At 3 am ISIS terrorists launched today one of the most massive large-scale offensives on Sinjar since the takeover of that region. Commanders of Ezidi militias tell ezidiPress that hundreds of fighters are surrounded in Borik, Duhola and at the pilgrimage site of Sharfadeen. From all sides the terrorists attack again the region with a massive contingent of fighters, succeeding in surrounding several Ezidi localities.
The terrorists have advanced with more than 40 armoured Humvee vehicles alone to the village complex of Duhola and managed to surround around 100 Ezidi resistance fighters located there. All civilians have fled to the mountain. Commanders of the resistance units are currently trying to defend the pilgrimage site, Supreme Commander Haydar Shesho and General Qasim Shesho refuse to give up the Ezidis´ holy shrine.
Without air support, the terrorists will massacre both the fighters and civlians, said one of the fighters. Helicopters of the anti-ISIS coalition were present but did not conduct attacks.
Update 11:00 am: Duhola and Borik have fallen to ISIS. Only the pilgrimage Sharfadeen is being defended now, the resistance fighters try to stop the terrorists´ advance to the mountain – without success. They have nothing to offer opposition to the massive ISIS contingent of fighters.
Update 11:07 am: Over 7,000 civilians and hundreds of fighters have fled to the mountains and are trying to protect themselves there. Several hundred fighters and their commanders do not want to give up the pilgrimage site and continue to defend it.
Update 11:40 am: The mountain is now completely besieged. Fighters of the resistance units desperately try to hold the terrorists back from an invasion of the mountain. Over 7000 civlians remained on the mountain, should the terrorists manage to break through the defense line, massacres will be imminent again. The Ezidis have nothing to counter the terrorists´ armoured vehicles.
Update 12:08 am: Suicide bombers of the Islamic State are now trying to penetrate into the mountain. A mist, however, reduces the Ezidi fighters´ visibility. A suicide bomber is said to have been blown himself up, information on victims are currently not available.
Update 12:40 am: Fighters of the Ezidi defense unit have killed five ISIS terrorists in clashes in the northern part of the mountain. According to the Ezidi fighters, fighter jets of the coaltion forces are flying across the area, without intervening so far.
Update 12:53 am: ISIS extremists advance to the Sharfadeen sanctuary. The Ezidi fighters who are deployed there refuse to leave the pilgrimage site. The central pilgrimage site in the region will be defended at any cost.
Update 13:20 am: Two Ezidi resistance fighters have lost their lives in clashes with ISIS terrorists in the northern part of the mountain. Ezidi commanders urgently ask for airstrikes, stating that otherwise there would be no chance for them counter the terror squads. The major ISIS offensive seems to be a coordinated action regarding the fact that clashes also erupted between terrorist forces and Peshmerga soldiers in the last hours in areas of the Kurdish autonomous region.
Update 13:33 am: ISIS terrorists have reached the access road to the Sharfadeen sanctuary, heavy clashes are being reported. The civilians persevere in the mountain and hope for support by airstrikes from the coalition forces.
Update 14:06 pm: An ezidiPress correspondent reports that ISIS has started massive attacks on the Sharfadeen sanctuary. If airstikres are not being conducted, the pilgrimage site will be destroyed, tightening ISIS´s circumvallation.
Update 15:19 pm: Refugees from Sinjar who are in refugee camps of the autonomous Kurdistan region demonstrate against ISIS attacks on Ezidis in the mountains. Many have still relatives there. There are reports on clashes with Kurdish security forces which we cannot confirm yet.
Update: 15:54pm: There have been heavy clashes between Ezidi forces and ISIS terrorists in the western part of Mount Sinjar. According to our correspondent, 19 terrorists have been killed in those clashes, another three were arrested. Several Ezidi fighters have been killed, a specific figure is not available.
Clashes between demonstrators and Kurdish security forces have been confirmed. Three demonstrators are said to have been injured by the security forces.
Update 16:25 pm: Our correspondent reports that two airstrikes have been conducted by an Iraqi army helicopter which, however, missed its targets. Meanwhile, fightings near the pilgrimage site Sharfadeen continue with an increasing severity. The Ezidi resistance fighters do not want to leave the pilgrimage site to ISIS terrorists. Since August 3 they defend the central sanctuary in Sinjar region.
Update 16:40 pm: 11 Ezidi resistance fighters have been killed in clashes near the Sharfadeen sanctuary so far. The men “fought heroically to push back the terrorists”, said an ezidiPress correspondent on the ground.
Update 18:30 pm: Massive counter attacks of Ezidi forces repelled the terrorists´ advance to the Sharfadeen sanctuary for the moment. An ezidiPress correspondent who is on the ground reports that ISIS terrorists are now mobilizing to attack the sanctuary with new forces. Ezidi resistance units are still on the alert. Further clashes in the evening and at night are to be expected.
Update 18:53 pm: Fighters of Sinjar´s Resistance Unit YBS managed to seize with the support of a YPG unit seven ISIS vehicles near Shlo which is in the immediate vicinity of Mount Sinjar.
Update 21:22 pm: ISIS terrorists have blown up the sanctuary of Quba Amadin in the south of Mount Sinjar. Our correspondent confirms the destruction.
(Source / 20.10.2014)
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday fiercely criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after he called for preventing Israeli settlers from breaking into Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.
He wrote on his Facebook page that by calling for preventing Jews from visiting the area Abbas wanted to spark tensions in the region by making use of the most sensitive place in this region.
Lieberman even accused Abbas and the Palestinian Authority of standing behind what he described as the “riots” of the residents of East Jerusalem.
Abbas called on Friday for preventing Israeli settlers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“This is our mosque [Al-Aqsa], and this is our church and they [the settlers] do not have the right to enter them and defile them,” Abbas said during a conference on the defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Lieberman, meanwhile, said these remarks revealed the “true” face of the Palestinian Authority President.
He accused him of denying the Holocaust and being anti-Semite, saying Abbas talked about the establishment of a Palestinian state that does not have Jews in it.
The Israeli Foreign Minister added that Abbas incited the international community against Israel and even called for a religious war.
Lieberman said Abbas was no different from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant movement, which had overrun vast territories in both Iraq and Syria and massacres innocent people in both states.
He said like this movement, the Palestinian Authority President cherished religious wars.
(Source / 20.10.2014)
German police have arrested two men suspected of supporting Islamic State and raided properties across the country of another 13 suspected supporters of militant Islamist groups, prosecutors said on Saturday, Oct 17, Reuters reported.
The two men were arrested in the western city of Aachen and identified as a 38-year-old Tunisian, Kamel Ben Yahia S., and a 28-year-old Russian, Yusup G., said federal prosecutors in a statement.
The Tunisian is suspected of providing clothing worth over 1,100 euros and 3,400 euros in cash to Islamic State since July 2013 and of smuggling a 17-year old boy from Germany to Syria via Turkey to join the group. The Russian is accused of helping the smuggling and of being a member of a foreign terrorist organization.
Authorities believe the other suspects supported either Islamic State or Ahrar al-Sham, another Syrian Islamist group, by providing thousands of boots and other military clothing.
The raids took place in the western states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hamburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig Holstein and also the eastern state of Saxony.
Germany, along with other western European countries, is struggling to stop the radicalization of young Muslims, some of whom volunteer to become jihadists in Syria or Iraq. Officials worry that they will return to plot attacks on home soil.
German intelligence authorities estimate at least 450 people have left Germany for Syria and around 150 have returned. Many are being criminally investigated.
(Source / 20.10.2014)
Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to ‘Judaize’ the city with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity and ultimately driving out its Palestinian inhabitants
Groups of Jewish settlers have stormed and taken over two residential buildings in Silwan neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, a Palestinian official said.
“The Jewish settlers entered the two three-story buildings in Silwan under the protection of Israeli police,” Ahmed al-Ruweidi, the advisor on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office, told Anadolu Agency.
“The seizure of residential units in Silwan is part of an Israeli political project that aims to Judaize the neighborhood,” he added.
In September, Jewish settlers seized seven residential building in the same neighborhood – also under the protection of Israeli police.
“The district is seeing intensive Israeli efforts to seize the Palestinian houses,” al-Ruweidi said, slamming some Palestinian residents of the neighborhood who agreed to see their property sold to Jewish settlers.
Meanwhile, local NGO Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that the two buildings had been owned by two Palestinian families who sold them to a broker. The latter, the NGO said, sold the two house to a Jewish settlement association.
“The two families left the two buildings four months ago, and today they are fully controlled” by the Jewish settlers, the center said in a statement.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It unilaterally annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to “Judaize” the city with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity and ultimately driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.
International law considers the West Bank and East Jerusalem occupied territories taken by Israel in 1967, viewing all Jewish settlement building as illegitimate.
Palestinian negotiators insist that Israeli settlement building must stop before the resumption of stalled peace talks with Israel.
(Source / 20.10.2014)
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday kidnapped Palestinian journalist Mustafa Al-Khawaja, who works as a reporter for Al-Aqsa satellite channel in Ramallah, from his house in Ni’lin town.
The family of Khawaja told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that Israeli troops stormed the house at an early hour today and ransacked it.
The soldiers, then, isolated Khawaja from the rest of his family members and interrogated him about his job at the channel.
They also collected documents related to his work as well as all his shields and certificates of honor which he had received from the channel and put them inside a box before they took Khawaja blindfolded and handcuffed into one of their vehicles and drove away, the family explained further.
For its part, Ahrar center for prisoner studies and human rights condemned the detention of Khawaja as evidence of Israel’s weakness and a reflection of the importance of the Palestinian media work in confronting the occupation and exposing its crimes.
(Source / 20.10.2014)
- Cast ‘objected strongly’ to woman in the audience wearing a niqab-type veil
- Security guard asked her to either uncover her face or leave
- Ban on covering the face in public in France was introduction in 2011
- The incident has divided opinion in the city’s liberal arts community
A woman was thrown out of a French opera house after cast members objected to her wearing a Niqab (file picture is not of the woman involved)
France’s Socialist government today pledged to toughen up its anti face-covering law after a veiled Muslim woman was ejected from a major Paris opera house.
In an incident which has divided opinion in the city’s liberal arts community, cast members performing La Traviata ‘objected strongly’ to the presence of a woman in the audience wearing a niqab-type veil.
‘A singer spotted her in the front row during the second act,’ said Jean-Philippe Thiellay, director of the Bastille Opera, which was opened by Socialist president Francois Mitterand in 1989.
‘Some performers said they didn’t want to sing,’ said Mr Thiellay, who confirmed that she was kicked out.
There has been a ban on Muslims covering their face in public in France since the introduction of a law in 2011.
Women living on housing estates on the outskirts of major cities like Paris are regularly criminalised with a fine, but this is the first incident of someone being ejected from an artistic venue.
So far unnamed, she is believed to be a well-off woman from a Gulf State, and was attending the performance with a friend.
Referring to a security guard, Mr Thiellay said: ‘He told her that in France there is a ban of this nature, asked her to either uncover her face or leave the auditorium.
‘The man asked the woman to get up, they left. It was unpleasant getting her to leave.
‘But there was a misunderstanding of the law and the lady either had to respect it or leave,’
But other opera lovers in a city historically renowned for its tolerance were less impressed.
‘What possible harm could a woman sitting quietly in the audience with face covered do to anyone?’ said Guy Laurent, a regular at the Bastille Opera.
‘The woman would clearly have felt utterly humiliated by what happened – French culture should be more tolerant.
Cast members performing La Traviata at the Bastille Opera opera house in Paris objected to the veiled woman in the audience. It is not suggested that either of the performers pictured were among those who complained
There has been a ban on Muslims covering their face in public in France since 2011. It is not suggested that either of the performers pictured here on stage at the opera house were among those who complained
A singer spotted the veiled woman in the front row of the opera house which was opened by Socialist president Francois Mitterand in 1989
‘It is not the job of theatres to enforce petty laws.’
The incident happened on October 3, but it is only now that it is becoming a national polemic.
Technically the woman now faces a fine of just over £180, although there is not thought to have been any police involvement.
The woman and her friend were not refunded any of their ticket price.
Choice: Security at the Bastille Opera opera house in Paris asked the woman to uncover her face or leave
A spokesman for France’s Ministry of Culture today said it was ‘producing a new set of rules’ to make sure the so-called ‘burka ban’ was better enforced in theatres, museums and other public institutions.
France,which is home to some five million Muslims, was the first European country to ban the full-face Islamic veil in public places.
Belgium followed suit soon afterwards, but there is no veil ban at all in Britain, despite calls by a minority of right wing MPs for one.
(Source / 20.10.2014)
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
Iran supports Iraq’s unity, integrity, security and all-out development and will cooperate with the country for the elimination of terrorism, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham says.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran pursues the expansion of all-out strategic ties with Iraq based on the common interests and expediencies of the two countries and the region and will cooperate with Iraq in countering the challenges ahead, particularly for the establishment of security and the eradication of the ominous phenomenon of terrorism,” Afkham said on Monday.
She pointed to an upcoming visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to Tehran, mentioning stability, peace and the expansion of regional relations as the future prospect of cooperation between Iran and Iraq.
“Close consultation between the two countries in view of the sensitivity and complicated nature of regional developments, and also the effective role of Tehran and Baghdad in restoring peace and stability to the region as well as [the need for] the integration of ongoing efforts in fighting terrorism are very important [issues],” the Iranian spokesperson pointed out.
She added that the Iraqi premier is scheduled to hold talks with senior Iranian officials on the latest developments in the region and ways to settle regional problems during his visit to Tehran.
The Iraqi prime minister is expected to arrive in Tehran later on Monday at the head of a high-ranking delegation.
According to a statement released by Abadi’s office on Sunday, the fight against the ISIL Takfiri militants will be the main topic of his talks with Iranian authorities.
The statement further noted that the trip is part of the Iraqi prime minister’s bid to integrate regional efforts made to help Iraq in its war against the terrorist group.
Iraqi armed forces are currently carrying out mop-up operations against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in the northern parts of the Arab country.
(Source / 20.10.2014)