ISIS Marches On (And The Saudis Are Getting Nervous)

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum via Acting-Man blog,

Destroying Iraq's Cultural Heritage

The fundamentalist retro-gang that has conquered Northern Iraq has decided it needs to go Taliban on cultural monuments it disapproves of. One of the most recent outrages was the destruction of the tomb of Yunus, better known in the West as the prophet Jonah (yes, the biblical one who spent some time in the belly of a whale). Jonah is one of the prophets revered by both Christians and Muslims, so the motivation is not entirely clear. However, this is by far not the only ancient religious site ISIS has destroyed in the vicinity of Mosul. Reportedly the group has by now destroyed some 30 ancient shrines, churches, mosques and Hussainiyas in the area of Mosul alone. Oddly, this included at least four Sunni mosques, so there appears to be a certain degree of arbitrariness to these actions. Yazidi monuments are of course also on the list of things ISIS destroys whenever an occasion presents itself.

In short, the group is not only killing people that don't conform to its harsh version of Islam, it is also trying to erase all traces of their history and culture. It cares not one whit how old or unique these buildings and monuments are. For instance, the mosque of Yunus was built on an archeological site the oldest parts of which date back to the 8th century BC. In short, there are buildings in Iraq that have survived 2,800 years of upheaval and strife, but they haven't survived the coming of ISIS. Apparently ISIS considers all the shrines and mosques it destroys “places of apostasy”. In the course of its rampage it has also burned the books of the Diyala province's library, so reading is apparently a no-no for ISIS as well.

It should be noted that this rabid interpretation of Sunni Islam is quite a retrogression from Islam as it was originally practiced in the centuries after its founding. The schism between Shi'ites and Sunnites of course goes back almost to the beginning of the Muslim religion. However, although the Muslim rulers of old were expansionist and not at all averse to warfare, were actually relatively tolerant of members of other religions living on their lands.

A tiny part of the traditions established at the time are even preserved by ISIS in a way. It reportedly gives Christians living in the areas of Iraq and Syria it controls the choice between conversion, paying the jizya tax, or death. The payment of this special tax was historically actually not regarded as an injustice, but was rather seen as an attempt to balance the Muslim zakat tax and so to speak create a level playing field. Of course for ISIS it is just another source of revenue.

It is quite ironic that one of the main financial backers of ISIS is finally getting worried a bit in light of all these events:

“Saudi Arabia is seeking help from Pakistan and Egypt to protect its borders and religious sites from attacks by the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), the International Business Times reported.

 

"The kingdom is calling in favors from Egypt and Pakistan. No one is certain what ISIS has planned, but it's clear a group like this will target Mecca if it can. We expect them to run out of steam, but no one is taking any chances," the International Business Times wrote Sunday citing an adviser to the Saudi government. The jihadist group started a large-scale offensive against Iraq’s Shiite government led by Nouri Maliki in June, aiming to seize Baghdad.

 

Militants have destroyed several prominent religious sites in the Iraqi city of Mosul, some 400 kilometers (nearly 250 miles) north of Baghdad, over the past weeks. The group defended their actions by saying, "The demolition of structures erected above graves is a matter of great religious clarity," according to Agence France-Presse.'

 

Among the levelled sites were some of the main mosques, the Nabi Yunus shrine (Tomb of Jonah) and a shrine to The Prophet Seth. Eleven sites of Christian worship have been destroyed, including the Chaldean archdiocese, as well as the Diyala Province Library, where approximately 1,500 books were burnt.

(emphasis added)

We would add to this that there is no proof that the Saudi government has done anything beyond tolerating that rich private Saudi citizens supported ISIS with donations, but let us apply some logical thinking here. This is an army that has grown from an “estimated 2,000 fighters” to “no-one knows how many fighters” practically overnight. As we have pointed out previously, it has quite a lot of sophisticated equipment at its disposal as well. Not only military equipment, but also things like construction machinery. It runs its own oil and gas fields and even has a kind of propaganda ministry capable of regularly putting out slickly produced recruitment videos. When it was recently reported that the group has taken over the Mosul dam, it was revealed that there are also numerous engineers in its ranks who have previously helped with employing water as a weapon to help its war effort (see also below).

