Kurds attack Assyrian Christian village in northern Syria

posted at 12:41 pm on January 13, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

The collapse of Syria has set loose forces that the Assad regime had either contained or appropriated to prop up its own rule, putting ethnic and religious factions in dangerous new combinations and conflicts. One of those conflicts might confound US policy and the popular conception of the nature of the fight and the fighters. Earlier this week, Kurdish forces based in Syria attacked an Assyrian Christian enclave in the northeast, not long after a series of bombings swept through its restaurants. The bombings were claimed by ISIS, but there is no mistaking the attack on checkpoints set up by the Assyrians of Qamishli:

Members of the YPG Kurdish militia conducted a surprise attack on Assyrian checkpoints in the Al-Wusta district of Qamishli, which is a predominantly Assyrian area. The checkpoints are manned by the Sootoro/GPF Assyrian security forces and were setup after three Assyrian restaurants were bombed on December 20, 2016 (AINA 2015-12-30), which killed 14 Assyrians.

The Kurdish attack lasted for one hour, with heavy exchange of machine gun fire between the Assyrian Protection Force (Sootoro) and the YPG militia. 1 Assyrian fighter was killed, identified as Gabriel Henry David, and 3 Assyrians fighters were injured. According to reports, 3 Kurdish YPG fighters were killed in the clashes.

The locals in Qamishli suspect that the bombings might have been the work of the YPG as well:

After the restaurant bombings many Assyrian residents of Qamishli suspected the YPG militia to be the real culprit, not ISIS. There was no credible claim of responsibility by ISIS, only a vague statement in a scarcely used social media account. Although one of the bombings was reported to be a suicide attack, it is now known that all three bombings were by a bag placed in each restaurant.

The YPG have gotten good press in the US, and not for no good reason. They have proven to be tenacious fighters against ISIS, and their exploits — and the women who fight on the front lines — have provided morale boosts in the war to defeat the radical Islamists. But the reality on the ground, especially for the Assyrians, is much more complex.

Over the past year while guest hosting at Relevant Radio, I have spoken many times with Jeff Gardner, director of operations for Restore Nineveh Now, which has worked quietly to build up defensive forces that can protect historical Christian communities in this region. Jeff spends much of his time on the ground in Syria and Iraq, and has a much better lay of the land. Yesterday while guest-hosting the Drew Mariani Show, Jeff and David Lazar explained that the Syrian Kurds want to clear out a space that would drive all non-Kurdish peoples off of their own lands. These Kurds, and the YPG, represent the Marxist PKK rather than more pro-US Kurds of the Barzani faction in northern Iraq, and the US support of these Kurds have Assyrians in the region worried and non-plussed.

In an exclusive, Jeff provides us with an explanation from the perspective of the Assyrian Christians and his own experiences. He also has provided us with exclusive video of the Assyrian Christian police force (the Sootoro) on patrol in Qamishli last month:

Yesterday, January 11, 2016, at approximately 12:45 pm, a group of security forces from the Communist Kurdish organization, the YPG, rolled up to an Assyrian Christian checkpoint in the northern Syrian city of Qamishli. The YPG forces demanded that the Assyrian Christians take down security barriers that they had set up in response to a triple-bombing of their neighborhood less than two weeks ago.

When the Assyrian guards refused to take down the checkpoints, the Kurdish YPG forces opened fire from one of their Technicals (a truck mounted with machine gun in the back – often a .30 or .50 caliber), striking the head of one of the Assyrian Christian guards, killing him instantly. The Assyrian Christians returned fire, and after a four-hour fight, at least six of the Kurdish attackers were also dead.

Normally, a violent death in the Middle East, and especially in Syria, would (unfortunately) be no more extraordinary than a palm tree. But this unprovoked attack brings out into the open what has been going on behind a carefully constructed PR campaign for years, namely, Kurdish brutality against non-Kurdish peoples in the Middle East.

Most in the United States are familiar with the Kurds of Iraq, and how, after suffering under Saddam Hussein, they are striving for their own nation. What many do not know is that in places like Syria, Kurds are hoping for the same thing but want, not unlike the Islamic State, a Kurdish nation emptied of all non-Kurdish peoples. While it is true that in Syria Kurds have been fighting an off-again, on-again “hot war” with ISIS, they have also been waging a slower, grinding “cold war” against the Christians, especially in Northern Syria.

