Tag Archives: ISIS

MPs Debate The Combat Role of UK In Iraq

In a recent happening, the Conservatives offered additional aid for the battle against IS militants on Monday. Foreign Affairs Minister of the UK, John Baird, has pledged to provide a support of $10 million for treatment and services to Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have been victims of the war. Moreover, Baird also made an announcement regarding the joint UK Canada mission for assessment of Iraqi victims and what can be done to provide them solace in the present times.

The NDP leader, Tom Mulcair on the other hand has taken active steps to the Iraqi motion of the government. The biggest amendment in the NDP is to block the Canadian troops from attacking any part of Iraq. In addition, it has also prevented the transportation of weapons for three months but requires permission from the House before extending the mission.

Although, the Conservatives argued that it was impossible to curtail the IS militants without attacking the members, the NDP argued for humanitarian aid and the Liberals argued on the absence of a detailed plan as to what will happen and what still needs to be done.

According to latest reports, Baird has been calling upon the Members of the Parliament to treat the issues seriously, but also made some remarks about the standings of the Liberal Party.

“My Canada protects the vulnerable. It challenges the aggressor. My Canada doesn’t leave all the heavy lifting to others,” Baird said. “There was a time when the Liberal Party believed in that.”

On the other hand Marc Garneu, foreign Affairs critic, has said that there is not much room for Canadian forces to join the combat mission against IS in Iraq. “The prime minister is taking us across the Rubicon by deciding on a combat mission,” Garneau said. “Once a country makes that decision, there is no turning back the clock…. It is no simple matter to cross back over, and we all know this conflict is likely to last a long time.​”

According to multiple sources, up until last Friday the contributions of the Canadian forces included six CF 18 jets, two Aurora Surveillance planes and one heavy lift plane. The Canadian troop will contain 600 personnel, and the mission will continue over Iraq, unless the Canadian troops have access to Syrian grounds to bomb IS territory.  However, the Canadian deployment will be limited to a period of six months only.

Refugees and Kurds from Syria Clash with Turkish Forces

The refugees and Syrian Kurds have clashed with the Turkish forces on the Turkey and Syria border. The Turkish troops had to use water cannons and tear gas to disperse the angry mob in Syria, where the IS militants are trying to conquer Kobane.

On the other hand, unconfirmed reports from several sources claim that more than 35 IS militants have been killed in US led coalition air strikes over the past months.

Last Friday, US Vice – President, Joe Biden criticized US allies in Arab and Turkey for supporting the Islamic militants, which prompted a sharp response from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President who said, “If Mr Biden used such language that would make him a man of the past for me.” He also went on to say, “No-one can accuse Turkey of having supported any terrorist organization in Syria, including IS.”

The air was rife with tension on the Turkish – Syrian border when Kurdish refugees from both the countries were chased by the military from a rocky hill on the Turkish side while watching the siege of Kobane. The demonstrators were supporting the Kurdish fighters trying to stop the progress of IS militants.

Although according to reports, Turkey has pledged to prevent the capture of Kobane by IS militants and the parliament has granted permission for military operations in both Syria and Turkey. That said, they have taken no action against the invading IS forces.

Currently, if IS forces capture Kobane and Ayn Al Arab, they will have control over most of Turkish – Syrian border. Reports from several sources confirm that 35 IS rebels have been killed in air strikes led by US, but most of the rebels have died in a different area, near and in the town of Shadadi. The US coalition force has confirmed that four air strikes have hit the city of Kobane overnight.

On the other hand, Bashar al Ashad, the Syrian president visited a mosque near Damascus on Saturday at the start of Muslim holiday. It is to be noted that the Syrian President has rarely been seen in public considering the fact that the Syrian government and its officials are continuously fighting the civil war against the rebellion groups in which more than the 190,000 people have been killed.

Air Strikes Against ISIS Useless, The Terror Continues

According to latest reports, the ISIS militants have moved more than a mile in the centre of the City of Kobane, without being deterred by the constant air strikes made by the Coalition force.

The war between the IS militants and the Syrian army continued despite another coalition air strike in the Kobane enclave according to Idris Nassan, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Kobane.

“There are fierce clashes between Isis and YPG [People’s Defence Corps] fighters, at the moment mainly to the south-east of the city. Isis now stands at two kilometers from the city centre,” told Nassan, “I can hear the bombs and shells here.”

“Air strikes alone are really not enough to defeat Isis in Kobane,” according to Nassan. “They are besieging the city on three sides, and fighter jets simply cannot hit each and every Isis fighter on the ground.”

He also added that ISIS militants are habituated with their tactics from the air strikes on them. He went on to say, “Each time a jet approaches they leave their open positions, scatter, and hide. What we really need is ground support. We need heavy weapons and ammunition in order to fend them off and defeat them.”

