terrorism

Revolutionaries liberate Kobane, defeat IS

After a fierce struggle lasting 134 days, mainly Kurdish fighters belonging to the Peoples Defence Units (YPG) and Womens Defence Units (YPJ) finally freed the town of Kobane on January 26 from attackers belonging to the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS). Kobane remains intact — although, only just.

Who is defeating the ‘Islamic State’?

The self-styled Islamic State (IS) may be one of the few unifying forces in the Middle East.

A range of mutually antagonistic regional and global powers and non-state groups have joined the fight against them. While Western politicians’ pronouncements that the IS has declared war on the world are clichéd, they are echoed by the group’s own statements.

Syria: Why Rojava is different

The world has started looking at Kobane and the other two liberated cantons of what the Kurds call Rojava (Western, or Syrian, Kurdistan) since the resistance in Kobane liberated the town from the brutal Islamic State (IS) forces.

Their success is not good news for Turkish President Recip Tayyep Erdogan, achieving a symbolic victory against an underhanded ploy by Turkey’s regime to crush Kurdish resistance in Syria and weaken the Kurdish resistance against the Turkish state.

Call to de-list PKK gathers support

An open letter to the Australian government calling for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be removed from the list of proscribed terrorist organisations is gathering support.

Initiated by the Melbourne-based Australians for Kurdistan campaign committee, the open letter has attracted some notable endorsements. The letter and endorsements can be viewed here.

More teenagers arrested in terror raids

Large numbers of heavily armed federal and Victorian police raided a house in the northern Melbourne suburb of Greenvale on May 8.

A 17-year-old male was arrested and charged with “terrorism related offences” after appearing in court on May 11.

“Balaclava-clad officers with assault rifles stood guard around a two-storey home while heavily-armoured vehicles blocked off the street,” the ABC reported on May 9.

A 14-year-old boy was questioned after raids in Sydney on the same day. The police have not said whether the raids in Melbourne and Sydney were connected.

Syria:‭ ‬Amid bloodshed,‭ ‬Rojava offers way forward

War planes from the US and its allies bombed the village of Birmehli in northern Syria on the night of April‭ ‬30.‭ ‬US Central Command spokesperson Major Curtis Kellogg claimed that at least‭ ‬50‭ ‬fighters from the self-styled Islamic State‭ (‬IS‭) ‬group were killed and there was‭ “‬no indication that any civilians were killed‭”‬.

However,‭ ‬human rights groups,‭ ‬including the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights‭ (‬SOHR‭)‬,‭ ‬have reported that all the casualties were civilians:‭ ‬64‭ ‬people,‭ ‬including‭ ‬31‭ ‬children.‭

Guantanamo horrors shift military men's views

In The Company Of Cowards: Bush, Howard & Injustice at Guantanamo
Michael Mori
Viking, 2014
292 pages, $29.99 (pb)

Murder At Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s Pursuit Of The Truth About Guantanamo Bay
Joseph Hickman
Simon & Schuster, 2015
245 pages, $29.99 (pb)

Major Michael Mori was a Republican-leaning, US military lawyer who “embraced the values I had been taught in scouts, sports, high school, college, law school and the Marines” — above all the ideal of fair play.

Yemen war part of Saudi's regional power bid

Saudi Arabia’s month-long aerial offensive against Yemen resumed on April 22, one day after the Saudi regime announced it was over.

Yemen is undergoing a humanitarian crisis, with millions of Yemenis lacking basic access to food, clean drinking water and health care.

The Saudi bombardment has only worsened the plight of the Yemenis, with schools destroyed, hospitals and healthcare facilities targetted, and electricity supplies cut off. Basic infrastructure is being shattered, threatening a catastrophic health crisis for Yemeni residents.

The 'Anzac Day terror plot' raises new threat of tyranny

More than 200 heavily armed police raided five homes in south-east Melbourne on April 18 to arrest five teenagers for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack on Anzac Day.

Two were held in custody and charged under “anti-terror” laws, one was charged on summons for weapons offences and two were released without charge. Family and neighbours of those arrested said that the raids were carried out with unnecessary violence.

Syria: Catastrophe as Islamic State seizes Yarmouk Palestinian camp

Fears over the safety of the 18,000 civilians trapped in Yarmouk, south of the Syrian capital of Damascus, have grown following reports that the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has taken control of large areas of the Palestinian refugee camp.

The IS, notorious for its brutal execution of hostages in the areas it occupies in Iraq and Syria, infiltrated Yarmouk camp on April 1.

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