Iraq urges billions for reconstruction amid donor fatigue

Iraq needs close to $90 billion to rebuild after a 3-year war with the “Islamic State” group, a donor conference has heard. Having spent billions on the conflict, Washington is unlikely to pledge any new funds.

Kuwait conference for Iraq reconstruction (picture-alliance/AP Photo/J. Gambrell)

The Iraqi government needs $88.2 billion (€71.92 billion) for reconstruction efforts after its victory against the “Islamic State” (IS) militant group, Iraqi Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili said at the opening of an international conference on the issue in Kuwait on Monday.

He said the figure was based on a study by Iraqi and international experts, who assessed the impact of the conflict that left large swathes of the country destroyed and approximately 2.5 million people displaced.

Global responsibility

“Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilizing the states of the region and the world,” al-Jumaili told delegates, adding that the reconstruction was therefore partly the international community’s responsibility.

Read more: Iraq to resume oil reparations to Kuwait for Gulf War devastation, says UN

Watch video01:38

PetroChina seeks role in Iraqi oil industry recovery

His words are likely to fall on deaf ears in Washington and elsewhere in the West, partly due to donor fatigue amid several conflicts and refugee crises globally, and US President Donald Trump’s more protectionist stance.

US officials have already said there will be no new pledges of assistance for Iraq’s reconstruction drive, after Washington pumped some $60 billion into rebuilding the country following the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Private sector involvement

Although US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend the donor conference on Tuesday, he will instead call for multinational companies and banks to boost their activities in the war-torn country. Thousands of private sector delegates, including representatives from more than 100 American firms are expected to attend.

Iraqi man next to remains of house (picture-alliance/AP Photo/A. Martins)Iraq’s leaders say construction of new housing is a major priority after thousands of homes were destroyed during the war with IS

Analysts said Iraqi leaders are expected to pressure Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states to step up to the plate.

Read more: Saudi minister makes first trip to Baghdad since 1990, promises new ambassdor

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also vowed his country’s support during a visit to Iraq on Monday, without giving a specific figure.

“I have come to tell you of France’s support to accompany you. We will always be there. We were there to participate in the coalition (against IS). We will also be there in the reconstruction phase,” he said.

About $22 billion is required in the short term and another $66 billion in the medium term, the director-general of the country’s planning ministry, Qusay Adulfattah, told the conference, which lasts until Wednesday.

New housing needed

Housing is one of the most urgent priorities, delegates heard, after some 140,000 homes were destroyed during the conflict against the jihadist group.

Mahdi al-Alaq, the Secretary-General of Iraq’s Council of Ministers, said the Baghdad government had been given preliminary indications that some states were prepared to act as guarantors with lenders, allowing Iraq to take out soft loans to fund infrastructure projects,

Read more: Iraq’s political landscape in disarray

Oil-rich Iraq’s economy was weakened by years of international sanctions under Saddam Hussein’s regime.  The years of insurgency, sectarian violence and ethnic tensions that followed his overthrow in 2003 helped fuel the emergence of IS, a little more than a decade later.

Iraq declared victory over the jihadists in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the militants in 2014 and 2015.

mm/uhe (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

COURTESY: DW

The legacy of the ‘Islamic State’

The terrorist organization “Islamic State” has largely been defeated in a military sense. But its ideologies live on, for example, in children who grew up under its regime. Other challenges remain as well.

IS member training child with gun (picture-alliance/dpa/G. Habibi)

The terrorist “Islamic State” (IS) militia is mostly defeated in Syria and Iraq. According to the US military, the jihadis have pulled out of 98 percent of the areas they used to control in both countries. And Syrian, Iraqi and US forces plan to take the remaining 2 percent from them as well.

To reach this goal, the US military conducted 58 airstrikes in the week from December 29 to January 5 alone, according to the US Department of Defense. Those strikes involved fighter jets, helicopters, drones, rockets and heavy artillery.

“[The physical caliphate] has been broken and fractured, but the work still continues,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White said in a press briefing on January 11. “We are going to continue our operations because we ultimately have to ensure we have conditions on the ground that ISIS can never re-emerge,” she added, using an alternate acronym for the terrorist group.

