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Transcript of Isis
- June 10, 2014: ISIS takes control of Mosul
- June 11, 2014: Takes control of Tikrit
-June 15: Obama announces that troops will be sent to Iraq to protect the US Embassy, US personnel and Baghdad airport
-June 19: Iraq requests American aid in form of airstrikes to "break morale"
- June 21, 2014: Takes control of Al-Qaim (on border of Syria), Rawa, Ana and Husaybah
- June 30, 2014: The UN announces 1.2 million Iraqis have been forced from their homes. US announces that an additional 300 troops will be sent to Iraq.
-August 3, 2014 : ISIS forces capture Sinjar in North West Iraq, prompting thousands of Yazidi refugees to be expelled from the city. Many flee to Mount Sinjar, where they are trapped with virtually no food, water, or medical care in the summer heat.
-August 8, 2014: US begins "targeted" airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq to protect US personnel , targeted minorities, and to stop the advance on Kurdish capital. US and UK planes begin dropping food and water for Yazidis stranded on Sinjar mountains, with support from UK, France, and Australia.
-August 13, 2014: UN declaration states that the Yazidi crisis is the highest level humanitarian crisis, and that additional good, funds, and assets will be used to respond to the needs of the displaced.
-Augsut 14, 2014: US airstrikes and Kurdish fighters break siege of Mount Sinjar, allowing many refugees to escape. US announces shift in goal to reversing ISIS gains in Iraq.
-August 18, 2014: Iraqi forces recapture Mosul dam
-September 8, 2014: New government sworn in Iraq
-September 10, 2014: Obama announces that additional troops will be sent to Iraq and expansion of airstrikes. Also announces that $25 million in military aid will be given to Iraqi forces, as well as Kurdish fighters in the North. Aid includes ammunition, small arms and vehicles, and military training.
*Since August 8, US-led coalition has launched over 500 airstrikes against ISIS *
Brutality of ISIS In Iraq and Syria
- 5 hostage killings filmed
o James Foley, US Journalist
o Steven Sotloff, US Freelance Journalist
o David Haines, British Aid Worker
o Alan Henning, British Minicab Driver
o Peter Kassig, US Aid Worker
- More than 191,000 Syrians killed
- More than 5,500 Iraqis killed
International Intervention In Syria Against ISIS
- President Obama spoke on September 10, 2014, outlining U.S. actions to combat ISIL in Iraq and in Syria.
o “…will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria…”
o “…ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition…”
o Called on Congress to give additional authorities and resources to train and equip the fighters.
o "Cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its own people, instead we must strengthen the opposition..., while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria's crisis once and for all."
o Continue to draw on substantial counter terrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks by cutting off its funding; improving our intelligence; strengthening our defenses; and stop the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East.
o Continue to provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization, e.g. Sunni, Shia, Christians and other religious minorities.
- September 23, 2014: American jets began bombing targets in Syria. Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan also participated in the operation.
o Strikes meant to target the ability of ISIS to command and control, resupply and train.
Legality of Airstrikes In Iraq and Syria
- UN Charter under Article 2(4) States must “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force”
o 2 Exceptions Within Chapter VII and 1 Not Mentioned in Charter:
Article 51 --> Codifies “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations”
Article 42 --> Enables the UNSC to authorize “such action by air, sea or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security”
Humanitarian Intervention and Responsibility to Protect (R2P) --> Declares responsibility to intervene when a state manifestly fails to prevent mass atrocities
--> Military intervention must be authorized by the Security Council
- UNSC has not authorized the current intervention in either Iraq or Syria --> So a legal defense of the airstrikes would have to look to the self-defense argument
- “Counter-Restrictionist” Interpretation of Article 51 --> US has an Article 51 right to assist Iraq to defend itself by pursuing ISIS fighters in Syria
- US officials have argued that Iraq has a right of self-defense against ISIS against Iraq --> “…because the militant group was attacking Iraq from its haven in Syria, and the Syrian government had failed to suppress the threat”
- “Restrictionst” Interpretation of Article 51 --> US does not have Syrian consent and therefore lacks authority to pursue ISIS in Syria
- Nicaragua judgment of the ICJ --> “…states right to collective self-defense against non-state armed groups only when those groups were sent on aggressive missions by another state”
United Nation's Response To Syria and Iraq
- The SC adopted Resolution 2170 (2014) under the binding Chapter VII of the UN Charter:
o Condemned gross, widespread abuse of human rights by extremist groups by ISIL/ISIS and Al-Nusra Front in Iraq and Syria.
o Called on all United Nations Member States to act to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing and other support to Islamist extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.
o Put six persons affiliated to those groups on its terrorist sanctions list. Individuals subject to travel restrictions, asset freezes and other measures targeted at Al-Qaida affiliates.