On the other hand, the co – chairman of Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Saleh Muslim, went to Ankhara this Friday to discuss Turkish support and assistance in defending Kobane against IS militants. According to reports, the security officials present in Ankhara have urged the Muslims to join the ranks of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to battle the IS militants in Kobane and to take an open stance against the open regime of Bashar Al Assad. On Sunday, the representatives of the Kurdish group  arrived at the borders of Turkey to form an allegiance by showing their support.

According to Nassan, help from the international community is being sought to defend Kobane from the rebels. He went on to say, “Mr Muslim’s trip to Ankara is part of that call. Since Turkey agreed to join the international coalition to fight Isis, we ask them to help us, too.”

Although the exact result of the meeting is still unknown, the Muslims have asked Ankara to allow the Syrian Kurdish associates to receive arms and support from outside Syria. The main problem here is the fact that if IS militants capture Kobane, they will be on the borders of Turkey which will be a major concern for Turkey as well.

Pakistani Talibans To Support IS In Iraq and Syria

The Pakistani Taliban have recently expressed their support for the IS militants in Iraq and Syria. In a statement made on the eve of the Muslim festival Eid, the Taliban group has requested the followers of Islam to unite against the common “enemy”, i.e. the US led alliance.

Although IS militants have taken over large parts of Iraq and Syria, they have also been battling rival militant groups linked with Al Qaeda. It is to be noted that the Pakistani Taliban group has been waging their own rebellion against the government in Islamabad since 1997.

On Saturday, while addressing the IS militants in Iraq and Syria, a statement was issued by Maulana Fazlullah, the leader of Tehrek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP). He said, “We are proud of your conquests against the enemies. We are with you in good and bad times. In these troubled days, we call on you to be patient and stay united as your enemies are now united against you. Forget rivalries.” He went on to say that the Muslim communities around the world would “stand by you in these tough times and help with what we can”.

However, several sources report that there have been little evidence in favor of an agreement between the Pakistani Taliban group and the IS militants. That being said, supporters of IS in Pakistan have recently been spotted in Peshawar and the north – western region of Pakistan while praising the group and distributing pamphlets to support the militants.

On Saturday, the Shia military and the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters moved the IS militants away from an important bridge near the city of Kirkuk. The IS militants have been advancing in several locations in Syria including Kobane, on the Turkish border. Incidentally, the Turkish borders have turned as a battleground for the IS militants and its opponents and the Kurdish fighters.

According to the latest reports, more than 160,000 Kurds have moved across the border since the launch of IS militant’s offensive last month on Koban. Moreover, more than 190,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Syria, which has been happening for the past three years. It is to be noted that the IS’s swift and undeterred advance has caused the US and its allies to plan and execute air strikes in Iraq since June 2014 to stop their advance and the loss of lives in Syria and Iraq.

British Jets Hit Their Targets In Iraq

isis missleAfter several failed attempts to hit the IS base in Iraq, British Tornados have finally managed to hit the weapons position manned by IS forces in a coalition mission led by US.

Two British Tornado jets took off from Cyprus to support the Iraqi government forces situated in the west of Baghdad and fired four missiles named Brimstone in a “precise attack” against two IS vehicles. Further strikes were also carried out on Wednesday. On Tuesday, September 30, the two British Tornados first carried out their strikes after the approval of military action by the House of Commons against Iraq. There were 22 attacks against ISIS militants in total – 11 in Iraq and 11 in Syria.

Although the Ministry of Defense has considered both strikes as successful, no figures have been revealed by the government as to number of ISIS supporters who have died in the attack. According to the Ministry of Defense, the strike on September 30 dropped a pave way IV guided bomb and a Brimstone missile to hit a heavy weapon position which was being manned by IS supporters and an armed pickup truck.

According to a spokesperson from the UK Ministry of Defense, “Following yesterday’s strikes on the ISIS terrorist organization, Royal Air Force aircrafts have seen further action overnight. Two Tornado GR4s from RAF Akrotiri, conducted an armed reconnaissance mission in support of Iraqi government forces west of Baghdad.”

The UK Tornados have been flying in Iraq on reconnaissance missions since mid August. However, their first air strikes paves way for Britain’s entry in the conflict against the IS militants, thereby joining the US, Arab and the European nations who have been targeting ISIS near Syria.

Bashar al – AssadPreviously, the US attacks on ISIS militants have been done without explicit permission from the President Bashar al – Assad, which has caused certain problems between the coalition force and the Syrian air defenses during Libyan operations in 2011.

It is to be noted that the House of Commons did not approve the UK operations in Syria previously, although the government has indicated that this position might be reviewed. According to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, “When we do release our weapons we have to be absolutely sure that they are against Isil targets, that they are not going to kill innocent Sunni Muslim civilians in areas that are occupied by Isil. Otherwise we are having the opposite of the effect we are intending to have”. He further said that the UK forces will not pressured to carry out air strikes in Iraq against the IS militants.