Having nowhere else to go, Assyrian Christians in Syria have been arming and training themselves, refusing to be the next victim for the next regime in Syria.

I was recently in Northern Syria, in Qamishli on the very same streets where the Kurdish forces murdered the Assyrian Christian guard. His name was Gabi Henry Dawoud, and I had a chance to meet him (briefly), and even, if I recall, take his photograph. He struck me as a nice young man who, like the other Assyrian Christians caught in Syria’s war, wanted a peaceful city in which he could raise a family.

Gabi Dawoud’s death was plainly the fault of xenophobic Kurdish aggression. It was also in part the fault of the Obama Administration’s “let the Middle East drift” approach to foreign policy. A direct result of this drift is that Northern Syria is now under the near complete control of the Communist Kurdish YPG, which is so tightly aligned with the terrorist group the Kurdish Workers’ Party or the PKK that some say they are one in the same. The YPG and PKK are hard-core Marxists, with long histories of terror and brutality, and have made it clear that they intend to carve out a new Marxist Kurdish State in the Middle East, perhaps even taking part of Southern Turkey with them. Turkey, a US NATO ally, has made it clear that they will not tolerate such a move and continues on high alert, ready for a widening war.

And although nothing is inevitable until it happens, minus some aggressive, US-led foreign policy initiatives in Syria, what’s left of that nation will be future fracture, with violence spilling into more countries, bringing more death, more suffering, and wave after wave of more refugees.

The complications of ethnic and religious conflict in this case is also overlaid with ideological conflict. It creates a complex reality that so far has escaped US policymakers, even if they were inclined to intervene — and so far, they’re not. If the US decides to lead from behind and allow regional players to determine outcomes in Syria (and Iraq), the Assyrians will almost certainly be left without a chair when the music stops, and their culture and land will be violently taken from them. At the very least, we need to know the real risks behind alliances we make in our haste to go after ISIS, and try to mitigate those before we do the same kind of damage we’re trying to prevent.

There may not be an immediate US response that can stop this in its tracks, but we had better get a clearer picture of who our friends are, and who they aren’t, in the very near term.

The front page picture is of a Christian school in Qamishli, guarded by Sootoro forces, courtesy of Jeff Gardner.


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Comments

Mooslimes gotta do what mooslimes do, kill Christians. The YPG or what ever the heqq they call themselves should save those bombs and bullets for someone who is trying to kill them. They may not get resupplied.

Kissmygrits on January 13, 2016 at 12:48 PM

Arm them both.

Let God sort it out.

LoganSix on January 13, 2016 at 12:52 PM

Until the civilized world decides to rise up and destroy islam, all of the handwringing is meaningless.

As long as islam is allowed to exist – the terrorism – the destruction – the killing will continue, as outlined and required by the islamic cult manifesto.

Pork-Chop on January 13, 2016 at 12:53 PM

…and has a much better [knowledge of the] lay of the land.

Tzetzes on January 13, 2016 at 12:54 PM

Let’s expend the lives of our troops billions of dollars in yet another inter-faction conflict in that desert craphole trying to maintain a status-quo in an area that has been in flux for millenia.

A friend in one conflict, a persecuted minority in another, a hated enemy in a third.

tdarrington on January 13, 2016 at 12:54 PM

One of those conflicts might confound US policy and the popular conception of the nature of the fight and the fighters.

Kurds are going to fight for what is in the interest of Kurds. That’s the nature of all the factions in Syria. And contrary to what a doddering idiot (McCain) says, none of them are aspiring Jeffersonian democrats. And contrary to what and even more ignorant and uninformed douchebag (Trump) says, this problem will not go away if we just ignore it and let the chips fall where they may.

Happy Nomad on January 13, 2016 at 12:56 PM

There may not be an immediate US response that can stop this in its tracks, but we had better get a clearer picture of who our friends are, and who they aren’t, in the very near term.

We have no friends in the Middle East, other than Israel. And they’ve got their own problems. Obama is doing his best to ensure we have no friends anywhere else either.

Fenris on January 13, 2016 at 12:58 PM

Good Lt smiles.

fossten on January 13, 2016 at 12:59 PM

That’s too bad. I guess you can’t trust any of them. What sort of excuse can we expect? My money’s on- accidental friendly fire.

