Oct 21, 2016

Middle-East Links for October 2016

From the Arabist: links covering Middle-East issues for the month of October 2016.

Oct 20, 2016

Serena Shim: Journalist

The american journalist Serena Shim was killed on the Turkey|Syrian border approximately 2 years ago, shortly after she indicated live on air, that Turkish Intelligence suspected her of being a spy. Reading a story published online by The Free Thought Project this morning reminded me of her reportage. It truly is a story worthy of an espionage thriller IMHO.
Serena Shim is an American citizen of Lebanese descent who was born near Detroit. Shim worked for Iranian broadcaster Press TV as a foreign correspondent covering wars, legitimate protests and fake uprisings in multiple countries. She reported live from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Lebanon during the conflict since 2011, including in the critical region of Daraa during the beginning of protests, which are misrepresented by American media as the reasons for the fake civil war.
Serena Shim was killed two years ago on October 19, 2014, in Turkey while reporting on the intense battle for the Syrian border city of Kobani which was the focus of international media attention. She was 29 when she died.
The city of Kobani, which has one of Turkey’s major border crossings with Syria, because it was under threat of being completely captured by the Islamic State. The US was forced to respond because Islamic State grew out of control and threatened the border stability of Turkey, and it became the first major area bombed during the US campaign in Syria.
The US and Turkey were also arguing over Washington’s plan to arm Kurdish fighters on the Syrian side of the border and how to allow Kurds from Iraq to support the effort by crossing through Turkey. On the day she was killed, the US began operations to airdrop weapons to the Kurds. Less than two days later, Islamic State fighters released a video showing the capture of an American weapons cache airdropped near the city. The video received international media attention which led the Pentagon to admit the weapons mistakenly reached ISIL terrorists.
It is claimed she was killed in a car accident with a cement truck. However, physical details about the case raise questions about the official explanation by Turkish officials. There are also conflicting stories about the timeline after her death and before the family received her body, which indicate actions by the government of Turkey and possibly the United States.
Read Story 

Oct 18, 2016

ISHM on Mosul Operation

From Iraqi Security & Humanitarian Monitor:
Yesterday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the start of military operations to clear Mosul of ISIS and those efforts are now well underway. But what happens to the one million or more residents trapped in the city who risk death if they stay - and if they attempt to flee? 
As UN Under-Secretary-General Stephen O'Brien said, "Families are at extreme risk of being caught in cross-fire or targeted by snipers. Tens of thousands of Iraqi girls, boys, women and men may be under siege or held as human shields. Thousands may be forcibly expelled or trapped between the fighting lines. Children, women, the elderly and disabled will be particularly vulnerable." 
Please read and share our analysis, which offers an explanation of how this situation came to be and the warnings that government policymakers and aid agencies cannot ignore. 
As they face the most difficult challenge of their lives, we will continue to keep the citizens of Mosul - and all Iraqis - in our thoughts.
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