Tag Archives: IS

The 10,000: the bitter result of our failure on refugees

It was sadly under-reported in UK media, but on 7 June 2016, the world reached an horrific milestone: 10,000 men, women and children have died in the Mediterranean sea since the start of the international refugee crisis. In short, we have succeeded in turning a shared holiday resort – used by Europeans, Africans and people from the Middle East alike – into a mass grave. The generally agreed date at which the international refugee crisis … Continue reading

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Routine Atrocity: Death at sea, in Syria, Libya and beyond…

The song Nature Boy by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds begins with the protagonist watching the news and seeing: ‘…ordinary slaughter, I saw some routine atrocity’. The point is reasonably clear – that faced with continual exposure to the horrendous, even the worst things we could possibly imagine become somehow run-of-the mill, or commonplace. I only mention it because in a conversation with my partner yesterday I almost – though not quite – answered … Continue reading

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National Discord: IS, and the international community’s plan to strike Libya

On Monday 4th January, IS opened a salvo of attacks on Libyan oil ports and terminals. The week-long operation (though the vast majority of the activity was finished in the first three days) was the start of what many people have portrayed as – and IS itself would like you to believe is – an ominous and threatening ‘new initiative’ by the terror group.

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Certainty: claims and rumour in Moscow and Ankara

                Last Friday, on the first leg of a journey to Turkey, I was drawn into a conversation about IS and most specifically the attack on Paris on Friday 13th November. As we (a middle-aged woman sat opposite me, a couple of roughly similar-age who sat in the aisle seats next to us, and I) about increased risk in the UK and whether it exists, as well as … Continue reading

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Chaos: Islamic State’s ambition, and opportunism

On 10th October this year, in Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, a peace march was attacked by suicide bombers. I have written about it already, but for the sake of swift recall and recognition, 102 people were killed and more than 400 injured when two people blew themselves to pieces as a rally gathered outside Ankara’s Central railway station.

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Disgrace: politics and murder in Libya, Egypt, Turkey and Syria

‘Disgrace; noun. Loss of reputation or respect as the result of a dishonourable action.’ ‘Disgrace; verb. Bring shame or discredit on.’

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Doing good, and why it is ‘good’ to do it

Last summer, I discussed the situation in Syria with a young Syrian man who was working to deliver aid to the people of Aleppo. We spoke via Skype on a Thursday afternoon, concluding our conversation at 5.30pm UK time, (7.30pm Syrian time), and promising to speak again on Saturday (the Syrian ‘weekend’ being Friday, the day on which people attend Mosque).

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A dark Eid – and the seeds of future light

Last Thursday (24th September) saw the beginning of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival which celebrates the commitment of Abraham to sacrifice his son* to God (read also Yahweh and/or Allah – such is the nature of the ‘children of the book’), and the deity’s last-minute decision to grant a stay of execution.

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Further Complications

At 4am on Friday (24 July) Turkish aircraft launched strikes for the first time on IS positions in North Syria. The attacks – Turkey’s first military action in Syria of any description since the start of the latter state’s grim conflict in March 2011 – were widely welcomed by the international community, and came with an official announcement that the US would also be allowed to launch anti-IS sorties in Syria from Turkey’s Incirlik airfield.

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War? Well, not really…

Last week (29 June) UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke in Parliament for almost two hours about the killing of 38 people by a gunman in the Tunisian resort of Sousse. Before we look at what he said – or any of the related details – we should start with a couple of disclaimers. First of all, I am not Russell Brand: I do not believe that it’s hypocrisy to hold a brief silence to … Continue reading

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