[AnNahar] Ashraf Ghani ...former chancellor of Kabul University. Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002 he was a scholar of political science and anthropology. He worked at the World Bank working on international development assistance. As Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery until the Karzais stole all the money. .. , a one-time U.S.-based academic, was sworn in as new president of Afghanistan on Monday and used his inaugural speech to call for Taliban turbans to join peace talks after 13 years of war.
Officials said Ghani's first major policy move would be the signing of a long-delayed agreement allowing 12,500 U.S.-led troops to remain in Afghanistan into 2015 to support and train the national police and army.
Continued on Page 49
[Washington Examiner] Afghanistan will sign a deal to allow U.S. troops to remain in that country beyond the end of the year, a senior White House official said Monday.
The deal will be signed Tuesday, White House senior adviser John Podesta told reporters in a news conference after the swearing-in of new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.
Podesta, who led the U.S. delegation to the ceremony, said he would sign it on behalf of President Obama.
Though the U.S. plans to end its combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of the year, Obama announced May 27 that he would leave 9,800 troops as advisers through 2015 and half that number through 2016 ┬-- if Kabul agrees to sign a bilateral security pact negotiated between the two countries. But, but, but I thought we were to be all finished in AFG this year ?
[IranPressTV] Egypt has exonerated tens of Moslem Br├╝derbund supporters, convicted of staging illegal protests on the third anniversary of the country's 2011 revolution against former dictator Hosni Mubarak ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
On Sunday, an appeals court acquitted 112 people, including Moslem Br├╝derbund supporters, out of the 1,079 placed in durance vile Book 'im, Mahmoud! during the crackdown on nationwide protests on January 25.
At least 49 people were killed after security forces clashed with demonstrators on that day.
The 112 had originally been given one-year jail terms by a lower court.
The demonstrators had been charged with breaking protest laws, illegal gathering, stirring violence, blocking roads, assaulting coppers, and vandalizing public and private property.
Last November, Egypt placed more restriction on demonstrations by adopting new laws that only allow police-sanctioned protests.
On Saturday, a different court in the capital Cairo postponed Mubarak's verdict to November 29.
Egypt has been experiencing unrelenting violence since Mohammed Morsi, the country's first democratically-elected president, was ousted on July 3, 2013. Hundreds bit the dust in the ensuing violence across the country.
Egypt's military-backed government launched a bloody crackdown on Morsi's supporters and arrested thousands of Moslem Br├╝derbund members, including the party's big shots.
The Egyptians launched a revolution against Mubarak's pro-Israeli regime in January 2011, which eventually brought an end to the 30-year dictatorship of the former president in February 2011.
[AnNahar] Tunisia's moderate Islamist party Ennahda appealed Monday for U.S. support as the country heads into vital elections, warning democracy remains fragile in the nation that triggered the Arab Spring.
Tunisians ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and Ennahda emerged at the head of the pack in elections nine months later with 37 percent of the vote.
With looming legislative elections on October 26, followed by a key presidential vote the following month, the party's leader Rached Ghannouchi said Ennahda was "preparing for the second test."
"One flower cannot make the spring," Ghannouchi told a small group of news hounds at the U.S. Institute of Peace at the start of a visit to the United States during which he will also meet key U.S. administration officials.
Ennahda last week unveiled an ambitious platform for the parliamentary elections, saying it was confident of a greater victory than the one achieved three years ago.
"By the end of this year we can guarantee that Tunisia will be the first Arab democracy," Ghannouchi said, speaking in English.
"But we need the support of the United States for this experience, which can be considered as the alternative of extremism and terrorism and war," he said.
Ghannouchi pointed to cooperation over the past three years between moderate Islamic parties and moderate secularists in Tunisia as "a very rare experience in the Arab world" and one which can serve as an example that "democracy and Islam can work together, are compatible."
"There is a part of the Middle East (where) there is a candle still shining," he said.
Ennahda rejects any form of what he called "terrorism," but Ghannouchi insisted that to fight groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group, a program of social justice was needed to ensure there was food on the table and jobs.
Tunisia was hoping to attract Western investment to boost the north African country's economy.
"In this context of chaos and violence and mistrust... we are here to carry a note of hope, of positive horizons still existing," said Ennahda MP Amel Azzouz.
"We need the U.S. and all our friends to be with us, and to be consistent in supporting this nascent democracy. And Tunisia will be a showcase for the rest of the Arab world," she said.
