Tag Archives: Turkey

South Korea to teach anti-ISIS classes in schools

The government of South Korea is in the works to present a curriculum to elementary, middle, and high school students which is meant to inform and prevent students from joining the terrorist organization ISIS.

This new curriculum comes as a Korean teenager, whose surname is Kim, crossed the border from Turkey to Syria in order to join ISIS last month. Kim reportedly learned about ISIS through their various ISIS propaganda campaigns online and through people he contacted about the group.

According to the Korea Times, Kim, 18, was on a trip to Turkey when he met an unidentified man in the town of Besiriye near the Syrian border. The man in question is believed to be a member of ISIS.

“We are introducing the lessons because ISIS uses social networking services (SNS) to conduct propaganda activities and attract people to join it,” said a Ministry of Education official. “Kim’s case showed that Koreans are no longer safe from the ISIS activities… Elementary, middle and high school students will learn the truth about ISIS.”

This official also said material about ISIS has been in development by the ministry and would be completed and distributed to schools soon.

Government officials are worried however that presenting their students with too much information on ISIS would only pique some student’s interest. Because of this, the lessons would not only inform the students about the terrorist group, but also discuss in detail the dangers of joining such groups.

The government has also said they will strengthen monitoring programs of internet activity with the hopes of deterring discussions online about ISIS.

Vice President’s Hypocritical Blame Game Backfires, admits there is no moderate middle in Syria

You can almost picture President Obama in the Oval Office (or on the golf course), shaking his head at what Vice President Joe Biden said at Harvard University on Thursday.

Biden now says that the Persian Gulf countries helped create and fund ISIS, or ISIL. And after hearing his remarks, those countries’ leaders are demanding apologies.

Biden told the crowd that the United States could not have acted sooner to combat ISIS, because our Arab allies were not ready to act.

Biden said that places like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar took their time to realize the threat ISIS posed to them and to be willing to work with the U.S. “Even if we wanted it to be, it cannot be our fight alone,” Biden said. “This cannot be turned into a U.S. ground war against another Arab nation in the Middle East.”

Biden told students that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted to him that his country had erred in allowing foreign terrorist fighters an easy route to pass in and out of Syria.

“President Erdogan told me — he’s an old friend — he said, ‘You’re right. We let too many people through.’ Now, they’re trying to seal their border,” Biden said.

Erdogan then demanded an apology, which he received on Saturday.

“I have never said to him that we had made a mistake, never. If he did say this at Harvard then he has to apologize to us,” Erdogan said, according to The Associated Press.

“Foreign fighters have never entered Syria from our country. They may come to our country as tourists and cross into Syria, but no one can say that they cross in with their arms.”

Turkey’s border remains a concern for the Obama administration.

At Harvard, Biden continued by explaining how fighting Assad became their focus: ““What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

Biden’s comments also threw the United Arab Emirates under the diplomatic bus as well.

Biden’s remarks were “amazing and ignore the role of the Emirates in the fight against extremism and terrorism,” the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Mohammad Gargash, said in a statement carried late Saturday by the official WAM news agency.

Gargash asked for Biden to clarify the comments, which he said had given “a false impression about the role of the UAE… at a time when it is actually supporting… efforts to overcome” the jihadists.

WAM reported that Biden had since apologized.

 

The Vice President’s office released a statement on Saturday:

“Vice President Joe Biden spoke today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to clarify recent comments made at Harvard University. The Vice President apologized for any implication that Turkey or other Allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria,” the White House said.

“The Vice President made clear that the United States greatly values the commitments and sacrifices made by our Allies and partners from around the world to combat the scourge of ISIL, including Turkey.”

The UAE is one of a handful of Arab allies taking part in US-led air strikes against ISIS in Syria. The others are Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Benswann.com has reported extensively on American’s role in arming Al Nusra Front and al-Qaeda link rebel groups in Syria and its relationship with Saudi Arabia, a country that funds terrorism. See here, here, herehere and here.

In the above video around 5:00, Biden admits what we have been saying all along: “there is no moderate middle in Syria.”

Fourth ISIS hostage beheaded in yet another video

British aid worker Alan Henning, another ISIS hostage, has been beheaded on video three weeks after the Scottish aid worker David Haines was executed in a similar fashion.

In the video, a man dressed in orange speaks to the camera, saying, according to ABC News, “I am Alan Henning. Because of our Parliament’s decision to attack the Islamic State [ISIS], I, as a member of the British public, will now pay the price for that decision.”

The executioner standing next to Henning then speaks to the camera before carrying out the grizzly act, saying, “The blood of [fellow slain captive] David Haines was on your hands, [British Prime Minister David] Cameron… Alan Henning will also be slaughtered but his blood is on the hands of the British Parliament.”

The video has yet to be authenticated by US or British intelligence agencies.

Henning was captured in Syria last December as he was driving an aid truck across the border between Turkey and Syria, according to the AP.  This was the second time Henning took part in an aid convoy into Syria where he and a group of Muslim friends delivered medical equipment.

According to the Guardian, a group of armed gunmen surrounded a warehouse, which Henning was in, and took Henning captive.  The gunmen said they were suspicious of Henning since he was not Muslim like the rest of the volunteers, and they were also concerned about a chip in his UK passport.  The other volunteers tried to show the gunmen how all UK passports carried a similar chip, but this did not deter them from taking Henning.

Earlier, Barbara Henning, the wife of Alan Henning, released her own video, asking ISIS to release her husband, saying, “Surely those who wish to be seen as a state will act in a statesman-like way by showing mercy and providing clemency.”

Barbara also said, according to the BBC, “Muslims across the globe continue to question Islamic State over Alan’s fate.”

Two British Imams, last month, also made a claim for sparing Henning’s life, saying holding Henning was against Islamic law and “haram [forbidden].”

At the end of the video, another hostage clad in orange is shown to the camera.  This fifth hostage was identified as American Peter Kassig, but like the rest of the video, these claims have not been verified yet.

Syrian citizens flee ISIS to seek refuge in Turkey

As ISIS continues to grab land and key towns across Syria and Iraq, thousands of Kurdish Syrians are fleeing their country with the hopes of finding safety in the neighboring country, Turkey.

There has already been an influx of Syrian refugees since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in 2011.  This early conflict caused over one million Syrians to seek shelter in Turkey over the past few years.  However, fears of ISIS have caused the single largest exodus of Syrians to Turkey in recent history at 130,000 Kurdish refugees over the past few days.  Most of these refugees are women and children trying not to get caught in the crossfire.

Fears have risen in Syria as ISIS has tightened its grip on the town of Kobane, or Ayn al-Arab, according to BBC.  Kobane is a border town in the northern region of Syria near Turkey, and has been a contributing member of the movement to establish a Kurdish nation in the region.

Kurdish political leaders in Turkey are calling on their brethren in the southeast of the country along the border to help defend their country from the progress of ISIS forces, according to Reuters.  These same political leaders also spoke out against ISIS, likening the actions of ISIS to “genocide.”

“They are going into the villages and cutting off the heads of one or two people and showing them to the villagers,” said Ibrahim Binici, a member of the pro-Kurdish HDP party in Syria.  “It is truly a shameful situation for humanity.”

The minister of Turkey, Numan Kurtulmus, also commented on the influx of refugees, saying according to the Huffington Post, “This is not a natural disaster… what we are faced with is a man-made disaster… a refugee wave that can be expressed by hundreds of thousands.”