ISIS Slaughters Detained al Sha'etat Tribe Members

Ten days ago, ISIS captured these members of the al Sha'etat tribe in Deir Ezzor, Syria. I thought they were going to be killed immediately but ISIS gave them a reprieve, allowing them to repent. Non violent photos of them when they were captured are here and after the reprieve here.

Apparently, many either didn't repent or repented then rescinded, because today ISIS reported and showed photos of their slaughter. They were beheaded, crucified or otherwise executed and the photos are disgusting. I'm not linking to the photos, but it's clear they are the same young men.

Also today, ISIS supporters deny killing Yazidi civilians or that ISIS intends to do so. [More...]

The Islamic State never has and never will target and kills unarmed civilians. When cases of killing civilians were proven in Islamic State courts, the accused, sometimes even their own fighters, were executed.

...Regarding the fleeing of refugees to mountains, (refer to point 1 regarding killing of civilians) the Islamic State would not fight or kill those unarmed civilians, and if they so wish, they can return. It is not the fault of the Islamic State when they have fled to the mountains with a false notion that the Islamic State kills civilians. In fact Yazidis live in peace in Mosul which is currently controlled by the Islamic State.

ISIS today took control of the largest Christian town Qaraqosh, between Mosul and Erbil (aka Arbil or Irbil), the capital of Kurdistan.

The onslaught saw the Sunni extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) extend its writ over northern Iraq and move within striking distance of autonomous Kurdistan, in one of the most dramatic developments of the two month-old conflict.

ISIS militants moved into Qaraqosh and other towns overnight after the withdrawal of Kurdish peshmerga troops, who are stretched thin across several fronts, residents said.

...The ISIS advance means jihadists are now within striking distance, in some areas barely 20 kilometers, of the official border of the Kurdish region and 40 kilometers from Arbil.

McClatchy calls it Kurdistan's Last Stand. Exxon and another oil company have withdrawn their personnel from Arbil.

While the U.S. may provide military aid to the Yazedis on the mountain in Sinjar, it is not likely it will engage militarily in Arbil. The U.S. says (correctly in my view) there is no military solution to Iraq.

“There are no military solutions to the problems of Iraq,” he told reporters. He said the United States would move to protect American personnel but that American military action “would have to be closely tied to Iraqi political reforms.”

More from the Washington Post here.

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    I always thought the Kurds (none / 0) (#1)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:27:58 PM EST
    were practically a state of their own, and had some defense forces that would be capable of handling something like this. I guess I am basically amazed that the Iraqi Army we spent human and fiscal treasure building an training has turned out to be nearly useless.

    OK, not so amazed. Part of me knew it was a lie.

    The Kurdish fighting forces (none / 0) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:02:53 AM EST
    have been part of the mirage.  Their reputation is based on a history of resistance to central governments (Iraq and Turkey). Since the Gulf War, they have received air cover and benefited from no-fly zones.  Also, help from special forces.

     Recently, Kurdish forces have been doing fine as security forces, but, apparently, they are lacking in independent and large-scale operational capability.   And, when ISIS came along fighting with millions of dollars of US military equipment seized from the Iraqi army who left it all and fled, the Kurds, too, went into retreat.   The Kurds thought they could sit the Iraqi civil war out and come up with an autonomous country with lots of oil.   ISIS has, reportedly, about 7,000 to 10,000 fighters in total.  The Iraqi army has over 150,000.   But, ISIS has an effective terror/propaganda army as "air support."


    Do you have a link about (none / 0) (#2)
    by ZtoA on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:59:17 PM EST
    where you find your ISIS reporting. Can't find it on google.

    I wonder how Iran feels about ISIS?

    I try to (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:05:03 PM EST
    give a source link for each fact I post. The only ones I don't provide links to are the ones with very graphic violent photos.

    As to where I get the news, I check 20 or so Twitter accounts several times a day, and during the evenings sometimes for hours at a time. Roughly 1/3 are war analysts, 1/3 are journalists in Iraq and Syria, and 1/3 are ISIS members. I  read the news sites in Iraq, Syria and Kurdistan. I check the their tv news sometimes via livestream. I read all the releases from official ISIS sites, from Al Hayat Media to the sites for the various provinces -- each of the major provinces seems to have their own news.  When one of these many sources reports something I think is newsworthy, I cross-check it against the others I read to see how many are saying the same thing or whether any of them dispute it. Then I look for a news article that confirms it.

    The mainstream media is usually a few hours behind these folks.

    I also look for links on the ISIS official sites to anything with a "justpaste.it." That's where the provinces post their multi-page releases with really big color photos. I just wish justpaste.it was searchable.

    I also use TinEye to compare photos I suspect aren't current, like the one I wrote about the other day. And I watch videos on you tube and middle eastern news sites.

