Tag Archives: Islamic state

this day in the yesteryear: Six-Day War Begins (1967)


Six-Day War Begins (1967)

After a period of relative calm, border incidents between Israel and Syria, Egypt, and Jordan increased during the early 1960s. Palestinian guerrilla attacks on Israel from bases in Syria led to increased hostility between the two countries. After Egypt signed a defense treaty with Jordan, Israel launched a preemptive air strike against the three Arab states, capturing the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Old City of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. How many were killed in the fighting? More… Discuss

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Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream


Read the article “Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept.” here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417679/malice-toward-nun-nina-shea

Sister Diana wants to tell Americans about ISIS persecution of Christians in Iraq, but the State Department won’t let her in. Why is the United States barring a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun — an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS — from coming to Washington to testify about this catastrophe? Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group’s only Christian from Iraq. Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected.

via Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream.

Catholic News Agency: For Middle East Christians, UN indifference is deadly


Refugees who have fled from ISIS and arrived in Ankawa, in the northern part of Erbil, Iraq. Credit: www.ankawa.com.

Refugees who have fled from ISIS and arrived in Ankawa, in the northern part of Erbil, Iraq. Credit: http://www.ankawa.com. Refugees who have fled from ISIS and arrived in Ankawa, in the northern part of Erbil, Iraq. Credit: http://www.ankawa.com.

For Middle East Christians, UN indifference is deadly

.- Inaction on the part of the United Nations and international community toward the brutality of ISIS has drawn criticism from a refugee and scholar who says the lives of Christians are at risk.

Raad Salam Naaman, a Chaldean Catholic and professor of Islamic Studies, sees a “totally deplorable and very strange” attitude on the part of the United Nations and the international community in the face of “the murders and crimes” of the Islamic State.

He told CNA that the international community is acting “as if Middle Eastern Christians mean nothing to them,” despite their sufferings under the violent Islamic radicals.

“They don’t care about the expansion and growth of this group,” said Naaman, who teaches Arabic philology and Islamic Studies at Complutense University of Madrid.

Born near Mosul, the professor has lived as a political refugee in Spain since 1991.

For Naaman, the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, is not a state but a “band of murderers and thieves.”

He charged that the group is “the fruit of the so called ‘Arab Spring,’ one of the many mistakes made by the West.” He said the Arab Spring uprisings “aided these revolts and protests pulled off by Islamic radicals.” Many of the radicals had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and helped overthrow governments run by secular Arab dictators, he argued.

The year 2010 marked the beginning of several popular “Arab Spring” uprisings that has toppled the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.  Political instability and sometimes violence followed. An uprising against Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad unleashed a civil war now in its fourth year.

There is continued political instability in Iraq, which has worsened since the withdrawal of American troops between 2010 and 2011.

The Islamic State group, especially active in Iraq and Syria, witnessed significant successes in 2014 when it took the major city of Mosul. The group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, then proclaimed an Islamic caliphate in its territory in both countries. The group has imposed a strict version of Islamic law and persecuted Christians, other religious minorities, and Muslims they consider to be apostate. The group has enslaved women, murdered children, and destroyed churches.

It has encouraged radical groups such as the Libyan group Ansar al Sharia to join them. The Libyan group in February released a video of the beheading of 20 Coptic Christians from Egypt and a non-Christian from Chad.

Naaman said the Islamic State group “threatens our Western civilization and is a danger for the future of our human rights, for liberty and democracy which western society was able to attain after centuries of struggle.”

He said that the West should “correct its mistakes” and eliminate “this radical gang of Islamic murderers.”

In that respect, the Iraqi refugee echoes the call of the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who warned that rise of the caliphate in Libya demands “quick intervention.”

However, the cardinal said any military intervention should be “under the auspices of the U.N.”

Naaman said that bombing Islamic State targets will not eliminate them. He said the U.S. and the U.N. need to call for a U.N.-led coalition to attack the group and its followers “on the ground, and with a resolute army.”

“That is the only solution,” he said.

Naaman’s statements came as the Islamic State perpetrated a mass kidnapping of more than 200 Assyrian Christians in northwestern Syria. While at least 19 of the victims were released, it is feared the rest will be executed en masse.
 

