Iraq

Daesh captures Ramadi

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Daesh (ISIS) has caputred the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

This represents a reverse of Daesh’s perceived fortunes, after air strikes seriously injured their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. With Iraqi forces again fleeing a majority Sunni area, Iranian backed Shia militia are moving towards Ramadi with the Iraqi Government’s backing.

Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province and is just 70 miles from Baghdad. It was a key battleground during the “Sunni Awakening” and the US troop surge which helped to partially defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Daesh (ISIS) has caputred the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

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The rise of “Islamic state” in Iraq and Syria

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Cockburn’s 160 pages are an introduction to the rapid rise of Islamic State (IS) across Iraq and Syria.

Recycling material from articles in the Independent and London Review of Books Cockburn charts how Islamists from various groups came to dominate the Syrian rebellion after 2012 and changed it from one of predominantly secular and democratic opposition to the ultra-conservative. In which Saudi Wahhabism and Saudi and Gulf state funding played a big role.

A review of The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution by Patrick Cockburn.

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Syria: four million refugees

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Lebanon has now revoked the six month residency that it granted Syrians and is enforcing new visa restrictions.

Since 2011 four million Syrians have been forced to leave Syria. Almost half Syria’s population of 11 million people have been displaced.

Since 2011 four million Syrians have been forced to leave Syria. Almost half Syria’s population of 11 million people have been displaced.

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UN suspends refugee food aid

Author: 

Simon Nelson

The UN World Food Programme has suspended the food aid scheme for the 1.6 million Syrian refugees now living in Iraq and Jordan until new funding is secured.

The suspension of the programme, costing £41 million for December alone, could create a crisis for refugees.

More than 3.2 million Syrians have become refugees since the beginning of the conflict with President Assad; a further 7.6 million have been internally displaced. 200,000 Syrians have been killed, 60,000 civilians.

The UN World Food Programme has suspended the food aid scheme for the 1.6 million Syrian refugees now living in Iraq and Jordan until new funding is secured.

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Daesh: a slow fightback

Author: 

Colin Foster

According to the Kurdish website Rudaw, the Syrian-Kurdish forces in Kobane, augmented by peshmerga troops from Iraqi Kurdistan, are now pushing back the ultra-Islamists of Daesh (ISIS, or “Islamic state”).

Kurdish commanders in Kobane say that they now control half the city, which is in a Kurdish-majority part of Syria close to the Turkish border, and the other half is “destroyed” by US air strikes against Daesh.

Regaining territory, however, is a slow process of street-by-street fighting.

Syrian-Kurdish forces in Kobane, augmented by peshmerga troops from Iraqi Kurdistan, are now pushing back the ultra-Islamists of Daesh (ISIS, or “Islamic state”).

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Anti-ISIS passport ban won't work

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Around Kobane, the Kurdish-majority Syrian city near the Turkish border besieged by ISIS ("Islamic State", Daesh), US airstrikes have significantly increased.

Kurdish forces (Iraqi-Kurdish peshmerga, and the Syrian-Kurdish YPG, linked to the Turkish-Kurdish PKK) have now begun to retake territory.

1,200 people have now been killed in the siege.

Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to the KRG (Iraq-Kurdish) president Massoud Barzani, says that the CIA’s figuree of 31,000 ISIS fighters is a big underestimate, and the Iraqi government National Security Adviser concurs.

Only by taking on the ideas of clerical fascism and defeating them, rather than by suppressing civil rights or banning access to literature, websites, or debate, can the ideologues of ISIS be exposed and defeated.

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ISIS threat is still strong

Author: 

Simon Nelson

ISIS (Daesh, the “Islamic State” movement) now governs over six million people across Iraq and Syria and despite an apparent slowing of new foreign fighters coming to join them they have maintained a large group of fighters and a formidable military capability.

ISIS, the “Islamic State” movement, now governs over six million people across Iraq and Syria and despite an apparent slowing of new foreign fighters coming to join them they have maintained a large group of fighters and a formidable military capability.

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Should the left say: "Let the Kurds die!"?

Author: 

Dan Katz

Over a thousand Kurdish people gathered in Trafalgar Square, London, on Saturday 1 November, taking part in a day of international solidarity for the Kurds fighting ISIS (Daesh, "Islamic State") in Kobane.

Among the small number of people at the protest who were not Kurdish were a handful of representatives of the Socialist Party and SWP. Both these groups have a problem.

The slogan "stop the US bombing" equates to "let the Kurds die".

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Should the left say: "Let the Kurds die!"?

Author: 

Dan Katz

Over a thousand Kurdish people gathered in Trafalgar Square, London, on Saturday 1 November, taking part in a day of international solidarity for the Kurds fighting ISIS (Daesh, "Islamic State") in Kobane.

Among the small number of people at the protest who were not Kurdish were a handful of representatives of the Socialist Party and SWP. Both these groups have a problem.

If "stop the bombing" immediately means "let the Kurds of Kobane die", socialists should not raise that slogan.

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