Tag Archives: Syria

Some Thoughts on the Cruise Missile Strikes on the Syrian Regime

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by Christopher W. Holton

I have mixed thoughts on the US cruise missile strike on the Syrian airfield last night.

These thoughts are going to appear all over the map but given the situation in the Middle East, that seems unavoidable:

• There can be no doubt that Syria’s armed forces launched the sarin attack that prompted the US cruise missile strike. The excuse that the Syrians and Russians gave that Al Nusra moved a sarin lab into the area and an air strike inadvertently released the chemicals is absurd. Sarin would burn off in such a strike and would not be dispersed in such a way as to cause mass casualties. Syrian forces have used fixed wing aircraft to launch chemical attacks in the past. It appears that the US military has intelligence, either through technical or human means–or both–about how the chemical attack was conducted.

• I hope that the cruise missile strike is strictly a punitive strike against Assad for his use of chemical weapons and not a signal that the US is getting more involved in the Syrian melee or choosing sides in a multi-sided war that has no good guys (in any significant numbers) on any side.

• America’s main interest in Syria continues to be the destruction of the Islamic State.

• The Jihadists who are arrayed against Assad are organizations that he for years supported and allowed to stage through Syria via rat lines into Iraq’s Al Anbar province. This is a case of Frankenstein’s monsters turning against Dr. Frankenstein.

• The pundits who are claiming that Assad is “secular” or a “protector of Christians” and therefore should not be targeted are ignorant. Assad has been a long-time sponsor of Jihadist terrorism. The groups that he is now fighting against were once under his protection. He is a long-time sponsor of Jihadist terrorism, particularly Hezbollah. Syria has protected and provided safe haven to Hezbollah for decades. Until September 11th, 2001, Hezbollah had racked up the highest body count of Americans of any terrorist organization in the world, including the 23 October 1983 Islamikaze bombing of the US Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. In other words, Assad is an enemy of the US and always has been. The fact that he dresses like a Westerner and is not a pious Muslim himself is completely irrelevant. Moreover, Assad has waged a propaganda campaign to convince gullible Westerners that he is a protector of Christians. It serves his purposes at this point to portray himself that way, but, remember, the organizations committing genocide against Christians in Syria today once enjoyed Assad’s protection.

• Obama was in a much better position to take action against Assad’s chemical arsenal years ago and failed to do so after speaking loudly about it. President Trump inherited a position of weakness and sought to re-establish American strength in the theater of operations.

• The Russians claimed that they had removed all of Syria’s chemical weapons back in 2014 in a deal trumpeted by the Obamanistas. They lied. The Russians lie. That is what they do.

• The key ally to the Russians and Syrians in the conflict is Iran, a mortal enemy of the US. That’s worth mentioning.

Jihad in the USA Update for 30 September

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Below please find news stories covering Jihadi activity in North America over the past several days…

1. The Christian Science Monitor has published an in-depth series on Jihadist activity specifically pertaining to the Islamic State this week. There are 3 interesting articles worth reading in the series:

Eight faces of ISIS in America

These are the stories of a few of the 58 men and women arrested in the United States so far this year on charges of providing material support or other assistance to the Jihadist Islamic State group…

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/0929/Eight-faces-of-ISIS-in-America/Jaelyn-Young-raising-cubs-for-jihad

ISIS in America: how doomsday Muslim cult is turning kids against parents

So far, 58 Americans have been arrested in 2015 for plotting violence or attempting to join the so-called Islamic State in Syria. More than half are under 25, and experts say recruits are getting younger.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/0928/ISIS-in-America-how-doomsday-Muslim-cult-is-turning-kids-against-parents

One Virginia teen’s journey from ISIS rock star to incarceration

Virginia honors student Ali Shukri Amin’s radicalization through his prolific use of social media represents a cautionary tale for American teenagers and their parents.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/0929/One-Virginia-teen-s-journey-from-ISIS-rock-star-to-incarceration

2. Illinois man accused of trying to join Islamic State may face trial

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 20, of the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook is charged with trying to provide material support to Islamic State militants after he tried to travel with his two younger siblings to the Middle East to join the group.

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/news/id_11119/Illinois-man-accused-of-trying-to-join-Islamic-State-may-face-trial.html

3. Ex-University of Texas student gets 10 years in prison for aiding terrorists

More than a year after he pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding overseas terrorists, Rahatul Ashikim Khan, a former University of Texas student, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.

Khan, 24, became the second of two young men convicted in Austin of the rare federal offense after admitting he connected an undercover agent with co-conspirators recruiting jihadi fighters to Somalia. His plea in July followed that of Michael Todd Wolfe, a Houston native, who confessed he had plans to travel to Syria to engage in jihad himself.

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/former-ut-student-faces-up-to-15-years-in-prison-f/nnnZw/

4. Revealed, AMERICAN jihadi is ‘top ISIS commander’: Yazidi slave reveals that she was beaten and held captive by US citizen who directs attacks and keeps vial of poison to kill himself if he is caught

A Yazidi slave girl has claimed the high-ranking ISIS commander who held her prisoner was a white American who directed the terror group’s attacks and received personal letters from its leader.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3253107/Is-ISIS-commander-AMERICAN-jihadi-Yazidi-slave-reveals-beaten-held-captive-citizen-directs-attacks-keeps-vial-poison-kill-caught.html

5. Imam told Portland Seven that combat against U.S. was ‘legitimate jihad,’ court papers say

The imam of Portland’s biggest mosque collected money from worshippers after 9/11, sending the Portland Seven to Afghanistan to fight against coalition forces, the U.S. Department of Justice alleges in its fight to deport the imam.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/09/imam_told_portland_seven_that.html

6. Congress Claims US Has Failed to Stop Americans from Joining ISIL’s Jihad

The US has failed to stop Americans from traveling abroad to enlist as Islamic State militants, according to a bipartisan congressional task force.

http://sputniknews.com/world/20150930/1027767229/us-congress-report-islamic-state.html

7. MAN ORDERED OUT OF COURTROOM AFTER OUTBURSTS IN TERRORISM CASE

A man accused of being a terrorist had to be removed from a federal courtroom Tuesday morning following outbursts.

Basit Sheikh was arrested at Raleigh Durham International Airport on November 2, 2013 trying to board a plane for Lebanon.

Sheikh is charged with providing material support to a terrorist group. Prosecutors say he tried to join a militant group linked to al-Qaida.

http://abc11.com/news/man-removed-from-court-after-outbursts-in-terrorism-case/1007939/

 

France joins air campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria

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By Christopher Holton

France has joined the air campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria. Up to now France has limited its air strikes to Islamic State targets in Iraq.

Allowing your enemies any kind of safe haven is a bad idea, so this decision by France is a welcome one indeed. It’s also good because of the pathetically slow pace of the U.S. air campaign, which involves just a few air strikes a day, often on targets of dubious value.

Hopefully the addition of French aircraft will result in a better pace for the campaign going forward.

Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that the Islamic State can be defeated by air strikes alone and defeating the Islamic State needs to be a top priority for Western powers.

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