Baghdad: Iraqi security forces on Friday continued their battles for the fourth consecutive day against the Islamic State (IS) militants and moved closer to the central part of Anbar’s provincial capital city of Ramadi.
Iraqi army police and anti-terrorism troops, backed by Iraqi and US-led coalition aircraft, engaged in heavy clashes with IS militants in Houz district, which is adjacent to the government compound in central Ramadi, some 110 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Xinhua reported.
The troops made a significant advance and took control of large part of Houz district. The militants on Friday focused in the battles on snipers, suicide bombers, car bombs, and booby-trapped houses to hamper the troops advance.
The heavy battles in Houz district left more than 60 IS militants and 15 security members killed and some 40 others injured.
Also on Friday, Iraqi security forces repelled an IS attack on military positions in al-Mudheij area, just east of Ramadi, killing 11 IS militants who were wearing explosive vests. (IANS)
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.
Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.
He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”
Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”
Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as VK.com, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.
There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.
“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”
The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)