So this is clearly not a fly-by-night operation at all, quite the contrary (for some additional background on this, here is a list of our previous articles on ISIS, or IS as it is now calling itself since it has proclaimed its caliphate, in chronological order:  “ISIS Attempts to Establish Islamist Caliphate” , “The Cheerful, Yet Lethal Prophet”, "Iraq Continues to Unravel and "Islamic Caliphate Proclaimed).

What can one conclude from this fact? That some unknown djihadist with the nom-de-guerre Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi managed to actually create a huge, well-trained and well-equipped army plus an apparatus that has many characteristics of a State, or better said, a well-run vertically integrated military-industrial-religious conglomerate, out of thin air? And every single intelligence agency in the world just happened to 'miss' that this was happening? Doesn't sound very credible, does it?

It seems far more likely that ISIS did in fact receive state support, quite possibly from more than just one state. Probably it was intended as a counterweight to Shi'ite (or Allawite), influence in Iraq and Syria, mainly in order to thwart Iran, resp. lessen its regional influence. Presumably, this abomination has eventually developed a dynamic of its own and has ultimately gotten out of control, big time.

 

yunus mosque

The prophet Yunus Mosque before it was blown up by ISIS. Henceforth, it will forever remain a post card.

(Photo via beirut-today.com / Author unknown)

 

Water as a Weapon

Using water as a weapon in Iraq is not exactly a new idea. Saddam reportedly already considered flooding a large area of Iraq by blasting the Mosul dam so as to entrap the US army, but evidently reconsidered this course (too much damage would have been wrought). What he definitely did do was to divert water from the Southern Iraqi marshes, where Euphrates and Tigris meet – the largest area of natural wetlands in the Middle East. This was done to drive out the so-called Marsh Arabs, nomadic Shi'ites who have lived in the area for centuries. He actually managed to almost completely dry out this unique habitat, poisoning the soil over a vast area, as salts would no longer be washed out. In an astonishing demonstration of nature's persistence, the marshes have almost completely recovered since Saddam's exitus.

Anyway, Saddam was no doubt a fount of rationality and reserved politeness compared to ISIS. Hence recent news that the group had captured the huge Mosul dam was greeted with some trepidation – especially as the dam is already considered an accident waiting to happen, due to long neglected maintenance.

In the meantime it has emerged that Kurdish Peshmerga have apparently managed to hold or retake the Mosul dam, although these reports emanating from the fog of an ongoing war are probably not very reliable. After all, the ISIS takeover of the dam was originally reported by Kurdish forces as well, which incidentally lost three cities and an oil field to ISIS over the very same weekend. One thing is certain, if the ISIS leadership were to prove crazy enough to use the dam to create an artificial flood, it would be a gigantic catastrophe.

 

Aerial_view_of_Mosul_Dam.jpg.1538675

An aerial view of the Mosul dam

(Photo © Ali Haidar Khan)

 

Mosul_Dam_BW_Overhead.jpg.1538705

A close up picture of the Mosul dam installations made by the US army corps of engineers in 2006. At the time it was already noted that the rickety structure was in urgent need of renovation. It may not even require sabotage by ISIS for a catastrophic breakdown of the dam to happen.

(Photo © Reuters)

Whether or not ISIS actually controls the dam, it definitely does control large parts of the upper reaches of both Euphrates and Tigris in Northern Iraq. With that it has already control over several major dams, and is presumably in a position to make life difficult for those living downstream. In fact, the New Scientist reported in mid June already that ISIS had apparently captured the Mosul dam (that is the one at “risk of collapse” in the excerpt below):

“Iraq is ancient Mesopotamia, the once-fertile floodplain of the Tigris and Euphrates that cradled the first human civilization. The rivers remain crucial to the farming on which most Iraqis depend, according to a report by the International Centre for Agricultural Research on the Dry Areas, which was once based in Aleppo, Syria, but has now decamped to Amman in Jordan to avoid fighting.

 

ISIS now controls several major dams on the rivers, for instance at Haditha and Samarra. It also holds one 30 kilometers north of Mosul that was built on fragile rock and poses a risk of collapse. It holds at least 8 billion cubic meters of water. In 2003, there were fears Iraqi troops might destroy the dam to wipe out invading forces. US military engineers calculated that the resulting wave would obliterate Mosul and even hit Baghdad.

