Tornado bombers from Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) have carried out their first attacks against the Islamic State in Iraq, according to the Ministry of Defense (MoD).
“This action is part of the international coalition’s operations to support the democratic Iraqi government,” the MoD said in a statement.
“In the course of an armed reconnaissance mission from RAF Akrotiri, two Tornados were tasked to assist Kurdish troops in north-west Iraq who were under attack from Isil (Isis) terrorists,” the statement continued.
Two Tornado GR4 aircraft were used, which are now based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. The Tornado is an all-weather day and night fighter bomber, which has been in use by the RAF since the 1980s and is now becoming a little long in the tooth.
According to the statement, the patrol identified a heavy weapon position belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), which was attacking Kurdish forces in the area.
The planes used a Paveway IV guided bomb and a Brimstone anti-armor missile to take out the position, as well as an armed pick-up truck.
Until now, RAF Tornados have been limited to flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq, and only began armed patrols after the UK parliament agreed to authorize military action against ISIS on Friday.
UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has said that RAF planes could be engaged in bombing ISIS for years to come.
Although there is widespread skepticism of the effectiveness of airstrikes, Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted that they are crucial in the future destruction of the hardline Islamist group, adding that the most important tools in the fight against the Islamic State are better armed Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and better trained Iraqi troops.
The Islamic State (IS) has released a third video showing John Cantlie, a British journalist held prisoner for two years, in which he delivers a scripted propaganda speech criticizing US President Barack Obama’s strategy against IS in Iraq and Syria.
Cantlie slams Obama’s tactics of using airstrikes and coalition plans to use Iraqi troops, Kurdish Peshmerga and Syrian rebels to fight the IS. The journalist delivered a response to Obama’s recent speech on the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which he described as “prideful chest banging.”
“It was all disappointingly predictable; America is good, the Islamic State [formerly ISIS] is bad; and they will be defeated using aircraft and a motley collection of fighters on the ground,” he said, commenting on Obama’s speech.
Criticizing the US airstrikes in Iraq, Cantlie said, “Air power is good at taking out specific targets, but it is not good at taking and holding ground. For that you need effective and disciplined troops and it’s hard to see how this hodgepodge army with a long history of underperforming is going to be any form of credible infantry.”
The British hostage says organizing the Iraqi army will take months, and he dismissed the Free Syrian Army as an “undisciplined, corrupt and largely ineffective fighting force.” Cantlie adds that weapons, that the West provides to Syrian rebels, are sold by the rebels on the black market and then end up in the hands of IS fighters.
The five-minute, 34-second video was uploaded on Monday night. Cantlie, just like in the previous two videos, sits behind a desk in an orange jumpsuit, a reference to Guantanamo Bay detainees.
In an effort to rebuild the Iraqi army to be able to fight against IS, the Iraqi military command launched a campaign to re-enlist soldiers and officers who previously abandoned their units, so-called deserters. The New York Times reports that the de facto amnesty for deserters shows that the Iraqi army “desperately needs experienced soldiers.”
Abu Ismail, the owner of a plastics factory that was targeted on Sunday by what activists said were U.S.-led air strikes, gestures while standing at his destroyed factory in the Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa September 29, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer)Abu Ismail, the owner of a plastics factory that was targeted on Sunday by what activists said were U.S.-led air strikes, gestures while standing at his destroyed factory in the Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa September 29, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer)
The video appears to have been filmed before last Friday, as there is no mention of the British decision to join the US-led campaign. Cantlie makes no reference to British or US action in the regions, including US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian oilfields and IS checkpoints, over recent days.
While the video was released on September 29, in the video Cantlie only talks about Obama’s 9/11 address and how the media reacted to his speech.
Cantlie quotes approvingly from a New York Times article critical of Obama’s strategy, written a day after Obama’s speech.
At the end of the video, Cantlie says “the Islamic State say they welcome meeting Obama’s under-construction army.”
Cantlie, who has worked for the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times, was kidnapped in Syria at the end of 2012. He had previously been captured in Syria in July 2012, but escaped after one week with the help from the Free Syrian Army.
Since August, the militant group released three gruesome videos showing the beheadings of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and most recently of the British aid worker David Haines. The IS has threatened to execute another British hostage, Alan Henning, if airstrikes hitting IS targets don’t stop.
Meanwhile, the UK has completed five missions over northern Iraq. RAF Tornado jets have not dropped any bombs on IS targets yet, however, and are currently engaged in reconnaissance missions, gathering intelligence of the area and searching for suitable targets.
