ISIS TORCHES 1,200 YR-OLD MOSUL CHURCH, ETHNICALLY CLEANSES CHRISTIANS

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Christians face death, rape, confiscation of property

by KURT NIMMO | INFOWARS.COM | JULY 22, 2014

ISIS is persecuting Christians in much the same the Nazis persecuted the Jews.

The Islamic State, formerly ISIS, has burned the Syriac Catholic Diocese in Mosul to the ground, according to the Chaldean, Assyrian and Syriac website Ankawa4all.com and the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako.

Earlier this month members of ISIS took sledge hammers to the tomb of the biblical prophet Jonah in Mosul.

Thousands of Christian Iraqis fled the city after ISIS ordered them to either convert to Islam, pay a special tax or leave. The deadline for the order was Saturday.

Al Arabiya reported on Sunday many Christians evacuated the city on Friday and is not clear if any remained after the deadline.

“Christian families are on their way to Dohuk and Arbil” in the nearby autonomous region of Kurdistan. “For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians,” said the Patriarch Sako.

“When this goes on like this, Mosul soon will be emptied of Christians,” a source for the World Watch Monitor in Iraq said last month. “This could be the last migration of Christians from Mosul.”

Since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 around half a million Christian Iraqis have fled the country. Radical Islamists have burned churches, destroyed monuments, killed clergymen and persecuted Christians.

Mosul has long been one of Iraq’s principal Christian centers. Iraq hosts one of the oldest Christian communities in the world and the faith has existed in the Mosul area for nearly 2,000 years.

“Those clinging on in Iraq face forced conversion to Islam, torture, kidnap, the seizure of homes and property, rape and murder. An unknown number of churches and monasteries have been destroyed,” writes Penny Young, reporting for History Today.

Major US air companies suspend flights to and from Israel

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A number of major US airlines say they are immediately suspending flights to and from Israel after a rocket attack near Ben-Gurion International Airport. US Airways, Delta are both grounding their planes.

The decision was taken following a warning from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), after a rocket fell in the city of Yehud, which is just five kilometers from the airport, Haaretz reported.

A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean Sea heading for Tel Aviv on Tuesday when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.

US Airways, which has one daily flight from Philadelphia, canceled that flight Tuesday and the return trip from Tel Aviv. It has relocated planes, which are currently at Ben-Gurion airport, according to Haaretz.

However, United Airlines has announced that it will be operating flights as usual.

Nevertheless, the FFA has not issued any warnings regarding flights over the Gaza region, despite the current conflict, the White House said on Tuesday.

“As it relates to the airspace in Gaza … the FAA has not issued any notices related to the ongoing violence in that region of the world,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

“This does serve to illustrate, though, that its individual carriers who make the decisions about their flight plans and whether or not to alter specific routes based on hostilities on the ground,” he said.

Airlines and passengers are growing more anxious about safety since last week, when a Malaysia Airlines jet was downed over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

Clashes between Israel and Palestine are now into their third week on Tuesday and the death toll continues to increase. The Gaza Health Ministry says the number of Palestinians killed has risen to 609.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on Israeli offensive against Gaza

Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has held a joint press conference with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The UN chief said too many Israeli and Palestinian mothers are “burying their children” and urges both sides to “stop fighting and start talking.” He also added that he urges “Israel to show maximum restraint.”

In response, Netanyahu responded by comparing Hamas to Islamist extremist groups such as Isis, Hezbollah and Boko Haram. “In the face of such terror, Israel has no option but to defend itself… We will do what we have to do to defend ourselves.”

Obama Pushes For Ceasefire To Save Hamas

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Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama Monday demanded that Israel stop its efforts to destroy the tunnels used by Hamas to launch rocket and jihad attacks against Israeli civilians, and called for a ceasefire on terms favorable to Hamas.

Hamas shields its tunnels from airstrikes by placing them in heavily populated civilian neighborhoods. The tunnels also extend under the border so Hamas jihadis can attack Israeli civilians and border patrols.

Israel has sent in ground units to find and destroy the tunnels, but Hamas’ forces are trying to repel the Israeli units in house-to-house fighting.

The resulting battles are killing some civilians, whose bodies are brought to a local hospital for display by international media.

Obama reacted Monday to Hamas’ strategy of showcasing civilian casualties.

“It now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a ceasefire that ends the fighting,” Obama said in short statement from a podium behind the White House.

