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3. Januar 2015, 12.06 Uhr:

'Wie ISIS'

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

In Jalawla und Saida regieren, wie zu erwarten war, nun schiitische, vom Iran unterstütze Milizen, oder anders gesagt: So sieht Befreiung durch Obamas Bodentruppen aus.

Sunni residents of Jalawla and Sadia accuse the Shiite militias, which played a role in the fight to liberate the towns from the Islamic State group (IS), of now imposing their anti-Sunni rule.

“Whatever IS did is being repeated by the Shiites,” said Riaz Saad, who left his hometown of Jalawla and is looking for work in Slemani (Sulaimaniyah), after giving up hope of a happy life in his hometown. He believes that sectarian rivalry will affect the lives of the townsfolk.

“Currently, Shiites are using the same tactics as IS to fight Sunnis and take revenge on them,” Saad added. “The Shiites are not going to leave Jalawla and Sadia peacefully. The Sunni Arabs in these two towns will have to live in fear.”

After fierce fighting that killed 144 Peshmerga and wounded 300, IS was driven out of the area. The Kurds entered the towns, but so did the Shiite militias. Their flags fly across the area.

31. Dezember 2014, 11.30 Uhr:


von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Der Ölpreis fällt und fällt weiter, Venezuela steht kurz vor dem Bankrott, Rußland kämpft mit einer Rubelschwäche und Saudi Arabien pumpt weiter Öl, erklärt, es könne auch mit Ölpreisen von 20 USD pro Barrel leben.

Der Ölkrieg geht weiter und es ist vor allem ein Krieg zwischen Saudi Arabien und dem Iran:

The conflict is now a full-blown proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which is playing  out across the region. Both sides increasingly see their rivalry as a winner-take-all conflict: if the Shi’ite Hezbollah gains an upper hand in Lebanon, then the Sunnis of Lebanon—and by extension, their Saudi patrons—lose a round to Iran. If a Shi’ite-led government solidifies its control of Iraq, then Iran will have won another round.

Today, the House of Saud rushes to shore up its allies in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and wherever else it fears Iran’s nefarious influence. And the kingdom is striking back at Iran, and Russia, with its most effective weapon.

Russia and Iran are highly dependent on stable oil prices. By many estimates, Russia needs prices at around $100 a barrel to meet its budget commitments. Iran, facing Western sanctions and economic isolation, needs even higher prices. Already, Iran has taken an economic hit from Saudi actions. On Nov. 30, as a result of OPEC’s decision not to increase production, the Iranian rial dropped nearly six percent against the dollar.

The kingdom believes it can protect itself from the impact of the price drops. It can always increase oil production to make up for falling prices, or soften the blow of lower profits by accessing some of its $750 billion stashed in foreign reserves.

30. Dezember 2014, 20.46 Uhr:

Beschützer eines Weihnachtgottesdienstes

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Aus Nigeria:

More than 200 Muslims protected Christians from a potential attack during Christmas celebrations in the central Nigerian city of Kaduna, according to local media reports.

A cleric in the city, Pastor Yohanna Buru of the Christ Evangelical Church, confirmed that the Muslim youth volunteers had carried out the act of interfaith harmony during his interview with the New Agency of Nigeria (Nan).

“I really appreciate their love and care,” he said of their involvement in the Christmas service.

Buru said that the gesture was one of the first of its kind in the city following a series of attacks perpetrated by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, who have previously conducted suicide bombings on churches in the central Nigeria state.

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.

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