Buddahpundit on January 13, 2016 at 1:00 PM

It’s impossible to pick sides in the middle east, aside from Israel that is. There is one truth about the middle east, and that is that it’s a toilet full of savage turds. The entire ball of wax needs to be melted down completely.

I have to laugh when people wonder out loud if we’ll ever have alien friends, from other solar systems that is. The answer is NO. Any aliens out there already know we’re savages and will not let us pollute the galaxy with our savagery. The closest we can come to being civilized is in North America, excluding Mexico, and even then we’re still pretty damned savage, I mean, we have liberals and progressives here that are happy to butcher babies before they’re even born FFS.

The rest of the world is a total toilet that needs to be flushed, and North America is only marginally better. Everyone on this planet better pray real hard that there aren’t aliens ready to pass judgement on this planet’s inhabitants and melt the whole damn thing into slag.

Andy__B on January 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

More evidence that The Ugly American is as relevant today as when it was written over half a century ago. As long as theoretical knowledge substitutes for practical know-how, we will continue to march our young soldiers off to die unnecessarily while convincing ourselves that just a few more months or a few more troops or just a few dollars more is all that it will take.

God bless the USA – by taking some of its lunatic leaders off this planet.

platypus on January 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

conservatives are so upset that obama hasn’t armed these guys.

everdiso on January 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

Islam, the religion of peace.

That is why the YPG did what they did. Whether or not they are in a fight with ISIS, Al Qaeda, Syria, Turkey, whoever, they are still Muslim and they still have to hate anyone who is not.

Neitherleftorright on January 13, 2016 at 1:02 PM

but we had better get a clearer picture of who our friends are, and who they aren’t, in the very near term.

The US has no friends in the White House…

albill on January 13, 2016 at 1:02 PM

conservatives are so upset that obama hasn’t armed these guys.

everdiso on January 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

everditzy… how can we compete with your brilliant comments? How long did you work on that? Wow… just wow.

Neitherleftorright on January 13, 2016 at 1:04 PM

conservatives are so upset that obama hasn’t armed these guys.

everdiso on January 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

Well, I thought I read somewhere on HotGas that you had seen the light and were no longer a doddering leftist idiot.

It must a been another one of my ‘hopeful’ dreams.

platypus on January 13, 2016 at 1:06 PM

Nuke it all from orbit…..only way to be sure.

Bitter Clinger on January 13, 2016 at 1:08 PM

These Kurds, and the YPG, represent the Marxist PKK rather than more pro-US Kurds of the Barzani faction in northern Iraq, and the US support of these Kurds have Assyrians in the region worried and non-plussed.

So the Kurds this regime supports are marxists. Figures.

rbj on January 13, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Jeez, can’t even squeeze off a few rounds but somebody gets upset.

Seth Halpern on January 13, 2016 at 1:27 PM

At the very least, we need to know the real risks behind alliances we make in our haste to go after ISIS, and try to mitigate those before we do the same kind of damage we’re trying to prevent.

IMHO, Commie Kurds are less of a threat than ISIS.

ISIS is an international threat, warranting a response from the U.S. and her allies.

Commie Kurds are a local threat, warranting a response from Turkey. I personally wouldn’t mind aiding Turkey in this task, but at the end of the day, it’s a Turkish problem, not a global problem.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 1:28 PM

There may not be an immediate US response that can stop this in its tracks, but we had better get a clearer picture of who our friends are, and who they aren’t, in the very near term.

Republicans learn that the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend part 109850901938109.

Please stop making this mistake.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Until the civilized world decides to rise up and destroy islam, all of the handwringing is meaningless.

As long as islam is allowed to exist – the terrorism – the destruction – the killing will continue, as outlined and required by the islamic cult manifesto.

Pork-Chop on January 13, 2016 at 12:53 PM

Well at least you openly admit you want genocide. That means you get a point for honesty.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 1:35 PM

this problem will not go away if we just ignore it and let the chips fall where they may.

Happy Nomad on January 13, 2016 at 12:56 PM

Actually, it would, if we just left it alone long enough. Of course new problems would crop up as well, but that’s life.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 1:38 PM

Well at least you openly admit you want genocide. That means you get a point for honesty.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 1:35 PM

Unfortunately, he speaks the truth. Instructions for the slaughter of non-muslims appears again and again in the Koran.