Obama’s Gaza intervention will likely be welcome by Hamas, partly because the Israeli military is battling its way through Hamas’ defenses. Also, Israeli officials are suggesting they will continue their offensive until Hamas is disarmed, and is no longer a threat to Israeli civilians.

Obama said he’s sent Secretary of State John Kerry to the region to win a quick ceasefire that will stop the Israeli advance and halt the rockets into Israel.

“We don’t want to see any more civilians getting killed,” Obama continued.

Israel’s military is accidentally killing civilians as it tried to destroy the tunnels under the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza. Israel had urged the local civilians to flee before the attack began.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/21/obama-pushes-for-ceasefire-to-save-hamas/#ixzz389LiWxeO

IRAQI CHRISTIANS FACING A ‘CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY’

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ISIS issued ultimatum to Mosul’s Christians to either convert, pay a tax, leave or face imminent execution

by AL ARABIYA NEWS | JULY 21, 2014

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday that the persecution of Iraqi Christians who have been driven from their homes in Mosul by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants could constitute a crime against humanity, Agence France-Presse reported.

Hundreds of Christian families fled their homes in the northern city Saturday as an ultimatum threatening their community’s centuries-old presence there expired.

Ban “condemns in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of minority populations in Iraq by Islamic State [of Iraq and Syria] and associated armed groups,” a U.N. statement said.

The United Nations chief highlighted that “any systematic attack on the civilian population or segments of the civilian population, because of their ethnic background, religious beliefs or faith may constitute a crime against humanity.”

The militants, who have run the city for almost six weeks, issued an ultimatum to Mosul’s Christians to either convert, pay a tax, leave or face imminent execution.

The city’s new rulers said there would be “nothing for them but the sword” if Christians did not abide by those conditions by 0900 GMT Saturday.

While some families initially appeared prepared to pay the “jizya” Islamic tribute to stay in their homes, messages broadcast by mosques on Friday sparked an exodus.

Ban was “particularly disturbed by reports of threats against Christians in Mosul and other IS-controlled parts of Iraq,” the statement read.

It added that he was also concerned by “reports that Turkoman, Yazidis and Shabaks are facing abductions, killings or the destruction of their property, and that the homes of Christian, Shia and Shabak residents in Mosul have been marked.”

Before the 2003 U.S. invasion, more than a million Christians lived in Iraq, including more than 600,000 in Baghdad and 60,000 in Mosul, as well as a substantial number in Kirkuk and in Basra.

Until their forced exodus over the weekend, Christians had been continuously present in Mosul for about 16 centuries.

MORE WESTERN FIGHTERS JOINING MILITANTS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA

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Fresh concern about potential terrorist plots aimed at U.S. or its allies

By BRIAN BENNETT, RICHARD A. SERRANO

As many as 10,000 foreign fighters have joined Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq
Militants in Syria, Iraq may include 3,000 with Western passports, perhaps 100 American
U.S. officials alarmed by Westerners’ growing role in Islamic insurgency
Thousands of foreign fighters have bolstered the ranks of militant groups in Syria and Iraq in recent months, according to U.S. officials, driving fresh concern about potential terrorist plots aimed at the United States or its allies.

The surge, as well as intelligence that Yemeni terrorists have developed a powerful cellphone bomb designed to avoid detection at airports, is behind the Obama administration’s increasingly urgent warnings that a European or American passport holder might try to take down a passenger jet or plan other deadly mayhem.

As many as 10,000 foreign fighters — a third more than in February — have joined the militias seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Islamic State fighters who have swept across northern Iraq, said a counter-terrorism official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified assessments.

Islamic State
A fighter with the Islamic State insurgent group hands out a copy of the Koran in Mosul, Iraq. The extremist group has proved to be highly organized. (Associated Press)
As many as 3,000 of them hold European or other Western passports and thus can travel easily across most borders. Several dozen, perhaps as many as 100, hold U.S. passports, and officials say that number is growing.

The potential partnership between some of those Westerners and sophisticated bomb makers from the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, long viewed as the terrorist network’s most dangerous offshoot, has raised alarm in Washington and other capitals.

“It’s something that gives us really extreme, extreme concern,” Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. told ABC News last week. “In some ways, it’s more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general.”

FBI Director James B. Comey told reporters in Washington that the threat “keeps me up at night.” He sees the region as a “launching ground” for potential Sept. 11-style mass-casualty attacks in this country.