- November 14, 2014: A UN panel discussed that ISIS has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, and leaders of the militant group should be held accountable by organizations such as the International Criminal Court.
o Created a Report of the Independent International Commission Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.
o As an armed group bound by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and customary international law, ISIS has violated its obligations toward civilians
ISIS (ISIL) In Iraq And Syria (2014)
Who is "ISIS/ISIL" ?
1. Origin: Al-Qaeda splinter group
2. Goal: Create an Islamic State (Caliphate) across Sunni areas
3. Ignores international values and has a presence from Syria's Mediterranean coast to the south of Baghdad.
4. Rules by Sharia law
5. Holds Wahhabi values
6. Many leaders are former Ba'athist Party officials
7. Worldwide Caliphate
8. One of wealthiest terror groups in history
9. 20,000-31,5000 fighters across Syria and Iraq (CIA)
10. Grave human rights abuses
Abu Bakr-al Baghadi -
Self Proclaimed Caliph with
- Managers oversea departments like security, finance, media
Timeline of ISIS In Syria
- April 8, 2013: ISIS declares its absorption of an Al-Qaeda backed militant
group in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front).
- May 2014: ISIS kidnaps more than 140 Kurdish schoolboys in Syria, forcing them to take lessons in radical Islamic theology.
- July 2014: In Syria, all the cities between Deir Ezzor city and the Iraq border fall to ISIS.
- July 3, 2014: ISIS takes control of a major Syrian oil field, al-Omar. It is the country's largest oil field and can produce 75,000 barrels of oil daily.
- July 17, 2014: In Syria's Homs province, ISIS claims to have killed 270 people after storming and seizing the Shaer gas field.
- September 11, 2014: Analysts and U.S. officials estimate 20,000-31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria.
- September 23, 2014: The U.S. carries out airstrikes against ISIS focusing on Raqqa, a city in northern Syria.
- November 14, 2014: The U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria concludes that ISIS has committed war crimes. Should be held accountable in ICC.
Evaluating Success in Iraq and Syria
Financing and Governing
-Financed by control over oil fields in Syria and Iraq
-Experts estimate that fields under ISIS control produce 25,000 to 40,000 barrels of oil per day
-Turkeys 565 mile border has been key
-Stolen millions of dollars worth of weaponry
and equipment from Iraqi and Syrian military installations
-When it seizes a city, keeps select services operating while using force to impose its vision of fundamentalist Islamic state.
-Use religious police to monitor female appearance and to ensure shops close during muslim prayers
-those who disobey law are publicly executed
-Controls distribution of food and other necessary supplies
-Establishing curriculum and collecting taxes
Foreign Fighters in ISIS
-recruitment via internet
-UN estimates that 15,000 foreign fighters have joined ISIS
mainly from Middle East, North Africa and Western Europe
UN Response to Foreign Terrorist Fighters
-September: Resolution 2178
-Defines foreign terrorist fighters
- Prevent "recruiting, organizing, transporting or equipping of individuals who travel to a state other than their States of residence for purpose of perpetration or participation in terrorist acts"
-must have laws that prosecute FTF
-November 19, renews pledge to counter foreign terrorist fighters
-Calls on Member states to increase cooperation in efforts to address foreign terrorist fighters
-Take steps to block sale of smuggled oil used to finance ISIS
-FTF from over 80 countries
wide-scale refugee problem
difficult to measure : "breadth vs depth"
Post-ISIS power vacuum in Syria
long term process
-3 million refugees from Syria
-2.75 million from Iraq
challenges for new Iraqi government
Coalition Against ISIS
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Kurdistan, Bahrain
UK, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Albania, Croatia,
President of the Security Council
"focused on international cooperation in combating terrorism and addressed the threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters, violent extremism, Al-Qaida, and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham."
PRST: Nov 19, 2014