International observers would help ensure that results from the upcoming elections would be "recognized and respected by everybody," she added.
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, who is a secular ally of Ennahda, announced earlier this month that he will stand for re-election in November.
Ghannouchi's aides revealed that there were already some 70 people who have expressed hopes of joining the presidential fight, and so Ennahda was not putting up its own candidate and would wait for the run-off before deciding who to back.
[Ynet] Rival Libyan politicians have held talks brokered by a United Nations ...an organization originally established to war on dictatorships which was promptly infiltrated by dictatorships and is now held in thrall to dictatorships... envoy, in the first attempt to bridge the gap between warring groups that left the North African nation torn between two governments and parliaments.
In a presser held in western city of Ghadamis, Bernardino Leon said the goal of the talks is to reach a "complete ceasefire." He described Monday's round of talks as "historic" and said that the two parties were sitting together "in brotherly atmosphere" and engaging to "overcome their differences through a political dialogue."
[AnNahar] Back to school for young Yemenis in Sanaa Monday was a stark reminder of why many missed classes in the first place -- rebels were using it as an arms dump.
Iranian catspaws had swept into the north of the city from their northern mountain stronghold, pressing the authorities for reforms and a greater say in the impoverished country's affairs.
After days of brief but bloody fighting, mainly in the north of the city where the Shamlan school is located, the Houthis, known as Ansarullah, occupied it after overrunning Sanaa on September 21.
Children who turned up on Monday after the school was supposed to have reopened found the gates firmly shut and ended up having classes in the street outside.
Appropriately, when it was time for drawing, many sketched pictures of tanks and machineguns.
"We have a war at school," explained one pupil about the picture he had made.
Rebels remained tight-lipped when some parents of the hundreds of students at Shamlan school asked when they would vacate the building.
Ansarullah has lined up armored vehicles in the playground and filled the classrooms with ammunition.
The rebels, who captured key state installations and military bases and now hold sway over most of Sanaa, seized large amounts of weapons during their offensive.
Headmistress Fawzia al-Ashem appeared torn between a ministerial decision to reopen the school on Monday and the Lion of Islams' refusal to move out.
"It was decided to reopen the school without thinking what's inside it," she told Agence La Belle France-Presse.
Schools in the area had closed temporarily because of heavy fighting between the rebels and Sunni Islamists of al-Islah (reform) party.
And although rebels continue to rule the roost in Sanaa's streets amid an almost total absence of mainstream security forces, the education ministry went ahead and told schools to reopen on Monday.
"The Huthis are justifying their occupation of the place by saying that they have the right to stay," one parent said.
"They claim they're trying to find somewhere else to stock their weapons, but I don't believe them," he added, asking not to be identified for security reasons.
The U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) said twice during the fighting that it was concerned about schooling in the capital, urging all parties to respect the right to an education and to vacate occupied schools.
Hours after taking over the capital eight days ago, the Huthis signed an agreement to end the fighting, mediated by U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar.
And after initially hesitating, on Saturday the rebels signed the accord's security protocol, stipulating the withdrawal of their forces from Sanaa once a new prime minister is named.
But President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has so far failed to name the new premier.
Yemen's authorities have in the past accused Iran of backing the rebels, who also appear influenced by Leb's Hizbullah ...Party of God, a Leb militia inspired, founded, funded and directed by Iran. Hizbullah refers to itself as The Resistance and purports to defend Leb against Israel, with whom it has started and lost one disastrous war to date, though it did claim victory... The rebels now roaming freely in Sanaa had battled the government for years, complaining of marginalization.
Many lessons remain to be learned in the Arab world's poorest country, but for the children of Shamlan school in Sanaa they will just have to wait.
[Ynet] Qatar ...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates... Red Islamic Thingy's public auction raises $3 million for rehabilitation of Strip by selling luxury vehicles and cycle of violences.
Doing "good" by doing well.
The Qatar Red Islamic Thingy Society hosted a public auction last weekend in Doha to raise funds for the reconstruction of the Gazoo Strip. Cars and cycle of violences from 2012 to 2014 were on offer, including 14 luxury vehicles, as well as three parts from the cover which wraps the holy Kabaa in Mecca.
I s'pose one could make a tent of it, for playing Bedouins & Slave Girls in a convenient patch of desert..
According to Qatari media outlets, the organizers successfully raised 11 million Qatari riyals ($3 million), a part of which was designated for the rehabilitation of the Strip, including the construction of homes, mosques, schools, and hospitals, as well rebuilding and fixing the infrastructure damaged during Operation Protective Edge.
A part of US$3 million isn't going to go very far toward all of that, even if they needn't pay union wages and overtime.
A press release by the organization said that a quarter of the sum raised by the public auction would be invested in the rehabilitation effort, while some of the money would be returned to the owners of the auctioned property.
A quarter of $3 mil is $750,000. Will that get as much as site clearing for one apartment building?
The top billed item in the auction was a 2013 Lamborghini sold for 8 million Qatari riyals ($2.2 million); two 2013 Ferraris and a 2012 McLaren were sold for 580,000 Qatari riyals ($159,000).
The Kabaa coverings were sold for 50,000 Qatari riyals ($13,730).
Qatari media outlets claimed the event was attended by businessmen and sponsors from the ruling elite. Despite the recent expulsions of several senior Moslem Brüderbund officials from the Gulf state, the organization's spiritual leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi ...crackpot Egyptian Islamist theologian. He is best known for his program Shariah and Life on Al Jazeera, with an estimated audience of 60 million kindred souls worldwide. He is also well-known for IslamOnline, which occasionally advocates things like slavery and thumping the old lady with a rod no thicker than an inch, and has published more than 120 books, including Islam: The Future Civilization. Joe has long had a prominent role within the intellectual leadership of the Moslem BrÃ¼derbund. Some of his views have been controversial in the West, though less so among the rubes of the Mysterious East, and he was refused entry to the United Kingdom in 2008. In 2004, 2,500 Muslim academics from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and from the Palestinian territories condemned Qaradawi, and accused him of giving Islam a bad name.... , spoke at the auction.
Naturally. Hamas is a MB organization, and the expulsions weren't to take immediate effect. Best he got out from under foot while the womenfolk handled the packing.
[IranPressTV] The US war against the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq and Syria may cost up to $22 billion per year, according a report released Monday by a Washington-based think tank.
If Arclight airstrikes against ISIL continue at the current level and 2,000 ground combat troops are deployed to Iraq, military operations could cost between $200 and $320 million per month, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) estimated.
If the US air campaign intensifies and 5,000 troops are put on the ground, the operation will cost between $350 million and $570 million per month for US taxpayers, the CSBA said.
However, by candlelight every wench is handsome... the think tank estimated that if Arclight airstrikes are expanded substantially and 25,000 US ground troops are deployed, the military campaign may cost between $1.1 and $1.8 billion per month.
"On an annualized basis, the lower-intensity air operations could cost $2.4 to $3.8 billion per year, the higher-intensity air operations could cost $4.2 to $6.8 billion per year, and deployment of a larger ground contingent could drive annual costs as high as $13 to $22 billion," CSBA predicted.
The US military has already spent between $780 million and $930 million in its campaign against the terrorist group so far, the think tank said.
The US and several of its allies began striking ISIL targets in Syria on September 23. American warplanes have already conducted hundreds of strikes against ISIL in Iraq since mid-August.
US President Barack Obama I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody... has ruled out American boots on the ground in a combat role, a promise many experts say might soon be broken.
Top military officials have said an air campaign alone would not be sufficient to achieve the announced goal of defeating ISIL, and that the US might ultimately be forced to send ground troops to combat.
According to a new survey, the majority of active-duty troops in the US military are opposed to sending ground soldiers to Iraq to battle ISIL, and believe the US war in Iraq was not successful.
A new source of funds to supplement reduced oil revenues... and demonstrate anew to the dhimmis that they are a conquered people.
[AnNahar] Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... jihadists occupying parts of Iraq are destroying age-old heritage sites and looting others to sell valued artifacts on the black market, experts gathered at UNESCO's Gay Paree headquarters warned Monday.
The hard boy group has destroyed shrines, churches and precious manuscripts in djinn-infested Mosul ... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn... , Tikrit and other areas of Iraq it controls and excavated sites to sell objects abroad, in what UNESCO chief Irina Bokova described as "cultural cleansing".
In July, for instance, IS rigged the Nabi Yunus shrine in the northern city of Mosul -- revered by both Moslems and Christians as the tomb of Prophet Jonah -- with explosives and blew it up.
The radical group advocates an brutal and strict interpretation of Islam, and considers worshiping at graves to be tantamount to idolatry.
"There were kabooms that destroyed buildings dating back to the Assyrian era," Baghdad museum director Qais Rashid said according to a translation from Arabic into English, referring to the once powerful, ancient empire.
"Assyrian tablets were stolen and were suddenly found in European cities," he added, warning that the sale of such artifacts was being used to "finance terrorism."
"There are international mafias... that inform Daesh of what can be sold," he said, referring to an alternative name for IS.
Rashid acknowledged that nothing could yet be done to prevent further destruction and looting in IS-controlled territory. "We have to wait and do everything to retake it," he said.
Iraqi authorities have yet to put together a detailed list of what exactly has been destroyed or looted, but Rashid gave a few examples of recent incidents.
"The Mosul museum, the second most important in Iraq, suffered an attack from Daesh and they also attacked the staff from the museum," he said.
In another incident, "Daesh gathered over 1,500 manuscripts from convents and other holy places and burnt all of them in the middle of the city square," he added.
Bokova said she had alerted all UNESCO member states, "as well as the main museums around the world and the art market, Interpol, the World Customs Organization... by calling for the utmost vigilance over objects that could come from the current looting of Iraqi heritage."
She added that UNESCO had handed over the geographical coordinates of all key heritage sites to countries engaged in air strikes over Iraq to fight IS, to prevent further damage.
The jihadists have also committed widespread atrocities against locals, and experts acknowledged that warning about heritage sites when people were dying could raise eyebrows.
"When people die in their tens of thousands, must we be concerned about cultural cleansing?" asked Philippe Lalliot, La Belle France's ambassador to UNESCO.
"Yes, definitely yes.... It's because culture is a powerful incentive for dialogue that the most extreme and the most fanatical groups strive to annihilate it."
[AnNahar] The US has now supplied some of the Hellfire missiles that Israel requested in the course of the conflict with Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, this summer, and more are on the way, The Times of Israel has learned.
Washington had halted a transfer of the missiles in mid-August, with the State Department saying that weapons shipments to Israel would be undergoing additional review due to the war in Gazoo.
Supplies of ammunition used by Israeli tanks were also affected by the review procedures, but those and other affected supplies have also now been resumed.
The military supplies, including the Hellfire precision air-to-surface missiles, were not urgently needed for battlefield use, The Times of Israel understands.
There was no formal confirmation that Hellfires had been delivered.
The US government is further said to have made clear to its Israeli counterparts that the review process was not a signal of disapproval, confirming a report on Israel's Channel 10 news last month that quoted a senior Israeli official as saying Israel had been assured that the suspension of the supplies "was just bureaucracy."
The news came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to the US Sunday to address the UN General Assembly on Monday, and to meet with US President Barack Obama I inhaled. That was the point... on Wednesday.
The decision to hold off on the transfer of the missiles has been widely seen as a consequence of increased diplomatic tension between Washington and Jerusalem, as noted in a Wall Street Journal report in mid-August that broke the news of the suspension.
The State Department subsequently said that weapons shipments to Israel would be undergoing additional review due to the war in Gazoo. Spokeswoman Marie Harf described an inter-agency process, including the Pentagon, White House and State Department, to review such transfers, and said that she "would disagree" with the report in the Journal that said that the State Department and White House were "surprised" that the Pentagon continued to provide weapons to Israel.
"There has been no change in policy" regarding Israel's security assistance, Harf insisted. She added, however, that given the situation, it was natural that there would be "additional care" taken in the review process. She emphasized that "additional steps" were not tantamount to an official "review" of US military aid for Israel.
"It's not an unusual step," Harf said. "The general principle is that when there is an ongoing crisis or conflict in which we are providing weapons, we would take an additional look at it," she said.
[AnNahar] Israeli police are to deploy in extra strength in mixed Jewish-Moslem areas on Saturday, fearful of trouble as the two faiths mark major holy days, police said.
In a rare concurrence of the calendars of the two religions, this year the main Islamic feast of Eid el-Adha falls on the same day as the solemn Jewish fast of Yom Kippur.
While Moslems celebrate with outings to friends and family and feasting, Jews spend 25 hours in prayer and fasting and refrain from driving.
Anyone driving on Yom Kippur is likely to face stone throwing by observant Jews who have even been known to attack Israeli ambulances and police vehicles.
"Police reinforcements will be deployed in all areas where Jews and Arabs live alongside each other, to prevent friction and allow the two communities to observe their holidays without problems," police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Monday.