Picture of a medic tending to an injured child (picture-alliance/dpa/Zumapress/C. Guzy)Some children of IS supporters in Iraq have been orphaned and left injured

But this is a tough goal to reach, especially for one reason: IS might be close to physical defeat in Iraq and Syria, but its ideology lives on. The organization is set up to endure long-term, the Pentagon states on its website. It secures its survival through a sort of “franchising system.”

“Even though they failed as a caliphate, there are global manifestations of their brand that we see pop up,” Marine Corps Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. told reporters in the press briefing.

Read more:

Russia: Syria now ‘liberated’ from ‘Islamic State’

Iraq declares ‘end of war’ against ‘Islamic State’

Fighting the IS image

That’s why the focus will now be on combating the IS’ image, officials said. And according to the Pentagon, the chances of winning that battle as well are pretty high.

“[IS’] global brand is fading with the defeat of the physical caliphate and as stories about the horror of life under ISIS are disseminated,” officials state on the Defense Department’s website.

And yet, IS is far from being completely defeated. Instead, the jihadi organization is just returning to its roots in guerilla warfare, news outlet Al-Jazeera reports. Al-Jazeera says volunteers are still trying to join but that crossing the secured border from Turkey into Syria is now harder than it used to be.

Read more: ‘Islamic State’ seeks new foothold in Africa

Minds in ruins

In addition to the challenge posed by volunteers who come from abroad to join IS, security authorities in Syria and Iraq are facing another problem: the ideological and psychological legacy that the IS regime left in its former area of influence.

In most regions, IS was not in power for more than three years. But three years are a long time, particularly for young people. That’s especially true for little children who had to witness the jihadis’ violence, including brutal public punishments and executions, at a very early age.

Girl amid ruins in Mosul, Iraq (picture-alliance/dpa/F. Dana)Many children in Iraq, like this girl in Mosul, have known little but war

“Even if they weren’t trained, they may have memories of living in a war zone,” Daan Weggemans, a terrorism researcher at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University, told online magazine AI-Monitor.

A lost generation

The young people growing up during these years were robbed of an education. Many of them learnt how to use weapons instead of how to read and write.

“There might actually be a lost generation,” Nadim Houry, the director of the terrorism and counterterrorism program at Human Rights Watch, told Al-Jazeera.

Many adults have difficulties leaving the IS regime behind as well, Houry said. They are “just still trying to comprehend what happened.”

Watch video05:17

Children of IS in Belgium

The problem of an IS-produced “lost generation” is likely to reach Europe soon –  in the form of hundreds of children who were taken to Syria or Iraq by their parents or who were born there in the camps of IS fighters.

It’s not clear yet how European states will deal with these children. Rules vary from country to country. Belgium, for example, plans to let children younger than 10 enter the country automatically. However, that only includes those who have taken a DNA test proving that they are actually children of Belgian IS fighters.

In December 2017, three French children of alleged IS fighters were returned to Paris by airplane after having been in the custody of Iraqi authorities.

In the Netherlands, children of IS fighters are generally allowed to return as well. But right now, the government is not planning on granting them Dutch citizenship.

No concrete measures in Germany yet

Germany also wants to bring back children of German IS fighters. But experts are already warning that the return of older children, in particular, could pose risks.

Read more: Children of ‘Islamic State’ struggle to integrate in Germany

“We see the danger that children were socialized by jihadis along Islamist lines and will return to Germany from these war zones having been indoctrinated,” said Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic security agency. “This could lead to the rise of a new jihadi generation here, too.”

Torsten Voss, head of Hamburg’s state Office for the Protection of the Constitution, said that this problem had to be solved before security authorities could start to act.

It’s not clear yet what steps will be taken. Foreign policy experts of all parties are looking for solutions. But concrete measures can only be taken once Germany has a new government.

COURTESY: DW

US pledges extra $75mn as Iraq seeks help with $100bn post-ISIS reconstruction bill

Washington’s aid to Baghdad was given a $75 million boost as Iraq struggles to rebuild after the devastating war with Islamic State. The Iraqi government has estimated that some $100 billion is needed to cover the damage.

The extra financial aid, which was announced on Tuesday by the US embassy in Iraq, will boost the total stabilization fund provided by Washington for 2018 to $150 million. Since 2015, America has allocated $265.3 million in aid for Iraq, the embassy said in a statement.

“Our commitment to the Iraqi people does not end with the eradication of ISIS [Islamic State/IS],” Ambassador Douglas Silliman said.

The embassy stressed that part of the funding would go to “vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities, especially those who have been victims of ISIS atrocities.”

