Breaking: Islamic State Succeeds In Drawing Turkey Into Escalating Syrian War

The situation in Syria is becoming more complicated and dangerous by the day.

On Monday, Islamic State launched a suicide attack in the Turkish border town Suruc, killing 32 people. A Turkish ISIS terrorist blew himself up amongst a group of young people who were waiting to cross the border to help the Kurds in rebuilding the city of Kobani that was seized from ISIS by the Kurdish militia YPG after a long battle earlier this year. It marked the first time ISIS staged a suicide attack in Turkey.

Today, tensions on the Syrian-Turkish border further escalated after a Turkish soldier was killed by fire from an area controlled by Islamic State. Suleyman Tapsiz, the governor for Turkey’s Kilis province, reported that an army border outpost was attacked by Islamic State.

Turkish tanks responded by shelling ISIS positions across the border, killing an ISIS terrorist, and the Turkish air force scrambled jets to the Syrian border.

The Turkish government decided on Tuesday to erect a concrete wall on the border with Syria and to reinforce wire fencing. Turkish media later reported that the measures taken by the government include the sending of zeppelins to monitor the border and an increase of border patrols.

Turkish media also reported that Ankara had finally given permission to the U.S. air force to use the large Incirlik air base in the campaign against Islamic State. The permission came after a telephone conversation between President Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan had always refused to join the U.S. led coalition against Islamic State.

His opponents accuse him of tacit support for the Jihadist group. In May, Reuters reported that the Turkish Secret Service, MIT, accompanied arms transports to ISIS. The news agency based its report on testimonies from Turkish gendarmerie officers and state persecutors.

Pundits say that Erdogan will use Turkish intervention in Syria not to fight ISIS, but to prevent the YPG from establishing a Kurdish state along the Turkish border.

Meanwhile in northwestern Syria, Hezbollah and the National Defense Force (remnants of President Bashar Assad’s army, Iranian Al Quds units, and Shiite militias) launched an offensive to drive Islamist rebels of the ‘Army of Conquest’ out of the strategic city of Zabadani.

Zabadani lies 30 miles northwest of Damascus and is crucial to the consolidation of the regime’s control over the border with Lebanon.

The UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said that Assad’s air force dropped a large number of barrel bombs on Zabadani, “causing unprecedented levels of destruction and many deaths among the civilian population.”

Heavy fighting continued into the night in the area of Zabadani, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported heavy aerial bombardments in and round the city. The group also reported casualties on both sides as well as widespread destruction.

Syrian state television reported the National Defense Force had destroyed a 77-yard-long tunnel used by the insurgents to transport weapons and equipment into Zabadani. The Army of Conquest retaliated by launching rockets and mortar grenades into the area of Idlib in northern Syria, Mistura reported.

The news about the offensive coincides with reports that Iran has increased its support to Assad after the signing of the nuclear deal with six world powers last week in Vienna. Last week, Iran granted Assad a $1 billion credit line, and more is expected once frozen Iranian assets are released if/when the agreement is implemented. Assad received an estimated $35 billion per year in order to survive, and analysts now say that the Vienna agreement will be his lifeline.

The Tower, citing the Financial Times, reported today that the “Iranians are paying Syrian Army deserters double to keep fighting for Assad.” A recruiter promised Syrian soldiers a monthly wage of $200, much more than the $60 they received from the Syrian government.

Iran-funded paramilitary organizations like the Maghaweer and the National Defense Force offer some “of the few economic opportunities left for many young men.” In addition to generous salaries, the militias offer pardons to young men for draft dodging.

The Daily Beast quoted a Syrian blogger last week who wrote that the economic windfall Iran is expected to receive from the recent nuclear agreement will likely mean “more bombs, more bullets, and more militias will be sent to Assad, and the easing of sanctions means more money will be used to prop up his economy and keep him in power.”

