Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/27/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Islamic fighters may succeed well beyond our imaginings.

Thirty thousand men. Thirty thousand battle-tested, hardened combat veterans, religiously motivated, disciplined guerrilla fighters are not under the command of ISIS commanders in Syria and Iraq following an alliance between ISIS and the al-Nursa brigade. The situation has just escalated.

Leaders of the formerly rival factions seal their alliance with a handshake.

Leaders of the formerly rival factions seal their alliance with a handshake.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/27/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: ISIS, al Nursa, al Qaeda, Iraq, Assyria, Iran


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Several media sources are now affirming that the al-Qaeda backed al-Nursa brigade of 15,000 fighters has allied with the 15,000 ISIS fighters to aid in the formation of an Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq. 

Previously the two groups were reportedly at opposition as ISIS was disavowed by al-Qaeda for being too extreme. Now, the two groups have allied putting 30,000 battle-tested, fanatical guerrilla warriors in the terrorist camp under a unified command.

Let us pray for peace in this critical region.


Opposing them are possibly hundreds of thousands of poorly equipped, barely trained, Iraqi conscripts and volunteers. In Syria, a beleaguered and exhausted army holds its line against the terrorists. Pushed out of the conflict is the Free Syrian Army, an organization that simply wanted to free Syria from the oppressive rule of Bashir al Assad.

Now the people of the region are most likely to face life under a modern Islamic caliphate with ties to al-Qaeda and a special hatred of Israel and the United States.

Photographs of the leaders of both brigades have emerged, showing the men shaking hands and embracing.

This situation is eminently serious. Iraq no longer has the military capability to oppose a force of 30,000 insurgent fighters. These men are well-equipped, well-financed veterans of the brutal conflict in Syria. The Iraqi army has numbers, but that's about it. The absolute lack of training and equipment means those troops will be largely thrown away in any pitched battle.

Iraqi airpower will be a big help, but airstrikes have limited value against guerrilla fighters who can coalesce and disperse at the sound of approaching aircraft. If they can get their hands on credible surface-to-air equipment, then that calculus could also change for the worse.

The United States will need to have an interest in the region because the members of ISIS and al-Nursa have no interest in peaceful engagement with the rest of the world. These fighters believe in conversion by the sword, and are fighting to spread Islam around the globe. Although they are not invincible, their brutal tactics make up with fear what they lack in numbers. They are powerful out of proportion to their numbers.

It is likely the world will have to fight them man-to-man at some point if we are unwilling to tolerate the formation of a new Islamic state in the ancient lands of Nineveh.

Indeed, over 26 centuries ago the Assyrians formed an empire in that very region and dominated the known world with their military. Their chief weapon was fear. Anyone who opposed them would pay steeply as the Assyrians thought nothing of torturing and murdering opponents, including women and children. They made spectacles of such brutality and boasted about it in their writings and artwork.

It's difficult to avoid seeing the parallels. These terrorists are conquering lands and ruling them by fear, posting videos and pictures reveling in their brutality.

The ancient Assyrians were eventually conquered by a coalition of states, especially the Medes and Chaldean peoples, civilizations which occupied the present-day locations of Iraq and Iran.

Likewise, a similar coalition may be needed to oust these would-be neo-Assyrians from the same region. However, the effort will be both bloody and expensive. The other nations of the world may have to help. As ISIS and al-Nursa enjoy successes, their reputation and power will only grow. The world will have to prepare a way to deal with these people or choose to tolerate their presence and aggression for years to come.

We can rest certain they will not be still, nor will they abide the existence of those different from them, making it only a matter of time before they become a problem for everybody.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Middle East

US GROUND FORCES ENGAGE ISIS - No US casualties reported Watch

Image of U.S. troops firing a 60mm mortar.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. ground forces have finally clashed with the Islamic State in Iraq and defeated them handily, aided by F-18 fighter jets. The clash took place Sunday following an attack on an Iraqi airbase where American troops were stationed. Several enemy fighters were killed, ... continue reading


SOLD! In a unprecedented move of barbarity, the Islamic State authorizes rape of underage girls Watch

Image of Women captured by the Islamic State are put onto the slave market where they serve as a source of income for the state and as wives for fighters.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has released a new pamphlet that gives instructions on the taking of sex slaves, selling or giving them, and having sex with prepubescent girls, and has circulated the pamphlet among fighters in occupied Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamist State releases video that shows drone's eye-view of Kobane Watch

Image of The footage depicts the Kurdish half of Kobane, in a battle scene that has become a test of the efficacy of the U.S.-led air campaign to defeat ISIS.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Islamist State jihadists are keeping the propaganda war fresh and stylized: They've just released a video, easily available on YouTube which shows a drone's eye view of the beleaguered Syrian town of Kobane. By inference, they've portrayed the ongoing conflict ... continue reading


A world at war: Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, united how much destruction could they cause? Watch

Image of Taliban fighters have waged a war of insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A study from the BBC and the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) has revealed that in November alone, over 5,000 people died as a result of Islamic violence, or nearly seven every hour. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamic State BEHEADS four CHRISTIAN CHILDREN when they refused to renounce Christ and convert to ISLAM Watch

Image of A man breaks down in tears. Millions of men across the Middle East, from Israel and Palestine, to Syria and Iraq, know nothing but sorrow as conflict rages across the region, consuming their children.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State terrorists have beheaded four children who refused to convert to Islam according to the British Vicar of Baghdad, Canon Andrew White. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Canon Andrew White, Islamic State terrorists have beheaded a man's four ... continue reading


American hostage Luke Somers killed in rescue attempt in Yemen Watch

Image of Luke Somers, who was born in Britain but had American citizenship, was working as a translator for the National Dialogue Conference when he was kidnapped last September.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A militant jihadist reportedly "relieving himself" spotted U.S. forces in Yemen - who altered his superiors, whereupon American journalist Luke Somers along with South African hostage Pierre Korkie were killed by al-Qaeda operatives. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Bad move: Netanyah's re-election plan may lead to political suicide Watch

Image of Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may have just committed political suicide by calling for March elections.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new survey from the Jerusalem Post has found that a large majority of the Israeli population does not want Benjamin Netanyahu to be re-elected as prime minister. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The poll was conducted on December 3, just a day after Netanyahu ... continue reading


World War? The King of Jordan says the Islamic State is steering the world to it Watch

Image of King Abdullah of Jordan is warning that the world is on the brink of another world war, and the Islamic State is likely to cause it.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

King Abdullah of Jordan is a large critic of the actions of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, and while in the United States to meet with President Obama, he spoke to "CBS This Morning" and called the battle against terrorism "our third world war." ... continue reading


Christian CHILDREN sold as sex slaves for as little as $40 in Islamic State slave markets Watch

Image of Christian women are enslaved to work in brothels and in homes as domestic servants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians are being sold into slavery for as little as $40 and used as sex slaves and domestic laborers by the Islamic State. The shocking fact has emerged following the revelation of a publication advertising the prices for Christian women and children. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Gates of Hell Shake as Prophetic Pope Seeks the Blessing of a Humble Patriarch Watch

Image of I pray that this prophetic action of Pope Francis - humbly seeking the blessing of Patriarch Bartholomew - hastens the healing of the divisions which separate the Church of Jesus Christ. I believe it shook the gates of hell. May it now release the power of the Holy Spirit and unleash a new missionary age of the Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew embraced one another as brothers, and friends. Then, the successor of Peter bowed his head and sought a blessing from his brother in the Lord, Patriarch Bartholomew.  Like much of what ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter