Kentucky senator Rand Paul says the "hawks" in the Republican party helped create and grow the Islamic State terrorist group. Paul, who is running for president, appeared Wednesday morning on MSNBC, where host Joe Scarborough asked him about fellow senator Lindsey Graham's own likely White House bid.
"Graham would say ISIS exists because of people like Rand Paul who said, 'Let's not go into Syria.' What do you say to Lindsey?" said Scarborough.Read more
A DoD News story, published on Defense.gov, claims that the "Strategy to Defeat ISIL is Working, Military Official Says."
The report reads, "The coalition and Iraqi security forces strategy to defeat and dismantle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist group is clear and on track, the chief of staff of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said today."Read more
The United States is offering big pay outs to anyone who has "information" on key ISIS leaders. "The U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards for information on four key leaders of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).Read more
Here in Kuwait, as in the rest of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, there is a sense that the Middle East is changing. In the Gulf media, there seems to be a consensus in support of Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudi-led military campaign launched to beat Houthi insurgents and reinstall Yemen's government under President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi. Almost everyone wants to see Iran and its allies, like the Houthis, cut to size, and almost everyone is excited to see Arab governments flex their military muscles. Even those who are questioning the campaign couch the debate not in terms of regional political doctrines like Arab nationalism or Islamism, but rather in terms of national sovereignty and constitutionality.
Bashar al-Assad told Charlie Rose that some Americans are sugarcoating ISIS. Moreover, the Syrian dictator claimed, ISIS has expanded since the beginning of the strikes."Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on Secretary of State John Kerry's Syrian mess.Read more
Tacked onto the end of the daily press release from U.S. Central Command (Centcom) Monday is a report that coalition aircraft bombed the "Khorasan Group" near Aleppo, Syria.Read more
When the revolt in Syria began in 2011, many policy analysts and former officials argued that the downfall of the Assad regime would be a major setback to Iran. I was one of them, and the claim was not complicated: Syria was Iran’s only Arab ally, provided its only ports on the Mediterranean, was a land bridge to Hezbollah in Lebanon that allowed Iran an easy means of arming Hezbollah, and via Hezbollah gave Iran a border with Israel. The fall of Assad would deny Iran all these assets and all these possibilities.Read more
Last week, outgoing chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces Benny Gantz told an American audience that it’s important the international community defeat both camps of regional extremists. The way Gantz sees it, on one side there are Sunni radicals, like the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Nusra Front, an al Qaeda affiliate. On the Shiite side are Iran and the Revolutionary Guards expeditionary unit, the Quds Force, as well as Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias.Read more
Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told CNN that ground troops may be required to fight ISIS. "It could be necessary," Hagel said.Read more
Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby, when askedabout the number of Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS) fighters killed in ongoing coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria, gave a rather colorful response: "[W]e don't have the ability to -Read more
The U.S. bombed three Islamic State controlled buildings in Syria, according to video recently released by U.S. Central Command. Here's the video, titled "Airstrike against three ISIL buildings, Dec. 21, near Aleppo, Syria":
"A video of an airstrike supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. The video depicts impacts occurring Dec. 21 against three ISIL buildings near Aleppo, Syria," says the video's description, as posted on YouTube.Read more
An ex-Guantanamo detainee based in northern Pakistan is leading an effort to recruit jihadists for the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that controls large portions of Iraq and Syria.
Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who was detained at Guantanamo for three years, has sworn allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Dost’s oath of allegiance was issued on July 1, just two days after Baghdadi named himself “Caliph Ibrahim I” and declared that his Islamic State was now a “caliphate.”Read more
The White House forwards this statement from the Pentagon press secretary on sending 1,500 more troops to Iraq:
The commander in chief has authorized Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to deploy to Iraq up to 1,500 additional U.S. personnel over the coming months, in a non-combat role, to expand our advise and assist mission and initiate a comprehensive training effort for Iraqi forces.Read more
James Jeffrey, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, tells Frontline that "everyone" warned the Obama administration about ISIS--and that they did nothing.
Watch the clip here:
"The administration not only was warned by everybody back in January, it actually announced that it was going to intensify its support against ISIS with Iraqi armed forces, and it did almost nothing."Read more
Did Rand Paul just become a supporter of George W. Bush’s freedom agenda? “The world does not have an Islam problem,” Paul explained a few days ago. “The world has a dignity problem, with millions of men and women across the Middle East being treated as chattel by their own governments.” Such words clearly echo President Bush’s declaration that, “Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe – because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty.” Few statements have provoked more ire from committed realists, which is what Rand Paul says he is.Read more
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