Deputy to ISIS leader Baghdadi is sentenced to death by Iraqi court


A top aide to the leader of the Islamic State was sentenced to death by hanging by an Iraqi court Wednesday, becoming the highest-ranking member of the extremist group to be tried and sentenced in a court of law.
Ismail al-Ithawi was part of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s inner circle and was responsible for religious edicts, finances and designing the educational curriculum for the Islamic State’s once-vast area of control across Iraq and Syria. He is also thought to be the group’s only operative in custody to have seen Baghdadi alive last year.


Ithawi, who used the alias Abu Zaid al-Iraqi, was captured in a joint operation by Iraqi, U.S. and Turkish intelligence agencies in February and had been providing information to Iraqi authorities, including coordinates for airstrikes on targets in Syria, Iraqi officials said.
His capture, along with four other important figures he helped authorities track down, was touted by President Trump in a tweet in May, and experts believed he could help authorities locate Baghdadi. Last month, Baghdadi released an audiotape, apparently intending to prove that he was still alive.

Ithawi is the most prominent member of the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS and at its peak controlled one-third of Iraq, to have faced trial in Iraq and is among more than 300 Iraqis and foreigners, including women, to have been given death sentences.
It was not clear why Ithawi was given a death sentence despite his cooperation with authorities.
An Iraqi judge with knowledge of Ithawi’s trial, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss legal deliberations, said Ithawi’s cooperation had indeed helped authorities track down other Islamic State figures. But under Iraq’s anti-terrorism law, cooperation does not guarantee immunity from prosecution or from a maximum sentence, the judge said.
“If we arrest Baghdadi, no matter how much he cooperates, he will get the death sentence,” the judge said in an interview. “This is the least we can do for the victims of the Islamic State.”
The judge added that Ithawi was represented by a public defender but declined to say how long the proceedings took.
Human rights groups have criticized Iraq’s anti-terrorism law as giving prosecutors too wide a berth. Scores of people who were coerced into helping the Islamic State, working as cooks, cleaners or doctors for the group, have faced trial and have been sentenced to life in prison or death.
Terrorism trials in Iraq typically last only minutes, with judges handing down harsh sentences on the basis of coerced confessions. Defense attorneys have complained that they are often not given any opportunity to mount a case.
Over the course of several days late last year, The Washington Post observed numerous trials of foreigners accused of joining the Islamic State that lasted less than 20 minutes each before those defendants were sentenced to death.

Thanks for the help Buh Bye
No best selling book coming out first??
Syrian air defences have downed several "hostile targets" over the country's southern region, Syrian news agency SANA reported. A Syrian security source reported that the air defences downed an Israeli combat plane and four missiles. Israeli military has refuted the claims about the downing.

A Syrian security source reported that Syrian air defences have downed an Israeli military plane as well as four missiles over the country's al-Kiswah area. The downed missiles have failed to reach their targets, the source added.
Later, Israeli military refuted the claims of downed plane in a statement.

​Earlier, Syrian Arab News Agency reported citing a military source that Syria's air defence forces have intercepted several "hostile targets" over al-Kiswah and downed them.
"Our air defense systems repelled an attack by several enemy targets over the Al-Kiswah area in the south of the country and shot them down," the Ikhbariya television said, citing a Syrian military source.
The Syrian military claimed to have thwarted a suspected Israeli attack in the war-torn country's south that would come in defiance of newly installed Russian air defense systems.
The Syrian Defense Ministry stated Thursday, "Our air defenses are thwarting hostile targets over the area of Al-Kiswah and are shooting them down." Correspondents of the official Syrian Arab News Agency went on to report that the anti-air response was continuing, with a number of hostile targets destroyed without having achieved their goal.
Al Hadath, an Arabic channel based in the United Arab Emirates, cited a source as saying that Israeli warplanes were targeting positions held by Iranian militias in southern Syria. Russia's state-run RIA Novosti outlet cited a Syrian security source as saying the defenses downed an Israeli warplane and four missiles, but the Israeli Defense Ministry declined to comment.
"In the context of the firing of Syrian surface-to-air missiles, the air defense systems identified a single location at an open area in the Golan Heights," the official Israeli military spokesperson account tweeted, referring to region occupied by Israel on the border with Syria. "At this stage, it is not clear whether it actually fell in our territory. Our forces are combing the area. Reports of an Israeli aircraft or other Israeli aerial platform being hit are false."
Though Israel routinely neither confirms nor denies its involvement in Syria, the Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz revealed in September that "that in the last two years Israel has taken military action more than 200 times within Syria itself," mostly against targets allegedly associated with Israel's archrival Iran and the militias it sponsors. Israeli has argued these forces threaten its own national security.
During one such raid later that month, however, dated Syrian air defenses responding to a raid against a suspected weapons warehouse in Latakia, Syria, accidentally downed an allied Russian Ilyushin Il-20 surveillance plane, killing its entire crew. Russia and Syria both blamed the incident on Israel, which held Iran responsible. In response, Russia shipped upgraded S-300 anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems to Syria, upgraded the country's command and control system and enhanced its own electronic warfare capabilities in the country. The S-300 was expected to become operational sometime in January.
Since 2015, Moscow has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Iranian allies against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and a 2011 rebel and jihadi uprising backed by the U.S. and regional allies, including Israel, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Though Israel reportedly abandoned its support for a former rebel enclave in southern Syria over the summer, Israel has repeatedly warned against the presence of Iran-backed forces near the border.
Damascus and Tehran have threatened a military response to any more Israeli strikes in Syria, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman have vowed to continue covert missions in Syria. Late last month, Reuters cited a senior Israeli official as saying that Israel has "attacked in Syria, including after the downing of the Russian plane."
Russia delivers the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria in this image shared by the Russian Ministry of Defense, on October 2. Moscow’s decision to supply Damascus with the improved anti-aircraft and missile defense system came after Syria accidentally shot down a Russian plane during an Israeli air raid. RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE
While U.S. officials have expressed concern over the installation of the S-300, Israeli Environmental Protection Minister and Russia-Israel Intergovernmental Commission co-chair Zeev Elkin warned that "practical actions" would "undoubtedly be taken" at these sites should Israeli aircraft be targeted and hoped that "there will be no Russian specialists" there.
US warns Turkey not to attack Syria


The US called on Turkey to not follow through on threats to attack US-backed forces in Syria Wednesday, an incursion the Pentagon warned could threaten US personnel and derail the fight against ISIS.
"Unilateral military action into northeast Syria by any party, particularly as US personnel may be present or in the vicinity, is of grave concern. We would find any such actions unacceptable," Commander Sean Robertson, a spokesman for the Department of Defense, told CNN.
We believe this dialogue is the only way to secure the border area in a sustainable manner, and believe that uncoordinated military operations will undermine that shared interest," he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised speech that Turkish troops would launch a military operation east of the Euphrates in Syria, an operation aimed at targeting Kurdish militants.
The US troops in Syria regularly work with Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as part of their campaign against ISIS.
Turkey sees all Kurdish forces in Northern Syria as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terror group by the US and the EU. The US does not share Turkey's view.
"Our target is definitely not American troops. It is the members of terror organization operating in the region. I want to emphasize this," Erdogan added, saying that he expected the operation to begin "in a couple of days."
Secretary of Defense James Mattis recently directed US troops to establish a series of observation posts in the northeast Syria border region as part of an effort to reduce tensions between Turkey and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
Two US officials told CNN that while the US has observed additional Turkish forces arriving in the area, at this point in time it is assessed that Turkey does not have enough troops in the area to conduct the type of operation in the timeline outlined by Erdogan.
However, the threat of cross-border shelling remains, potentially putting US troops there at risk.
Previous cross-border clashes caused the Syrian Democratic Forces to suspend their hard-fought offensive against the ISIS-held town of Hajin, the terror group's last remaining redoubt east of the Euphrates River.
"The campaign against ISIS is not over. Coalition forces are working closely with the Syrian Democratic Forces who are in the midst of offensive operations against ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley," Robertson, the Pentagon spokesman said.
"We should not and cannot allow ISIS to breathe at this critical point or we will jeopardize the significant gains we have made alongside our Coalition partners and risk allowing ISIS to resurge," he added.

IMO this is a big reason Erdogan is making a big deal in creating a division between the US and SA over killing of a journalist. A cover for their impending invasion of Northern Syria and march into Northern Iraq to clean out the Kurds
Quote: Originally Posted by Twin_Moose View Post

US warns Turkey not to attack Syria

I have to admit being a bit surprised at this thread being at the top of the list. You rate a raised eye-brow at the moment, we'll see how this goes, . . . .

Quote: Originally Posted by Twin_Moose View Post

IMO this is a big reason Erdogan is making a big deal in creating a division between the US and SA over killing of a journalist.

It is all drama to fill in what would be 'empty-air', anything to do with Russia causing 'any drama' is the same thing. There seems to be a 1 year delay in events that should have started happening in Mid-Sept this year, there will be lots of soap-opera level drama coming to fill in 'the slack'. A big natural disaster would be good news for 'them'. 'KSA' is the correct term as I don't see that as not referencing South America or South Africa. The 'KSA' was part of the Arab Spring so there are a few other nations that are also 'partners in wars'. When wars stop war crimes trials start. Syria and Libya should be able to 'the group' for damages to the people as well as reconstructions costs. There would be a lot of dominoes falling at the same time, including Israel finding a place where she is also free from threats of physical harm. (Via the UN moving there)

Quote: Originally Posted by Twin_Moose View Post

A cover for their impending invasion of Northern Syria and march into Northern Iraq to clean out the Kurds

My position hasn't changed much, The US and Co. will not get to rule Syria or Iran anytime this century. The same resources will be in demand in Europe and that is the home of the Would Bank and their oldest friends so the power will stay turned on.
Turkey is where she is positioned to prevent ISIS from retreating into Turkey, as well as being a supply hub in their attempt to set up an area that they could use to launch covert raid into Syria to the 'reconstruction' ran into all sorts of manufactured slow-downs. Anybody associated with sanctions on Iran since 1979 are not going to win any contracts for anything other than being being customers for raw products, paid for in the currency of the country making the sale. Turkey need to be on the side of the winners as her future with NATO would see her being the first one booted from 'the club'. She can grow more food than she needs and that is a better weapon that oil. Her rich neighbors in the area will take her in, right now she is a NATO member.
The Kurds in northern Iraq are an Israeli asset and have been for some time, they will simply change side when Syria/Iran/Iraq make them a better offer. Pipe-line kings or something along that line.
Russia moved the rebels that gave up to that region for a purpose, Syria can take them in and they would be the front-line against Turkey coming in from the north.

What is Israel doing in Lebanon, big, big landmines meant to take out roads. The prize will be getting the Golan Heights back.
How about the Shia and the Sunni sects shake hands and agree that both were just as close to Mohammod to be his heir apparent? All this killing and Jew hating over 2 peoples squabble about being who should be the leader of Islam disgraceful isn't it?