In June, the Iraqi government estimated the damage caused by the war with IS, which started in 2014 with a lightning offensive, stood at $100 billion. Baghdad itself managed to earmark just over $200 million for the reconstruction effort.

Iraq hopes to cover at least part of the enormous repair bill with the help of international donors, who will gather in mid-February in Kuwait. “ISIS displaced 5 million people,” said Mahdi Al-Alaq, secretary general of Iraq’s Council of Ministers, in Kuwait City. “We succeeded in returning half to their areas, but we need international support to return the rest of the displaced.”

The World Bank, which will participate in the Kuwait summit, allocated in late October an extra $400 million to its Iraq assistance program launched in 2015. The extra package was a significant boost to the $350 million plan.

READ MORE: Counting the cost: Iraq declares war against ISIS over, but at what price?

Iraq, which was occupied after the US-led military intervention in 2003, has been receiving a steady stream of aid from Washington. The funds, however, were spent with notoriously poor efficiency. A 2013 report by the Special US Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) said the $60 billion of US taxpayers’ money sent to the Middle Eastern country had “underperformed” and called the $20.2 billion spent on training Iraqi security troops a bright spot in an otherwise uninspiring effort. A year later those security troops fled from a much smaller jihadist force, leaving behind their US-provided weapons.

The operation to fight IS in Iraq and Syria cost the US $14.3 billion between August 8, 2014, and June 30, 2017, as reported by the Department of Defense. That amounts to $13.6 million per day.

Courtesy: RT

2017: A Year of Change… and No Change

Charles Shoebridge
Charles Shoebridge is an international politics graduate, lawyer, broadcaster and writer. He has formerly served as an army officer, Scotland Yard detective and counter terrorism intelligence officer.
2017: A Year of Change... and No Change
Charles Shoebridge takes a look at some of the last year’s security and foreign policy developments.

The Arrival of Trump

One year ago, expectations for 2017 were running high. Donald Trump was about to take office, and predictions ranged from a new era of US policy pursuing peace and international partnership, to the US becoming a puppet of Russia, and even World War III. Of course, none of these happened, and such forecasts now seem as fanciful as they probably should have at the time.

On the day of his inauguration, I suggested that Trump’s evident ignorance of foreign and security issues, combined with his lack of loyal allies within Washington’s political establishment, would make him vulnerable to the pressure and influence of the politicians, officials, think tanks, lobbyists, advisors and journalists representing the same special interest groups that had long driven US foreign policy. Within weeks, Trump confirmed senior officials with largely the same hostility for example towards Russia and/or Iran that might have been expected of Hillary Clinton.

Seeing him as a threat to the established order, elements within what might be called the Deep State targeted Trump in a relentless campaign to undermine his credibility and threaten his removal from office. Perhaps fearing international isolation if Trump delivered on his campaign promises to restore good relations with Russia and end US support for the war in Syria, the intelligence services of the UK appear to have been a key driverof this.

Regardless, UK PM Theresa May rushed to be the first leader to pay homage to the new US president, while Trump left no doubt as to US priorities by making Saudi Arabia and Israel his first overseas visits – coinciding with a massive Saudi arms deal and planned increase in US military aid to Israel.

For the Washington lobbyists and US foreign policy establishment, this was business as usual. Yet it was in respect of Syria a month earlier that Trump learned how he was expected to behave.

Syria, Iraq and the Middle East

In response to an alleged chemical attack at Khan Sheikhun in April, Trump without waiting for any investigation launched cruise missiles at Syrian forces – reversing his and the previous Obama administration’s stated policy of non-overt intervention in Syria. In doing so, he immediately gained the (albeit short lived) approval of the same US politicians and media who for months had remorselessly condemned him.

Trump’s missile attack was largely symbolic however, causing little damage to Syria’s military capability and having no impact upon the largely successful prosecution of the war against Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and other rebel groups that over the last year has arguably brought the country now closer to a restoration of peace than at any time since 2011. This was helped not only by the military support of Russia and Iran, by also by their cooperation with Turkey in attempting to forge a realistic peace process, with the long and destructive ‘Assad must go’ mantra of the US and its allies now rendered irrelevant.

2017 was particularly a year of relative tranquility for the people of Syria’s largest city Aleppo, which until its retaking by Syrian forces in December 2016 had for years been largely occupied by US UK backed, Islamist dominated rebels.