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Two U.S. citizens have been arrested on terrorism-related charges since April before boarding flights to Turkey, suspected of being on their way to help the militants. One is said to have paid his way with his federal tax refund. In May, a Florida man became a suicide bomber in northern Syria.

“It’s the largest number of Western fighters we have ever seen in a jihadist theater,” said Seth G. Jones, a former U.S. counter-terrorism official now with the Rand Corp. think tank.

“The scale of this is huge,” said Daniel L. Byman, professor of security studies at Georgetown University in Washington.

Some of the Western militants are joining Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate that is focused on defeating the Assad government in Syria. Others have rallied to the Islamic State, which broke away from Al Qaeda and has seized territory in eastern Syria and northern Iraq.

Eric Holder
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said he was alarmed by the connection between Westerners and Islamic militant movements. “In some ways, it’s more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general,” he told ABC News. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)
Although the rebels in Syria are struggling, the stunning battlefield success of the Islamic State fighters, and its calls for an Islamic caliphate, have energized recruiting efforts for all the militant groups. Several have used YouTube videos of battles and updates posted to Twitter in English to draw supporters to their ranks.

So far the Islamic State has focused only on capturing and consolidating territory in Syria and Iraq, but that could change. The Sunni Muslim group, recently known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is so innovative and is growing so quickly that one U.S. national security official called it the “Silicon Valley” of militant organizations.

“The concern is not what is happening today, but in four or five years,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified assessments. “If they get their own state, take on new projects, turn from looking inward to outward … we want to get in front of it.”

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Those in the Middle East are very seductive as is Islam and factor the matter is that they simply have more emotional intelligence and Westerners don't use logic to rely on emotion seduce young into a very radical system
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The Transportation Security Administration said early this month that it had asked some overseas airports to stiffen security measures, especially checking cellphones and other electronic devices to make sure they’re not concealing explosives.

Intelligence agencies also have stepped up screening of passenger manifests of flights in and out of Turkey, the main entry point to Syria, officials said. In many cases, would-be fighters take a bus to the border and walk across.

A special counter-terrorism task force of FBI agents and federal prosecutors is investigating dozens of Americans who have traveled or who officials believe intend to travel to Syria to aid the militants, officials said.

“We’re spending a tremendous amount of time and effort trying to identify those who go [to Syria] so we can know who they are when they come back,” Comey told reporters.

It’s the largest number of Western fighters we have ever seen in a jihadist theater.
- Seth G. Jones, a former U.S. counter-terrorism official
The task force leader, veteran prosecutor Stephen Ponticello, joined Holder in Europe this month for meetings with allies that focused on the threat. Holder urged them to share intelligence on suspects, to conduct more undercover investigations and to enact stronger laws criminalizing support for terrorist groups.

The expanding conflict has become “a cradle of violent extremism,” Holder said in a speech in Norway. “But the world cannot simply sit back and let it become a training ground from which our nationals can return and launch attacks.”

With French and British citizens forming the largest bloc of Western passport holders in Syria, authorities in London and Paris already have begun to crack down.

Between January and March, at least 40 people in Britain were arrested on charges related to supporting militant groups in Syria, officials said. The British Home Office, empowered by a law Parliament passed in May, has stripped at least 20 people of their citizenship for suspected terrorism support or disloyalty, British officials said.

France is considering giving authorities additional power to block militant websites that seek to recruit foreign fighters, and to strengthen the ability of police to stop French citizens from traveling abroad to fight.

Americans have joined the conflict in Syria since it began in 2011, and at least one was killed. But their role as foreign fighters was little noticed until this May, when a 22-year-old Florida man blew himself up in a truck packed with explosives in northern Syria, killing more than a dozen government soldiers.

Born in West Palm Beach, Moner Mohammad Abusalha had an American mother and a Palestinian father. Known as “Mo,” he liked to play basketball, was a fan of the Miami Heat and thought of a career as a physical therapist’s assistant.

Abusalha went to Jordan in 2012, telling his family he would study nursing. He instead crossed into Syria and spent two months in an Al Nusra Front training camp, U.S. officials said.

Some Arabic speakers refer to one another by the name of their oldest child, but Abusalha had no children. He loved cats, though, so fighters called him “Abu Hurayra,” which means father of kittens.