Just like in the first two videos, Cantlie concludes by saying, “Join me again for the next program.”
by Jason DeWitt | Top Right News
A stunned KFC customer was refused a sanitary hand wipes after workers told him it may offend other eaters — MUSLIM eaters, that is.
Graham Noakes was stunned when staff said they could not provide him with a wipe because they are soaked in alcohol – which is banned in Islam.
The 41-year-old at first thought he was the victim of a prank by staff at the Leicester, England location – but KFC bosses confirmed the policy was genuine, the Mirror reported.
He said: “They told me it might offend other customers. I explained that it wouldn’t affect me. In fact – I told them I like alcohol, so it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. When they wouldn’t give me one, I was disgusted. I will never be going to KFC again.“
The father-of-two added: “I’ve never experienced anything like this before, I couldn’t believe it. “Why shouldn’t I be allowed a wipe for my hands? They use wipes in hospital, what happens when we start being told we can’t have wipes there? I just can’t understand it.”
Graham, who lives in Birmingham, is working in Leicester on the construction of a new Muslim community center in Highfields.
In other words, he is helping to build housing for the spread of more such insults to non-Muslims in the future.
And all this despite the fact that there is no such ban on alcohol in Islam — just the consumption of it. Muslim hospitals don’t ban rubbing alcohol to disinfect wounds, for example. The entire policy is ridiculous even from a Muslim perspective. But that isn’t the point. KFC should be ashamed for permitting Sharia supremacism like this at its restaurants.
This was the second such incident in just a few weeks at so-called “Halal-only” branches of KFC — where all pork products are banned, and which only serve meat slaughtered while an Imam recites Muslim prayers.
Two weeks ago, I reported on another KFC branch, in Sydney, Australia, in which a woman ordering bacon added to her meal was cursed at and threatened with violence by an enraged Muslim worker.
Think this can’t happen in America, the land of the free? You’d be wrong. There are at least 2 KFCs in Dearborn, MI that are “halal.”
And Muslims in America are demanding Sharia law be enforced on non-Muslims wherever they live.
Some recent examples of this reported on Top Right News in just the past 2 months:
Muslim cab drivers and Subway franchise managers have kicked out disabled customers with guide dogs.
Muslim refugees on welfare demanding Sharia Law-compliant food banks.
Company surrendered to the complaint of a single Muslim to remove an ad for bacon.
Man ordered to remove an American flag because it was ‘offensive to Muslims.’
If you are outraged by KFC’s enabling Sharia fanatics to discriminate against non-Muslim customers, you can let them know here, or at 800-225-5532.
A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.
The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.
The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” said Obama.
According to Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake, members of the Defense establishment were “flabbergasted” by Obama’s attempt to shift blame.
“Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” a former senior Pentagon official “who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq” told the Daily Beast.
On Monday, others in the intelligence community similarly blasted Obama and said he’s shown longstanding disinterest in receiving live, in-person PDBs that allow the Commander-in-Chief the chance for critical followup, feedback, questions, and the challenging of flawed intelligence assumptions.
“It’s pretty well-known that the president hasn’t taken in-person intelligence briefings with any regularity since the early days of 2009,” an Obama national security staffer told the Daily Mail on Monday. “He gets them in writing.”
The Obama security staffer said the president’s PDBs have contained detailed threat warnings about the Islamic State dating back to before the 2012 presidential election.
“Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate predictions about ISIL have been showing up in the Oval Office since before the 2012 election,” the Obama security staffer told the Daily Mail.
This is not the first time questions have been raised about Obama’s lack of engagement and interest in receiving in-person daily intelligence briefings. On September 10, 2012, the GAI released a similar report showing that Obama had attended less than half (43.8%) of his daily intelligence briefings up to that point. When Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen mentioned the GAI’s findings in his column, then-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dubbed the findings “hilarious.” The very next day, U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American staff members were murdered in Benghazi. As Breitbart News reported at the time, the White House’s very own presidential calendar revealed Obama had not received his daily intel briefing in the five consecutive days leading up to the Benghazi attacks.
Ultimately, as ABC News reported, the White House did not directly dispute the GAI’s numbers but instead said Obama prefers to read his PDB on his iPad instead of receiving the all-important live, in-person briefings.
Now, with ISIS controlling over 35,000 square miles of territory in its widening caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and with Obama pointing fingers at his own Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for the rise of ISIS, the question remains whether a 42% attendance record on daily intelligence briefings is good enough for most Americans.