US UK politicians and media had for months daily warned that massacres would be perpetrated by the Syrian government “if Aleppo fell,” but these didn’t occur – just as they also hadn’t occurred in other recaptured cities, such as Homs. Meanwhile, throughout 2017 displaced civilians began returning in large numbers to their homes – suggesting that US UK claims that it had been Assad they’d been fleeing from, rather than war or the rebels the US and UK had backed, were likely wrong.

While perhaps forced to do so by the reality of the battlefield, Trump did honor his pledge to stop US funding and arming of Syria’s rebels. With it largely at an end, the massive scale of the arming program was at last publicly revealed, laying to rest the long US UK media-propagated myth of US UK policy in Syria having been one of non-intervention.

Not only did the arming of Syria’s rebels fuel and prolong a war that has killed some 400,000 people, but also many of the armssupplied by the US and its allies ended up in the “wrong hands” of the same Islamic State and Al-Qaeda terrorists the US and its allies were purporting to fight.

This of course was exactly as many had long predicted – and indeed was so predictable that some suggest so-called ‘moderate’ rebels were supplied with often sophisticated weapons in the knowledge they would be passed to extremists who, from the war’s outset, comprised the most effective fighting force against Assad.

Such a scenario would not be a surprise. After all, the US and its allies have long regarded Islamist forces as a useful foreign policy tool, regardless of their disdain of democracy, human rights or other claimed ‘US values.’

Even three years after its air campaign to “degrade” IS began, evidence continued to emerge over the last year to suggest the US and its allies still see IS as much as an asset as an enemy to be destroyed. In December 2016 for example, despite intensive US surveillance, IS forces were able to cross open desert to attack Palmyra, just at the time US backed rebels were under intense military pressure in Aleppo.

Similarly, the US reportedly facilitated the escape of IS fighters from Raqqa, and appeared to strike a deal with IS fighters to allow the US’ SDF proxies an unopposed advance in their race to seize Deir ez-Zor oilfields, thereby preventing their retaking by forces loyal to Assad. This illustrates how even now, the uninvited and hence unlawfulUS presence in Syria continues.

As in Syria, 2017 also saw IS largely defeated in Iraq. US-led airstrikes undoubtedly played a role in this – but at great civilian loss of life that barely featured in US UK media, unlike the daily coverage of alleged mass civilian casualties when Syria and Russia were, for example, carrying out operations in Aleppo. Indeed, only now is the extent of US-led killing of civilians in, for example, Raqqa and Mosul starting to receive prominent coverage in US UK media.

The same applies to the Saudi air campaign and blockade against Yemen which, using US and UK supplied weapons, continued throughout the year at catastrophic civilian cost, yet which receives only infrequent and mainly uncritical coverage in a US UK media that mostly would rather parrot US and Israeli claims that Iran is the source of the region’s instability.

Terrorism

Predictably, IS losing their physical ‘caliphate’ didn’t end terrorist attacks elsewhere. In April, an attack on the St. Petersburg Metro killed 15, and 8 died in Manhattan. Attacks in Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Egypt and elsewhere killed very many more.

The UK suffered its worst incidents since 2005, including 22 killed in Manchester in what appears to be one of the clearest examples of blowback resulting from the policies of the UK government and its intelligence services in facilitating the destabilization of states such as Libya.

Russia, Russia, Russia

2017 was the year Russia was blamed by Western politicians and media for everything. Notably, this wasn’t only the usual ‘Russia threat’ stories of aircraft and ships that turn out to be entirely routine, in international waters and airspace, and which when the same activities are carried out by NATO forces are instead described as ‘a response’ or ‘reassurance.’

Russia was also blamed for cyber-attacks, despite little evidence being offered, and despite that in some cases the blame for the attack seemed to shift according to which ‘enemy’ state was most in need of vilification at the time. For example, a hacking of emails of UK parliamentarians was first blamed on Russia but later on Iran, whereas another attack was blamed first on Russia, then on North Korea.

In reality, accurate attribution in cyber-attacks is notoriously difficult – particularly given that the CIA and doubtless others have developed tools specifically designed to blame attacks on those innocent of them.

Throughout 2017, it was also repeatedly reported that Russia is interfering in other countries’ elections and referendums. These claims are often reported as fact yet, despite long running and intensive investigations, the hard evidence to support such allegations remains almost entirely absent – for example in GermanyFrance, the US and the UK.