After his death, Al Nusra Front posted a propaganda video online that shows Abusalha stroking a gray and white cat and smiling. The video then cuts to a truck, with Abusalha apparently driving, approaching a building. Both are demolished moments later in plumes of fire and smoke.

The Americans arrested in recent months followed a similarly unlikely path.

Michael Wolfe
Michael Wolfe, a Houston native, planned to use his federal tax refund to join Islamic militants in Syria, U.S. prosecutors say. He pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. (Austin Police Department)
Michael Wolfe, a native of Houston, told undercover FBI employees he would use a $5,000 federal income tax refund to take his wife and two children to Turkey and that he would then join the fighting in Syria, according to court documents. He would give any leftover cash to his mother-in-law, he said.

Wolfe, who has slicked-back black hair and a long goatee, was arrested in June by FBI agents at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston as he prepared to board the first in a series of flights to Turkey.

Wolfe pleaded guilty in June to one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Two months earlier, Shannon Maureen Conley, a 19-year-old nurse’s aide from Arvada, Colo., was arrested at Denver International Airport as she prepared to fly to Adana, Turkey, less than 100 miles from the Syrian border.

Once she got to Syria, according to the charging documents, Conley planned to marry a 32-year-old Tunisian militant whom she had met on the Internet. She planned to use her medical training to help his cause.

Her plans were disrupted after a Faith Bible Chapel pastor in Arvada told local police in November that a young woman was acting suspiciously. Colorado state police called the FBI after Conley told an officer she intended to go overseas to wage jihad, according to the criminal complaint.

Conley told the FBI that she would engage in combat “if absolutely necessary” and that she had briefly joined the U.S. Army Explorers, a nonprofit youth program, to learn basic military skills. FBI agents and Conley’s parents could not persuade her to change her mind, the documents state.

cComments
Those in the Middle East are very seductive as is Islam and factor the matter is that they simply have more emotional intelligence and Westerners don't use logic to rely on emotion seduce young into a very radical system
HARVARD.DISPUTE
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She was arrested at the airport on April 8. FBI agents who searched her luggage found DVDs labeled “Anwar al-Awlaki,” the name of the American-born cleric and leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011. Recordings of Awlaki’s English-language speeches are seen as powerful recruiting tools for Al Qaeda.

She pleaded not guilty on April 22 to a single count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Teachers implicated in plot to Islamize UK schools allowed to ‘keep jobs’

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A deal struck with the Department of Education will allow teachers, who tried to Islamize their schools, to keep their jobs, reports UK press. The so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal forced governors to resign for pushing an “aggressive Muslim agenda.”

In spite of inquiries that have condemned a plot to spread a hardline Islamic ethos in Birmingham schools, the senior teachers involved will keep their jobs, reported the Daily Telegraph.

Citing a letter sent to the parents of children studying at three schools where a strong Islamic agenda was pushed, the publication said senior teacher would stay on because they are “recognized as having strong track records in raising achievement and will have a big contribution to the future leadership of the academies.”

In the wake of the ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal the governors of the schools involved were forced to resign, including Tahir Alam who was described as the plot’s ringleader. However, the teachers who will retain their positions in the problem schools were also found to have been active in enforcing strong Islamic policies.

The Telegraph writes that the headmaster of Park View school, Mozz Hussain, had spread “mind-blowing” anti-American ideas in school assembles. In addition, the deputy head of Nansen school Razwan Faraz ran a group called “Educational Activists that was found to be pushing an “Islamizing agenda.”

A report on 25 schools in Birmingham due to be published later this week was leaked to the UK press on Friday. Written by the former head of the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit, Peter Clark, the document identifies a “coordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos into some schools in the city.”

“It goes beyond the social conservatism practiced in some faith schools which may be consistent with universal human rights and respectful of other communities. It appears to be a deliberate attempt to convert secular state schools into exclusive faith schools in all but name,” wrote the draft report.

Reports of the Trojan Horse scandal in a Birmingham school first emerged in March when an unverified, anonymous letter thought to have been written by hardline Islamists found its way into government hands. The letter contains information on a plot to Islamize British schools from within.

Since then UK media has reported on various hardline policies being enforced in Birmingham schools, including segregation of boys and girls, forced praying and intimidation and bullying of teachers that did not share the same hardline ethos.