Human Civilization Heritage – Historic Sites: Petra – Jordan (Listed by UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists) and Smithsonian Magazine’s – “28 Places to See Before You Die”


Petra

This article is about the Jordanian ancient city of Petra. For other uses, see Petra (disambiguation).
Petra
Al Khazneh.jpg

Al Khazneh or The Treasury at Petra
Location Ma’an Governorate, Jordan
Coordinates 30°19′43″N 35°26′31″ECoordinates: 30°19′43″N 35°26′31″E
Elevation 810 m (2,657 ft)
Built possibly as early as 5th century BC [1]
Visitation 580,000 (in 2007)
Governing body Petra Region Authority
 
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv
Designated 1985 (9th session)
Reference no. 326
State Party Jordan
Region Arab States
 
Website www.visitpetra.jo
Petra is located in Jordan

Petra
 
Location of Petra in Jordan

Petra (Arabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ; Ancient Greek: Πέτρα) is a historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma’an that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved.

Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans,[2] it is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan’s most-visited tourist attraction.[3] It lies on the slope of Jebel al-Madhbah (identified by some as the biblical Mount Hor[4]) in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as “a rose-red city half as old as time” in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”.[5] See: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. Petra was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the “28 Places to See Before You Die”.[6]

Geography

Pliny the Elder and other writers identify Petra as the capital of the Nabataeans and the center of their caravan trade. Enclosed by towering rocks and watered by a perennial stream, Petra not only possessed the advantages of a fortress, but controlled the main commercial routes which passed through it to Gaza in the west, to Bosra and Damascus in the north, to Aqaba and Leuce Come on the Red Sea, and across the desert to the Persian Gulf.

Map of Petra

 

The narrow passage (Siq) that leads to Petra

Excavations have demonstrated that it was the ability of the Nabataeans to control the water supply that led to the rise of the desert city, creating an artificial oasis. The area is visited by flash floods and archaeological evidence demonstrates the Nabataeans controlled these floods by the use of dams, cisterns and water conduits. These innovations stored water for prolonged periods of drought, and enabled the city to prosper from its sale.[7][8]

In ancient times, Petra might have been approached from the south on a track leading across the plain of Petra, around Jabal Haroun (“Aaron’s Mountain”), where the Tomb of Aaron, said to be the burial-place of Aaron, brother of Moses, is located. Another approach was possibly from the high plateau to the north. Today, most modern visitors approach the site from the east. The impressive eastern entrance leads steeply down through a dark, narrow gorge (in places only 3–4 m (9.8–13.1 ft) wide) called the Siq (“the shaft”), a natural geological feature formed from a deep split in the sandstone rocks and serving as a waterway flowing into Wadi Musa. At the end of the narrow gorge stands Petra’s most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (popularly known as and meaning “the Treasury”), hewn into the sandstone cliff. While remaining in remarkably preserved condition, the face of the structure is marked by hundreds of bullet holes made by the local Bedouin tribes that hoped to dislodge riches that were once rumored to be hidden within it.[9]

A little farther from the Treasury, at the foot of the mountain called en-Nejr, is a massive theatre, positioned so as to bring the greatest number of tombs within view. At the point where the valley opens out into the plain, the site of the city is revealed with striking effect. The amphitheatre has been cut into the hillside and into several of the tombs during its construction. Rectangular gaps in the seating are still visible. Almost enclosing it on three sides are rose-colored mountain walls, divided into groups by deep fissures and lined with knobs cut from the rock in the form of towers.

History

One of the many dwellings in Petra

 

General view of Petra

 

Some of the earliest recorded farmers settled in Beidha, a pre-pottery settlement just north of Petra, by 7000 BC.[10] Petra is listed in Egyptian campaign accounts and the Amarna letters as Pel, Sela or Seir. Though the city was founded relatively late, a sanctuary has existed there since very ancient times. Stations 19 through 26 of the stations list of Exodus are places associated with Petra.[11] This part of the country was biblically assigned to the Horites, the predecessors of the Edomites.[12] The habits of the original natives may have influenced the Nabataean custom of burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves. Although Petra is usually identified with Sela, which means a rock, the Biblical references[13] refer to it as “the cleft in the rock”, referring to its entrance. In the parallel passage, however, Sela is understood to mean simply “the rock” (2 Chronicles xxv. 12, see LXX).

Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews iv. 7, 1~ 4, 7), Eusebius and Jerome (Onom. sacr. 286, 71. 145, 9; 228, 55. 287, 94) assert that Rekem was the native name, and this name appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls[14] as a prominent Edomite site most closely describing Petra, and associated with Mount Seir. But in the Aramaic versions, Rekem is the name of Kadesh, implying that Josephus may have confused the two places. The Semitic name of the city, if not Sela, remains unknown. The passage in Diodorus Siculus (xix. 94–97) which describes the expeditions which Antigonus sent against the Nabataeans in 312 BC is understood to throw some light upon the history of Petra, but the “petra” referred to as a natural fortress and place of refuge cannot be a proper name and the description implies that the town was not yet in existence.

 
The Rekem Inscription before it was buried by the bridge abutments.

The name “Rekem” was inscribed in the rock wall of the Wadi Musa opposite the entrance to the Siq,[15] but about twenty years ago[timeframe?] the Jordanians built a bridge over the wadi and this inscription was buried beneath tons of concrete.[citation needed]

More satisfactory evidence of the date of the earliest Nabataean settlement may be obtained from an examination of the tombs. Two types of tombs have been distinguished: the Nabataean and the Greco-Roman. The Nabataean type starts from the simple pylon-tomb with a door set in a tower crowned by a parapet ornament, in imitation of the front of a dwelling-house. Then, after passing through various stages, the full Nabataean type is reached, retaining all the native features and at the same time exhibiting characteristics which are partly Egyptian and partly Greek. Of this type close parallels exist in the tomb-towers at Mada’in Saleh in north Arabia, which bear long Nabataean inscriptions and supply a date for the corresponding monuments at Petra. Then comes a series of tombfronts which terminate in a semicircular arch, a feature derived from north Syria. Finally come the elaborate façades copied from the front of a Roman temple; however, all traces of native style have vanished. The exact dates of the stages in this development cannot be fixed. Few inscriptions of any length have been found at Petra, perhaps because they have perished with the stucco or cement which was used upon many of the buildings. The simple pylon-tombs which belong to the pre-Hellenic age serve as evidence for the earliest period. It is not known how far back in this stage the Nabataean settlement goes, but it does not go back farther than the 6th century BC. A period follows in which the dominant civilization combines Greek, Egyptian and Syrian elements, clearly pointing to the age of the Ptolemies. Towards the close of the 2nd century BC, when the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms were equally depressed, the Nabataean kingdom came to the front. Under Aretas III Philhellene, (c.85–60 BC), the royal coins begin. The theatre was probably excavated at that time, and Petra must have assumed the aspect of a Hellenistic city. In the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris, (9 BC–40 AD), the tombs of the el-I~ejr[clarification needed] type may be dated, and perhaps also the High-place.

Roman rule

In 106 AD, when Cornelius Palma was governor of Syria, the part of Arabia under the rule of Petra was absorbed into the Roman Empire as part of Arabia Petraea and became its capital. The native dynasty came to an end but the city continued to flourish under Roman rule. It was around this time that the Petra Roman Road was built. A century later, in the time of Alexander Severus, when the city was at the height of its splendor, the issue of coinage comes to an end. There is no more building of sumptuous tombs, owing apparently to some sudden catastrophe, such as an invasion by the neo-Persian power under the Sassanid Empire. Meanwhile, as Palmyra (fl. 130–270) grew in importance and attracted the Arabian trade away from Petra, the latter declined. It appears, however, to have lingered on as a religious centre. Another Roman road was constructed at the site. Epiphanius of Salamis (c.315–403) writes that in his time a feast was held there on December 25 in honor of the virgin Khaabou (Chaabou) and her offspring Dushara (Haer. 51).[citation needed]

Byzantine era – decline

Petra declined rapidly under Roman rule, in large part from the revision of sea-based trade routes. In 363 an earthquake destroyed many buildings, and crippled the vital water management system.[16] The last inhabitants abandoned the city (further weakened by another major earthquake in 551) when the Arabs conquered the region in 663. The ruins of Petra were an object of curiosity in the Middle Ages and were visited by Sultan Baibars of Egypt towards the end of the 13th century. The first European to describe them was Swiss traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.