US Decline?

The recent UN votes against Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and for example the US position on climate change and Iran, show a US arguably more isolated from world opinion, including even its close allies, than at any time in recent history.

Yet rather than work to cultivate partnerships to deal with common issues such as Korea or terrorism, the US continues to publicly designate potential allies as enemies, as for example in its recent security strategy document – and to seek confrontation rather than cooperation, as arguably in its decision to send arms to Ukraine.

The US remains the world’s most powerful nation. But unless it can learn to carry its immense power more softly and responsibly, to act in the interests of peace, stability, of its own people and the wider world rather than in the narrow interests of those that often appear to be driving its policies, its influence in an increasingly multipolar world will likely decline. If 2017 is any guide, it seems perhaps even less likely now that Trump will prevent this than it did a year ago.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Courtesy: RT

A Christmas tale of two liberated cities, Aleppo & Mosul

Robert Bridge
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is author of the book, ‘Midnight in the American Empire,’ released in 2013. robertvbridge@yahoo.com
A Christmas tale of two liberated cities, Aleppo & Mosul
As eyewitness reports emerge from these two war-torn cities, the humanitarian conditions in Aleppo appear to be stabilizing faster compared to Mosul. The US obsession with Syrian regime change appears to be the reason.

A scene best described as miraculous emerged from the Syrian city of Aleppo on Christmas Eve as hundreds of Christian Syrians took to the streets in celebration of the religious holiday.

Social media overflowed with pictures of children dressed up in Santa costumes, happily strolling the once fear-filled streets. Churches that months earlier had been targeted by Jabhat Al-Nusra and Islamic State militants were once again festive places of song and worship.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Merry Christmas from Syria’s Aleppo, free of ISIS and Al-Qaeda jihadists. A beautiful sight that won’t be seen on mainstream media.

Beyond all odds, joy and celebration have conquered the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty that pervaded this city for many months during its captivity by IS forces. Even now, sporadic violence occasionally raises its head. Just days before the Christmas celebrations a neighborhood was shelled by anti-government forces. Two girls, age six and 13, were killed in the attacks.

In December 2016, after years of enduring a bitter siege, Aleppo was freed by the combined military forces of Syria, Russia, and Iran. Following the liberation, Russia was greeted with an outpouring of gratitude from the inhabitants of the city. And it certainly did not hurt Russia’s campaign that it provided a significant amount of humanitarian aid to citizens of Aleppo.

After the city was cleared of the rebel militants, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria delivered nearly 35 tons of humanitarian aid – which included hot meals, food packages, warm clothes for children, blankets, and first aid – to the refugees of the al-Mahaledzh camp in eastern Aleppo. The importance of such assistance to people who have lost everything from the deprivations of war cannot be overestimated.

While the city will require many years of rebuilding, it looks as though the citizens of Aleppo have passed through the darkest hour of their plight. The same, however, cannot be said for their fellow war victims in Mosul, Iraq.

Not so merry Mosul

Judging by live, on-the-ground reporting from Mosul, this Iraqi city is not faring nearly as well as its Syrian counterpart. Liberated from Islamic State forces six months ago, much of the city remains uninhabitable following a nine-month siege by Iraqi troops supported by the US-led coalition.

An RT crew paid a visit to Mosul this month and what they found was not encouraging.

Many of those who have returned to the city (or never left) are forced to borrow money to feed their families. Others were filmed digging through the corpse-strewn, bomb-littered ruins to salvage material to sell, such as scrap metal.

One boy, aged 11, told the RT crew through tears that this was his daily task.

According to RT correspondent Murat Gazdiev, the ancient city has been turned into a “dead and miserable place,” where there is “more rubble than buildings.” Nevertheless, the residents of the city are beginning to return, but most often “not out of choice.”

They literally have nowhere else to go.

A middle-aged man, one of many people interviewed on the streets of Mosul, told RT: “My home is destroyed. My shop is destroyed. I’m borrowing money just to feed my family. I’m going to sell my car tomorrow to buy food. Why is it like this? Where are the countries that said they would support us?

The question is not an idle one. After all, it has been estimated that the US-led coalition forces spent tens of thousands of dollars per airstrike – hundreds and hundreds in the city of Mosul alone (The total cost for the US war in Syria and Iraq, from August 2014 to present, exceeds 14.3 billion US dollars, with a daily average of about 13.6 million).

