ISIS Coalition SITREP #83

Welcome to the briefing…..it has been awhile since the last one that is because there has been very little news that is worthy of comment….since the last report al-Baghdadi has been seriously wounded, number 2 man in Iraq has been reported killed, the ISIS minister of finance in Syria has been killed and wife taken prisoner with lots of data captured as well.  Al-Anbar province is being overrun…………city of Ramadi has been taken by ISIS fighters…..and the airstrikes continue.

Item 1–Advancing near the ancient city of Palmyra, ISIS is said to have captured the al-Hail and Arak gas fields, two very important parts of fueling Syria’s electricity grid.

Item 2–US airstrikes are working as the air cover for Shi’ite militias……….

Item 3–the defeat in Ramadi of Iraq troops looked a lot like the early days of the fighting with ISIS……massive retreating leaving equipment and arms behind…..with the fall of Ramadi ISIS is just 50 miles from Baghdad……that should worry everybody in DC.

Item 4–ISIS has finally captured the ancient city of Palmyra and with that victory that control a wide swath of land in Syria……

Capturing the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur in Arabic) and valuable nearby gas fields was just part of the gains of ISIS across Syria, which have now reached the point that the “caliphate” includes more than half of Syria’s territory.

Indeed, ISIS seems to be making gains across both Syria and Iraq, taking the major Iraqi city of Ramadi yesterday, and then seizing the al-Waleed border crossing, the last crossing between Iraq and Syria that they didn’t already hold.

Item 5–……..the story around the fall of the Anbar Province capital of Ramadi in recent days has been predictions of Iraq retaking the city, the reality is ISIS is continuing its eastward advance.

Early in the day, Iraqi forces reported they were exchanging mortar fire with ISIS forces east of the city, and had held them off, but by evening police commanders confirmed they’d been overrun entirely by ISIS.

Keep in mind that Baghdad is less than 60 miles from Ramadi…..is the capital next on the list?

Item 6–It appears that our “ally” Turkey may have helped ISIS inn the beginning…….

Witness testimony obtained by Reuters has once again shown that the Turkish government was dishonest about their involvement in the rise of Islamist rebels in northern Syria.

The testimony of officials revealed that Turkey’s MIT state spy agency repeatedly accompanied cargoes of weaponry across the border into Islamist rebel-controlled territory in January of 2014, and threatened border police who objected.

The weapons shipments were distributed among various rebel factions, and are believed to have played a significant role in ISIS gains in that area of Syria, which they control to this day.

Now I will wait to see if the media touches this or if it is down played…..my guess is the later.

Item 7–Iran has sent in troops to Iraq to assist in the refinery fight that is raging at this time.  This is gonna be a big deal.  The US has got to decide one way or the other.  Or should it be up to Iraq to decide who fights the good fight?

Item 8–Since the beginning of the conflict the Sunni tribes had to depend on the Shia government in Baghdad for supplies and arms……that is about to change…….

Under US law, foreign military aid is supposed to be provided directly to foreign governments. Efforts to arm up various factions in Iraq, including the Peshmerga and Sunni tribal militias, have thus long had to go through a central Iraqi government with limited interest in seeing those groups get too powerful.

Today, the Pentagon announced it has plans for direct provision of weapons to Sunni tribal factions inside Anbar Province, aiming to bolster them amid recent ISIS gains.

This one simple action could do more good than a month of training……

This concludes the briefing……next one will be as needed…….

Thanx for your time and attention…….

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The World’s Game

I do not normally post much on sports…..but this story is too big too ignore……

Football, soccer to Americans, is the most popular sport in the world…..and unless you are asleep you have noticed that this is a major international story……..all the corruption and pay to play stuff…….but how many know what to look for or what they are talking about?

In case you would like to be better informed then here is your source….

(Newser) – It’s FIFA corruption scandal, day two. Here’s a guide to what you should know, watch, and read:

  • Vladimir Putin had strong words for the US regarding yesterday’s FIFA arrests, which he framed as “yet another blatant attempt [by the United States] to extend its jurisdiction to other states.” Among his comments, per the Guardian: “I suppose that someone broke some rules, I don’t know. But definitely, it’s got nothing to do with the USA. Those officials are not US citizens.”
  • The AP notes that in fact, of the 14 people charged (nine current and former FIFA officials, four sports marketing execs and an accused intermediary), at least two hold American citizenship.
  • Jon Stewart last night translated the scandal for a US audience in a segment flavored like this: “FIFA is so bad, they got arrested by the Swiss, a country whose official policy on Nazi gold was, and I quote, ‘we’ll allow it.'” Watch.
  • As for FIFA leader Sepp Blatter, the AP reports he today missed a scheduled speech—his third skipped appearance in 24 hours as many clamor for his resignation and for tomorrow’s election (he’s up for a fifth term) to be delayed. What he has done, per the BBC: chaired an emergency meeting. The New York Times takes a look at Blatter, who “has been dodging scandals almost from the moment he was elected president … in 1998″ in a piece worth reading.
  • Another New York Times piece worth a read: “Chuck Blazer, a Soccer Bon Vivant Laid Low.” He’s the former FIFA executive committee member who appears to have become a “cooperating witness.” When indictments were unsealed yesterday, the feds revealed Blazer pleaded guilty a year and a half ago.
  • The AP looks at American and Swiss investigators’ months-long preparations for the raids’ dramatic end point: FIFA’s annual congress in Zurich. The AP puts it dramatically: “Any leak could have given the game away, allowing international soccer officials to scramble out of Switzerland or time to destroy important evidence.” Read more.
  • At Politico, Josh Gerstein zeroes in on Loretta Lynch, who has gone from being “known mostly as the woman who couldn’t get an up-or-down vote on her nomination as attorney general” to making a “stunning debut” as the world watched. Read.
  • What’s next, in terms of extradition, additional arrests, and the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups? This CNN guide has you covered. Read.
  • Still confused? John Oliver broke down FIFA’s corruption … last year. Watch.

Now you can talk like a pro……you are welcome!

 

ISIS: From Out Of The Shadows

From the overworked fingers of Chuq

While doing research for a piece I am writing about the possibility of peace in the Middle East I came across a report from 2012 issued by a super secret intel group within our government.  I found it fascinating and decided to put my “Peace” post on ice for awhile to do more research.

For months now the GOP and any other Right wing lunatic to get his/her name in the media has accused the Obama government as the creator of ISIS…….there have been so many and most of them are running for the GOP nomination in 2016……..so much talk and so little proof that it is becoming redundant.

One fine morning the American people woke up to a new problem on the horizon…….the civil war was not going as well as the government had wanted……and then there appears a new opponent, the Islamic State In Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and since that day it has gone through a wide array of acronyms to describe it…..AQI, ISIS, ISIL and just plain IS….you pick the one that stirs your loins…..

While the government was trying to decide whether to get involved in Syria or not……a group arose out of the ashes and started showing amazing fighting skills by overrunning cities, military complexes and then on to Iraq to do the same and before long this group controlled a sizable stretch of territory…..

This group’s rapid rise got the intel community into a rush to find something that can be useable……something the prez could use to make an adequate policy speech.

The CIA scrambled…..the NSA listened…….then out of the shadows came one of the most secret groups in Washington….the DIA……and their report on ISIS…..

Since Syria’s Assad’s father day the US has had a hard on for a regime change in the country……and then the Arab Spring caught fire and made it into Syria…..the DIA used its many resources and came up with a plan for Syria…..

  • Al-Qaeda drives the opposition in Syria
  • The West identifies with the opposition
  • The establishment of a nascent Islamic State became a reality only with the rise of the Syrian insurgency (there is no mention of U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits; see section 4.D. below)
  • The establishment of a “Salafist Principality” in Eastern Syria is “exactly” what the external powers  supporting the opposition want (identified as “the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey”) in order to weaken the Assad government
  • “Safe havens” are suggested in areas conquered by Islamic insurgents along the lines of the Libyan model (which translates to so-called no-fly zones as a first act of ‘humanitarian war'; see 7.B.)
  • Iraq is identified with “Shia expansion” (8.C)
  • A Sunni “Islamic State” could be devastating to “unifying Iraq” and could lead to “the renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.” (see last non-redacted line in full PDF view.)

Of course the AQM or AQI which morphed into ISIS was the best way to prompt a regime change in Syria……..to be honest they did foresee a problem with AQM……a problem that could come back and bite in the ass.

Realistic the US did not create ISIS…..it has been there the whole time just with another name AQM…….but their rush to end the Assad regime may have done more to enable the group than anyone would like to admit.

 

Why Are We in the Middle East? | Common Dreams

In all the years when I was teaching and lecturing on the Middle East there were two questions that I could guarantee would be asked by people in the class……1–Will there ever be peace in the Middle East and 2–Why are we in the Middle East?

This is a good article on the later of the questions and the first one I am working on a piece to explain the peace thing…….

If you have ever wondered why we, the US, is so deeply involved in the Middle East then try this article to help your search……

 

Why Are We in the Middle East? | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Why Saudi Arabia’s Yemen war is not producing victory

Nobody in the US is concerned with the situation in Yemen……that is until some douche mentions the “I” word (ISIS)…..and then all the mouths in Washington start flapping and as usual that is all that comes out of such a waste of time……a lot of hot air passed through the colon of democracy.

But all that aside ask yourself….If the US gives billions and billions to our “friends” in Saudi Arabia why cannot they actually win a war against a vastly inferior opponent?

Who benefits from an extended conflict?  Now there is the question that needs an honest answer.

 

Why Saudi Arabia’s Yemen war is not producing victory – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.