    Many of the ISIS supporters don't write in English and I use google translate or bing translator. I stay away those who are ISIS haters or are aligned with Malaki, the Iraqi forces, the Peshmergas or other government aligned forces. They are mostly cheerleaders for their particular side and claim to be winning when they are not. I also avoid "counterterrorism experts" and those who claim ISIS is a present threat to the U.S. or intends to attack the U.S.

    I did not follow anything in Syria or Kurdistan before ISIS, or in Iraq since the U.S. left, and I am not particularly interested in religion. To get a basic understanding of geography, military groups, governments and religion, Google can be helpful. Many of the people I'm reading take for granted their readers are familiar with them and I am not. I also look at a lot of maps.

    The sources I follow are not on any list -- they are just my personal favorites from doing this daily for more than a month. I don't "follow" any of these people or sites on Twitter, I just keep them and certain hash tags in my saved search list. I also check out whose these people quote and link to and who they follow (not who follows them) and who they criticize.

    Each of my ISIS posts takes me three or four hours to write. Some have taken longer. I am not trying to be an analyst or expert, it's way too late for that. I'm just trying to relate what's happening and what is not happening, and to understand ISIS. About the only opinion I have on any of this stuff is that in order to understand the so-called method behind the madness, and figure out how to respond, you have to understand their beliefs and their grievances. ISIS commits horrific acts, but they are not random acts of terrorism or violence for the sake of violence. They are all done for a reason. Only by learning what ISIS believes and wants to achieve, can we hope to understand its attraction to others and calculate how large a threat it poses in the long term, and to whom.


    It is appreciated (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:40:44 AM EST
    Guess Iran's not happy (none / 0) (#3)
    by ZtoA on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:19:59 PM EST
    Iran's Revolutionary Guards Fighting ISIS in Iraq

    "Two battalions of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are reported to be operating in Iraq to combat the offensive campaign being waged by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) against the Iraqi government."

    Iran is no friend (none / 0) (#17)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:16:30 PM EST
    of the Sunnis.  Especially revolutionary Sunnis like ISIS who want to take over much of the Middle East.
    Iranians are predominantly Shiites.  
    Sunni and Shia have been in conflict off and on, and sometimes violently, ever since Mohammed died and there was a split over the succession.

    I know (none / 0) (#19)
    by ZtoA on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:22:11 PM EST
    If you look at a map of now sunni and shia regions in the ME Iran, parts of Iraq and part of Afghanistan are beginning to look like islands. And then there is tiny Israel (tiny in comparative area) in the mix.

    A whole lot of the problems (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:44:20 PM EST
    in Iraq go back to the artificial boundaries drawn by the British after World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
    The Brits failed to take into account the different religious, ethnic, and tribal loyalties in the area.
    Many of the countries that were composed as a result of Colonialism (and it wasn't only the Brits), have not fared well.  It's not just the Middle East.  You can look at Africa, as well, for example.
    (And Afghanistan has been a problem for would-be conquerers since at least Alexander the Great, if not before.)

    Yes, created huge problems (none / 0) (#22)
    by ZtoA on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 03:29:15 PM EST
    ISIS's stated goal is to unite all muslim countries. At some point does that mean removing current national governments? Hard to tell at this point. A map of muslim populations is interesting in that it shows a great sunni dominance as far as territory goes and sunni power is growing with ISIS attacks.

    Yes, there are way, way more (none / 0) (#23)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:07:35 PM EST
    Sunnis than Shiites.
    Iran is overwhelmingly Shiite, and the majority of the people in Iraq are Shiite, as well.
    And then you have the various other Sunni beliefs like Wahabi Islam, prevalent in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
    There is not going to be any uniting of "all Muslim countries," despite the violent delusions of ISIS.
    This does not mean that ISIS is not dangerous.  Far from it.
    When religious fanaticism gets into the mix, who knows what will happen?  How long did it take the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland to stop killing each other?

    and that's not even counting (none / 0) (#28)
    by ZtoA on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:52:21 PM EST
    variations world wide. ISIS is talking tough, and acting brutally and viciously. Iraq and Syria are proving grounds for them.

    Absurd (none / 0) (#31)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:34:36 AM EST
    Creation of boundaries of countries based on religious and ethnic lines is no guarantee against bloodshed.

    Saudi Arabia (as Sunni country) and Iran (a Shia country)are separate countries. However, much of the bloodshed in the Middle East has been caused by these two countries fighting a proxy war against each other.

    The British also created Israel and Pakistan while taking into account religious and ethnic considerations (something that you seem to favor). Did creation of these two countries prevent bloodshed in their respective reasons in the decades that followed?

