Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fighting Nears Baghdad - UN Warns Of Iraq Break-Up

As Fighting Nears Baghdad, UN Warns Of Iraq Break-Up

Fighting erupted at the northern approaches to Baghdad Tuesday as Iraq accused Saudi Arabia of backing militants who have seized swathes of territory in an offensive the UN says threatens its very existence.

Washington deployed some 275 military personnel to protect its embassy in Baghdad, the first time it has sent troops to Iraq since it withdrew its forces at the end of 2011 after a bloody and costly intervention launched in 2003.
It was also mulling air strikes against the militants, who are led by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) but also include loyalists of now-executed Sunni Arab dictator Saddam Hussein.

Officials said on Tuesday that militants briefly held parts of the city of Baquba, just 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital.
They also took control of most of Tal Afar, a strategic Shiite-majority town between Mosul and the border with Syria, where ISIL also has fighters engaged in that country’s three-year-old civil war.
The overnight attack on Baquba, which was pushed back by security forces but left 44 prisoners dead at a police station, marked the closest that fighting has come to the the capital.
The swift advance of the militants has sparked international alarm, with UN envoy to Baghdad Nickolay Mladenov warning that Iraq’s territorial integrity was at stake.
“Right now, it’s life-threatening for Iraq but it poses a serious danger to the region,” Mladenov told AFP.
“Iraq faces the biggest threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity” in years.
The violence has stoked regional tensions, with Iraq accusing neighboring Saudi Arabia on Tuesday of “siding with terrorism” and of being responsible for financing the militants.
The comments came a day after the Sunni kingdom blamed “sectarian” policies by Iraq’s Shiite-led government for triggering the unrest.
The prime minister of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region told the BBC it would be “almost impossible” for the country to return to how it was before the offensive, and called for Sunni Arabs to be granted an autonomous region of their own.

In an effort to secure the American embassy in Baghdad, President Obama announced Monday night that he will order 275 U.S. troops back to Iraq. These troops are being described as “equipped for combat”. The order comes only days after the President said that no U.S. troops would be sent to Iraq.
About 160 troops are already in Iraq, including 50 Marines and more than 100 U.S. Army soldiers. The President told Congress that there is no deadline for the stay and that the troops will remain in place as long as necessary to protect American interests.
As we reported, Iran has said that it too will commit troops to help secure and protect Baghdad. The U.S. is now talking with Tehran about a joint military venture.
It has been just under three years since President Obama ordered the pullout of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

The officials said dozens of ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.
The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.

In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region.
That report has since been corroborated by numerous other media accounts.
Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in Jordan.

Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms. The training in Jordan reportedly focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.
The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.
The Jordanian officials spoke to WND amid concern the sectarian violence in Iraq will spill over into their own country as well as into Syria.
ISIS previously posted a video on YouTube threatening to move on Jordan and “slaughter” King Abdullah, whom they view as an enemy of Islam.
WND reported last week that, according to Jordanian and Syrian regime sources, Saudi Arabia has been arming the ISIS and that the Saudis are a driving force in supporting the al-Qaida-linked group.

WND further reported that, according to a Shiite source in contact with a high official in the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Obama administration has been aware for two months that the al-Qaida-inspired group that has taken over two Iraqi cities and now is threatening Baghdad also was training fighters in Turkey.
The source told WND that at least one of the training camps of the group Iraq of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria, the ISIS, is in the vicinity of Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, where American personnel and equipment are located.
He called Obama “an accomplice” in the attacks that are threatening the Maliki government the U.S. helped establish through the Iraq war.

As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) marches through Iraq, leavingslaughter and mass graves in its wake, the obvious concern is the eventual creation of a terrorist state in the Middle East. Far across the world on the U.S. southern border, children from Central America are streaming north, at the tacit invitation of our president. Are these unrelated examples of a feckless foreign policy emanating from the White House? Or are these two disparate events are actually related and dangerous to America’s security?

Reported in the British media, it’s not only children crossing our border, but also gang members, including members of MS-13, one of the world’s most violent and dangerous gangs. Why aren’t we hearing more about this? Seems the White House doesn’t want this in the news. “Border Patrol agents are being told not to talk to reporters,” according to the Daily Mail, with the threat of criminal charges against talkative agents. Vice-President Joe Biden however is happy to talk and is pleased with our porous border, calling, “For a constant, unrelenting stream of new immigrants.”

So how does ISIS play into this? When the current leader of ISIS was released from a U.S. detention camp in Iraq in 2009, his parting words to his captors were, “See you in New York.” Were his words a joke, as the Daily Beastreports? Or a reference to a 9-11 sequel? A clue might lie in Iran’s celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution where “Death to America” was one of the more popular rally slogans.

Now back to our porous southern border. If gang members can easily cross into the U.S., would it be any more difficult for members of the Death-to-America crowd to also traipse across? The LA Times reports more than 35,000 illegal immigrants arriving in the U.S. each month. If only one out of a hundred of these new arrivals are members if ISIS, Al Qaeda, or another similarly predisposed group, that’s 350 very bad guys each month ready to set up shop here and bring Death-to-America to city near you.
Not to mention recruiting disaffected U.S. residents to join their cause. A former Gitmo detainee was recently arrested in Spain, caught recruiting for ISIS. How hard would it be to hold a similar membership drive in Mexico or Central America, with the new jihadists joining the flood of 35,000immigrants per month across our border?

This is hardly a new idea. In 2006, a congressional report described 1.2 million illegal aliens apprehended in 2005, 165,000 from countries other than Mexico, and 650 from “special interest countries.” By 2010, the problem was no better. Senator John Cornyn noted 663 individuals arrested crossing the southern border that year from countries known to have ties with terrorism. These include Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, and Syria.

How many were not arrested? That’s unanswerable. But with 35,000 crossing each month, you can bet it’s a significant number. Once safely in the U.S., how hard is it then to bring jihad to America? A shooter in a crowded mall. A homemade bomb at a subway station. Sabotage of power station or reservoir.

Which is why our wide-open borders are an invitation for big trouble. Illegal immigrants receiving free health care and education is the least of it. The bigger question is who is crossing into the U.S. and what are their intentions? As the administration allows the radical Islamic caliphate to grow in the Middle East, and opens our borders wide for any and all to travel into the U.S., this double whammy may give us some unpleasant surprises in the next few years.

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