Because the structures weakened with age, many of the tombs became vulnerable to thieves, and many treasures were stolen. In 1929, a four-person team, consisting of British archaeologists Agnes Conway and George Horsfield, Palestinian physician and folklore expert Dr Tawfiq Canaan and Dr Ditlef Nielsen, a Danish scholar, excavated and surveyed Petra.[17]

T. E. Lawrence

 Petra siq in 1947 (left) compared with the same location in 2013

In October 1917, as part of a general effort to divert Ottoman military resources away from the British advance before the Third Battle of Gaza, a revolt of Syrians and Arabians in Petra was led by British Army officer T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) against the Ottoman regime. The Bedouin women living in the vicinity of Petra and under the leadership of Sheik Khallil’s wife were gathered to fight in the revolt of the city. The rebellions, with the support of English military, were able to devastate the Ottoman forces.[18]

Religion

 The Theatre
See also: Nabataean art

The Nabataeans worshipped the Arab gods and goddesses of the pre-Islamic times as well as a few of their deified kings. One, Obodas I, was deified after his death. Dushara was the primary male god accompanied by his female trinity: Al-‘Uzzá, Allat and Manāt. Many statues carved in the rock depict these gods and goddesses.

A stele is dedicated to Qos-Allah ‘Qos is Allah’ or ‘Qos the god’, by Qosmilk (melech – king) is found at Petra (Glueck 516). Qos is identifiable with Kaush (Qaush) the God of the older Edomites. The stele is horned and the seal from the Edomite Tawilan near Petra identified with Kaush displays a star and crescent (Browning 28), both consistent with a moon deity. It is conceivable the latter could have resulted from trade with Harran (Bartlett 194). There is continuing debate about the nature of Qos (qaus – bow) who has been identified both with a hunting bow (hunting god) and a rainbow (weather god) although the crescent above is also a bow.

Nabatean inscriptions in Sinai and other places display widespread references to names including Allah, El and Allat (god and goddess), with regional references to al-Uzza, Baal and Manutu (Manat) (Negev 11). Allat is also found in Sinai in South Arabian language. Allah occurs particularly as Garm-‘allahi – god dedided (Greek Garamelos) and Aush-allahi – ‘gods covenant’ (Greek Ausallos). We find both Shalm-lahi ‘Allah is peace’ and Shalm-allat, ‘the peace of the goddess’. We also find Amat-allahi ‘she-servant of god’ and Halaf-llahi ‘the successor of Allah’.[19]

The Monastery, Petra’s largest monument, dates from the 1st century BC. It was dedicated to Obodas I and is believed to be the symposium of Obodas the god. This information is inscribed on the ruins of the Monastery (the name is the translation of the Arabic “Ad Deir“).

Christianity found its way to Petra in the 4th century AD, nearly 500 years after the establishment of Petra as a trade center. Athanasius mentions a bishop of Petra (Anhioch. 10) named Asterius. At least one of the tombs (the “tomb with the urn”?) was used as a church. An inscription in red paint records its consecration “in the time of the most holy bishop Jason” (447). After the Islamic conquest of 629–632 Christianity in Petra, as of most of Arabia, gave way to Islam. During the First Crusade Petra was occupied by Baldwin I of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and formed the second fief of the barony of Al Karak (in the lordship of Oultrejordain) with the title Château de la Valée de Moyse or Sela. It remained in the hands of the Franks until 1189. It is still a titular see of the Catholic Church.[20]

Two Crusader-period castles are known in and around Petra. The first is al-Wu’ayra and is situated just north of Wadi Musa. It can be viewed from the road to “Little Petra”. It is the castle of Valle Moise which was seized by a band of Turks with the help of local Muslims and only recovered by the Crusaders after they began to destroy the olive trees of Wadi Musa. The potential loss of livelihood led the locals to negotiate surrender. The second is on the summit of el-Habis in the heart of Petra and can be accessed from the West side of the Qasr al-Bint.

According to Arab tradition, Petra is the spot where Moses (Musa) struck a rock with his staff and water came forth, and where Moses’ brother, Aaron (Harun), is buried, at Mount Hor, known today as Jabal Haroun or Mount Aaron. The Wadi Musa or “Wadi of Moses” is the Arab name for the narrow valley at the head of which Petra is sited. A mountaintop shrine of Moses’ sister Miriam was still shown to pilgrims at the time of Jerome in the 4th century, but its location has not been identified since.[21]

Threats to Petra

The site suffers from a host of threats, including collapse of ancient structures, erosion due to flooding and improper rainwater drainage, weathering from salt upwelling,[22] improper restoration of ancient structures, and unsustainable tourism.[23] The last has increased substantially, especially since the site received widespread media coverage in 2007 during the controversial New Seven Wonders of the World Internet and cell phone campaign.[24]

In an attempt to reduce the impact of these threats, Petra National Trust (PNT) was established in 1989. Over this time, it has worked together with numerous local and international organizations on projects that promote the protection, conservation and preservation of the Petra site.[25] Moreover, UNESCO and ICOMOS recently collaborated to publish their first book on human and natural threats to these sensitive World Heritage sites. They chose Petra as its first, and the most important example of threatened landscapes. A book released in 2012, Tourism and Archaeological Heritage Management at Petra: Driver to Development or Destruction?, was the first in a series of important books to address the very nature of these deteriorating buildings, cities, sites, and regions. The next books in the series of deteriorating UNESCO World Heritage Sites will include Macchu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and Pompeii. (25).

 
Camel sitting in front of Al Khazneh

Petra today

On December 6, 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site. Some of the sights of Petra are available on Google Street View.

In popular culture

Petra is the main topic in John William Burgon‘s sonnet (rhyme scheme aabbccddeeffgg) “Petra” which won the Newdigate Prize in 1845. The poem refers to Petra as the inaccessible city which he had heard described but had never seen:

It seems no work of Man’s creative hand,

by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;

But from the rock as if by magic grown,

eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!

Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,

where erst Athena held her rites divine;

Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,

that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;

But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,

that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;

The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,

which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,

match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,

a rose-red city half as old as time.

In 1977, the Lebanese Rahbani brothers wrote the musical “Petra” as a response to the Lebanese Civil War.[26]

The site is featured in films such as: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Arabian Nights, Passion in the Desert, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, The Mummy Returns and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

It was recreated for the video games Spy Hunter (2001), King’s Quest V, Lego Indiana Jones, Sonic Unleashed, Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade and Civilization V.

Petra appeared in the novels Left Behind Series, Appointment with Death, The Eagle in the Sand, The Red Sea Sharks, the nineteenth book in The Adventures of Tintin series and in Kingsbury’s The Moon Goddess and the Son. It featured prominently in the Marcus Didius Falco mystery novel Last Act in Palmyra. In Blue Balliett‘s novel, Chasing Vermeer, the character Petra Andalee is named after the site.[27]

The Sisters of Mercy filmed their music video for “Dominion/Mother Russia” in and around Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”) in February 1988.

In 1994 Petra featured in the video to the Urban Species video Spiritual Love.

Petra was featured in episode 3 of the 2010 series An Idiot Abroad.

In 1979 Marguerite van Geldermalsen from New Zealand married Mohammed Abdullah, a Bedouin in Petra.[28] They lived in a cave in Petra until the death of her husband. She authored the book Married to a Bedouin. Geldermalsen is the only western woman who has ever lived in Petra.

Petra was featured in episode 20 of Misaeng_(TV_series). [29][30]

Sister cities

Views of Petra
The road to the Siiq 
The Siiq, path to Petra 
El Deir (“The Monastery”) 
Byzantine mosaic in the Byzantine Church of Petra 
The end of the Siq, with its dramatic view of Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”) 
The Hadrian Gate and the Cardo Maximus in Petra 
Petra is known as the Rose-Red City[31] for the colour of the rocks from which Petra is carved 
The Great Temple of Petra 
Ad Deir (“The Monastery”) in 1839, by David Roberts 
The Petra Visitors Centre in Wadi Musa, the closest town to the historic site 
Drimia maritima bulbs in Petra in early December (2010) 
Sandstone Rock-cut tombs (Kokhim) in Petra 
Obelisk Tomb and the Triclinium 
Street of Façades 
The Silk Tomb 
Uneishu Tomb 
Lonely cave 
Sandstone rocks 
Main entrance (Al Khazneh) 
Theatre 
General view 
Ancient columns 
Tourist attraction 

See also

Petra one of the most Mysterious Archaeological Sites on Earth [FULL DOCUMENTARY]

this pressed for your compationate heart (hertz, inima, coeur, 心 , corazón, from https://translate.google.com/#auto/es/heart: Flash – Pope offers Christmas phone greetings to Iraqi refugees – France 24


24 December 2014 – 20H47

Pope offers Christmas phone greetings to Iraqi refugees

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© AFP/File | Pope Francis waves to the crowd at St Peter‘s Square on December 17, 2014, at the Vatican
VATICAN CITY (AFP) – (press here – if you wish-but nothing will happen 🙂 )

 

 

Pope Francis spoke by telephone to Iraqis living in a displaced people’s camp near the main Kurdish city Arbil on Wednesday, assuring them they were in his Christmas thoughts.

The refugees were among those driven from their homes around Mosul last summer in an offensive by the jihadist Islamic State group (IS), and the pontiff used a satellite phone connection provided by Catholic channel TV 2000 to offer them his support.

via Flash – Pope offers Christmas phone greetings to Iraqi refugees – France 24.

******this pressed for your compationate heart (hertz, inima, coeur, 心 , corazón, from https://translate.google.com/#auto/es/heart******

this pressed for your right to know: BBC News – Jihadism: Tracking a month of deadly attacks


Jihadist attacks killed more than 5,000 people in just one month, an investigation by the BBC and King’s College London has found.

Civilians bore the brunt of the violence, with more than 2,000 killed in reported jihadist incidents during November 2014. Islamic State carried out the most attacks, adding to the spiralling death toll in Iraq and Syria. Explore the map to find out more.

via BBC News – Jihadism: Tracking a month of deadly attacks.

Happy Thanksgiving! – this pressed: Pope condemns Islamic State violence against Christians in interview


Pope condemns Islamic State violence against Christians in interview

JERUSALEM – On the eve of a trip to the Middle East, Pope Francis is urging religious and political leaders to speak out against attacks on Christians by Islamic State extremists.

In an interview published Thursday, Francis was quoted as saying that the persecution of Christians today is “the worst” it has been since Christianity‘s earliest days. “In Iraq, for example, barbaric, criminal indescribable things are being committed,” he was quoted as telling the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.

Francis told the newspaper that the persecution of Christians, Yazidis and other ethnic communities requires both political and religious leaders, especially Muslims, to “take a clear and brave stand.”

Francis is set to travel to Turkey on Friday for a three-day visit.

Yediot said it would publish the full interview on Friday.

via Pope condemns Islamic State violence against Christians in interview.

this pressed: Flash – Turkey’s Erdogan attacks US ‘impertinence’ on Syria – France 24


AFP/File | US-led air strikes have prevented Islamic State militants from capturing the Syrian border town of Kobane

26 November 2014 – 14H45

Turkey‘s Erdogan attacks US ‘impertinence’ on Syria

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ISTANBUL (AFP) –

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday slammed US “impertinence” on the Syrian conflict, exposing the extent of strains between Washington and Ankara days after his key meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden.

Ties between the the US and Turkey have soured in recent months over the reluctance of Turkish leaders to intervene militarily in the US-led campaign against the Islamic State jihadists, who have taken control of swathes of Iraq and Syria.

In an indication of the tensions that remain between the two NATO allies, Erdogan accused the US of being “impertinent” for pressuring it to help save the besieged Syrian town of Kobane, which is within sight of the Turkish border.

“Why is somebody coming to this region from 12,000 kilometres (7,000 miles) away?” Erdogan said during an address to a group of businessmen in Ankara, in a clear reference to the US.

“I want you to know that we are against impertinence, recklessness and endless demands,” he said.

Biden had personally stung Erdogan last month by suggesting his policies in supporting Islamist rebel forces in Syria had helped encourage the rise of the IS militant group, a slight that prompted Erdogan to warn his relationship with the US number two could be “history”.

