ISIS Coalition SITREP #57

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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What Happened To The Hysteria?

Do you remember back in the Spring and Summer when all the world was jumping through hoops because of Russia’s advance into Ukrainian territory?

The world went batcrap crazy….NATO was predicting that all other former Soviet states would be falling like dominoes……that hysteria lead to the formation of a NATO Rapid Response Force……do you recall any of this?

Probably not because it did not effect you in any way……but the plan was to create a Rapid Response Force to handle any flare ups in Eastern Europe……the US and NATO came up with an idea and a plan……but as usual that may be as far as it goes…….

Arguments over who’s going to pay for the creation of the “rapid reaction” force in Eastern Europe, something NATO agreed to create back in September, has left the alliance spinning its wheels on actually getting the force going.

It was supposed to be a 5,000 ground troop force with air and naval support positioned along the Baltic Sea as some sort of hedge against a Russian invasion, something no one serious expects anyhow.

Diplomats are now saying that the force, which was supposed to be put together quickly, will be lucky to be fully operational before 2016. Fewer than 100 of the 5,000 troops have been committed yet.

May I suggest that the term “rapid” be eliminated from the title.

Basically this was just a cover for NATO to get more cash and spend it on weapons and other implements of destruction.  In other words just a vague plan to boost the profits of your local friendly Military-Industrial Complex………and that is what our foreign policy is really all about…in case you were confused.

Yemen: From The Land Of Sheba

Yes the Queen of Sheba…..that Sheba….the queen that beguiled Solomon….if you buy into that story…..you see the queen was from a land called Saba which was on the sole of the Arabian peninsula and was a rich kingdom thanx to frankincense…….but that is not what this post is about.

You see Saba was located in what is called Yemen today…..and that is where we will begin the post……

Yemen!  Yemen?  I can hear the head scratches and the mad dash for the Google machine……at least from those that are mildly interested……most people will remember Yemen because in 2000 the USS Cole was attacked in Aden harbor by AQ…….and from there nothing until after the invasion of Afghanistan and the US started a drone strike program which has killed more civilians than terrorists…….

For those that are interested then there is a perfect history lesson……

BBC News – Yemen profile – Timeline

In 1962 the Yemen Arab Republic was formed and all Hell broke loss….the South Yemeni set up a separate nation called the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen was formed and a mini civil war began that lasted until 1990 when a truce was formalized and the two nations became one, Unified republic of Yemen……

I bring all this stuff to light because we have a situation forming in Yemen today…….the Houthi tribesmen have been fighting with the central government in Sa’an for a couple of years and it has become more intense in the last year of so…….now the South Yemeni are once again on the road to setting up another South Yemen nation…….

Thousands of people demonstrated in South Yemen’s main city of Aden demanding independence at a time when Shiite Houthi rebels are expanding their control over the country.

The demonstrators marched towards the governorate building, prompting police intervention and clashes that wounded at least five, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Southern Movement which called the protest is campaigning for autonomy or outright secession for the previously independent south.

Waving the flag of what used to be South Yemen, protesters who poured into Aden from neighboring southern provinces vowed not to let up until they achieve independence.

It appears as the Yemenis are once again going into battle with the North….all over again……which could present a problem for all concerned……

In light of the current crisis in Yemen and the control of Sanaa by Houthi armed groups, Egyptian experts predict that Egypt would intervene in the conflict to prevent the Houthis from gaining control of the strait of Bab al-Mandeb on the Red Sea, in defense of Egyptian and Gulf security.

Former secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, issued a joint statement with former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. They called for an Arab initiative to work on restoring the unity of the Yemeni army and mobilizing to restore security. In addition, they would eliminate all usage of weapons in Yemeni cities to move forward with the parliamentary elections.

Moussa and Siniora warned about the division in Yemen and the danger it poses to Arab security from the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, if the Houthis, who are supported by Iran, reach Bab al-Mandeb strait.

The problem is the security of the Red Sea and the Straits of Hormuz……this area is heavily traveled by most of the …..any disruption in shipping and it could have consequences that are immeasurable…..