 

ISIS has already used water as a weapon, in a smaller way. In late April ISIS stopped flow through the relatively small Nuaimiyah dam on the Euphrates in Fallujah, reportedly with the aim of depriving Baghdad and southern Iraq of water. It could also have been to block military approaches to the town.

 

Instead, the river backed up and poured into an irrigation canal, flooding the town of Abu Ghraib and dozens of surrounding villages over 200 square kilometers. Five people died, and 20,000 to 40,000 families fled to Baghdad. 

(emphasis added)

 

dn25722-5_1094

Dams allegedly controlled by ISIS as of mid June.

(Map via plattformbelomonte.blogspot.co.at)

 

As can be seen above, ISIS definitely doesn't shy away from using water as a weapon when it feels that occasion demands it.

 

ISIS Conquers its First Slice of Lebanon

In order to blackmail Lebanon's government into releasing one of its leaders who was recently captured, ISIS recently expanded its conquest into Lebanon as well, capturing the fairly large city of Arsal, in a Sunni majority region near the Syrian border. Arsal houses 40,000 regular residents and 120,000 Syrian refugees, so it is not just some hick town. According to the Wire:

“Militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured the Lebanese city of Arsal in fighting that began on Friday and continued Monday.

 

According to The Telegraph, a Syrian rebel group set up check-points in the border city but have not yet declared the area as part of the caliphate. In addition to 40,000 residents, there are roughly 120,000 refugees living in Arsal.

 

The conflict broke out after the Lebanese Army arrested Abu Ahmad al-Jumaa, a former commander in the Free Syrian Army who later declared allegiance to ISIS. Officials said they arrested Jumaa because he planned to attack an army outpost.

 

Since the Syrian Uprising began in 2011, an estimated one million refugees have crossed the nearly 250 mile border from Syria into Lebanon, a number expected to hit 1.5 million by the end of 2014 The United Nation's Refugee Agency predicts.

 

The Sunni insurgents said they will leave Arsal if the government releases Jumaa, something Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Slama flatly rejected on Monday. 

(emphasis added)

National borders haven't stopped ISIS before, and evidently the border between Syria and Lebanon isn't regarded as anything special by it either.  Moreover, this incursion potentially promises a to give it a chance to tussle with Hezbollah, the Shi'ite political party and militant group that predominates in Lebanon. Since its members are apostates in ISIS' book, it probably relishes the opportunity.

 

Lebanon incursion

The Lebanese city of Arsal has been captured by ISIS as well now, so to speak in passing.

(Map via gotnewswire.com)

 

Amazingly, this happened practically concurrently with ISIS' forays into Kurdish held territory, which shows what enormous reach the organization actually has by now. It seems pretty clear that its membership is far larger than the estimated 2000 fighters that were attributed to it as recently as in April or May.

 

Conclusion:

Luckily, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Not only do the Saudis believe that “ISIS will run out of steam” just before it gets to Mecca (see above), but more importantly, “the US State Department also issued a statement that it was “actively monitoring” the Iraqi situation” (apparently it neglected to “actively monitor” the Lebanese situation though).

What could possibly go wrong?

 

Addendum:  Even More War, Just Around the Corner …

Just in case you thought there wasn't enough bloodshed and war in the world just yet, another old conflict has just broken into the open again, namely the never-ending battle between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

“Azerbaijan and Armenia on Monday both reported more losses in a sharp escalation of fighting over the South Caucasus region Nagorno-Karabakh, with 18 soldiers now confirmed dead.” 

What the hell is going on we wonder? Is it something in the air? Note that all of this is happening with stock markets still fairly close to their recent all time highs. If the markets decline from here, it will signal a worsening social mood, which as a rule tends to invite even more war.

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Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Got all the makings of the best Gay Pride Parade of the summer!

john39's picture

Emmanual Goldstien wreaking more havoc in the ME i see...

MeMongo's picture

ISIS= Tribe invention

Nuff said!

Latina Lover's picture

So, the Tribe had finally decided to remove their Saudi Allies and take the Oil for themselves.  Got it.

BaBaBouy's picture

Cograts GWB & Your IRAQ WMD's WAR/Invasion...

You Broke It, We ALL NOW OWN IT, In Perpetuity...

ZerOhead's picture

Edward Snowden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, is a MOSSAD intelligence asset – Alex James |

                                 

                                                        ?

Winston Churchill's picture

Plenty of precedents of double, and triple agents in history.