The money from just a few airstrikes could feed all the civilians in this embattled Iraqi city for months. Yet the much-anticipated food shipments have not arrived, while residents are in a daily race against disease, dehydration, and starvation.

According to RT’s exclusive report, the local Mosul garrison, called ‘Division Five,’ shares its food with the locals, while some NGOs showed up and handed out blankets. But that has been the extent of the humanitarian assistance.

“The world has forgotten Mosul. It’s out of fashion, no longer trending. And locals have a well-founded suspicion that this was never about saving them,” Gazdiev commented.

Meanwhile, there are still some remnants of IS fighters left in the city, which makes the daily necessity of finding food and water even more of a challenge. Indeed, half a year after declaring the city liberated, the RT crew had to be escorted around the town by a soldier with his pistol always drawn and cocked.

At this point, there emerges an obvious question: Why the dramatic difference in conditions between these two places? Why does it seem that Aleppo is recovering not only at a much faster pace, but is also receiving a massive amount of humanitarian aid from Russia?

The answer, I believe, can be found in how both Russia and the US-led coalition approached their respective missions. First, Russia did not suddenly appear in Syria as an invader, as the United States did in Iraq in 2003 when it – wrongly – accused Saddam Hussein of harboring weapons of mass destruction. Syrian President Bashar Assad extended a formal invitation to President Putin to assist his country in routing the terrorist invader.

Second, it was arguably never the intention of the US-led coalition to eliminate Islamic State. This much was admitted in a 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document released by Judicial Watch. The DIA predicted the rise of Islamic State, yet did not categorize the group as an enemy. In fact, it expressed outright support for the emergence of the group.

According to the report: “…There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime…”

In other words, the US-led forces planned for their mercenaries to supplant Assad in Damascus.

This revelation seems to support the Russian Defense Ministry’s claim the US-backed forces in September were facilitating the safe retreat of ISIS fighters out of Iraq and into Syria.

“The US-led coalition, which is simulating the fight against ISIS, primarily in Iraq, sees all this but continues to supposedly actively fight against ISIS, for some reason in Syria,”said Major General Igor Konashenkov.

There is a strong temptation here to say the US-led forces, more concerned about moving its terrorist chess pieces to checkmate President Assad, were not remotely interested in improving the plight of Iraqi and Syrian citizens. Their sole and very cynical interest was gaining a strategic advantage in the region with the help of renegade militants.

All things considered, the dramatically different Christmas pictures coming out of Aleppo and Mosul points to precisely such a grim conclusion.

The people of Mosul are paying the price for such folly.

@Robert_Bridge

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Courtesy: RT

Watch: Muslim in Europe says they will force all non-Muslims to convert to Islam “by Jihad”

This Muslim explains, “Jihad is a holy war against infidels in order to force them to convert to Islam.”
Radical Muslim terrorists all over the world carry out terror attacks “in the name of Allah”.
They justify their violence by quoting verses from the Quran.
Politicians in the West always claim “Islam is a religion of peace”,
Despite the fact that some Muslims and even former Muslims such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sandra Solomon claim that there are verses in the Quran and the Islamic scriptures that call for violence against infidels that often what leads to the violence and terrorism carried out against infidels by Muslims.

Christians are the world’s most persecuted religious group, according to studies
Christians and other Non-Muslim minorities throughout the Muslim world are being persecuted for being non-Muslims.
The Christian community in Iraq and Syria was completely annihilated by radical Muslims, anyone who could not escape and refused to convert to Islam was executed.
The Western world ignores the cruel persecution of Christians in the Muslim world.
Where are all the human rights organizations of the UN? Where are all human rights organizations in the West?
Please pray for the Christian minorities in the Muslim world.

Liberals and leftists in the West use the made up term “Islamophobia” to portray anyone who criticizes Islam as a “racist”.
They ignore the fact that Islam is an ideology that has nothing to do with race.
There is an attempt in the West to impose a sharia-blasphemy law to criminalize criticism of Islam.
It started when Saudi Arabia and Muslim countries tried to pass a UN resolution to force Western states to criminalize criticism of Islam.
The Parliament in Canada passed “Motion M-103” to condemn the so-called “Islamophobia (Fear of Islam)” in a preparation for a blasphemy law in Canada.
According to the sharia blasphemy law anyone who criticizes Islam or the Prophet Muhammad should be killed.
Under Sharia blasphemy law in Saudi Arabia and Iran Muslims are executed if they are accused of blasphemy.
In Pakistan, the situation is even worse, radical Muslims use the blasphemy law to persecute the Christian minority.
Is this the law the liberals in the West want to adopt?
If you think Sharia blasphemy law has no place in the West, share this post!

Courtesy: NBC NEWS

West should boast about its ‘decisive victories’ in Afghanistan, Iraq & Libya, not Syria – Zakharova

West should boast about its ‘decisive victories’ in Afghanistan, Iraq & Libya, not Syria – Zakharova
The US-led coalition should brag about its ‘accomplishments’ in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, instead of over exaggerating its own role in Syria while diminishing Moscow’s achievements in the victory over IS terrorists, Russia’s foreign ministry has said.

On Saturday, the US-led Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) dismissed the Russian defense ministry announcement earlier this week, which proclaimed the liberation of Syria from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), with only “some spots of resistance” remaining across the war-torn country. Brushing aside Russia’s achievements in Syria, a CJTF-OIR representative told Sputnik that terrorists continue to operate in the Deir ez-Zor province.

“The US-led coalition, not the Russian Federation or Syrian Regime, is the only force that has made meaningful progress against [Daesh/ISIS],” the spokesman told the news agency.

Just before that announcement, French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, also refused to acknowledge Moscow’s role in defeating IS, instead, accusing Russia of “appropriating” the US-led coalition victory.

“I sometimes find it a little surprising that Russia appropriates the victory against Daesh,” Le Drian told the BFMTV channel, adding, that the demise of IS came “thanks to the actions of the coalition.”

Earlier Wednesday, President Donald Trump praised himself and Secretary of Defense James Mattis for their achievements in bringing IS to its knees. “He’s knocked the hell out of them,” Trump boasted during a cabinet meeting. “Of course, I made it possible by what I let you do, right?” Trump lightheartedly asked Mattis.

Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, took note of the statements which significantly downplayed Moscow’s role, and ‘advised’ Western politicians to focus on their perceived successes in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, where over the years, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, infrastructure destroyed and vast numbers left in ruins.

US claims full credit for any ‘meaningful’ anti- fight in  https://on.rt.com/8udm 

US claims full credit for any ‘meaningful’ anti-ISIS fight, denies hampering Russia’s Syria op — RT…

Washington has rejected Russia’s contribution in eradicating ISIS in Syria, claiming that only the US-led coalition has made meaningful progress

rt.com

“Our Western partners have been saying in the recent days that it was not Russia but them, the coalition, who defeated Islamic State in Syria,” Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page, especially calling out the Le Drian statement. “Dear Sirs, stop it! Your successes are in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. You should be proud of them,”she sarcastically pointed out.

Russia’s defense ministry also found it “strange” hearing from the French foreign minister that Moscow has somehow “awarded” itself the victory over ISIS.

“The defeat of IS in Syria is first of all result of actions by the Syrian leadership and governmental forces,” the ministry said. “With the support of the Russian Air Force, the Syrian armed forces liberated from IS terrorists hundreds of settlements and returned under control of the legitimate leadership practically the entire territory of the country.”

Russia began providing military support to Syria following an official request from Damascus in 2015 to prevent the terrorists from completely overrunning the country. Russia’s help allowed the Syrian Arab Army to turn the tide and liberate large swathes of the country previously occupied by the jihadists. Smashing the blockade of Deir ez-Zor, the terrorists last stronghold in eastern Syria, represented a turning point in this year’s campaign against the terrorists, ultimately leading to their demise.

The US coalition, meanwhile, Russia’s defense ministry stated, was only able to accomplish a so-called ‘liberation’ of Raqqa, with that ‘victory’ coming through a complete destruction of the city. The coalition also impeded Syrian government forces, conducting direct air strikes on their positions in Deir ez-Zor, the ministry said.

“In three years of its presence in Syria, the coalition only recently achieved its first ‘result’ in the fight against Daesh by destroying Raqqa along with civilians,” the ministry said“That is why, if there is any positive role of the international coalition in defeating Daesh in Syria, it is only that it did not manage to destroy other Syrian cities with its carpet bombing, like it did with Raqqa.”

Courtesy: RT