Yet another problem that will need a “plan” by the US and its Western allies……the US CANNOT ignore this development and once again we will intervene and in the process make more foes….we already have a terrible reputation in Yemen and our intervention will do NOTHING but make things worse……something we excel at doing!

The problems in Yemen are bringing traditional foes together…….

The Houthis, a Shiite tribe, control the north of Yemen. Their militia is trained and equipped by Hezbollah, whose strings are also pulled by the Iranians. For several weeks, the Houthis have been expanding their foothold in Yemen after defeating the regime’s army and the Sunni militias supported by al-Qaeda. Their biggest takeover was of the Yemeni port city of Hodeida and the shoreline toward the southwest coast of Saudi Arabia and the Ras Isa marine terminal.

For Saudi Arabia, a Houthi takeover of western Yemen, while al-Qaeda controls the country’s center and eastern areas, constitute a clear and present danger. Israel also cannot remain indifferent to the new Iranian stronghold on the seaway that connects it to Africa and Asia.

What does this development mean from Israel’s point of view? First, the need for security coordination with Saudi Arabia has increased. Even if covert channels exist for this kind of cooperation, the new situation is likely to warrant a more visible and pronounced relationship. But in light of the way Israeli governments have rejected the Arab Peace Initiative so harshly, and of the policies of the current government about the Palestinian issue, the chances for this are negligible. Another Israeli security interest is thus sacrificed on the altar of maintaining the status quo in the West Bank.

The situation in Yemen is causing much concern for security…..and there is a push to control the region….Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and the battling ideologies are between Iran and Saudi Arabia……the US will pretend to be a spectator but we all know better than that……right?

 

 

ISIS Coalition SITREP #56

I apologize for the lack of a briefing yesterday……personal events made it unlikely I would give a SITREP……I have returned and all is well…..so let’s get on with it.

Item 1–It is good when the prez gives a pep talk…..but at least he could be realistic……

Speaking today at Fort Dix, President Obama promised that the US would allow ISIS no safe haven anywhere on earth, pursuing them militarily anywhere and everywhere

Our coalition isn’t just going to degrade this barbaric terrorist organization. We’re going to destroy it,” Obama insisted, praising the ongoing attacks as “hammering” ISIS.

His speech reinforced the idea that this war will NEVER come to a conclusion…….but he is being optimistic which is a polite way to say….he is lying.

Item 2–There is a call to bring this to an end through negotiation………

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Padraig O’Malley says we must talk to Islamic State, he’s speaking from experience.

A seasoned mediator, O’Malley brought together warring parties in Iraq at the height of the sectarian conflict in 2007 and 2008, resulting in an agreement that formed the basis for political reconciliation in Iraq and helped curb the violence.

He did this with the aid of negotiators from South Africa, and from Northern Ireland, where he helped pave the way for the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended 30 years of sectarian conflict.

 

Another delusional solution…..

Item 3–US troops have their first taste of ISIS……

It hasn’t been confirmed by the Pentagon yet, but reports out of Iraq say that US ground troops have engaged in their first combat against ISIS troops in the Anbar Province of western Iraq.

The troops, nominally advisers but “equipped with light and medium weapons” carried out an attack on ISIS troops in the al-Dolab area, near the Ain al-Assad base, expelling the ISIS forces.

And so it begins!

Item 4–It appears that China is itching to use their military…….

China has long avoided direct military involvement overseas, but according to Iraqi FM Ibrahim Jafari, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi approached him with an offer of airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq.

China’s interest in Iraq centers around major stakes Chinese companies have in Iraqi oilfields, including the West Qurna 1, one of the world’s largest fields.

But it is NEVER about the oil…….right?

Item 5–Al-Anbar is the center of the battle against ISIS…..so far it is not going well……

Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat—Reconstruction in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, large parts of which remain under the control of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters, will cost more than 18 billion dollars, a local official said on Tuesday.

Arkan Khalaf Al-Tarmouz, head of the Anbar Reconstruction Committee, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS remains in control of more than 85 percent of territory in Anbar, adding that there has been large-scale destruction across Iraq’s largest province in the fighting between ISIS and government forces.

