"Those who remain [in Raqqa] include Chechen veterans, former al-Qaida militants and Iraqi Ba'athists who fought for Saddam Hussein. They are ready to die for the 'caliphate' but have amassed hundreds of thousands of civilians around them as human shields." (Teen army tightening net on ISIS in Raqqa, Louise Callaghan, The Sunday Times/The Australian, 2/8/17)
Iraqi Ba'athists who fought for Saddam Hussein???
You're kidding me, Louise. That was 2003. This is is 2017.
Are you seriously telling us that a bunch of Iraqi blokes, brought up on a diet of secular Ba'athist Arab nationalism, and now over 14 years older than they were in 2003, are prepared to die for a... 'caliphate'... in Syria?
Pull the other.