Terror group executed 21 captives?

Updated 23 February 2015
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Terror group executed 21 captives?

BAGHDAD: In a new propaganda video, the Islamic State terror group claims to have beheaded at least 21 captured Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers in Iraq. CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of this video.
The footage, released Saturday, also purports to show the prisoners in cages and interviewed by a man holding a microphone with an IS logo on it.
Following the interview segment, the executions take place.
The video, titled “Healing the Chest of Those who Believe,” is in Kurdish with subtitles in Arabic.
It is consistent with previous executions carried out by IS.
The video shows 21 captives presented as 16 Peshmerga fighters, two Iraqi army officers and three policemen from Kirkuk, a city about 240 km north of Baghdad.
The captives, in orange jumpsuits with their heads lowered, are led to cages in a square surrounded by concrete walls and masked IS fighters carrying pistols.
A bearded man in a white turban warns the Peshmerga against fighting IS.
Then the caged captives are shown being paraded through the streets on the back of pick-up trucks, as dozens of residents and armed men look on.
The date and location is not specified in the video, but Kurdish sources told AFP it was filmed a week earlier in the main market of Hawija, an IS-held town some 50 km from Kirkuk.
The video does not contain any explicit threats to the captives but they are shown at the end kneeling before masked men holding automatic weapons or pistols.
The video also features images from previous IS videos, including of the killing of Jordanian pilot Maaz Al-Kasaasbeh, who was burned alive in a cage, and the beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians, mainly from Egypt, in Libya.
A Peshmerga commander in Kirkuk, Gen. Hiyowa Rash, told AFP that the Peshmerga hostages had been captured on Jan. 31 “when Kurdish fighters repelled a terrorist attack by IS targeting Kirkuk.”


Israeli minister says Trump peace plan a ‘waste of time’

Updated 21 November 2018
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Israeli minister says Trump peace plan a ‘waste of time’

  • “I think that the gap between the Israelis and Palestinians is much too big to be bridged”
  • “I think personally it’s a waste of time”

JERUSALEM: A senior Israeli minister said Wednesday that US President Donald Trump’s long-awaited plan for peace with the Palestinians was “a waste of time.”
“I think that the gap between the Israelis and Palestinians is much too big to be bridged,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said at a conference organized by the Jerusalem Post newspaper.
“I think personally it’s a waste of time,” she said when asked what she thought about the peace initiative Trump is expected to unveil in the weeks or months ahead.
Shaked is part of the far-right Jewish Home party, a key member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.
She and other members of her party openly oppose a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Palestinians have already vowed to block Trump’s peace plan and severed ties with his administration after his December decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and declare the city Israel’s capital.
The Palestinians also see the city as the capital of their future state and international consensus has been that Jerusalem’s status must be negotiated between the two sides.
Trump has also cut some $500 million in aid to the Palestinians, who accuse the White House of seeking to blackmail them into accepting a plan they view as blatantly biased in favor of Israel.
Trump aide Jason Greenblatt said recently in an interview with the Times of Israel news site that the plan would “be heavily focused on Israeli security needs” while remaining “fair to the Palestinians.”
While expressing her pessimism on the chances for making peace with the Palestinians for now, Shaked however said she would keep an open mind on the US plan.
“Although I want peace like anyone else, I’m just more realistic, and I know that in the current future it is impossible,” she said, speaking in English.
“But let’s wait and see what they (the US) will offer.”