Item 6—-the ‘Hogs return to combat missions……..

The A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jet has been carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State since late November on a near-daily basis, a U.S. military official said Tuesday. It marks the first time the use of the pugnacious plane against the militant group has been confirmed, although U.S. military officials disclosed last month that they had deployed the A-10 in support of the mission in Iraq and Syria.

The ‘Grunts” best friend has returned to help……..

This concludes today’s briefing……

Thanx for your time and attention……

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FLASH! Cuba-US Enter Into An Age Of Cooperation

News has been coming at the public at light speed…..Jeb wants to run……attack in Pakistan……attack in Sydney….and today the big news was that it is looking like the US and Cuba will formalize relations……

The embargo put into place in 1961 may soon be a thing of the past…..but what would those relations look like?

Newser) – With the release of American Alan Gross, the beleaguered relationship between the US and Cuba is poised to undergo major changes. The two countries are preparing to normalize their diplomatic relations, which were severed in January 1961, the Wall Street Journal reports, and the US plans to re-establish its embassy in Havana. “The president understood the time was right to attempt a new approach, both because of the beginnings of changes in Cuba and because of the impediment this was causing for our regional policy,” an administration official tells CNN. Both President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are to address the changes at noon today. Among them:

  • The US will remove a range of restrictions on travel and transferring money to Cuba. It will also review Cuba’s inclusion on its terrorism list and allow telecommunications equipment to be exported to the country.
  • Cuba will release 53 political prisoners. It will also boost its citizens’ Internet access and allow US debit and credit cards to be used in the country.
  • Good news for aficionados of Cuban cigars, as per the AP: American travelers will now be able to return with up to $100 worth of alcohol or tobacco (and $400 worth of goods total).
  • The two countries will start collaborating on issues like counternarcotics, the environment, and human trafficking.

Finally we can move on from spat we had 60 years ago……there are much more important things to consider than cigars….

Assad: Should He Go Or Should He Stay?

Remember about a year ago when the admin was all a fire on the fact that Assad must go….he must go for the good of the Syrian people……and then all the gassing of civilians was forgotten as quickly as they had come up with the original idea……ISIS was on the move and all eyes turned to Iraq (again)……..

Then the admin started a tap dance on what should be done to curb the rise of ISIS……send more US troops to Iraq as “advisers”…..send in the Air Force to pound the be-jezzus out of them……prop up the Iraqi regime (again)…..

When not thinking of Iraq their (the admin) with cash and supplies…..thoughts came around to Syria (again)….but this time it was a rehash of the myth of the ‘moderate’ rebels……and a plan was hatched to train and arm these moderates to fight ISIS in Syria…..and while this plan was being bounced around the inevitable question return to Assad.  What shall we do about Assad?

And then the miracle of miracles happened….Assad’s troops staring making head way fighting the Islamists and even some of the ISIS brigades……and now the question remains….should he (Assad) go or should he stay?

But then a story that few were willing to report…….

Speaking to reporters at G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia on November 16, US President Barack Obama dismissed reports of pending changes in Syria policy, saying “We have not had a comprehensive review of Syria. We’ve had a comprehensive review of what are we doing each and every week” in the military campaign to defeat the Islamic State.

Asked pointedly if he was actively discussing ways to remove Assad in the context of plans for a political transition in Syria, Obama responded with a simple “No.”

Obama’s clarity on Syria stood in contrast to an unusual presentation by US Secretary of State John Kerry the next day on how the Islamic State and the government of Syria are actually “co-dependent” or “symbiotic,” that is, they need each other as enemies, and the US must build and back a “moderate center” in Syria.

Interesting quote from a story printed in Al-Monitor……..so to clarify….is that we have NO intention of ousting Assad?

At what point do these people that are paid to know the situation and plan the direction of policy actually start doing their job?

Confusion of which page they are suppose to be on is never quite clear……..just like their policy in the Middle East……but that is NOT something new.  Stupidity has always been the basis of US Middle East foreign policy.

News That Slithers Out Of Israel

I have tried to write about the situation between the Palestinians and the Israelis…..but so much is happening that it is hard for me to keep up…..so I decided to do a post with all news that I think would make good posts….information is good No matter what form it takes……..

1–Every Congress has to make its Israeli handlers happy and this Congress is NO different……..

Congress pushed through the US-Israeli Strategic Partnership Act this week, a bill which creates a new class of special ally within the law called a “major strategic partner,” which only Israel will occupy.

The new class increases the amount of “emergency” US weaponry stashed in Israel, just months after Israel controversially raided that stockpile for the Gaza War, and provides guaranteed access to myriad other technologies.

Despite all it entitles Israel to, the bill is still considered “watered down” because it removed certain clauses seeking to grant Israeli visa-free travel rights without giving Americans reciprocal rights.

This is wasted time….Israel has ALWAYS had a “special” designation….this also makes it easier for Israel to get more and more deadly weapons that they will use on Palestinian civilians….go call dipshits!

2–New Israeli law would make it a crime to be the family member that Israel does not like…..

Though it’s being couched as an “anti-terror” measure, the bill also covers people who the government perceives as “inciting violence” through speech or activism, as well as “rioters” and rock-throwers. And obviously all of their families
Is this the action of a Democracy?  No?  Then STOP calling these criminals democratic!
3–Israeli DM Ya’alon has made it clear that when Obama is out of offive things will be different…….
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon seems to get into trouble a couple of times a month for hostile comments directed at the Obama Administration. He was overdue, and speaking at a settlement religious school in the occupied West Bank, he let fly on comments about settlement expansion.
Ya’alon blamed the US for the comparatively slow rate of settlement growth, even though the number of major settlement projects approved in the past two years has actually been quite high, saying Israel was “careful not to push the envelope too much.”
Sounds like this yutz knows something that we do not……like NO matter who wins in 2016 they will be kissing Israel’s ass…….
4–Americans are staring to change their minds……..

The same poll also suggests that Democrats are expressing greater and greater skepticism about Israel, which could give politicians freedom to say something (maybe?).

The Brookings Poll of American attitudes on the conflict was conducted by Shibley Telhami in November, with 1000+ American respondents.

Here’s the main finding:

Two states, One State, Annexation, Status Quo

The percentage of Americans who want the US government to push for a two-state solution remains constant at 39% from last year; but the percentage of those who
want the US to push for one state with equal citizenship has increased from 24% to 34%.

Among those who support two states, two-thirds would support one state if two states are not possible.

If a two-state solution is not possible, 71% of Americans (84% of Democrats, 60% of Republicans) favor a single democratic state with Arabs and Jews as equal over a
one in which Israel’s Jewish majority is sustained and Palestinians will not have equal citizenship.

5–Good news from Israel…..ex-Mossad chief has made it clear to the government………

There will never be peace in the Middle East as long as Israelis don’t treat the Palestinians as equals, Efraim Halevy said last week, accusing senior government officials of advancing “condescending” policies toward the Palestinians.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Times of Israel, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency accused the outgoing government, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, of having violated the fragile status quo in Jerusalem. The elections of March 2015 are not merely a referendum on Israel’s leadership, he said, but constitute an unprecedented opportunity to determine Israel’s policy vis-à-vis the peace process.

This person is very observant……violence will continue until the Israeli government shows some respect to the Palestinians and their desires……sadly that is not part of the plan of the Zionist bigots.

6–I have a surprised look on my face…….never thought I would hear this sort of thing…….

New UN Security Council resolutions are looming related to Palestinian statehood, and as usual Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is presenting the resolution’s passage as “fueling radical Islam.”

The presumption is that the Obama Administration will veto the resolutions as indeed the US historically vetoes anything that is even remotely opposed by the Israeli government as a matter of course.

Yet US officials say it is “too early to tell” and that they are undecided on the various proposals, and whether or not to veto them.

Actually I believe this is only the admin toying with the media….they have every intention to veto the Palestinian statehood proposal.

This concludes the news from the Occupied country of Palestine………

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