Washington is pressing Ankara for the use of the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey by US jets launching assaults on IS.

via Flash – Turkey’s Erdogan attacks US ‘impertinence’ on Syria – France 24.

this pressed: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stepping down, Fox News confirms | Fox News


Embedded image permalink

Published November 24, 2014

FoxNews.com

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will officially resign amid growing pressure from the Obama administration over his handling of several international crises, Fox News has confirmed.

Hagel, 68, is expected to meet with President Obama at the White House at 11 a.m.
Hagel, a Republican, is the first member of Obama’s team to step down following the midterm elections.

He took office Feb.27, 2013.

via Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stepping down, Fox News confirms | Fox News.

Two of Islamic State’s captured jets destroyed, Syria says|AP, Reuters|Globe and Mail|EUZICASA|


Smoke and flames rise after an explosion in the Syrian town of Kobani on Oct. 20, 2014. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Two of Islamic State‘s captured jets destroyed, Syria says Associated Press and Reuters Published Wednesday, Oct. 22 2014, 5:05 AM EDT Last updated Wednesday, Oct. 22 2014, 9:56 AM EDT

Two of Islamic State’s captured jets destroyed, Syria says

This pressed for your right to know: US aircraft drop arms and supplies to Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State in Syrian town of Kobane – US Central Command — BBC Breaking News


this pressed: BBC News – Iraq approves Australian anti-Islamic State forces


Islamic State has waged a brutal campaign to seize territory, displacing many thousands

Kurds are desperate for help, but Turkey is refusing to renege on its long-standing enmity

“We have reached an agreement for a legal framework and now it will be a matter for our military when our special forces will be deployed,” Ms Bishop said at the end of a two-day trip to Baghdad.

Despite a huge effort by the US and its allies, Islamic State militants are continuing to rule over large parts of Iraq and Syria.

In recent weeks, the group has carried out a wave of suicide attacks, and has fended off attacks by Iraq’s armed forces.

Militants are also embroiled in fighting with Kurdish forces in the northern Syrian town of Kobane.

BBC News – Iraq approves Australian anti-Islamic State forces.

this pressed- for the record: BBC News – Syria: Kobane siege death toll ‘passes 500’


At least 553 people are said to have died in a month of fighting for Kobane, the Kurdish town just inside Syria under Islamic State (IS) attack.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based Syrian opposition body which monitors the conflict, counted 298 IS fighters among the dead.

via BBC News – Syria: Kobane siege death toll ‘passes 500’.

word: tacit


tacit 

Definition: (adjective) Implied by or inferred from actions or statements.
Synonyms: understood, silent
Usage: Management has given its tacit approval to the plan. Discuss.

From Democracy Now: After U.S. Sanctions & Wars Tore Iraq Apart, Can American-Led Strikes Be Expected to Save It?


After U.S. Sanctions & Wars Tore Iraq Apart, Can American-Led Strikes Be Expected to Save It?


Flood of Syrian Refugees Crossing into Turkey

In just the past few days, well over 100,000 Syrians have fled into Turkey, and many tens of thousands more may soon follow. The recent influx—the largest in such a short period since the start of Syria’s civil war more than three years ago—is being driven by Islamic State advances in the heavily Kurdish area of Kobane, also known as Ayn al-Arab. The surge is straining resources already stretched to the limit by the 1.3 million Syrian refugees that had made their way into Turkey prior to this. More… Discuss

this pressed from Newsweek: Egyptian Islamic Authority Issues Fatwas Against Selfies and Chatting Online


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Egyptian Islamic Authority Issues Fatwas Against Selfies and Chatting Online.

Egyptian Islamic Authority Issues Fatwas Against Selfies and Chatting Online.

this pressed from National Geographic: Iraqi Christians Weigh Taking Up Arms Against the Islamic State


Photo of  woman kissing a small boy in front of the Mar Tshmony church. Iraqi Christians Weigh Taking Up Arms Against the Islamic State.

this pressed from the telegraph : Twitter suspends Islamic State accounts – Telegraph


Twitter suspends Islamic State accounts – Telegraph.

this pressed from Vatican News: Papal envoy to Iraq meets displaced Christians and Yazidis Vatican Radio


Papal envoy to Iraq meets displaced Christians and Yazidis Vatican Radio.

In Malaysia, Islam’s legal advance divides families and nation | Reuters


 

In Malaysia, Islam’s legal advance divides families and nation | Reuters.