ISIL

HOUSE PASSES MEASURES TO DECLARE ISIS ATTACKS GENOCIDE, CALL FOR SYRIAN WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) – The House of Representatives this week has passed two measures aimed at holding ISIS and the Syrian regime accountable for atrocities committed in the Middle East. One would declare atrocities by ISIS to be war crimes, the other calls for a war crimes tribunal to address Syrian actions.

PRESIDENT CALLS ISLAMIC STATE “CULTURE OF DEATH”, ASKS CONGRESS TO AUTHORIZE MILITARY FORCE

 

December 6, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--In a speech today at the Oval Office, President Barack Obama denounced the San Bernardino massacre that killed 14 people and wounded 21 more as an "act of terrorism."  He denounced the “dark path of radicalization” that the husband and wife shooters to embrace a “perverted” form of Islam that calls for war on America and the west.”

 The President pledged to “destroy ISIL” and protect the homeland.  He also called on Congress to take several actions.

"If Congress believes, as I do, that we are at war with ISIL, it should go ahead and vote to authorize the continued use of military force against these terrorists," Obama said. "I think it's time for Congress to vote to demonstrate that the American people are united and committed to this fight.”

PRESIDENT CALLS FOR GLOBAL RESPONSE TO DEFEAT ISIL

 

Arabo supports action, but criticizes effort as coming too late

East County News Service

Photo: Department of Defense, by Glenn Fawcett

July 13, 2015 (Washington D.C.) –President Barack Obama discussed his strategy to degrade and destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in a July 6th meeting with civilian and military leaders of his national security team at the Pentagon. Afterwards he spoke with press.

CALIFORNIA MAN CHARGED WITH SUPPORTING ISIL

 

East County News Service

Photo: 2011 high school yearbook at El Modena High School

March 4, 2015 (San Diego) – The. U.S. Attorney’s office announced today that an Orange County man who tried to travel to Syria last year has been indicted on federal offenses including attempting to provide material support to the terrorist group ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

EGYPT STRIKES LIBYA IN RETALIATION FOR ISIS VIDEO SHOWING MURDER OF CHRISTIANS

 

By Miriam Raftery

San Diego (February 16, 2015) – Egypt has launched airstrikes at  Islamic State (ISIL) jihadists in Libya, CNN reports.  The attacks are in retaliation for ISIS claims of killing 21 Egyptian Christians, including approximately a dozen whose beheadings were shown in the latest gruesome video released by ISIL.

Mark Arabo, a national spokesman for Iraqi Chaldean Christians in San Diego, issued a statement to media voicing concern for other Christians in the wake of the murders, denouncing ISIL for conducting "Christian genocide."

LOCAL REACTIONS TO OBAMA ORDERING 1500 TROOPS TO MIDDLE EAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Last week, President Barack Obama announced that he is sending an additional 1,500 U.S. troops to Iraq to train and advise Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the region, doubling the current number of troops deployed there. The President will also ask Congress for an addition $5.6 billion to help fight the terrorist group ISIL (also known as ISIS), or the Islamic State.

HOMELAND SECURITY: HUNTER CLAIMS OF ISIS ARRESTS AT U.S. BORDER ARE “FALSE”

 

 

"The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any evidence."--Marsha Catron, Homeland Security

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) is drawing flack on national news media for claiming on Fox News  that ISIS (also known as ISIL) terrorists have been apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. ( View video.)  Multiple sources within Homeland Security and Mexico now insist that Hunter is wrong.

Hunter told Greta Van Sustern on Fox News that “I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.” He said he got the information from a confidential Border Patrol source.

CONGRESS ADJOURNS WITHOUT TAKING ACTION ON IRAQI REFUGEE BILL

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 28, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Congress adjourned last week without voting upon a measure to help relocate Iraqi minorities displaced by ISIL, the Islamic terrorists who have seized control of much of Iraq and Syria.

U.S. AND ARAB ALLIES LAUNCH AIR STRIKES AGAINST ISIL STRONGHOLD IN SYRIA

 

 

 

Photo: Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, right, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testify before Senate Armed Services Committee on the threat from ISIL

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--U.S. military & partner nation forces have begun striking ISIL targets in Syria using mix of fighters, bombers and Tomahawk missiles, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon Press Secretary, confirmed Monday evening.  The U.S. has previously led over 150 air strikes in Iraq, before joining with allies to expand the assault on ISIL, or Islamic State, forces into Syria.

Residents of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital, have reported attacks on the city on social media sites.  An estimated two-thirds of ISIL forces are located in Syria.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “WE WILL DEGRADE AND ULTIMATELY DESTROY ISIL”

 

Watch on YouTube

Read the President's full address here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2014 (Washington D.C.)-- President Obama tonight spoke to the nation , laying out a comprehensive strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) terrorist group that has declared an Islamic state across Iraq and Syria, massacring thousands of Iraqis and beheading two captured American journalists.

“Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.  Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” the President said. “That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.  This is a core principle of my presidency:  If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

The President made clear that the U.S. will lead an international effort to eradicate ISIL. He assured that unlike the past decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, this conflict will not include U.S. combat troops on the ground.  Instead, he laid out a four-part strategy. First, air strikes will target ISIL in Iraq, Syria and wherever else ISIL poses a threat.

KALASHO CALLS FOR NEW PROVINCE TO BE FORMED IN IRAQ AS SAFE HAVEN FOR PERSECUTED CHALDEANS AND OTHER MINORITIES

 

By Nadin Abbott, Reporting San Diego

Reporting San Diego sat down on August 22 in Santee with Ben Kalasho, a leader in the Chaldean community, to discuss genocide in Iraq. Excerpts below are reprinted with permission.

Aug. 24, 2014 (Santee)--“All those people who you see on the mountain side on Sinjar, sleeping on what seems to be the front of churches, those people were homeowners, they owned vehicles, they had jobs or owned businesses and are now homeless,” said Ben Kalasho, a leader in the Chaldean community and President of the East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce.

According to Kalasho,600,000 people are internally displaced in Iraq. This is an almost incomprehensible number, but we cannot turn away from it.

Our leaders, starting with the President, have mentioned the Yazidis, who are an ancient people that precede Islam and Christianity in Iraq. But the plight of other minorities, including Christian Chaldeans, Siriacs and others has not drawn the same level of national media attention.

PEACE MARCHERS IN EL CAJON ASK U.S. & UNITED NATIONS FOR AIRLIFTS, ASYLUM TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS

 

United Nations passes resolution for sanctions against ISIS backers; local Iraqis ask for airlifts to save lives

Hear our exclusive interview with Mark Arabo on progress at the United Nations to save Iraqi Christians, originally aired Aug. 20 on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM:

http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/6scu4kz7x2/Arabo-UNresolutioninterviewfor8-20-14show-FINAlwithrallyclips.mp3

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2014 (El Cajon) – Chanting “Save Iraq, save humanity,” and “Save Iraqi Christians,” hundreds of Iraqi-Americans marched through the streets of El Cajon on Tuesday. Many are gravely concerned about family members trapped in Iraq or who have fled as refugees as terrorists now calling themselves the Islamic State have seized cities across Iraq, torturing , killing or kidnapping those who refuse to convert to Islam.  The community showed support, with many motorists honking horns and drawing cheers.

Speakers, including former State Senator Wadie Deddeh, Chaldean-American leader Mark Arabo, and religious leaders also turned out to show solidarity with the persecuted minorities of Iraq.

HOUSE PASSES VARGAS RESOLUTION CALLING FOR PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN IRAQ

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – It's rare for Congress to agree on anything given the partisan divide in Washington.  But House Resolution 683, authored by Congressman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) , passed the House of Representatives unanimously yesterday. The measure expresses the urgent need to protect religious minorities in Iraq from persecution at the hands of the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Levand (ISIL). The measure was coauthored by three other San Diego representatives (Republican Duncan Hunter as well as Democrats Susan Davis and Scott Peters)

“I am pleased the House of Representatives is shedding light on this important topic and supporting our nation’s need to be vocal in the face of the horrific crimes taking place against Iraqi civilians,” said Rep. Vargas. “This resolution expresses the urgent need to protect religious minorities who are fleeing persecution in Iraq’s ISIL-held territories.  Religious freedom is the cornerstone of any free society and we must do everything in our power to provide immediate protection and humanitarian assistance to individuals facing horrific crimes because of their religious beliefs.” 

Mark Arabo, a national spokesman for Iraqi Christians and president of the Neighborhood Market Association locally, heralded passage of the resolution as “a historic day that will go into the annals of Iraqi Christian history.”

REP. VARGAS & COMMUNITY LEADER MARK ARABO INTRODUCES H. RES. 663, EXPRESSING COMMITMENT TO PROTECTING RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN IRAQ

 

July 11, 2014 (San Diego's East County) – Today, Representative Juan Vargas (CA-51) introduced House Resolution 663, expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the current situation in Iraq and the urgent need to protect religious minorities from persecution by the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group – the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) – as it expands its control over areas in northwestern Iraq.