic difference with the US and converging interests with Saudi Arabia: Israeli DM declares that he prefers ISIS to Iran

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016   No comments
Evidence is mounting that the Middle East is entering a new era. Days after the Iran Deal, which mainly ended the US-Iran nuclear dispute, Israeli leaders are now taking public steps to align themselves with Saudi Arabia and the groups that country supports and distancing itself from the U.S. 
Speaking today at a security conference in Tel Aviv, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon declared that he “prefers ISIS” over Iran, and does not consider ISIS to pose a serious threat to the Israeli state, saying Iran will always remain “the main enemy.”

Ya’alon insisted that he believes ISIS will be defeated at any rate, what with the US launching strikes on their oil supplies, but that he’d much rather see ISIS rule all of Syria, and consequently be directly on Israel’s border, than have the pro-Iran government remain in power.


Ya’alon’s declaration was a lot more public than most, but not really outside of long-standing Israeli policy, and the defense minister laid out a similar argument around the notion of an apocalyptic “clash of civilizations” between Israel and the Shi’ite world, believing that the Sunnis, like ISIS, are practically on their side.

Not that ISIS sees it that way. While they’ve been more focused on attacking Shi’ites than attacking Israel so far, they’ve made multiple statements about their plans to expand into Palestine and fight against Israeli forces. Israel’s military chief warned only yesterday that ISIS may soon turn its focus to attacking Israel and Jordan.

source: www.ynetnews.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Istanbul suicide bomber identified as Saudi, not Syrian, as previously speculated

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016   No comments
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suicide bomber who killed 10 tourists by blowing himself up in Istanbul’s touristic Sultanahmet Square has been identified as a Saudi national who recently appealed to a district directorate of migration management to seek asylum in Turkey.

The bomber, identified as 28-year-old Nabil Fadli, applied for asylum to the Zeytinburnu Migration Management Directorate in the Istanbul district on Jan. 5, security sources said.


According to reports, the man arrived at the center alongside four other men and remained in his declared address for a few days.

Fadli’s identity was uncovered as crime scene investigators found one of the militant’s finger tips at the site of the explosion.

Police are continuing an extensive investigation to apprehend Fadli’s accomplices, as well as the men who accompanied him on Jan. 5.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Turkey’s silence on Saudi Arabia’s execution of Shiite cleric

    Tuesday, January 05, 2016   No comments
by MEHMET Y. YILMAZ

The Middle East has gone even deeper into turmoil since “our ally” Saudi Arabia, with which we recently established a “high-level strategic council,” executed a prominent Shiite cleric.

You will remember that Turkey and Qatar also signed a military deal a short while ago, and we will construct a military base in Qatar against the “common enemy.”

Considering the 3,600 km distance between Turkey and Qatar, I recently asked who could be this “common enemy.” It is not too difficult to find the answer. The only power that Qatar is afraid of is Iran.

Now, our “high-level strategic partner” Saudi Arabia is on the verge of war with Iran. They have cut diplomatic ties; harsh statements are flying in the air.

It would not be surprising to see Qatar getting involved in this verbal fight. Indeed, Bahrain cut its relations with Tehran yesterday.

Turkey is now in the midst of a conflict that should be of no interest. Turkey is in no position to either intervene to decrease the tension or to stand aside.

That is where we have ended up thanks to the Erdoğan-Davutoğlu duo’s foreign policy. We will all pay the price for them resorting to cheap campaign propaganda whenever critics warned “let’s not slide into Middle Eastern swamp.”

What is the reason behind the silence?

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the cleric who was executed in Saudi Arabia, had nothing to do with violence. In fact, he condemned violence and he was against all dictators in the Islamic world - including Bashar al–Assad.

In an interview with the BBC in 2011 he said he preferred “the roar of the word against authorities to weapons.”

“The weapon of the word is stronger than bullets, because the authorities profit from a battle with weapons,” he said.

Now, the execution of this cleric who preached peace could set off a period where only guns do the talking.

What I find strange is the fact that Turkey has remained silent up to now. It is silent about the killing of a cleric who has stood up to tyrants.

There is no word from a government that says it stands with all the oppressed, regardless of their identity. The Foreign Ministry is silent.

Isn’t this silence of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which reacted so harshly against death sentences that were not even carried out in Egypt, perplexing?

If a Muslim cleric was executed in a Buddhist country, would they have stayed silent like this?

Why this silence? Is it because the killers this time are the Saudis? Or is it because the cleric is Shiite?  source

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Saudi Arabia beheads 43 and fusillades 4 in one day including Shia cleric

    Saturday, January 02, 2016   No comments
Saudi Arabia beheads 43
Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric and dozens of al Qaeda members on Saturday, signalling it would not tolerate attacks by either sunni jihadists or minority shi'ites seeking equality, but stirring sectarian anger across the region.

Scores of Shi'ite Muslims marched through the Qatif district of Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province in protest at the execution of cleric Nimr al-Nimra, an eyewitness said. They chanted "down with the Al Saud", the name of the ruling Saudi royal family.

But most of the 47 executed in the kingdom's biggest mass execution for decades were Sunnis convicted of al Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia a decade ago. Four, including Nimr, were Shi'ites accused of shooting policemen.

Saudi rulers beheaded 43, shot 4 in one day

The executions took place in 12 cities in Saudi Arabia, four prisons using firing squads and the others beheading. In December, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula threatened to retaliate against Saudi Arabia for any execution of its members.

Riyadh's main regional rival Iran and its Shi'ite allies immediately reacted with vigorous condemnation of the execution of Nimr, and Saudi police raised security in a district where the sect is a majority in case of protests, residents said.

However, the executions seemed mostly aimed at discouraging Saudis from jihadism after bombings and shootings by Sunni militants in Saudi Arabia over the past year killed dozens and Islamic State called on followers there to stage attacks.

Saudi Arabia's ruling Al Saud family has grown increasingly nervous in recent years as turmoil across the Middle East, especially Syria and Iraq, has empowered Sunni jihadist groups that seek to bring it down and given opportunities to Shi'ite Iran to spread its influence.

The simultaneous execution of 47 people - 45 saudis, one Egytian and a man from Chad - was the biggest mass execution for security offences in Saudi Arabia since the 1980 killing of 63 jihadist rebels who seized Mecca's Grand Mosque in 1979. 

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