"Regional police commanders will be in touch with political and religious leaders of the two communities to encourage mutual tolerance and respect," she told AFP.
"The police will act with an iron fist against anyone who might engage in provocation, incitement to violence or disturbing public order."
Authorities will be keeping an especially close eye on the ancient port city of Acre in northern Israel, where riots erupted on Yom Kippur 2008 when an Arab resident drove through an observant Jewish neighborhood blaring music from his car stereo.
A group of Jewish youths assaulted the driver and false rumors of his death brought hundreds of angry Arabs onto the streets in protest, damaging cars and property.
Clashes went on for four days and at least three people were maimed.
[AnNahar] Most Paleostinians would favor resuming rocket fire at Israel if it does not lift its Gazoo blockade, although support for armed confrontation is dropping off, according to a poll published Monday.
"An overwhelming majority of 80% supports the launching of rockets from the Gazoo Strip at Israel if the siege and blockade are not ended," said the survey of 1,200 Paleostinians in Gazoo and the West Bank conducted by the Paleostinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).
Conducted a month after the end of Israel's 50-day Gazoo military offensive to stop rocket fire, the poll says 44 percent of respondents saw armed confrontation as the best way to end Israeli occupation and set up a Paleostinian state.
It said that 29 percent believed negotiations were the best option, while 23 percent favored non-violent resistance.
But the poll, carried out between September 25-27 and with a margin of error of three percentage points, reflected a falloff in support both for the Islamist bad boy movement Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, which rules Gazoo and for violence.
PSR said that in a similar survey a month earlier, in the immediate aftermath of the war, 53 percent backed armed confrontation.
Asked how they would vote if a general election were held now, 39 percent of those polled said they would support Hamas, down from 46 percent a month ago.
The rival Fatah of President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas ... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial... would win 36 percent, up from 31 percent in August, the survey found.
But in a presidential race, Hamas' Ismail Haniya would romp home with 55 percent support compared to 38 percent for Abbas.
Asked if Israel with its massive air, sea and land bombardment of Gazoo had won the July-August war, or Hamas -- which fired rockets deep into Israel -- 69 percent handed victory to the Islamists in the latest survey, down from 79 percent last month.
The war killed more than 2,140 Paleostinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, almost all soldiers.
[AnNahar] Qatar ...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates... 's mediator has received oral pledges from the jihadists who have taken Lebanese soldiers and coppers captive that they would not kill more abductees, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Monday.
The daily said that the envoy, who is a Syrian and who has not been identified yet, met over the weekend with Lebanese officials and the representatives of the kidnappers of the troops.
Last month, the Lebanese army fought fierce battles in the northeastern border town of Arsal with al-Nusra ...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli sh-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ... and Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group jihadists who streamed in from Syria.
The Lions of Islam withdrew after a truce, but took with them the hostages, three of whom were later executed.
Lebanese officials have repeatedly said that they would not negotiate with he jihadists unless they receive written pledges that they would not harm more captives.
Al-Akhbar quoted informed officials as saying that "Qatar's envoy reached an important breakthrough in the negotiations after receiving an oral pledge from the kidnappers that they would not execute more soldiers."
The officials said the mediation with al-Nusra Front is easier because Qatar has an influence on the group. But the IS leadership in the Syrian al-Qalamun region and the outskirts of Arsal needs a decision from the the group's general command over every step it takes.
Speaking before the U.N. General Assembly, Prime Minister Tammam Salam said Friday that Leb is determined not to give in to "pressure and blackmail" by the Islamic holy warriors.
The jihadists have made various demands in exchange for the soldiers' release, including the release of Islamist prisoners in Roumieh.
"We will never give in to such pressure, and will remain focused on the release of our soldiers, while preserving our country," Salam said.
But he told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat on Sunday that he supports holding negotiations with the captors to release the hostages.
Leb has long been split over the war in neighboring Syria, with Sunnis supporting the Sunni-led rebellion against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Horror of Homs... and Shiites supporting his government, fearing the rise of turbans among the rebels' ranks.
Hizbullah ...Party of God, a Leb militia inspired, founded, funded and directed by Iran. Hizbullah refers to itself as The Resistance and purports to defend Leb against Israel, with whom it has started and lost one disastrous war to date, though it did claim victory... has infuriated many Sunnis by sending thousands of fighters to battle alongside Assad's troops.
[AnNahar] The leader of al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate, Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, has called on Leb's Sunnis to defect from the army.
"Sunnis, take your sons away from the army that serves your enemy, and make them join the ranks of the jihadists," al-Jolani, who heads al-Nusra ...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli sh-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ... Front in Syria, said in an audio recording on Sunday.
Sunni faceless myrmidons perceive Leb's army as being controlled by Shiite Hizbullah ...Party of God, a Leb militia inspired, founded, funded and directed by Iran. Hizbullah refers to itself as The Resistance and purports to defend Leb against Israel, with whom it has started and lost one disastrous war to date, though it did claim victory... , which has sent thousands of fighters into Syria to support Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Terror of Aleppo ... 's troops in a war that has killed more than 180,000 people in three years.
The Syria war has stoked existing tensions in Leb, where Sunnis tend to support the uprising against Assad while Shiites generally support the Damascus regime.
Last month, the Lebanese army fought pitched battles in the border town of Arsal with al-Nusra and Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... jihadists who streamed in from Syria.
The jihadists withdrew after a truce, but took with them police and military troops as hostages, three of whom were later executed.
Al-Golani also warned that his group would "use all possible means" to fight back against Arclight airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition and warned that the conflict would reach Western countries joining the alliance.
The U.S. views al-Nusra Front, as a terrorist group, but Syrian rebels have long seen it as a potent ally against both the IS -- which is the main target of the coalition -- and Assad's forces.
In the 25-minute audio recording, al-Golani portrayed the U.S.-led coalition as a "Crusader alliance" against Sunnis and vowed to fight back.
"We will use all that we have to defend the people of Syria...from the Crusader alliance," al-Golani said. "And we will use all possible means to achieve this end," he said, without offering more details.
He went on to warn Western countries against taking part in the alliance in words that echoed those of the late founder of al-Qaeda, the late Osama bin Laden ... who is now beyond all cares and woe... "This is what will cause the battle to be transported to the hearts of your own homes; because Moslems will not stand idly by and watch Moslems be bombed and killed in their countries, while you are safe on your countries. The price of war will not be paid by your leaders alone. You will pay the biggest price," he said.
[IsraelTimes] The Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group on Monday released another video showing a British journalist who says he is a prisoner of the terrorist group.
The video featuring John Cantlie, a photojournalist, is the second in a series IS calls, "Lend me your Ears."
The slick, five-and-a-half-minute video mocked US President Barack Obama Ready to Rule from Day One... 's September 10 speech laying out his strategy for countering IS.
"When exactly Gulf War III will start and how long it will take isn't covered," said Cantlie, clad in an orange jumpsuit and sitting in front of black background. "US advisors working with the Iraqi Army have described their performance as 'consistently grim.'"
"The Free Syrian Army ... the more palatable version of the Syrian insurgency, heavily influenced by the Moslem Brüderbund... are proven to be an undisciplined, corrupt, and largely ineffective fighting force...Giving the FSA 500 million [dollars] now is a completely pointless exercise," he continued. "Never mind the fact that the FSA sells the weapons the West gives them to arms dealers and smugglers, and much of it then ends up with the Islamic State."
UK journalist John Cantlie speaks in an IS video released Thursday, September 18, 2014. (screen capture: YouTube)
Cantlie also mocked Obama's language as "simplistic" and said that support in the US for his efforts against IS remains low. He also claimed that IS was not responsible for the slaughter of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, and that it does not consider Shi'ites to be Moslems.
"For their part, the Islamic State say they welcome meeting Obama's under-construction army, " he ended. "Join me again for the next program."
In the first video, released a week and a half before, Cantlie said he worked for publications including The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sunday Telegraph and came to Syria in November 2012 where he was subsequently captured by the Islamic State group.
The group which now controls roughly a third of Syria and Iraq has beheaded two US journalists and a British aid worker, and has threatened to kill another British hostage.
The clips released by the Islamic State group's media arm, Al-Furqan, were different than previous videos.
Entitled "Lend me your ears," they are part of a series of lecture-like "programs" in which Cantlie says he will reveal "the truth" about the Islamic State group.
No Islamic State fighters appear in the videos, which were posted online by users associated with the Islamic state group and reported by the SITE Intelligence Group, a US terrorism watchdog.
In addition to beheaded US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines, the Islamic State group has threatened to kill Alan Henning, a British former taxi driver who was taken captive in December shortly after joining an aid convoy and crossing the border from Turkey into Syria.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.