Last month five schools in the area were placed on special measures in the wake of an Ofsted (education inspectorate) inspection that described a culture of fear and intimidation taking hold in some schools.

ISLAMIC STATE KILLED 270 IN SYRIAN GAS FIELD BATTLE

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Islamic State has made rapid gains in Syria

(Reuters) – Militant group Islamic State killed 270 soldiers, guards and staff when they captured a Syrian gas field on Thursday in the bloodiest clash yet between the al Qaeda offshoot and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, a monitoring group said on Saturday.

The anti-Assad Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Thursday that 90 people had been killed and that many were missing after the attack against the Sha’ar gas field east of Homs in central Syria.

But on Saturday, the Observatory, which monitors violence in Syria through a network of sources in the country on both sides, quoted “trusted sources” as saying that the Islamic State had “killed and executed” 270 people during the assault. It said at least 40 Islamic State fighters were killed in the offensive.

Islamic State has made rapid gains in Syria, mostly by seizing territory from rival rebel groups, using weaponry brought in from Iraq where last month it managed to take large areas from government forces.

It was not immediately possible to verify the Observatory’s report. Syrian state media made no mention of the attack.

About 30 people had managed to escape to the nearby Hajjar field, the Observatory report added.

Activists say the Syrian air force has in recent weeks stepped up attacks on positions held by Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

Islamic State fighters have previously taken control of oilfields in Iraq as well as in Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zor province. The group was once the Iraqi affiliate of al Qaeda, but al Qaeda disowned it in February after tensions mounted over its expansion into Syria.

Islamic State has declared a “caliphate” in the areas where it operates in Iraq and Syria. There the group has imposed Islamic law, carrying out harsh penalties including several executions.

In Raqqa in eastern Syria, two women were stoned to death for adultery, the Observatory said. One was killed on Friday and one on Saturday, according to the report, which could not immediately be corroborated.

More than 170,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict, which started as a peaceful protest movement in 2011 but descended into a multifaceted civil war after a government crackdown.

Convert, pay or die: Iraqi Christians flee Mosul after Islamic State ultimatum

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The Islamic State has issued an ultimatum to the Christians in the town of Mosul in northern Iraq, urging them to convert to Islam, pay a religious tax or face death.

The statement by the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, warned that the Christians had until Saturday to “leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate.”

“After this date, there is nothing between us and them but the sword,” the statement said.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which is the previous former name for the Islamic State, captured Mosul as part of a large-scale offensive in July, which resulted in the declaration of a “caliphate” in parts of Iraq and Syria earlier this month.

Messages warning Christians about the ultimatum were announced through loudspeakers on the city’s mosques.

Church leaders advised the few families who wanted to negotiate with militants that they should also flee for their own safety. The exodus went on in Mosul throughout Friday, with all the Christians abandoning the town by the end of the day.

“Christian families are on their way to Dohuk and Arbil, [in the neighboring autonomous region of Kurdistan],” Patriarch Louis Sako told AFP. “For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians.”

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) celebrate while sitting on vehicles in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. (Reuters / Stringer)Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) celebrate while sitting on vehicles in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. (Reuters / Stringer)

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq said that, in recent days, the Islamic State militants had been tagging Christian houses with the letter N. which stands for “Nassarah” – the way Christian are referred to in the Koran.

“We were shocked by the distribution of a statement by the Islamic State calling on Christians to convert to Islam, or to pay unspecified tribute, or to leave their city and their homes taking only their clothes and no luggage, and that their homes would then belong to the Islamic State,” Sako said.

“We have lived in this city and we have had a civilisation for thousands of years – and suddenly some strangers came and expelled us from our homes,” a woman in her 60s told Reuters. On Friday, she had to flee for Hamdaniya, a mainly Christian town controlled by Kurdish security forces to the southeast of Mosul.

The events in Mosul, which is home to the tomb of the Biblical and Koranic prophet Jonah, echo the decree, which ISIS issued in the Syrian city of Raqqa in February, ordering the local Christians pay tax in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection.

Mosul lies across the Tigris river from the ancient city of Nineveh, at the heart of Mesopotamia. It used to have a Christian population of around 100,000 a decade ago, but the numbers decreased drastically due to waves of attacks on Christians following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

Locals estimate the town’s Christian population at around 5,000 ahead of the Islamic State takeover. But they said that all, except around 200 people, have left Mosul during the last months as it was controlled by the Islamists.