Saturday, October 17, 2015

Syrian Army Advance South Of Aleppo, Russians Efficiently Fight ISIS

Syrian troops backed by Hezbollah and Iranian fighters made advances on Saturday in their offensive to retake territory around the northern city of Aleppo from insurgents and jihadist fighters, a monitoring group said.

The campaign around Aleppo, which the army launched on Friday, is one of several assaults it has waged against rebel fighters since Russian jets began carrying out air strikes on Sept. 30 in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

It has concentrated so far on clearing rebel areas south of Aleppo rather than the city itself, which is home to 2 million people and divided between government forces and rebels.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army and its allies retook three villages amid fierce fighting in which at least 17 Islamist fighters and eight soldiers or allied forces were killed.

Washington is trying to present Russians as "the bad guys" since their aerial operation meant to destroy extremist groups in Syria is actually achieving results, while the US-led coalition failed to deliver on its promise to destroy the Islamic State, a German website asserted.

Alles Schall und Rauch added that the US information campaign against Moscow is based on "the total distortion of facts."
The website is also convinced that Washington is in fact supporting the brutal Sunni group, which is terrorizing Iraq and Syria. Similar claims recently surfaced after the Iraqi Armed Forces found a stockpile of US-made weapons, including a number of BGM-71 TOW II anti-tank missiles.
Last week, social media were abuzz when a video footage allegedly showing US supply crates in the strategic Iraqi town of Baiji was posted on Twitter. A man in the short video claimed that those were US supplies to Islamic State.

The Pentagon later explained that some of the armaments the US sent to Iraq went missing last year. The weapons were later seized by advancing militants and in no way should be viewed as a direct assistance to extremists, an official from the US defense agency emphasized.

Still some in Iraq and elsewhere remain unconvinced. Alles Schall und Rauch even went as far as saying that "nobody believed" Washington anymore.

"The overwhelming evidence shows that Americans have been delivering weapons and munition, as well as food and medicine, to ISIL militants for years," the website claimed. This, according to the media outlet, serves as an explanation as to why the US is opposed to Russia's military engagement in Syria.

In addition, Alles Schall und Rauch maintains that the US refusal to accept a UN Security Council statement condemning the shelling of the Russian Embassy in Damascus also proves that Washington is supporting extremists.

The thing about ragtag groups of militants that display a penchant for extreme violence is that in the absence of serious opposition, they can rack up gains at an alarming pace. 
Of course there are plenty of (possibly credible) theories out there, which suggest that some of what you see in the videos released by ISIS is for show and we won’t endeavor to assess the degree to which the group’s brutality is real versus staged, but one thing is clear: regardless of who is funding, training, and/or supporting them, there are obviously fighters on the ground in the Mid-East waving the ISIS flag and committing atrocities in its name. 
That works well when it comes to destabilizing fragile states that are already beset with sectarian bickering on the way to claiming large swaths of territory from a defenseless citizenry.
But you can’t intimidate a modern fighter jet by waving around a sword and if you’re a newbie on the Mid-East militant scene, you can’t scare a three decade veteran by beheading a couple of people, which is why if you’re ISIS, the combination of the Russian Air Force and Hezbollah ground troops is absolutely terrifying.
As we documented earlier today, Hezbollah and Iranian troops are advancing on Aleppo and Moscow is backing the offensive from the sky which means that the hodgepodge of anti-regime forces that control Syria’s largest city will almost (and we say "almost" because there are no sure things in war) certainly be routed in a matter of weeks if not days, which would effectively serve to restore the Assad regime in Syria. 
After that, the Russian bear and Qasem Soleimani will turn their eyes to the East of the country and at that point, it is game over for ISIS. 
Apparently all of the above isn’t completely lost on al-Nusra and Islamic State fighters because if you believe the Russian media (and we’re not saying you should), Sunni extremists are now shaving off their beards and running for their lives. Here’s Sputnik:

Christian Aid Mission has said that Islamic State militants are disguising themselves as refugees at some U.N.-operated refugee camps in Jordan, where they are killing people and selling girls. One such terrorist reportedly abandoned his mission to murder people after seeing the "love of Christians" at the camps.
"The Muslim gangs come as refugees, but they have their agendas," one ministry director, whose name wasn't shared, told the aid group. "They're like a mafia. People are even killed inside the camps, and the refugees are afraid to say if they saw somebody get killed. If you ask them, they'll say, 'I don't know, I was asleep.'"

Millions of people are fleeing Syria and Iraq, looking to escape civil war and IS. Many are presently stationed in neighboring countries, such as Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon, where refugee camps have provided shelter, but not much else, the ministry director said.

"The last time I went inside a camp, I had a policeman with me," he added. "The camps are dangerous because they have IS, Iraqi militias and Syrian militias. It's another place for gangs. They're killing inside the camps, and they're buying and selling ladies and even girls."

IS fighters have persecuted religious minorities, including Christians, to a great extent, in many cases forcing them to convert to their version of radical Islam, or be beheaded. The ministry director suggested that the practice continues inside the camps where IS has taken root.

IS fighters have persecuted religious minorities, including Christians, to a great extent, in many cases forcing them to convert to their version of radical Islam, or be beheaded. The ministry director suggested that the practice continues inside the camps where IS has taken root.

He shared of one story where an IS fighter from northern Syrian came to one of the Jordanian refugee camps with the intention to kill Christian workers — but abandoned his plans after hearing the Gospel and "witnessing the love of the Christians."

"He first saw how Islam brainwashed him about Christianity, and how that contrasted with the reality of what he saw in the Christians," the director said. "And we're talking about an area of Jordan that has three Salafist [a strict, fundamentalist branch of Sunni Islam] mosques. They raise up people to go and fight."

The militant was apparently so enthusiastic about his new faith that the director had to "calm him down," because he began receiving threats from other jihadists who wanted to kill him for converting.

Steve Van Valkenburg, Christian Aid Mission's area director for the Middle East, previously told The Christian Post in September that Christians have an opportunity in the refugee crisis to show the love of Christ and open people's eyes.
"I think that a lot of refugees see that there is something different there, they see the Muslim on Muslim fighting, and then they see how the Christians are reaching out with love and caring — that has to do something with their hearts," Valkenburg told CP.
He added that one thing Christians are showing is that they are not only working with charity, but "we're working with Jesus Christ. We're not working to build an earthly kingdom. I think that has to get the attention of the world."
There have been previous reported cases of IS militants converting to Christianity, such as a story from June where one fighter reportedly experienced a dream of a "man in white," who he said was Jesus.
Gina Fadely, director of Youth With A Mission Frontier Missions, reported the incident back then, and said that the man had confessed to killing a number of Christians, before experiencing the dream and deciding to become a follower of Christ.

Officials Claim The Cyber Attacks On The Electrical Grid Are Intensifying

1 comment:

GG2013 said...

The Pruning-Knife

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it,
that it may bring forth more fruit. – John 15:2

Christ taught many lessons on the sin and doom of uselessness. One of His parables told of a tree that bore
no fruit. The soil was good, and the tree was carefully planted and well tended; still, when the mater came at
the proper season, expecting to find fruit, he found none. Fruitlessness is cursed. The tree with nothing but
leaves is made to wither. There is no place in the Lord’s kingdom for uselessness.

We must notice here that it is the fruitful branch that is pruned. The husbandman does not prune the unfruitful
branch; it would do it no good. It is the true Christian that the Father chastens and causes sometimes to suffer
under sore discipline. The wicked are let alone; but in their luxuriance there is no spiritual fruit.

Another thing to be noticed here is, that the object of the Father’s pruning is that the branch may be made to bear
more fruit. It seems sometimes as if the pruning were destructive; but He who holds the knife knows that what He
is doing will make the vine far more luxuriant in the end, and its fruit sweeter and more luscious. The aim of God in
all His pruning is greater fruitfulness.

Now the pruning, sharp, unsparing,
Scattered blossom, bleeding shoot;
Afterward the plenteous bearing
Of the Master’s pleasant fruit.

If we would but remember this when we find ourselves suffering under God’s chastening hand, it would help us to
bear the pain with patience, and also to co-operate with God in His design of blessing for us. Earthly prosperity
often is to the Christian like the luxuriance which the vine-dresser must cut away to save the vine’s life.