ISIS Coalition SITREP #80

I do this so my readers do not have to……..if there is something they need to know…..they will.

Good day……the events in the Middle East especially in Iraq are slowing down…..airstrikes continue but the assault on Tikrit has slowed due to heavy resistance…….

Item 1–ISIS is making in-roads around the world……..

Top US officials are expressing concerns that ISIS is putting efforts in to organizing its Libyan allies, and are making serious inroads in the nation.

an Islamist faction in Derna pledged loyalty to ISIS, and began calling itself ISIS, which allowed it to attract a large number of new recruits, and expand into several other cities.

The extent of the relationship between ISIS and its affiliate has been a matter of a lot of speculation, but US officials say several ISIS leaders are known to have traveled to Libya to advise this affiliate and help them organize.

My worry is that it may not be as substantial as reported….it could be just another ttempt to use force…….

Item 2–Yemen is becoming yet another hot bed for ISIS expansion……..

In Yemen there is little history of sectarian strife. The two main sects, Shia Zaidi and Sunni Shafi, have traditionally been seen as moderate with minimal differences.

But this changed when the Houthis, followers of an obscure Shia tradition who are accused of serving Iranian interests in Yemen, stormed the capital, Sana’a, in September, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to the southern port city of Aden.

Their advance had a galvanising effect in the country’s Sunni-dominated south, where al-Qaida is particularly strong and the jihadis of Islamic State are just starting to secure a toehold.

Another suspect report……not saying it is not so just that it may not be of less importance than the reports…..

Item 3–The battle for Tikrit while aimed at the forces of ISIS have brought about even more sectarian problems……..

Reuters) – Two Iraqi local officials and a police officer accused Shi’ite paramilitary forces on Saturday of burning and looting homes in the town of al-Dour after capturing the area during a military campaign to oust Islamic State fighters.

A spokesman for the armed faction, Kataib Hezbollah, denied the allegations, while a security commander in the area also said there had been no incident in al-Dour.

The Shi’ite paramilitary forces have been hailed as heroes by fellow Shi’ites, but accused by the Sunni minority of punishing Sunnis with extrajudicial killings and by driving ordinary people from their homes for failing to resist Islamic State.

Item 4–ISIS is getting a foothold in Libya……It is working hard on the Arabian Peninsula…..and then there is the team up with Nigeria’s Boko Haram….it is growing daily and the strategy is not changing …….this is not the way to end tyranny.

Item 5–US airstrikes have joined in with the battle for Tikrit….the problem is that the Iraqis have slowed their advance…….

the Pentagon was originally on the outside looking in at the Iraqi attempted to retake the city of Tikrit from ISIS, Iraq having been told they could use US or Iranian forces and chose Iranian help, now it seems they will have both.

Pentagon officials are insisting the airstrikes are not going to be tacitly supporting the Shi’ite militias or Iranian forces involved in the offensive, even though they obviously are because they’re on the same side of the same battle, suggesting the US still isn’t coming to grips with being in a war with Iran as an ally.

Item 6–The Shi’a militias are re-thinking their involvement in the battle for Tikrit….

A fourth militia said they will remain involved in the offensive, but also threatened to attack members of the US-led coalition while fighting ISIS, suggesting they might begin using anti-aircraft weaponry against the US warplanes.

Some of the militias are complaining that they had the battle for Tikrit almost won on their own, and that the US is just coming in at the last minute to try to hog all the glory.

The end of another week…..and as usual NOTHING is clear and on schedule……this is gonna be a long war…..

Thanx for your time and attention…….

Turn The Page!

Yemen: Into To The Arms Of Aries

We have been try to kick ISIS in the ass for about 8 months…..and all the while Yemen has been on the verge of collapse…..the US has pointed to the country as a bit of a success in the war on AQAP….we have killed many fighters and probably more civilians but that the war is going well on the Arab Peninsula…..

while we were patting ourselves on the back a conflict has been smouldering since the 1990’s with an occasional blow up here and there……and in the last 3 months that smouldering ember has become a full fledged war…….the Houthis, a Shi’a tribe from the northwest of the country has taken it upon themselves to storm the capital of Yemen, Sann’a and his consolidating their hold in a move to take the port of Aden…..