Just as a comparison, gangs of adults having sex with 13 year old girls appears in the Bible and is condoned, but there are very few modern day Jews or Christians who would say that gang rape of young girls is a good idea.

Until Muslims can admit that there are flaws in their Holy book the way Christians and Jews have admitted it, we are going to be at de facto war with Islam.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 1:40 PM

The complications of ethnic and religious conflict in this case is also overlaid with ideological conflict.

Complications of ethnic and religious conflict? You see any Christians running around killing Muslims? This is not a complicated issue, but a simple one: Muslims hate Christians (and anyone else not a Muslim). If you’re not Muslim, you’re eligible for death.

It’s as simple as that. Of course, educated people have been educated to skip over the simple stuff.

chrisbolts on January 13, 2016 at 1:44 PM

everdiso on January 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

Oh, he HAS everditzo you’re overlooking the Powers/Jarrett/Hillary moves in Libya. Remember?

Missilengr on January 13, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Unfortunately, he speaks the truth. Instructions for the slaughter of non-muslims appears again and again in the Koran.

Just as a comparison, gangs of adults having sex with 13 year old girls appears in the Bible and is condoned, but there are very few modern day Jews or Christians who would say that gang rape of young girls is a good idea.

Until Muslims can admit that there are flaws in their Holy book the way Christians and Jews have admitted it, we are going to be at de facto war with Islam.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Christians admitted this? Funny we still have an awful lot of “inerrant word of gawd” idiots running around…

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 1:52 PM

Arm them both.

Let God sort it out.

LoganSix on January 13, 2016 at 12:52 PM

How about neither? I’d like to keep my money instead of having more of it confiscated and poured into endless conflict half a world away.

Seriously, let’s just stay out of the clusterf*ck that has arisen out of Iraq and Syria. We’ve done enough damage over the last 14 years.

TBSchemer on January 13, 2016 at 1:53 PM

conservatives are so upset that obama hasn’t armed these guys.

everdiso on January 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

These are the guys your boyfriend has been arming. You stupid fukk.

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2016 at 1:53 PM

Complications of ethnic and religious conflict? You see any Christians running around killing Muslims?

chrisbolts on January 13, 2016 at 1:44 PM

That was a joke right? Yeah we’ve seen a HELL of a lot of that.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 1:54 PM

Christians admitted this? Funny we still have an awful lot of “inerrant word of gawd” idiots running around…

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 1:52 PM

You’ll always have those guys. The problem with Islam is they’re they majority.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 1:58 PM

That was a joke right? Yeah we’ve seen a HELL of a lot of that.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 1:54 PM

Weak.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Gee .. why didn’t those silly Assyrians follow Teddie Cruz‘ advice and pledge allegiance to Israel?

corona79 on January 13, 2016 at 2:00 PM

That was a joke right? Yeah we’ve seen a HELL of a lot of that.

Tlaloc

And yet you didn’t provide evidence of it. Funny, that.

xblade on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Weak.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Sorry, no, the US president openly using the term crusade to describe our attack on two mulsim nations as a punitive effort against all mulsims everywhere for the actions of a tiny minority is exactly christians looking to murder muslims.

But that doesn’t fit your narrative so you try to pretend otherwise…

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Seriously, let’s just stay out of the clusterf*ck that has arisen out of Iraq and Syria. We’ve done enough damage over the last 14 years.

TBSchemer on January 13, 2016 at 1:53 PM

That would have been great advice for Dubya. Unfortunately, he went into Iraq. It would have been great advice for Obama. Unfortunately he went into Syria and Lybia.

Now the genie’s out of the bottle and ignoring the problem means turning these areas into terrorist training and funding grounds. Not an option.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

GovTrack

H.Res. 440: Calling for urgent international action on behalf of Iraqi and Syrian civilians facing a dire humanitarian crisis and severe …
… persecution because of their faith or ethnicity in the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq and Khabor, Kobane, and Aleppo regions of Syria.

Prognosis:
15% chance of being agreed to

H.Con.Res. 75: Expressing the sense of Congress that those who commit or support atrocities against Christians and other ethnic …
… and religious minorities, including Yezidis, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka’e, and Kurds, and who target them specifically for ethnic or religious reasons, are committing, and are hereby declared to be committing, “war crimes”, “crimes against humanity”, and “genocide”.