    The emphasis should be on encouraging people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds to live together in harmony without balkanizing regions.


    respecive regions (none / 0) (#32)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:35:45 AM EST
    they don't kill unarmed civilians, but they did (none / 0) (#5)
    by cpinva on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:51:04 PM EST
    kill those unarmed young men. and I'm guessing they see no conflict in that statement and act. yeah, no doubt those civilians would be in fine hands, should they come down from that mountaintop.

    ISIS needs to not just be stopped, it needs to be crushed, and whatever survivors need to be locked away, forever. that's the only way to be sure.

    the Iraqi and surrounding country's gov'ts are going to need to do the crushing. they're already on the ground, we aren't. the logistics of getting US military aid there ensure it would probably arrive too late to do any more than sift through the debris.

    they do not view those young men as (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:02:04 PM EST
    civilians but as fighters. ISIS claimed tribe members attacked ISIS that day, killing 11 of them. They captured the men in response to the attack, claiming they were fighters and also were traders of cigarettes and hashish which is forbidden under their rule. (Whether it was these particular men who attacked ISIS, or whether they just decided to punish the entire tribe, I'm not clear on.)

    There had been an agreement and the tribe claimed ISIS broke it and fighting broke out, during which the ISIS fighters were killed. ISIS then went back to the villages where the fighting occurred and captured these guys. This was all reported by among others, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (link in my post.)

    Days later they were given an opportunity to repent and apparently did. I put links to the photos of their reprieve in the post. Something else must have happened between then and yesterday that ISIS views as refusal to honor ISIS.  They may have also refused to pay Zakat on their cigarette trading. There are photos of ISIS burning their cigarettes.

    So ISIS's view is they were fighting ISIS and rebelling against it, which under Sharia law, calls for death. The point being, these were not random killings for the fun of it. ISIS determined these men were violators and under their rules, this is the punishment.


    "And under their rules this (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 08:06:05 AM EST
    is the punishment."

    Yes, and this is all we need to know to show we must
    stop them.

    The argument that we destabilized the ME is attractive to some and specious to others.

    It matters not how the patient contracted lung cancer the surgeon must cut it out.


    Kurds (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jack203 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:41:32 PM EST
    I thought the Kurds could handle these guys.  Moving into Kirkuk after ISIS took Tikrit was a good sign of strength.

    I don't like some of the stories I'm reading about this though.  From what I'm reading it sounds like the Kurds are conceding ISIS the initiative and furthermore lack a strong defensive strategy as they are stretched thin.  Not a good sign.

    ISIS needs a victory.  Otherwise, if left alone, they will implode in their own hell they've created.  They are not compatible with the modern world.  The Shiites outnumber the Sunnis handily but not the Kurds.

    At the end, I'm predicting the Kurds, if attacked, will stand and fight and win.  

    Conventional wisdom from the talking heads (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:17:57 PM EST
    is that ISIS has abandoned US equipment and that the Kurds can't handle that.

    Military equipment requires maintenance which means spares and people who can repair.

    If we use air power to stall them the equipment advantage will disappear.


    The big problem the Kurds have (none / 0) (#24)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:37:41 PM EST
    is that their weapons and equipment are outdated, and, in great need of modernization.

    I thought this was one way Obama could help the situation without getting directly involved.

    One other thing I don't approve of is Obama's public announcements as to what, and, how far he will, or, will not, go in this battle.

    Does ISIS need to know this, or, is it for domestic political consideration?


    Yes and yes (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:23:23 PM EST
    I would love to play poker with Obama.

    He'd tell me exactly what he had in his hand and what he intended to do.

    In poker and in a President that is just plain dumb.


    Don't forget to deal your boy GW (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Yman on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 08:58:21 PM EST
    The guy who signed the SOFA treaty in Iraq requiring us to leave Iraq and telling everyone the deadline.  

    Actually, of all the "plain dumb" things he did, that's got to fall somewhere near the bottom of the list.  But look how happy it made him!


    The Shiites outnumber the Sunnis handily (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jack203 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:42:18 PM EST
    in Iraq

    Correct, (none / 0) (#25)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:50:18 PM EST
    Sunnis in Iraq are outnumbered about 2 to 1.

    However,in the rest of the M.E. Sunnis account for approximately 90% of Muslims.


    Preventive medicine is not worth a flip (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:14:41 PM EST
    after the disease is established destroying the body.

    Those with the disease will die off (none / 0) (#20)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:25:27 PM EST
    with knowledge, you prevent future generations from contracting it. That's why we have vaccines, genetic testing etc . . .

    Gee, I didn't know that (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:21:05 PM EST
    Sarcasm intended

    Gee, you apparently didn't (none / 0) (#29)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:57:46 PM EST
    and don't.