I would like to say that the credible info coming out of the Middle East is slim at best….when there is little good news the media has a tendency to move to greener pastures…..News from Sony….news on Cuba…..news on attack in Pakistan….all this is stifling all other news……reports coming out of the Middle East are few….but we will carry on…….
Item 1–Cannot bomb what you cannot find……
Large numbers of airstrikes were launched by US and allied warplanes in the first nine days of the air war against ISIS in Syria. The number of strikes dropped in October, dropped again in November, and are now almost entirely halted.
The problem is lack of targets. There was little intelligence on ISIS territory in eastern Syria, and what few obvious stationary targets there were got destroyed early on.
Once again it all comes down to intel….and we have NONE!
Item 2–The Kurds have broken the siege of Sinjar Mountain in northwest Iraq………
Iraqi Kurdish officials have reported that the Peshmerga, backed by US warplanes, have seized control over Mount Sinjar again, opening a corridor between the Yazidi territory and Kurdistan.
WAIT! Was not the people trapped on the mountain as a pretext for the return of US Troops? I thought we4 had solved the problem some 3-4 months ago. And why were not these “thousands” trapped not making news like the previous people trapped?
Item 3–Drone usage have been the subject of much debate and now the CIA report tells the tale……
Wikileaks on Thursday has made public a never-before-seen internal review conducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that looked at the agency’s drone and targeted assassination programs in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere.
The agency’s own analysis, conducted in 2009, found that its clandestine drone and assassination program was likely to produce counterproductive outcomes, including strengthening the very “extremist groups” it was allegedly designed to destroy.
Here’s a link to the document, titled Best Practices in Counterinsurgency: Making High-Value Targeting Operations an Effective Counterinsurgency Toolocument (pdf).
I do not expect much media coverage of this….why> Does not fit the paradigm that DC is pushing.
Item 4–Iraqi troops retake the city of Baiji………
Iraq made a big deal of retaking the city of Baiji a little over a month ago, but lost the city back to ISIS without putting up much resistance, as they ordered troops to flee the city and reinforce at the nearby Baiji Refinery.
Iraqi officials had presented the retaking of Baiji as proof that they had shifted momentum against ISIS. The loss of the city suggests that the momentum shift was nowhere near as significant as advertised.
My thought is that thr Kurds and Iraqis are having amazing successes…..kinda cool since the A-10 Warthogs are now deployed in Iraq for close combat support….if I were a betting person I would say the new found success is thanx to the soon to be retired ‘Hog.
Item 5–Any success, a ultimate success, will have to include the Sunni tribes…..
Washington: The US plan to save Iraq from the advances of the so-called Islamic State was in trouble even before it was conceived – years before its unveiling in September, the marauding fundamentalists had systematically eliminated hundreds of the Iraqi tribal warriors who Washington believed would take up arms against the new threat posed by IS.
It says a lot about IS – which campaigns as a force that will “save” Sunnis – that in girding its loins for war with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, it first set about murdering an entire leadership layer in its own community.
No one took much notice. But Craig Whiteside was counting. A veteran of the Iraq war and now a professor at the US Naval War College, Whiteside has identified 1345 members of the Awakening or Sahwa movement – Sunni tribesmen who fought against al-Qaeda – who have been executed, in what he bills as the most successful assassination campaign since the Viet Cong’s attack on the Diem regime in 1959-60.
There cannot be a final victory against ISIS without the tribes of al-Anbar….time for the US to get serious about their plan or go home.
Item 6–Finally there may be some good news…at least for the Obama group……….
the Pentagon’s top officer says US air strikes have killed several high-ranking military leaders of IS in Iraq.
The Kurdish offensive against IS forces besieging Mount Sinjar began early on Wednesday with the most intensive round of air strikes yet by US and coalition forces – 45 in all.
“The Wall Street Journal” cited U.S. officials as saying that U.S. military air strikes had killed three top leaders: Abd al-Basit, head of IS military operations in Iraq; Haji Mutazz, a deputy to the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; and Radwin Talib, the group’s self-styled governor in Mosul, Iraq.
Be cautious with this news…I remember an Afghan leader that was reported killed at least 3 times……plus this will be only, if true, a minor setback….there are others capable and willing to step up to replace their “leaders”…..
Thanx for your time and attention……I will return Monday….next week will be a short week and will return after the Xmas holiday.
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