The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militant jihadist group has announced that a man by the name Abdel Salam al-Ordoni is now the group’s Emir, or “prince,” in Lebanon. Lebanon is a country seen by many as ISIS’s next target in the effort to expand its newly created Sunni caliphate that spans Iraq and Syria.
Some suggest Ordoni was responsible for planning a recent suicide attack at a Beirut restaurant. According to NOW media, Ordoni gave orders to provide the two suicide bombers with explosives.
On Wednesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up in Beirut, injuring ten people. The plan was reportedly a botched attack. The initial plan of attack allegedly entailed opening fire on innocents at a restaurant. The suicide bomber would then detonate his vest after running out of ammo. The first bomber would then be complemented by a second, who would wait until police forces arrived to set off his suicide vest.
ISIS has set up a jihadi training camp for young men in a border area between Syria and Turkey. Teenagers are reportedly being trained for suicide attacks to be carried out within Lebanon.
Separately, the United States is rushing 75 Hellfire missiles to Iraq’s air force in order to help them combat the ISIS insurgency. The Maliki government reportedly ran out of missiles last week, rendering its air force with no weaponry to stifle the advances of the militant Sunni jihadist group. The Maliki government, frustrated with the lack of US support, turned to Russia to resupply its air force. Maliki said over the weekend that he expected Russian and Belarusian fighter jets to arrive in due time.
Over the weekend, the Shiite Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said the West was off-base when framing the ongoing sectarian violence in Iraq as something akin to a Sunni-Shia war.
The Shia Ayatollah said the Iraq conflict was a “showdown between humanity and barbarian savagery” and that “The incident in Iraq is not a war between Shiites and Sunnis.”
“It is a battle between the supporters and opponents of terrorism,” said the man who rules over a country designated by the United States as a state-sponsor of terrorism. Khamenei continued, “It’s a war between fans of America and the West and those favoring independence for their nation.”
Predictably, Khamenei failed to criticize the Iraqi Maliki government or his allies in Hezbollah or Assad’s Syria, which are states closely aligned with Iran, largely connected by their association with Shia Islam.