Maybe the Arabs have finally mastered the CIA, and Mossad at their own game:

The double cross.

The best laid plans of mice ,and men........

Hugh G Rection's picture

ISIS you say?

Hmmm,

Wonder how they got ahold of Israeli weapons?

disabledvet's picture

Sorry 'bout blasting ya the other day. "Just chilling with the Fundermentalists" here.

Hugh G Rection's picture

Kinda cool of those Wahhabi guys to go along with Israel's strategic objectives in Syria and Iraq right?

CLEAN BREAK

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Yeah, I mean, why are their targets everyone BUT Israel?  Hmmm....

JLee2027's picture

Because they haven't gotten there yet.

froze25's picture

I always thought ISIS was run by the Saudis.

JLee2027's picture

Everyone has a theory and no one knows.

Muh Raf's picture

Mo, the Saudis are run by the CIA. Now mossad have created their own rival takfeeri/salafi vassal army and have recruited many of the lads previously on the Saudi payroll. The strategic Israeli objective is to steal the Iraqi oil revenues, now the US troops have pulled out and aren't there to protect the 'reparation' revenues. As usual the jews have united many fractious groups on the promise of a bung once the cash starts rolling. These people need to watch Goodfellas to understand how this will end (ref: the big cash job that De Niro has emotional problems divying up, result he doesn't and his comrades in arms end up 'taking' an early bath)

JLee2027's picture

All conjecture no proof. Dismissed.

JohninMK's picture

Good time to hit SA, most of their top people are in London avoiding the SA heat.

disabledvet's picture

Hmmm. Don't know. This thing is like the Ebola of Islam here. Might have started outed as something "practicable" but clearly this IS thing is doing what it wants here.

Israel looks to me to have been defeated in Gaza actually. The USA and the West look dead in the water. The only reports I get out of the MSM "anecdotally" (going on many years...touched upon but not explored) are the number of Westerners (former?) streaming into the Middle East to become jihadis.

Pope himself has brought up the issue of large quantities of arms flooding into the Middle East as well. Nice Silverados they're driving around in. Long General Motors?

RichardP's picture

Israel looks to me to have been defeated in Gaza actually.

Their objective was to destroy the tunnels.  They did.  No defeat there.  So of what defeat do you speak?

ZerOhead's picture

< Netanyahu

< Obama/Bin Sultan/Netanyahu (AKA the 'triple threat')

Most likely winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

Netanyahu nominated for the Gaza Peace Campaign

Obama/Bin Sultan/Netanyahu nominated for the Middle East Faith Based Initiative known as ISIS

NoDebt's picture

An army of radical Muslims is ripping through middle eastern countries nearly unopposed.  And nobody has any clue where they came from or who funded them?  Bullshit.  Somebody damned well knows.

ZerOhead's picture

It's such a heinous organization killing indiscriminately and destroying the historic treasures of ALL cultures and religions.

Well organized... armed... and coming out of nowhere. (After 5 yrs in a US war prison and perhaps some time with Mossad... BTW those pictures of Abu Bakr are almost certainly fake))

EVERYONE hates it... but first it has to be officially recognized before any bordering countires can attack it and thus seize the lands of the Islamic Caliphate as their own to the cheers of the International Community. But that's still a ways off.

Perhaps Israel can help the world when the time is right?

813kml's picture

The most likely scenario, also explains why the US is staying out of things (except for CIA).

Charles The Hammer Martel's picture

Let me lay it out....

John McCain funded Free Syrian Army=ISIS=Al Qaeda and most of the Muslim men 18-40 from Britain also half of them from Dearborn MI. John McCain=ISIS. The American Political Establishment position including Obame....

"These guys are killing and destroying all of the things we "morally" couldnt for ten years in 6 months. Send the CIA to help them and get Mossad on the line and make sure they reduce Mecca and Medina to rubble."

Look on the bright side folks, ISIS is doing a fantastic job.

RockRiver's picture

Edward Snowden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, is a MOSSAD intelligence asset – Alex James |

 

 

How could this guy be alive if this were true and this info is readily available on the web? I am skeptical...

Muh Raf's picture

Firstly most of his adherents can't read at all, let alone read english. Secondly the top two layers immediately below him will be in on it and will tell the rank and file that this is a CIA plot to undermine the dear leader. Thirdly, any Muslim accepting this tw*t as Allaah's vicegerent on earth must swear an oath of allegiance to him which immediately becomes a religious duty. Fourthly, he will be sharing the 'spoils of war' with his jamaah (congregation) and no-one is going to turn good money, gold, silver, wenches etc away in areas of such high unemployment and low GDP. I could go on but I'm bored....

ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

just wait till the Corporate roll out no more geographical contexts needed we go right to sponsorships;

Jaba the Piza Hutt

Al-Tacobelle

Sheik-en Fries

Hugh G Rection's picture

Yep.

Those bullshit 28 redacted pages will no doubt throw Saudi Arabia under the bus for 9/11.

Remember, the northen portion of SA happens to lay in the path of the Eretz Yisrael Project.

Think those "shocking pages" will discuss Israeli spies caught on 9/11 with truck bombs? Or dual citizens in charge of the criminal coverup and non investigation?

Here's 10 minutes of what the red herring we are about to be force fed wont show.

ZerOhead's picture

So WHO put them up to this attack on the US?

To be continued...

Hugh G Rection's picture

It can only be either Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia...Oooo, maybe Iran!

 

Get the dumb Americans mad at Iran, the Zionists have been itching for that war far too long...

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Hollywood Beyond. It's amazing what a few pallets of $100 bills can do placed in the right hands.

booboo's picture

"Paging Dr. Frankenstein. Dr FrankenSTEIN. Your monster is loose in the oil patch"

Sudden Debt's picture

Relax... We've still got all the gas we need to replace the shortages...

Postal's picture

Gay Pride? I thought it was Women's Equality...

Jack Burton's picture

What does ISIS do to the 10% of people who on average are gay? I can believe they don't take kindly to homosexual acts.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I thought the percentage was more around 3%, but your question is excellent.  I would bet that you are right... 

Unless what some Americans told me about being stuck in desert one day in Saudi in the 1970s told me once.  Hint: it wasn't pretty, it was barbaric.  So maybe those kinds of acts are not as rare (or unaccepted) as they say...

tenpanhandle's picture

Arab sex philosophy:

a Woman for procreation;

a camel out of necessity;

a young boy for love;

Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

Thank you for prompting me to go look it up. I remember being told it was 10% back in high school sex ed. But you are correct it's more like 3%. The 10% number probably comes from the Kinsey Reports of 1948 and 1953.

Andre's picture

You're right. I wish I had the link, but the 10% number came from a study of long-term prison inmates.

I should check into this to verify, but that is my recollection.

813kml's picture

I believe the normal rules are suspended due to anal jihad.

Slave's picture

10%???? I usually enjoy your posts Jack, but I think it's time for you to turn off the TV.

IronForge's picture

It's more like 2-3%; and BTW, most straight people don't take kindly to homosexual acts done to them - ROTFL!! 

Even with a Survey of Silicon Valley, the number was less than 2%. Many issues, like Sexual Identity Development/Maturity/Confusion/Doubt, Co-dependency/personal boundary , drug-sex addiction, Petrochemical affliction, and Paedophilia/Sexual Imprinting are involved. 

Propaganda and Social Pressure will make some inroads w/ that number in the USA; but no - IMHO, not too many people would associate Corpophilic Sodomy and Dire Effeminite behavior with "Normal, Healthy Sexual Relations". 

Jumbotron's picture

My son just told me he wants to be a Marine when he graduates next year.

I'm going to show him this article and tell him this is where you are going to die and explain to him why and for what he is going to die for.

And then see if he is so gung ho to be a Marine after that.

Oh....and also show him the article of the Major General who just got shot down by a member of the "Religion of Peace" and who was trained by Marines to be one of the "good" guys.

And then take him on a tour of a V.A. hospital

And then let him read up on Shay's Rebelllion right after the Revolution.

And once again....see if he wants to spill his guts in some god fosaken shit hole for the elites of this country.

 

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

See if you can get him General Smedley Butler's book too.  War is a Racket.

 

EDIT:

I see that you already may working on getting that book.

 

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Oh well, Jumbo, I guess your Zionism rubbed off.

Jumbotron's picture

I wouldn't want him or myself to die for "Zionism" either.

The Zionist can take care of themselves.  I think that after the first Muzzie attack on them in 40's and all the times after has proven that.

Anarchy 99's picture

and get him a new circle of "friends"