Prognosis:
15% chance of being agreed to

kcewa on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

And yet you didn’t provide evidence of it. Funny, that.

xblade on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

That differently colored text is a link, you click on it with your mouse and it opens up other pages. Hope that helps.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:03 PM

So, not even all Kurds are really on the same side. Marxist rebels are never to be trusted.

Count to 10 on January 13, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Now the genie’s out of the bottle and ignoring the problem means turning these areas into terrorist training and funding grounds. Not an option.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Of course it is an option, it’s also the only realistic option. Meddling is exactly what got us in this position.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Sorry, no, the US president openly using the term crusade to describe our attack on two mulsim nations as a punitive effort against all mulsims everywhere for the actions of a tiny minority is exactly christians looking to murder muslims.

But that doesn’t fit your narrative so you try to pretend otherwise…

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Oh brother. If Dubya’s language is at fault for anything it’s in saying Islam is not the enemy and is a religion of peace.

The people who needed to say the terrorist actions where not consistent with Islam were the Muslims. But they didn’t. To this day, very few have.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:05 PM

The people who needed to say the terrorist actions where not consistent with Islam were the Muslims. But they didn’t. To this day, very few have.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:05 PM

The same way you need to disavow everything bad done by every christian ever. I totally agree.

So, begin…

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:14 PM

Now the genie’s out of the bottle and ignoring the problem means turning these areas into terrorist training and funding grounds. Not an option.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Of course it is an option, it’s also the only realistic option. Meddling is exactly what got us in this position.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Please type that out, Tlaloc.

Say: Leaving the middle east to fester into terrorist training grounds is in America’s best interest. Allowing terrorists to fund terrorism with oil money is in America’s best interest.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Please type that out, Tlaloc.

Say: Leaving the middle east to fester into terrorist training grounds is in America’s best interest. Allowing terrorists to fund terrorism with oil money is in America’s best interest.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:15 PM

People don’t just arbitrarily choose to be terrorists, they have a reason. Something happened in their life to make that path attractive. We stop, say, blowing up random wedding parties, and fewer people have reason turn to that path.

Your path is to keep doing the EXACT same thing that caused the mess and then scratch your head when it blows up in your face with another 9/11.

Stop proving the definition of insanity, please.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:20 PM

Now the genie’s out of the bottle and ignoring the problem means turning these areas into terrorist training and funding grounds. Not an option.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

I’m not ignoring the problem. Ignoring the problem would be thinking that just a little more intervention will solve the problems that all the prior bits of intervention have created.

It’s the same mindset that socialists have- “yeah, government intervention created new problems, but if we just have a LITTLE MORE government intervention, then it will all be better. ”

This interventionist mindset is always a delusion, and always turns out poorly. It’s time to step back and let the region find its own equilibrium.

TBSchemer on January 13, 2016 at 2:22 PM

People don’t just arbitrarily choose to be terrorists, they have a reason. Something happened in their life to make that path attractive. We stop, say, blowing up random wedding parties, and fewer people have reason turn to that path.

I knew you couldn’t say it.

Now go read the Koran. Read the parts where it tells them to kill non-believers. Let me know if you see anything in there about doing it only if a wedding party is disrupted.

Idiot.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:22 PM

I knew you couldn’t say it.

Now go read the Koran. Read the parts where it tells them to kill non-believers. Let me know if you see anything in there about doing it only if a wedding party is disrupted.

Idiot.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 2:22 PM

I could say it but that’d be idiotic. Your appraisal of the situation is, well, I guess I’m sticking with idiotic.

So, no, I’m not going to let an idiot dictate the terms of the debate, sorry that ruins your only chance to win the argument.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:26 PM

conservatives are so upset that obama hasn’t armed these guys.

everdiso on January 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

As opposed to liberals like you who are so upset that the terrorists haven’t killed enough Christians.

The Notorious G.O.P on January 13, 2016 at 2:46 PM

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:20 PM

Thank you for confirming my belief that all you liberals support radical Islam.

The Notorious G.O.P on January 13, 2016 at 2:48 PM

As long as Barry is in charge, those Assyrian Christians are the real enemy not ISIS

Iblis on January 13, 2016 at 2:53 PM

The YPG has Assyrian Christian units in its ranks.

mankai on January 13, 2016 at 3:00 PM

but we had better get a clearer picture of who our friends are, and who they aren’t, in the very near term.

I don’t know if you can trust any of them. You can arm the Kurds in their fight against ISIS, but it’s hard to trust anyone.

The territorial goals of the YPG are comparatively less problematic than the goals of ISIS (or Iran). They don’t seem to use random terror either (which could change). They’re a better “bet” than most in the region.

The YPG has had Assyrian Christian units. I’m not sure what this particular skirmish is about, but it seems more political than religious… not that I would be surprised by the savagery of any group in Islamic Africa-Asia.

mankai on January 13, 2016 at 3:09 PM

One of the masterminds behind the Beirut Marine barracks and French Embassy bombings was a Christian.

Indeed, few over there can be trusted.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 13, 2016 at 3:38 PM

christians looking to murder muslims.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Of course you don’t believe in personal self-defense, either, so FU.

GWB on January 13, 2016 at 3:41 PM

People don’t just arbitrarily choose to be terrorists, they have a reason.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:20 PM

Yes, their religion tells them it’s the way to paradise. (Sort of like leftism, in that – murder=path to paradise.)

GWB on January 13, 2016 at 3:45 PM

…Muslims hate Christians (and anyone else not a Muslim). If you’re not Muslim, you’re eligible for death.

chrisbolts on January 13, 2016 at 1:44 PM

Not only if you’re not Muslim, but if your not the right kind of Muslim.

Years ago I remember an online dispute over the ‘racism’ of Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings and thinking it was pretty stupid to suggest. I know it had nothing to do with race, but rather ideology. I didn’t know anything about Islam at the time, and didn’t know the extent of his devout Catholicism, so figured Tolkien was writing against some Marxist tyranny and dictatorship, etc. from the experience of the rise of Hitler and Stalin, etc…but now I have not a single doubt that the Orcs are modeled on Muslims. The Orcs from Mordor fighting with the Orcs from Isengard, or the Orcs and the Urukai….not to mention the pure evil hatred of everyone and everything. Destroying anything of beauty and culture….Yep…now I try to decide if the story was merely inspired by the Crusades (and approved Catholic prophecy), or if it is a conscious warning based on his own understanding and observation even then, or prophetic, or a little of all three. Unfortunately, even though the story and movies are wildly popular, too many seem to miss the truth that is found in them and will end up like Theoden King, waking up from his stupor to wonder “How did we come to this.”

pannw on January 13, 2016 at 4:00 PM

If we had a President with any brains or balls, he could stop this in a single afternoon, no exaggeration (not sure how many times these attacks have happened).

These particular Kurds are Communist in the leadership,and nationalist in the rank and file. They are NOT motivated by Islam, and they want to live and grow, not join Allah.

If Obama placed a series of calls/msg wtvr to the Turkish and Syrian Kurd leadership threatening A) A cut off in supplies and B) A reprisal bombing for revenge and c) Giving Turky a freer hand. I promise you will not see almost any of these attacks going forwrd

Charliecrown on January 13, 2016 at 4:20 PM

Just as a comparison, gangs of adults having sex with 13 year old girls appears in the Bible and is condoned, but there are very few modern day Jews or Christians who would say that gang rape of young girls is a good idea.

Magicjava on January 13, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Where in the bible does it describe that and in the context you are stating?

Neitherleftorright on January 13, 2016 at 5:16 PM

One of the masterminds behind the Beirut Marine barracks and French Embassy bombings was a Christian. claimed to be a Christian.

Indeed, few over there can be trusted.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 13, 2016 at 3:38 PM

Fixed it for accuracy.

Neitherleftorright on January 13, 2016 at 5:19 PM

conservatives are so upset that obama hasn’t armed these guys.

everdiso on January 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

Well, Obama armed the guys who fired on them. So yes, you are absolutely right.

unclesmrgol on January 13, 2016 at 9:13 PM

Stop proving the definition of insanity, please.

Tlaloc on January 13, 2016 at 2:20 PM

Hmm.

unclesmrgol on January 13, 2016 at 9:17 PM

The land Kurds call historic Kurdistan is land the Assyrians also have a territorial claim on, where their ancient Assyrian empire once was.

I like both Kurds and Assyrians, and have no horse in the fight, but this is a bitter and deadly dispute that cannot be ignored. Even if/when ISIS is defeated, these disputes will explode in lieu of a dictator like Assad or a fake identity like “Syrian” to force peace on everyone.

AlexB on January 14, 2016 at 9:49 AM