War Is Boring
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War Is Boring

Islamic State Threatens Kurdish Clerics

Jihadi group tells religious leaders to join … or die

“Someone who defends his country, and gets killed is a martyr,” Kurdish Imam Masoud told War Is Boring in January while visiting Peshmerga forces on the front lines close to Erbil.

Above—a Peshmerga soldier between Mosul and Tal Afar on Jan. 27, 2015. AP photo. At top—a Kurdish soldier stands near flags of Kurdish political parties in Snuni, Iraq on Jan. 30, 2015. Bram Janssen, AP photo

“We do not fight Kurds because they are Kurds,” Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammed Al Adnani said in September. “Rather we fight the disbelievers amongst them, the allies of the crusaders and Jews in their war against the Muslims.”

Kurdish fighters outside Mosul on Dec. 19, 2014. Zana Ahmed/AP photo

“Defending religious life, people, and land, is a religious obligation, for that reason I urge all of you to be completely prepared and to do whatever it takes to protect the [Kurdistan] region,” he wrote.

Kurdish YPG fighters in Kobani on Nov. 19, 2014. Jake Simkin/AP photo

“When ISIS captured Gwer and Makhmour, I was publicly threatened with death,” Naqshbandi told War Is Boring. “At this time we were busy with Islamic scholars to prepare a discourse to response to the Islamic state.”

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From drones to AKs, high technology to low politics, exploring how and why we fight above, on and below an angry world

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Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Jamestown Analyst & freelance journalist based in Kurdistan vvanwilgenburg @gmail.co m