Earlier, Iraqi government troops and / or Kurdish fighters defeated ISIS at the border town of Kobane, near Turkey, and took control of the Baiji oil refinery, the largest oil refinery in Iraq. CNN was referring to the recent take-down of the Iraqi army at Ramadi. Still, does the CNN headline comes across as biased?
Earlier this year, The Fiscal Times reported that ISIS has been “defeated in every front in Iraq in unprecedented way – from Mosul to the north to Anbar to the west and Diyala to the east…” Iraqi government forces, Shiite militias, Sunni tribes and Kurdish forces were all victorious in battle, read the report.
In April, ISIS was beat back from the city of Tikrit. “ISIS just suffered its worst defeat yet – losing the Iraqi city of Tikrit,” reported Vox.
In March, The Washington Post stated: “Reports of rising tensions between foreign and local fighters, aggressive and increasingly unsuccessful attempts to recruit local citizens for the front lines, and a growing incidence of guerrilla attacks against Islamic State targets suggest the militants are struggling to sustain their carefully cultivated image as a fearsome fighting force…”
So, the question is: Who’s right? Is CNN being biased by stating that ISIS is winning? Or is ISIS being defeated, as other publications have stated?
Just as important – are some news outlets more likely to claim ISIS is “winning” than other media? Does politics come into play? For example, is Fox News more likely to report that ISIS is winning because it makes the President look bad? Just a thought…
Turkey and Saudi Arabia have come up with an aggressive new strategy to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad: they are aiding extremist rebel groups.
“The two countries — one a democracy, the other a conservative kingdom — have for years been at odds over how to deal with Assad, their common enemy. But mutual frustration with what they consider American indecision has brought the two together in a strategic alliance that is driving recent rebel gains in northern Syria, and has helped strengthen a new coalition of anti-Assad insurgents, Turkish officials say.
“That is provoking concern in the United States, which does not want rebel groups, including the al-Qaida linked Nusra Front, uniting to topple Assad. The Obama administration worries that the revived rebel alliance could potentially put a more dangerous radical Islamist regime in Assad’s place, just as the U.S. is focused on bringing down the Islamic State group. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues, said the administration is concerned that the new alliance is helping Nusra gain territory in Syria.”
Bashar al-Assad – the current leader of Syria – is an Alawite Muslim – related to Shia Muslims (also called Shi’ite Muslims). He is aligned with Iran, a Shia-oriented nation.
Al-Assad, however, is considered a moderate. However some nations that are U.S. allies look at Assad as an enemy for political reasons.
So, is the situation in The Middle East becoming more of a train wreck? Should the U.S. take a stand against its own allies?
A four-minute video shows a young man identified as Mosa’ab el Mohager in the back of a car, driving near the outskirts of Benghazi.
It ends with a shot of a distant explosion, which was supposedly the explosion of the young man carrying out a “martyrdom operation” in the name of the local Libyan branch of ISIS.
“We, unfortunately, are likely to see more and more of these tapes,” said Khaled Masouri, a 27-year-old Egyptian teacher who recently returned to Cairo from a year-long teaching project in Libya. “There are many Egyptians flocking to these jihadi groups.”
Thousands of Egyptians are estimated to be fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria, states BuzzFeed.
Egypt’s military has openly bombed ISIS targets in Libya.
However, Egyptian officials fear that thousands more Egyptioans could join the ISIS militants that it’s attacking, in a country that it shares a long, porous border with.
While we focus on the beheadings in the fight with ISIS in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has beheaded 57 criminals this year, according to Agence France-Presse. The most recent beheading was for the crime of drug smuggling.
Is there a double-standard in our dealings with the different countries of the Middle East? Does it have a relationship to oil and economics?
“Old-Time” conservative Pat Buchanan “gets it” about Iran and the fight against ISIS.
The fight in Iraq is the Sunni rebel ISIS against Iran-backed Shia Muslims.
Buchanan was a senior advisor to Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, according to Wikipedia.
Fox News’ Sean Hannity doesn’t seem to understand the situation on the ground in the Middle East. He apparently wants the United States to fight both sides in the battle of Sunni rebel ISIS vs. Iran-backed Shia. The U.S. has to pick a side – hopefully the lesser of two evils.
In World War II, you wouldn’t fight both the Nazis AND Britain. You pick a side. Hannity doesn’t seem to get it.
Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed recently that the city of Tikrit (in Iraq) has been recaptured from Islamic State (ISIS) after a long battle.
Tikrit was considered Saddam Hussein’s hometown.
Haider al-Abadi went on live television to announce the liberation of Tikrit and congratulated the Iraqi security forces and popular volunteers “on the historic milestone,” according to the IB Times U.K.
According to the I.B. Times U.K., “an Iraqi commander said the Iraqi flag is flying on the Salaheddin provincial headquarters in the flashpoint city.”
Previously, Iraqi Shi’ite militias halted Tikrit operations following US air strikes on IS defenders.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, A’laa al-Idani, told IBTimes UK air strikes by the US and its coalition allies would help to destroy the network of tunnels where IS militants were holed up and allow the army and militias to fully take the city after over a week of fighting.
Iraqi forces launched an attack to push IS out of Tikrit on March 2nd, with a force of 30,000 Sunni and Shi’ite fighters. Taking back Tikrit could serve as a launchpad for a key battle to seize Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, back from the jihadists.
Are all Muslims the same? Does religion play a role in the Middle East?
Is ISIS and Iran on the same side, or are they fighting each other?
Is Bashar Assad on the same side as ISIS?
The turmoil in Yemen grew into a regional conflict Thursday, with Sunni Saudi Arabia and its allies bombing Shiite rebels allied with Iran, while Egyptian officials said a ground assault will follow the airstrikes.
Is the answer in the Middle East to kill as many people as possible…or is it more subtle and nuanced, with “grey areas?”
“Bill O’Reilly stated definitively, multiple times tonight, that he believes the United States and the world are in a ‘holy war’ against ISIS and the White House needs to accept that fact. He said, ‘This is now a so-called holy war between radical jihadists and everyone else, including peaceful Muslims,'” according to Mediaite.
“O’Reilly again faulted President Obama for a lack of leadership in taking on the terror threat.
“But O’Reilly was also shocked by the ‘frightening… nonsense’ from State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf on how the U.S. can’t kill its way out of war with ISIS.”
Arkansas state senator Jason Rapert took to Facebook to suggest that dropping nukes on ISIS is the best way to “quickly turn things around” in territory captured by Islamic State extremists. Apparently, “collateral damage” did not enter his mind.
“With ISIS spreading all over the Middle East and Africa and Islamic Extremists carrying out violence in Europe, The United Kingdom and even in the United States, I wonder why the civilized world just sits by when we have weapons that could wipe out these barbarians where they are concentrated? I believe it is time to annihilate the strongholds and pursue the rest till we have them all captured or killed. A strategically placed nuclear weapon would save the lives of our soldiers and quickly turn things around. It is time for the insanity to be stopped.”