Assad suffered a series of setbacks recently that seemed to indicate the end of his regime was near. The main reason for the string of defeats his army suffered is a shortage of manpower. The Arab news site Albawaba revealed today that Arab media were circulating an allegedly leaked document from the Assad regime that gives evidence to the claim that the Syrian army suffers from mass defection.

“Six hundred eighty six army soldiers are wanted from the western village of Qardaha, Assad’s hometown, after they defected. The list of troops includes key leadership of government forces and, allegedly, men from the Assad family itself. The list of the troops also includes 319 core commanders in charge of infantries, tanks and missile launches,” Albawaba reported.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Authorities Just Busted Another Radical Muslim’s Plan To Attack U.S. Military- In A Startling Location

Two men have been arrested and charged in England planning to commit acts of terrorism, with one specifically planning a strike against the United States’ largest base in the country.

Deborah Walsh, Deputy Head of Counter Terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service’s SO15, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Junead Khan and Shazib Khan with the intention of committing acts of terrorism.”

Junead Khan, 24, “was planning a car accident style attack to run over a serviceman and use a knife to kill that serviceman, and to do so, certainly had in mind the wearing of a suicide vest,” according to British prosecutor Mark Dawson.

The Muslim man reportedly sought to buy a knife like the one used by ISIS executioner “Jihadi John” and scouted out military bases along his route as a delivery truck driver.

Junead planned a strike against Lakenheath Royal Air Force Base, home to 5,000 members of the U.S. military and their dependents, which number about 10,000. The base is about 80 miles north of London. Among the units at Lakenheath is the U.S. 48th Fighter Wing, whose F-15 Eagle tactical fighters took part in operations in Libya in 2011.

Image Credit: Wikipedia/RAF_Lakenheath

Image Credit: Wikipedia/RAF Lakenheath

Fox News reports that the planned attack, which was in an “advanced stage” according to authorities, “closely mirrored how British soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in May 2013. In that case, two Islamic militants crashed their car into Rigby and then used a machete-like knife to viciously stab him to death.”

A U.S. official told Fox News that Lakenheath is on a heightened terror alert and is taking precautions to safeguard the security of Americans there, but the official would not comment directly about the new alleged terror plot or if the increased precautions were due to the plot.

British prosecutors charged both Junead and his uncle Shazib Khan, 22, with “planning on travelling to Syria to join the proscribed organization Islamic State in Levant.”

The two men are from Luton, about 30 miles north of London. The area has a heavy Muslim population and a history of terror related arrests.

Scotland Yard indicated that the arrest of the two suspects was part of an ongoing investigation into Islamist-related terror, according to U.K.’s Mirror.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

What Franklin Graham Just Called For To Stop Domestic Terror Threat Will Infuriate Obama

It’s one of the more popular recent posts on the official Facebook page of Rev. Franklin Graham — the evangelist’s call to “stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S.” until the threat from radical Islam can be “settled.” As of this writing, Graham’s proposal that he indicated was sparked by his belief that America is “under attack by Muslims at home and abroad” has received more than 167,000 “likes” and been shared close to 58,000 times.

The website Christian Post notes that the Muslim immigration ban called for by the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has been condemned by several Christian leaders.

The article cites their “concern that the minister is distorting the message of Christianity and promoting fear of those who follow Islam….” Graham posted his recommendation to stop all Muslim immigration the day after a suspected Islamic terrorist gunned down four U.S. Marines in Chattanooga, where a fifth shooting victim later died.

Below, you can see for yourself the entire anti-immigration post by Franklin Graham in which the evangelist with more than 2 million Facebook followers warns: “Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized.”

Image Credit: Facebook/Franklin Graham

Image Credit: Facebook/Franklin Graham

ABC News has reported that the 24-year-old gunman in the Chattanooga attacks was apparently radicalized only in recent weeks or months, having done “online research for militant Islamist ‘guidance’ on committing violence that he may have believed would wipe away in the afterlife his sins on earth including drug and alcohol abuse….”