Saudi Arabia has had a hard on for the Houthis for years and some minor skirmishes have erupted…..minor, that is until yesterday………

Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir has announced that his country has begun military operations against Yemen, with an eye toward restoring Gen. Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as the “legitimate government.”

Reports are that the military action has begun with airstrikes, which Saudi officials insist are being conducted only by Saudi warplanes and not with any coordination with any other country, against the Houthi forces.

Yemen was heading in the direction of a multi-faction civil war at any rate, with Hadi’s forces increasingly confined to the south, the Houthis spanning the north and west, al-Qaeda in the tribal areas, and ISIS and the forces of previous dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh both roaming around as well. Now, the Saudis are in the mix.

Obviously the Saudis’ goal is to install a friendly government, and to that end they’re seeing Gen. Hadi, “elected” in a single-candidate vote in 2012, as having at least a little legitimacy. Hadi’s resignation and subsequent fleeing into exile, however, are going to make it awfully hard for the Saudis to reassert him as a credible ruler.

How long will this situation continue?  The longer the more of a chance that the US will be drawn into this conflict……..and once we enter our enemies will triple throughout the Middle East.

Will the US use a level head in this situation?  Or will we rush to help an “ally”?

Whatever we decide it will most likely be wrong……this conflict will be a lose-lose scenario.

Outside Chance He Should Stay?

Assad must go!

We all remember those famous words 3 years ago……the problem is Assad stayed!  Obama said he should go……Congress said he should go…..Clinton said he should go……everybody said that Assad was as good as gone……and yet Assad is still the leader of Syria…….Go Figure!

In the early days all my fellow bloggers were in sync with all the calls for Assad;s head…………And since those dark days a couple of years ago not much has been said about Assad other than he is a dick and is mistreating the average Syrian……but as far as he MUST go there has not been much chest thumping in that area of discussion…….could there be an ulterior motive?

While I was reading some news from the Middle East I came across this info in the Jordanian Times………

CIA Director John Brennan said Friday the United States does not want to see a chaotic collapse of the Syrian regime as it could open the way to Islamist extremists taking power.

The spy agency chief said Washington had reason to worry about who might replace President Bashar Al Assad if his government fell, given the rise of the Daesh terror group and other jihadists in Syria.

“I think that’s a legitimate concern,” Brennan said when asked if the US government feared who might succeed Assad.

Washington’s stance is that Assad should have no role in Syria’s future but President Barack Obama’s administration and other governments wanted to see a political solution that would ensure a representative government, he said.

“None of us, Russia, the United States, coalition, and regional states, wants to see a collapse of the government and political institutions in Damascus,” Brennan said.

That info smells like bad monk fish to me……..is there a softening of the “must go position”?

Recently Sec. Kerry had a few choice words about Assad and Syria…….

In an interview with CBS News, Secretary of State John Kerry said his goal is the push the Syrian government until President Bashar Assad is willing to negotiate with him, with an eye on a post-war transition.

That implication is also apparent in recent comments from pro-US opposition factions, with reports over the weekend that they intend to discuss the possibility of leaving Assad in power for at least the next two years as part of the “transition” process.

Kerry’s comments put the US more directly in line with that position, though it isn’t clear if the administration intended that to be the case, with the State Department quickly disavowing Kerry’s comments.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf insists that there was always an intention to negotiate with a “representative” for Assad, but that no US government official would ever be willing to negotiate with Assad himself.

Damn!  That monk fish is getting ripe!

Even the Syrian opposition is starting to think that Assad may not need to go………

Exiled opposition factions from Syria, increasingly resigned to the reality of the situation on the ground and likewise worried about the rise of ISIS, are discussing a proposal for their next big meeting to leave President Bashar Assad in power.

Publicly, the opposition has long insisted that there is no discussion to be had with the Assad government without the understanding that Assad steps down immediately. The new proposal would call for elections in two years.

Sounds like a softening of the rhetoric……at least by the admin spokespeople……will it play with those on the down side of smart?

Right now the Right has a full plate from which to dine….e-mails, immigration, Obamacare, Iran (the all consuming issue for them)…….they have barely noticed the spoiled monk fish next to them……it will return….fear not!

Bullets For Libya

Libya……there is more to the situation than the GOP would have us believe….there is more than the deaths in Benghazi….but then there is little political revenue out of what is truly happening…..

Libya has faded from the news…..there has been some much more important news to cover….like the Oscars…or Madonna falling and breaking a hip (not really…but she is getting old)……or a train wreck that effects less than 1% of the population…..oh so much more……worthless mind numbing fecal matter…..

But while you were being lulled into stupidity by the media….death and destruction continues in North Africa….you remember Libya that country that we had to intervene because of a growing humanitarian crisis, right?

Four years on……since NATO intervene and got Qaddafi murdered….. and so far it is a carbon copy of the Middle East once the US steps in and brings them “freedom”……..so….,what has been accomplished by the removal of the despot?

Civil war…..more civilian deaths…..possible a genocide of black Libyans…..all made possible by the stupidity of American foreign policy…….we sent them a Libyan general that has been on the payroll of CIA for almost 30 years….Haftar is his name…….and now his is positioning himself to become the new tyrant of Libya……

The president of Libya’s elected parliament has proposed the appointment of General Khalifa Haftar, who leads his own troops, as commander of the army loyal to the government based in the east of the country, the parliament spokesman said on Wednesday.

The decision shows the increasing influence of military figures in the official government and parliament, which has been forced to operate from eastern Libya since an armed group called Libya Dawn seized the capital Tripoli in summer.

Keep in mind that is how Qaddafi got his start…in the military and he lead a coup that ousted the king at the time, Idris..

This could be good in only one aspect…..he could bring about a ceasefire among militias…..but then…..at what price?

While I agree that the US has been neglecting the situation in Libya…..a situation that they help create for far too long…..and now people like McCain is once again calling for intervention….but for now he wants to arm the ‘moderates’…………….I do not understand his obsession with moderates but what the Hell…he is calling for more arms in a country flooded with arms…….especially now that a jihad element is showing it head…..ISIS….that is right I said ISIS is supposedly starting to show in Libya.

A few ‘experts’ think that if a possible unity government can be formed that the rise of jihad groups will slow….and that is where Haftar bows in……if CIA can control him then we have a ‘friend’ in the fight…..as it is right now…..there are few friends of the US……

It seems that many are pissed about what the US has created in Libya….since Qaddafi’s death the country has become a stretch of land that has refugees living on handouts, cities like Benghazi are basically ghost towns, no one knows which militia is fighting which militia……and all the while the rest of the world is worried about the oil reserves……I think I can understand why some would be pissed.

The next question to ask is……..Will the US be able to pursue and confront ISIS beyond the borders of Iraq/Syria?  Americans may be willing to go beyond those borders but is it capable of such an over extension?

The Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC) would be thrilled with the necessity to re-arm more frequently than today…..but will the American people allow a war that is truly without end?

Please believe me when I say…..a war without end is exactly what we Americans are looking at and we will allow it to continue as long as the government controls our information on said war.  Apathy will be our downfall and the MSM feeds that apathy.

And that brings us back to Libya…….will the extension of our war on ISIS begin in Libya?

A question that will need to be asked and then answered.

We exacted our revenge on Qaddafi for Berlin and Lockerbie………after that we care not.  And then we will once again fret over a hatred for our foreign policy…..our enemies are of our own making.

How Long, Mr. President, How Long?

For over 6 months the US has been playing tag with ISIS and its allies…….and all the reports I see states that it will be a long, long war……I know “doom and gloom”….but what else could be be when there is NO recognizable plan for dealing for ISIS other bomb the crap out of them

There has been part of a plan……..

The Pentagon has issued a statement regarding it’s ongoing air war against ISIS today, reporting 2,320 airstrikes, and claiming the direct costs of the attacks so far were $1.83 billion.

Conspicuously absent in the war, however, is any meaningful territory gained in either Syria or Iraq, despite thousands of airstrikes. The Pentagon is rather trying to change the focus to just the stuff they blew up.

Really?  Has anyone heard a bright optimistic assessment of this conflict?

How about a few of those “in the know”?

U.S. counterterrorism officials and experts, never known for their sunny dispositions, have entered a period of particular gloom.

In congressional testimony recently, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. went beyond the usual litany of threats to say that terrorism trend lines were worse “than at any other point in history.”

Maj. Gen. Michael Nagata, commander of U.S. Special Operations forces in the Middle East, told participants on a counter­terrorism strategy call that he regarded the Islamic State as a greater menace than al-Qaeda ever was.

Speaking at a New York police terrorism conference, Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, said he had come to doubt that he would live to see the end of al-Qaeda and its spawn. “This is long term,” he said. “My children’s generation and my grandchildren’s generation will still be fighting this fight.”

Yep all that gives me an extreme feeling of confidence (that is called SARCASM)….

Is anyone looking beyond Iraq and Syria?

Since the consensus by many military leaders predict a long trudge against extremism… if true….where will we be in 10 years?  Who or what land will US troops be forced to deploy?

Libya is kicking becoming a failed state….even though we have successfully installed a CIA operative as the military leader….extremism is on the rise as well as ISIS affiliates.  The atrocities have begun.

If not Libya how about Yemen?  Yemen has always been a hot bed of AQ….and now ISIS is gaining a foothold.  The recent coup by Houthis has set the country into a downward spiral…..the economy is in the crapper and violence is becoming a daily occurrence.  Will US troops be asked to become the referee in this situation?  If so, that will take troops and that will increase the chances of violence and death…..which in return will heat the situation up to a boil.

The one that few are talking about is Lebanon…….ISIS has made rumblings toward Lebanon…..the political situation is delicate and is always on the verge of collapse…..this will empower ISIS as soon as they decide that it would be in their favor to start work on Lebanon.

This one question needs answering and soon……How far are you willing to go, Mr. President?

What Of Ukraine?

For some reason this conflict is less important than the Oscars……people are dying, there is destruction and there is politics……the MSM is just NOT interested in this situation unless it is some horrible news that they can milk for days on end for its “news” content.  Who am I kidding?  We know why….Israel!

The cease fire seems to be holding….at least on the surface….but the back and forth between Us and EU and Russia continues but it is just not worthy of attention….but all that will change when the need arises.

I am guilty also….my interests have been laser focused on the Middle East and I have neglected this situation…….a loyal reader, I believe it was dru, brought to my attention that little is given as far as information on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine……his statement made me think that I needed to dig into the conflict and do some reporting from the “other” side……by that I mean NOT the propaganda crap that the MSM wants us to know…….Thanx my friend for the push!

My studies at university was that of the causes of war…..and the more that I look at Ukraine I see a conflict that could become a classic for future study.

Now in case you would like a little history of the country….I could go off on a lengthy diatribe but for the sake of my readers sanity….BBC has a good time line from 1917 to present…..it should answer any historical questions you may have…….

Awhile back I wrote a piece entitled…”Looking For The linchpin”……….http://lobotero.com/2013/06/13/looking-for-the-linchpin/ ……….I wrote that a future problem would brew in the Eastern Black Sea area….I was off by a couple hundred miles at most…….but where is Ukraine?

The West mostly NATO countries are poring support into Ukraine in their opposition to Russia…..the US has promised troops to help “train” the Ukrainian forces…….then why if they are that important are they not on the front page of your local newspaper?

Basically to answer the question….the American public has grown accustomed to conflicts in the news and so far they care nothing about Ukraine…..the media and the admin is pumping out as much propaganda as possible to turn the public into caring…..so far they are failing.

But now the government is pulling a page out of the Cold War playbook……the Domino Theory…….Bulgaria is in a panic and the US has sent troops for military exercises……..Lithuania is in a twist and the West is sending arms and stuff to help……Germany is trying to downplay any aggression that may come out of Russia.

All in all….it is a game being played and the weapon at this time is a non-lethal type……propaganda.