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28. Dezember 2014, 00.57 Uhr:

Mashal in Konya

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Unter moderaten Islamisten:

Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, has made a surprise appearance at an event of Turkey’s ruling party, endorsing the Turkish leaders and voicing his hope to “liberate Palestine and Jerusalem” together with them in the future.
“A strong Turkey means a strong Palestine … Inshallah, God is with us and with you on the road to victory,” Mashaal said in his address to the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) annual congress in the Konya province on Dec. 27.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu, whose hometown is Konya, personally presented Mashaal to the audience. “Konya, the city of heroes! You give birth to your leaders,” Mashaal said, congratulating the Turkish people “for having Davuto?lu and President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.”
Mashaal’s brief speech was interrupted by slogans including “God is great” and “Down with Israel” several times by AKP supporters in the sports hall who waved Turkish and Palestinian flags.

27. Dezember 2014, 15.56 Uhr:

Arabische Welt 2014: A Year from Hell

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Hisham Melhem ist bekannt für seine Artikel, die illusionslos die triste Lage im Nahen Osten beschreiben.  Die arabische Welt sehr mehr oder weniger am Ende, stellt er nun fest:

Bad times have visited the Arabs before, but 2014 was a year from hell. The region stretching from Beirut to Basra continued to slowly disintegrate, with people clinging more than ever to their primordial identities as if the colonial constructs of the Nation-States that emerged after the First World War were only a passing moment. (…)

In 2014, the Middle East became less Arab and more Iranian and Kurdish, with Turkey trying to jockey for influence in Iraq and Syria. Watching Iran’s emergence as the country with great influence in Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa, and listening to Iranian officials saying that Iran has once again, since the reign of the Persian emperor Xerxes, (486-465 BC), become a Mediterranean power, one is tempted to say that this could be the beginning of Iran’s moment as the hegemon of the region.

Nur Tunesien sei eine Ausnahme:

Once again Tunisia has proven that it is still the Arabs’ sole Northern Star. By successfully completing its formal transition to democracy after holding transparent parliamentary and presidential elections, Tunisia has shown – so far at least- that its two main competing political forces, the secular Nida Tounes and the Islamist Ennahda can operate within the same political universe without negating one another. Nida Tounes’ electoral victories are not wide enough to form a government without Ennahda. This will force both parties to cohabitate and learn the difficult art of forming and practicing coalition governance. This may well be the outcome a still fragile polity needs at this sensitive stage. Tunisia’s serious economic challenges require a broad coalition to address. Tunisia’s secular traditions, its educated population and its empowered women and small and none politicized armed forces, and the ability of its Islamists to learn from the failures of other Islamists movements in the region, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt came together to save the country from civil strife or the return of autocracy.

But if Tunisia is the Northern Star that kept the early promise of reform and change of its peaceful uprising, and continues to progress albeit with fits and starts, Egypt is the fading star that has regressed in the last four years and has returned solidly to the autocracy that the January 2011 uprising was supposed to dispatch into oblivion. Recently the Egyptian high court in Cairo dropped charges against ousted president Hosni Mubarak accusing him of ordering the killings of civilian protestors during the early phase of the peaceful uprising. And once again, a military strongman is in charge of the land of Egypt, albeit in civilian clothes.

27. Dezember 2014, 13.50 Uhr:

Kafranbel und 2015

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

27. Dezember 2014, 01.08 Uhr:

48 Stunden in Kobane

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Reporter von Vice News waren am einhundersten Tag des Kampfes um Kobane 48 Stunden lang in der Stadt. Eine Photoreportage.

26. Dezember 2014, 01.00 Uhr:

Terrorismus in Saudi Arabien

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Saudi Arabien und der Terrorismus:

Two women’s rights campaigners detained in Saudi Arabia have been transferred to a special tribunal for “terrorism", activists said on Thursday after the women appeared in court.

The ruling came at a hearing in Al-Ahsa, in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, according to the activists who declined to be named.

Loujain Hathloul has been detained since December 1 after she tried to drive into the kingdom from neighbouring United Arab Emirates in defiance of a ban.

23. Dezember 2014, 10.33 Uhr:

Der Hölle entkommen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Amnesty International hat in Dohuk yezidische Mädchen getroffen und befragt, die von ISIS als Sexsklavinnen mißbraucht wurden und dem Terror des Islamischen Staates entkommen konnten:

Torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, suffered by women and girls from Iraq’s Yezidi minority who were abducted by the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), highlights the savagery of IS rule, said Amnesty International in a new briefing today.

Escape from hell- Torture, sexual slavery in Islamic State captivity in Iraq provides an insight into the horrifying abuse suffered by hundreds and possibly thousands of Yezidi women and girls who have been forcibly married, “sold” or given as “gifts” to IS fighters or their supporters. Often, captives were forced to convert to Islam.

“Hundreds of Yezidi women and girls have had their lives shattered by the horrors of sexual violence and sexual slavery in IS captivity,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Advisor, who spoke to more than 40 former captives in northern Iraq.

“Many of those held as sexual slaves are children – girls aged 14, 15 or even younger. IS fighters are using rape as a weapon in attacks amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

The women and girls are among thousands of Yezidis from the Sinjar region in north-west Iraq who have been targeted since August in a wave of ethnic cleansing by IS fighters bent on wiping out ethnic and religious minorities in the area.

20. Dezember 2014, 22.37 Uhr:

IS exekutiert Deserteure

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Mit dem Fall erst von Jalawla und nun auch des Sinjars scheint es um die Moral der Truppe bei IS alles andere als gut bestellt:

Militants belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have executed 100 members for trying to flee their base in the northern Syrian city of Raqaa, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

An activist, who was identified by the newspaper as opposed to the Syrian regime and ISIS, confirmed to the FT the execution of the 100 foreign fighters attempting to flee Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital.

After being on the run for months, “frustration” began sweeping among the Islamist militants, the daily said.

Fighters sense a halt to ISIS’ military progress and are witnessing mounting casualties among their ranks, the report added.

“Morale isn’t falling – it’s hit the ground,” an opposition activist from ISIS-controlled areas of in Deir al-Zor told the newspaper.

Morale among the fighters was affected by the group’s shift toward governing areas it controls and because of U.S.-led air strikes halting their advances in Syria and Iraq.


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