Many of the comments left on Graham’s Facebook page in reaction to his call for a ban on Muslim immigration have been highly negative and extremely critical of the evangelist. A small sampling of the online criticism appears below:

NO, NO, NO…..you are not under attack from Muslims……..these men were attacked by a sick extremest. Stop your hatred!!!

What part of your Bible influences your bigotry? Shame on you.

Alienating people is not generally considered an effective ministry tactic.

As for Muslim immigration to the United States in recent years, an article published by National Review claims that “the United States seems increasingly to be turning toward Western Europe’s most undesirable demographic trends” when it comes to people of the Muslim faith moving to America.

In 1992, 41 percent of new permanent residents in the United States — green-card holders — hailed from the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and North Africa, or sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Pew Research Center. A decade later, the percentage was 53 percent. Over that same period, predictably, the number of Muslim immigrants coming to the United States annually has doubled, from 50,000 to approximately 100,000 each year. In 1992, only 5 percent of Muslim immigrants came from sub-Saharan Africa; 20 years later, it was 16 percent. Of the 2.75 million Muslims in the United States in 2011, 1.7 million were legal permanent residents.

The National Review article notes that the Council on American-Islamic Relations says there are some 7 million Muslims now living in this country.

CNS News cites a study by the Center for Immigration Studies that points to the very large increase in Muslim immigration — something that President Obama has hailed in recognition of the “contributions” of Muslim immigrants to the building of America.

“According to numbers crunched by the Center for Immigration Studies based on data from the Census Bureau’s Factfinder database,” reports CNS News, “the immigrant population from predominantly Muslim countries has grown from 1.7 million in 2000 to 2.7 million in 2013.”

What’s your opinion? Was Franklin Graham right to call for a total ban on Muslim immigration in light of the terror threat from radical Islam? Join the conversation by leaving your comment below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

ISIS Releases New Horrific Execution Video Despite Ban By Its Leader

Image for representational purposes only.

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reportedly issued a ban on the release of videos with footage and pictures of beheadings.

Several Arab media, citing an Islamic State media source, reported on Friday that Baghdadi banned the videos because it could hurt the feelings of  Muslims and children “who may find these scenes grotesque,” the ISIS source was quoted as saying.

The news about the ban came after ISIS published two new horrific videos with footage of beheadings. In one of the videos, a young boy is seen using a big knife to decapitate the head of a Syrian officer. The boy then calmly takes the head and places it on the body of the officer.

Baghdadi issued the order a couple of weeks ago in a letter to ISIS offices in Iraq and Syria. He called upon ISIS members not to include scenes of the actual execution in the videos, but to limit the footage to the preparation of the murders.

The Kurdish news site ARA News reported that not all ISIS members accepted the decision. The site says that the scenes are meant to intimidate the Western enemies of Islamic State and not Muslims.

ARA News quoted the Syrian politician and lawyer Ferid Hisso, who said “that the radical group doesn’t really care about their victims or the public, and that banning the broadcasting of such videos ‘won’t eliminate the IS-led horrors that have been seen by people around the world over the past couple of years.’”

“Instead of banning the release of such videos, Baghdadi should have rather banned the crimes behind the scenes. But he has already justified the barbarism of his followers, and his decision makes no sense,” Hisso told ARA News.

In related news, the Islamic State branch Wilayat Sinai released dramatic footage of the attack on an Egyptian navy vessel near the coast of Gaza last Thursday. The video shows the launch of a Kornet anti-tank missile that hits the vessel amidships.

The Egyptian army had said that the ship caught fire after a confrontation between the Egyptian army and Wilayat Sinai terrorists. The army claimed there were no casualties, but Islamic State in Sinai reported that all sailors on the ship were killed in the attack. The footage released by Wilayat Sinai seems to support the ISIS version of the event.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Jihad On US Troops Is Not A ‘Circumstance’

Four U.S. Marines, barred from carrying weapons at naval training facilities despite explicit ISIS threats against our military, are dead in Tennessee. Another service member and a Chattanooga police officer survived gunshot wounds after Thursday’s two-stage massacre allegedly at the hands of 24-year-old jihadist Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus called the terrorist’s spree “insidious and unfathomable.” President Obama bemoaned the “heartbreaking circumstance” in which the murdered Marines found themselves.

“Unfathomable”? Not if you’ve been paying attention. Islam-inspired hate crimes against our troops have continued unabated since the Obama White House first dismissed the 2009 Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.”

Here’s what’s unfathomable: While the social justice warriors in Washington bend over backward to appease CAIR and Muslim civil rights absolutists, Americans in uniform are dying on American soil at the hands of Allah’s homicidal avengers — but the commander in chief couldn’t even bother to deliver a live statement to the nation yesterday about the bloodshed.

Instead, Obama issued another bland, bloodless pronouncement about the assassinations of our disarmed troops.

“Heartbreaking circumstance”? Lightning strikes are random events of unfortunate circumstance. The concerted attacks and plots against our troops in their recruitment centers and on their bases here at home are outrageous acts of war.

Have you forgotten?

In June 2009, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad walked into an Arkansas Army recruiting center, murdered 24-year-old Pvt. William Long, and gravely wounded 18-year-old Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula. He had planned on killing many more in the name of Allah. While the White House and media decried the “climate of hate” fostered by Christians, they whitewashed Muhammad’s jihadi rage. Muhammad received a life sentence without parole for the act he himself described as a “jihadi attack on infidel forces.”

It should be noted that Muhammad converted to Islam at Tennessee State University in Nashville and then became further radicalized in Yemen before returning to the U.S.

“The U.S. has to pay for the rape, murder, bloodshed, blasphemy it has done and still doing to the Muslims and Islam,” Muhammad railed after carrying out his plot. “So consider this a small retaliation the best is to come Allah willing. This is not the first attack and won’t be the last.”

As I noted at the time, Obama could barely muster up a limp written statement expressing “sadness” over what he described as a “senseless act of violence” (instead of the intentional systematic act of Islamic terrorism that it was).

After the Little Rock ambush came the Baltimore military recruitment center bomb plot. Muslim convert Muhammad Hussain, 21, bragged on Facebook about his devotion to violent jihad. He “dialed a cellphone that he believed would ignite barrels of explosives packed into a sport utility vehicle,” the Baltimore Sun recounted. “The SUV had been parked by the Armed Forces recruiting station at a strip mall in Catonsville, a bedroom suburb west of Baltimore.” Hussain idolized Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Hasan and “thought about nothing but jihad.”

In June 2011, the feds charged Muslim jihadists Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh of conspiring to use machine guns and grenades to “kill officers and employees of the Department of Defense who worked at the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Stations) located in the Federal Center South building in Seattle, Wash., and to kill other persons assisting such officers and employees in the performance of their duties.” They both pleaded guilty, but remained unrepentant and defiant.

In 2012, Ethiopian-born jihadist Jonathan Melaku pleaded guilty to shooting at the Pentagon, Marine and Coast Guard recruiting offices, and the National Museum of the Marine Corps, as well as trying to desecrate graves at Arlington National Cemetery containing the remains of U.S. veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In April 2015, Mohammed Abdullah Hasan was arrested after the feds uncovered his ISIS-linked plot to kill American soldiers with a vehicle bomb at Fort Riley in Kansas.

ISIS hackers have explicitly targeted 100 U.S. service members whose personal details have been disseminated online. In May, the Pentagon raised the security threat level of military bases in the U.S. to “Force Protection Bravo” — the third-highest threat level on a five-tier scale used by the Department of Defense.

You wouldn’t know it from Obama’s languid response.

Can someone ask the commander in chief: Do U.S. military lives matter enough yet to do more than issue a canned, obligatory condolence to the families of those who serve? How many more lives must be lost before he is as roused about our troops under jihad siege as he is about Bill Cosby, the Confederate flag, “Game of Thrones,” or Caitlyn Jenner?

This is not a “circumstance.” This is war.

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth