White House, Media Silent One Year After Murder of US Reporter Who Exposed Western Links to ISIS
One year ago, October 19, American reporter Serena Shim was killed in Turkey while reporting on the heavy battles in the Syrian border city of Kobani. Serena Shim was investigating the thousands of foreign fighters that have crossed the Turkish border to fight in the Syrian proxy war and in the process uncovered evidence of secret western assistance to the Islamic State. It is not known what date the footage recorded or what happened to it as all of her property was seized, including her passport and wedding ring which were never returned by Turkish authorities.
Serena Shim was going return to Lebanon for her son’s birthday and had intended to retire to be with her family. Shim’s immediate family includes her husband and two young children as well as her parents and two sisters.
Shim and her cousin Judy Irish were reported to be hit by a truck after turning into the opposite lane on a highway access road, however Shim’s family has personal knowledge that the accident was manipulated by the Turkish government. The family notes that the government first stated they could not find the vehicle that hit Shim’s rental car. Later the government claimed it was a cement truck and produced pictures.
Shim and Irish were taken to two different hospitals separated by more than 25 miles after the alleged accident. Shim was first reported dead at the scene but eventually was said to die of heart failure after a heart attack almost an hour later. Her family suspects she was taken to a secret military facility nearby before going to the hospital.
Multiple important diplomatic and military events were happening at the time, including weapons airdrops to Syrian Kurds against the wishes of the Turkish government. One of the weapons caches was later confirmed to be intercepted by Islamic State in a Youtube video, receiving international media attention.
Despite the fact that Shim was an American citizen and was killed after the American media focus on other reporters being beheaded, US President Barack Obama has never commented on her death. The State Department dismissed questions about whether the US government would investigate, as WTF News reported.
Not a single major American media organization reported on her death.
Two days before her death, Shim had reported on live television that she was under investigation by the Turkish intelligence service MIT for being a spy based on her reports on the war. According to her live report on PressTV, Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT, had been looking for Shim in border regions of Suruç and instructed residents to alert them if they saw Shim in the area. She also noted that her reporting specifically in the area of Hatay where many fighters travel into Northwest Syria. This area was featured in a November 2013 report by CNN describing the flow of foreign fighters.
In the days before her death, Serena Shim had been reporting on the siege in Kobani where the Syrian Kurds and the remaining Syrian military forces were fighting Islamic State terrorists. The Turkish government was aware of her presence in Turkey and Syria, however Serena Shim was a skilled undercover reporter who could travel without being noticed.
This period of the Kobani battle, October 12-19 was the most intense fighting to date as ISIS forces including tanks were entrenched in the city after completely surrounding it over the past 3 weeks. The fighting in Syria caused increased tension between the US and Turkey as it moved closer to the border. The United States and Turkish governments were publicly arguing about how to combat the Islamic State advance since the October 2nd comments made by US Vice President Joe Biden blaming Turkey for the growth of ISIS.
Biden responded to a student question at a Harvard University event saying “President Erdogan told me, he’s an old friend, ‘you were right, we let too many people through’ [the border]” referring to foreign mercenaries fighting in Syria. This was the extension of a US intelligence decision exposed by leaked reports, which predicted that an Islamic State caliphate would form based on the flow of weapons and money to terrorists, including weapons from Libya linked to the Benghazi scandal.
Serena Shim had also done an undercover report in 2012 on the rebels using refugee camps inside Turkey as a home base for attacks inside Syria and that Al Qaeda terrorist groups were controlling border crossings.
After Shim reported that Turkish intelligence was looking for her on October 17, the Kobani battle got worse and important geopolitical developments emerged. President Erdogan and Turkish officials rejected the United States plan to supply weapons and other equipment to Syrian Kurds fighting across the border to defend Kobani, despite the city being less than one mile from the Turkish border. The Turkish were also against a plan to allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to assist by crossing through Turkey to reach the battle area of Kobani. Turkey has refused to help Kurdish fighters in any way despite proving to be the only effective fighting force against the Islamic State.
On October 19th, the US-Turkey dynamic changed as the US military dropped weapons and supplies to Syrian Kurds in Kobani against the wishes of the Turkish government. As the new week started, news spread of the video showing Islamic State terrorists intercepting a US airdrop which was “mistakenly” off course. US officials also reported destroying another drop before ISIS could reach it.
Turkish officials announced the decision to allow Iraqi Kurds to aid the fight on October 20 President Erdogan. Erdogan continued to publicly express displeasure at the US strategy that week. The combined Kurdish forces eventually took control of the city in October and November and forcing the Islamic State to retreat completely by February 2015.
The specific reason for being targeted by the Turkish government is not known but what is certain is that Shim’s death is the result of an attempt to expose the secrets of a dirty war. The Syrian proxy war has also been used to manipulate political opinion in the United States.
Serena Shim’s reporting focused on two of the most important areas of the Syrian war. Her reporting near the city of Hatay and the Syrian border at Reyhanli captured proof of Islamic State terrorists using United Nations World Food Program vehicles for a convoy. The area of Hatay is also known for oil smuggling which ISIS frequently used to fund operations. It is a critical point of control from the border to the Syrian city of Aleppo, which has been fought over since the start of the war.
Shim’s reporting in Kobani may also be linked to the reports of secret Turkish military bases near Kobani and Sanliurfa, Turkey. The state run hospital in Sanliurfa has continuously treated Islamic State fighters and other combatants throughout the conflict. The nearby border crossing of Akcakale to the east of Kobani has changed hands multiple times since September 2012 when the Syrian “rebels” captured it and that was a “good” thing.
The battle of Kobani has been important to the Islamic State’s expansion which give would have given it control of territory from the border crossing to the ISIS capital in Raqqa.
TIMELINE OF NOTABLE EVENTS
July 7 2014: Kobane region comes under sustained, heavy attack AL MONITOR
July 17: MH17 shot down over Ukraine – ISIS became a distraction from Ukraine-Russia conflict which has turned into a stalemate Wikipedia
Aug 19: Jihadi John beheading US reporter James Foley CNN
Sep 2: Jihadi John beheading Steven Sotloff CNN
Sep 13: Jihadi John beheading David Haines, British aid worker NY DAILY NEWS
Sep 10-21: ISIS attacks Kobani region, begins seizing territory near city
Sep 22: Syria airstrikes officially begin PENTAGON
Sep 25: ISIS controls 75 percent of Kobane region, within 10km of Kobane city AL JAZEERA
Sep 27: First US coalition airstrikes against Kobane at border crossing, city surrounded by ISIS US Central Command
Sep 28: ISIS within 5 kilometers of Kobane, gunfire, rockets hit Turkey
“It is the closest distance IS has come so far,” he added.
As they advanced, the jihadists fired a volley of at least 15 rockets, hitting the centre of Ain al-Arab for the first time and killing at least one person, Abdel Rahman said.
“It’s the most violent bombardment of the town,” he said.
Additional rockets also slammed into the Syrian-Turkish border area, he added, an account confirmed by an AFP photographer on the Turkish side of the frontier.
The photographer said at least one mortar shell had landed on Turkish territory near the Mursitpinar border post, a day after fire from Syrian territory hit the Turkish border town of Suruc, injuring three.
Vice President Joe Biden blames Turkey for spread of ISIS, says President Erdogan admitted Turkey allowed too many fighters to enter Syria YOUTUBE
“President Erdogan told me, he’s an old friend, ‘you were right, we let too many people through’, now they’re trying to seal their border”
On Thursday, Biden said that “our biggest problem is our allies” who are engaged in a proxy Sunni-Shiite war against Syrian President Bashar Assad. He specifically named Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
“What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad – except that the people who were being supplied were (Jabhat) al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world,” he said.
Oct 3: Beheading video of British hostage Alan Henning DAILY MAIL
Oct 3-4: ISIS captures key strategic points, enters city for the first time BLOOMBERG CNN
Oct 4: Biden apologizes
Oct 5: “Kurds Face Massacre In Syrian Border Town As Turkey [Military] Just Watches”
Oct 7-17: US coalition airstrikes support Kurds to stop ISIS advance, battle turns in favor of Kurds, reports of Kurdish reinforcements arriving
Oct 14-15: Serena Shim reports near Kobani
Oct 16: Kobani battle most intense to date despite heaviest airstrikes
U.S. Central Command
All 14 airstrikes took place near Kobani. Initial reports indicate the strikes successfully struck 19 ISIL buildings, two ISIL command posts, three ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL sniper positions, one ISIL staging location, and one ISIL heavy machine gun.
To conduct these strikes, the U.S. employed U.S. bomber and fighter aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations. All aircraft departed the strike areas safely.
These airstrikes are designed to interdict ISIL reinforcements and resupply and prevent ISIL from massing combat power on the Kurdish held portions of Kobani. Indications are that airstrikes have continued to slow ISIL advances, but that the security situation on the ground in Kobani remains tenuous. U.S. Central Command continues to closely monitor the situation.
Oct 17: Serena Shim goes on Press TV live to report Turkish intelligence accusing her of spying
Oct 19: Serena Shim killed
Oct 19: US officially airdrops weapons for Kurds U.S. Central Command
Oct 20: Journalist asks spokeswoman about Serena Shim at US State Department Press Briefing STATE DEPARTMENT
Oct 20: Turkish officials announced the decision to allow Iraqi Kurds to aid the fight on GUARDIAN
Oct 21: US admits ISIS captured a resupply package DAILY BEAST
Oct 23-Nov 1: Kurdish reinforcements continued arriving
November 2014: ISIS losing control of region
Nov 20: Last comment by US officials on Serena Shim in response to question at US State Department briefing STATE DEPARTMENT
February 2015: Kobani freed of ISIS