Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Iraq crisis: Islamic State tells America 'We will drown you all in blood'

Isis militants threaten to launch terrorist attacks as revenge for US air strikes

Islamic State rebels show their flag after seizing an army post
Islamic State rebels show their flag after seizing an army post

Islamic militants losing ground in Iraq under fire from US forces have threatened to launch terrorist attacks on American soil in revenge.

A video posted online by the Islamic State (Isis) warned that Americans will be attacked “in any place” if air strikes continue to hit its fighters.

>>>Scroll down for video<<<

After showing footage of a US soldier apparently being killed by a sniper and a photo of an American beheaded during the Iraq occupation, a statement in English reads: “We will drown all of you in blood”.

In a previous message posted by Isis on Twitter last week said "we are in your state, we are in your cities, we are in your streets" with a picture of the Islamist black flag with the White House in the background.

Unlike al-Qa'ida, Isis has focused on gaining control of swathes of land and numerous towns and cities in Iraq and Syria rather than attacking Western targets.

Source: Independent

SAS veteran's fears over extremists

An ex-SAS officer has spoken of his fears for the UK if British people who have gone to Iraq and Syria to join Islamist extremists return home and continue their fight here.

Chris Ryan, who served in the SAS for 10 years and was awarded a military medal, said Prime Minister David Cameron should cancel his holiday and recall parliament due to the seriousness of the situation in Iraq.

The solider-turned-author told the Daily Mirror: "Without a shadow of a doubt Parliament should be recalled...this simply cannot wait.

"My biggest fear is when they (Islamist extremists) come back to the UK, Germany and France. They will join forces again and develop ways of bringing military grade explosives and weaponry."

The 53-year-old said he strongly believes the SAS can overcome Islamic State (IS) fighters if they work alongside American special forces.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said yesterday the UK will not be "putting combat boots on the ground", but Mr Ryan claimed it would take only small specialist units, rather than thousands of soldiers, to work strategically to defeat the IS fighters.

He said the threat is not confined to Iraq, and something needs to be done to prevent what he called the rise of a terrorist network that could exceed anything previously seen.

Iraq forces clash with militants

Clashes have broken out between Iraqi security forces and militants on the outskirts of Tikrit.

The clashes began on the south-western outskirts of the militant-held city of Tikrit, located north of Baghdad, on Tuesday, according to officials.

The Iraqi military shelled militant positions inside and outside the city. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Islamic State group and other militants occupied Tikrit and the northern city of Mosul in early June.

Since then sporadic clashes have taken place around Tikrit, located 80 miles north of the capital.

General Sir Richard Dannatt's plea UK Parliament recall

The former head of the British Army has said "the nation would expect" Parliament to be recalled to debate British involvement in Iraq, as the Prime Minister started his second holiday of the summer.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, who was a defence adviser to David Cameron after he retired as chief of the general staff in 2009, warned that MPs and Lords would get "very frustrated" if they did not get to address the situation before Parliament is due to sit again in October.

Britain is poised to provide weapons to Kurdish troops fighting the "murderous extremists" of Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq as well as continued humanitarian aid.

Former Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt
Former Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt

The Prime Minister has insisted he remains in control and will be able to manage the Government's response from Cornwall, where he has headed for a break with his family.

But also speaking from Cornwall, Sir Richard told BBC Breakfast: "I think Members of Parliament and members of the House of Lords will get very frustrated if they stay in recess through August and September until October.

"It is not the same as last year, the end of August, when there was a specific proposition that the British might support the Americans in bombing (Syrian president Bashar) Assad's chemical capability, that was a specific issue.

"But I think there will come a point as this general set of circumstances unfolds, when Parliament needs to come back together, people need to have a full debate about it and express their point of view.

"I think the nation would expect that. Everyone has private points of view, I think they need to be aired publicly, I think they need to be aired in Parliament and then I think the PM is going to have confidence that he has got Parliament behind him and hopefully a consensus across the political parties that we are doing the right thing."

Mr Cameron has pledged that the UK will not be "dragged into a war in Iraq" but Labour has criticised the Government's strategy, claiming the British role in the crisis is unclear.

Earlier this month, the PM cut short a trip to Portugal to respond to the emergency and has insisted he will do the same again "instantly" if necessary.

"Wherever I am, wherever I am in the world I am always within a few feet of a BlackBerry and an ability to manage things should they need to be managed," he said yesterday.

"And indeed, as I have done on I think almost every holiday that I have enjoyed over the last few years, to return instantly should that be necessary.

"For the next few days I shall not be terribly far away, so if that's necessary you will find me at my desk."

Sir Richard also criticised as "unwise" the Government's decision to publicly rule out British "boots on the ground" in Iraq when we may need to go in and help Kurdish forces battling IS, saying that we may need to go in and train Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in the use of heavy weapons.

He told the BBC: "If we are going to give the Peshmerga a chance to fight (the) Islamic State in the way that we know they ought to be confronted and fought - that is what everyone is agreed about - then they have got to have modern weapons, they have got to have artillery, they have got to have mortars, they have got to have anti-tank guided weapons.

"These are complicated modern weapons and they will have to be trained in how to use them.

"OK, how do we train them? We either take some of their fighters out of country and train them out of country or we put in a training team to train them ourselves.

"That could be done within territory held by the Peshmerga and doesn't necessarily need to be exposed to danger."

Mr Cameron made a series of phone calls to Middle East leaders in a diplomatic push before the start of his holiday and Downing Street insisted the PM was "driving" the Government's response.

"He has been engaged throughout this crisis and will continue to be so," a No 10 spokeswoman said.

"The PM has been very much driving the Government's response and looking at what we should be doing."

US President Barack Obama last night said the retaking of the Mosul Dam from IS militants by Kurdish and Iraqi fighters was a "major step forward".

The operation was supported by the US as part of its long-term strategy to bring down the militants, he said.

IS captured the Mosul Dam, the country's largest dam and a centre for water and electricity supplies, two weeks ago.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz