ISIS Coalition SITREP #42

Good day and welcome……this will conclude the briefings for this week… will be a short briefing because the prez has made his announcement on immigration and the war, the death and the destruction will just have to take a backseat……

Item 1–Months back the Iraqi Army tucked and ran in the face of ISIS…..and now the Iraqi government is demanding more weapons to fight……

The 2008-2009 Iraqi Army had a lot of very high-end US weaponry and vehicles. It was the best weaponry money (and a lot of taxpayer aid) can buy, and that gear was the envy of the region.

US officials are reportedly reluctant to sell Iraq a new collection of high-end weaponry because a large chunk of the weapons that were there a few years ago were abandoned by Iraqi troops in retreat and looted by ISIS.

A valid concern….if we send them more weapons how long will it be before they are in the hands of ISIS?

Item 2–Before funding is approved US troops will be deployed in Iraq……

Some of the 1,500 U.S. troops authorized to advise and train Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic State militants will deploy to the country in the next few weeks without waiting for Congress to fund the mission, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said leading elements of the U.S. force would begin moving to Iraq in the coming weeks, even if Congress has not yet acted on a $5.6 billion supplemental request to fund the expanded fight against the militants who overran northwestern Iraq this year.

What is the rush?

Item 3–Finally!  Some truth coming out of the admin…….

Obama Administration suggested that a wholesale reconsideration of the ISIS war in Syria was going to be changing the near-term goals toward the ousting of President Bashar Assad.

Now, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is conceding again that Assad is “indirectly benefiting” from the war, even though the US doesn’t mean for that to happen.

The question is….how will they overcome this situation?

Item 4–Israel is getting closer to a possible intervention……

Another Syrian province looks set to fall out of Assad government control soon, with al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra sending some 2,000 fighters against Ba’ath City and Khan Arnaba, the last towns they yet control in Quneitra Province.

The Quneitra Province covers the Syrian side of the Golan Heights frontier with neighboring Israel, and has been sieged by Nusra and some other more moderate rebel factions for months.

Will Israel sit on the sidelines?  If not what will be the rsult if they are dumb enough to intervene?

Item 5–Report of another major ISIS leader being killed…….

(Reuters) – An Islamic State leader has been killed in an air strike in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, residents and a local medical source said on Thursday.

Radwan Taleb al-Hamdouni, whom the sources described as the radical militant group’s leader in Mosul, was killed with his driver when their car was hit in a western district of the city

This is good news but NOT a game changer.

That concludes today’s briefing… briefing 24Nov14…….

Thanx for your time and attention…..

Turn The Page!

ISIS Coalition SITREP #41

Good day, my friends……this will be the last briefing of the week…..will resume Monday and it will be a short week because of Thanksgiving……

Item 1–Pres. Obama is thanking Saudi Arabia for its help in fighting ISIS…….

The White House says Obama met Wednesday with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mutaib. He’s the son of King Abdullah and the head of the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

The White House says Obama praised Saudi Arabia’s role in promoting Mideast peace and stability and in engaging with Iraq’s new government. Saudi Arabia is one of a handful of Arab countries playing a role in the coalition conducting airstrikes against IS.

My question is…just what is Saudi doing to fight ISIS?  They are getting everyone else to do the fighting…..they are partially responsible for the rise in Wahhabism…..they constantly refuse to fight fundamentalism that breeds extremists… I ask again….just what are they doing to fight ISIS?

Item 2–We now have an estimate on the length of the ISIS situation……

During an interview at the Defense One conference, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey estimated that the US war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria will last “up to four years.

What he’s basing that on is totally unclear, as the Obama Administration continues to escalate the war, and the scope and goals of the conflict at this point remain totally unclear, and growing all the time.

Gen. Dempsey himself has been recently pushing for major increases in the role of US ground troops in the war, suggesting it was time to start considering using them in offensive operations, particularly the retaking of Mosul.

Personally, I think that figure of 4 years is a bit too optimistic……..based on the flow of the conflict today……

Item 3–I reported about a month ago that Kobane was fought as a PR war…..others see it as such …….

Two months after the United States began bombing militants attacking Kobani in northern Syria, the fate of the obscure border town has become the defining battle of the broader contest with the Islamic State — to solidify, or roll back, its borders and ambitions.

For Washington, Kobani is a crucial public test of President Obama’s strategy of combining American air power with local ground forces. For the Islamic State, it is a test of its image of inevitability and invincibility, and a tool for recruiting jihadists.

Kobane is not as crucial as the media and the military would have you believe….about the best use for Kobane is for PR…..

Item 4–After an absence from the media and the rhetoric…..the US has once again focused on the Khorasan Group………

The U.S. military announced Wednesday it struck the Khorasan Group in an airstrike earlier this week.

The airstrike took place in northwest Syria near Haram, and destroyed a storage facility associated with the group, which the Pentagon described as “a network of veteran Al Qaeda operatives” whose members are plotting external attacks against the U.S. and its allies.

There still is a murky dialog about the existence of this group or its effectiveness….but it makes a good enemy for the media……

Item 5–ISIS seems to be winning the battle of social media……but how can this be?

Soufan: They are very familiar with social media — they know how it works. They are very smart in reaching out to the iPhone generation. They deploy different tools in different markets — using mostly Twitter in the Gulf region, for example, and Facebook in Syria. It’s very decentralized and that is interesting. It is the first organization of this kind that understands the impact of social media.

Soufan: We do know that a whole army of bloggers, writers and people who do nothing else other than to watch social media are working for IS. According to our research, most are based in the Gulf region or North Africa. The program was started by Abu Amr Al-Shami, a Syrian born in Saudi Arabia. And we know that at one point more than 12,000 Twitter accounts were connected to IS. This is one of the unique tactics used by this group: the decentralization of its propaganda work. The Islamic State has maximized control of its message by giving up control of its delivery. This is new.

That concludes today’s briefing……..

Thanx for your time and attention….I do hope that these briefings are keeping informed on the conflict as it unfolds…….

Turn The Page!

ISIS Coalition SITREP #40

Good day and welcome to today’s briefing…..

Airstrikes are being productive but not in positive way……

Item 1–we can expect at least a 2 year war with ISIS…….

A new report prepared for the United Nations Security Council warns that the militant group known as the Islamic State (Isis) possesses sufficient reserves of small arms, ammunition and vehicles to wage its war for Syria and Iraq for up to two years.

The size and breadth of the Isis arsenal provides the group with durable mobility, range and a limited defense against low-flying aircraft. Even if the US-led bombing campaign continues to destroy the group’s vehicles and heavier weapons, the UN report states, it “cannot mitigate the effect of the significant volume of light weapons” Isis possesses.

Those weapons “are sufficient to allow [Isis] to continue fighting at current levels for six months to two years”, the UN report finds, making Isis not only the world’s best-funded terrorist group but among its best armed.

Item 2–Some good news from the Iraqi army…….

State TV broadcast footage of Iraqi troops entering the Baiji Refinery. The nearby town of Albu Jewari was also recaptured. With the siege of Baiji now apparently over, the government says it will regroup and plan out a strategy to retake Tikrit, which lies to the south and is the second largest city occupied by the militants. A separate operation was launched in Saidiya.

Next target for an Iraqi operation……

The Iraqi army’s next target is to isolate militants holding the city of Tikrit, after having broken the Islamic State group’s hold on Baiji and its refinery, a senior officer said Monday.

Item 3–Iraq has an army of “ghost soldiers”…….

The Iraqi army includes “ghost” soldiers, a purely Iraqi term used to describe members whose names are registered in the wages and salaries lists, but who are not actually present in the military ranks. Their wages go to leaders who cover for their absence.

Maybe the US should check to see how deep this thing goes….are we paying for troops that do not exist?

Item 4–ISIS is playing a game with Washington…….

The enticement game played between the US administration on the one hand, and the Islamic State (IS) on the other, lingers.

As Washington adopts a slow pace and attempts to create appropriate conditions for its real regional strategy without falling into the traps and swamps that it previously experienced, the other camp seems to be provoking and forcing the United States to deploy its troops on the ground by further slaughtering of US citizens.

In this context, the question is no longer whether IS is luring the United States, but rather why it is in a hurry to lure it and what for?

ISIS is in a hurry for a ground confrontation with the US because it is about to collapse under its own weight….

Item 5–John Kerry is building the case that I warned about right here on IST…..

The US has accused Syria’s president and the Islamic State group of enjoying a “symbiotic” relationship as it seeks to shore up support for its strategy of supporting moderate rebels ahead of key Congressional votes.

In a speech in Washington just hours after the death of the latest American hostage at the hands of the Islamist militants known as Isis or Isil, Secretary of State John Kerry argued the country’s two sworn enemies were propping each other up.

“I am aware that some believe the air strikes against Isil in Iraq and Syria will have the perverse affect of assisting the country’s long time dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose ruthless repression has generated the gravest humanitarian catastrophe certainly of this century,” he said.

“That assumption is actually based on a misreading of the political reality in Syria. In fact the Assad regime and Isil are dependent on one and other, that’s why Assad has relentlessly bombed areas held by the moderate opposition while doing almost nothing to hinder Isil’s march.”

That sounds more like wishful thinking to this analyst……..could be a move to include action against Assad…..

This concludes today’s briefing…..hopefully it was informative…..

Thanx for your time and attention…..

Turn The Page!

ISIS Coalition SITREP #39

Good Day and welcome……

Airstrikes continue….ISIS consolidation continues…….war is not progressing as all intended…..

Item 1–There seems to be a new backer for ISIS…….

In a statement today Jundallah, a high-profile Balochistan-based Islamist faction, announced that it is pledging loyalty to ISIS, and will back “whatever plans they have” going forward. The move follows reports from the Associated Press last week that the group’s leadership was meeting with ISIS members.

Jundallah is primarily a Balochistan separatist group, active in both Pakistan’s far west and in southeastern Iran. In recent years, the group’s attacks have mostly centered on Iran, and there is evidence they have been backed by Israel’s Mossad in doing so.

Jundallah was originally an ally of al-Qaeda, but had a falling out with them in 2003. The group then started getting funding from what they claimed were CIA agents, and there was ample evidence at the time that it was the US funding them.

Always a good piece of news…..our Friend Mossad (I am not convinced that they are truly a friend of the US) and our own CIA are supporting a group that is now allied with ISIS…….

Item 2–Moderate Syrian rebels have retreated from Aleppo…..

A report out of Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News claims that the pro-US “moderate” rebel faction the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has abandoned its last territory in northern Syria, in the city of Aleppo.

The FSA, like most pro-US rebel factions, has suffered mounting losses in northern Syria, and was widely expected to lose its foothold in Aleppo to the Syrian military. The claim of 14,000 fighters is surprisingly high, as the FSA had been seeing mass defections for quite some time

The moderates are proving to be NO match of ISIS and its allies….

Item 3–In its failure to do much damage to ISIS capabilities the US has started a name calling campaign…..

The US war against ISIS couldn’t be going much worse. ISIS continues to gain in Iraq, despite soaring US ground deployments into the nation, and the Syria air war has backfired so bad its wiped out most of the US allies, and brought al-Qaeda, once an ISIS rival, into a partnership with them.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a visit to U.S. troops in Baghdad not to fear — Islamic State terrorists were simply “midgets” with a radicalized view of the world.

In his words: “[They’re] a bunch of midgets running around with a really radical ideology,” Reuters reported.

The desperation to portray ISIS as an unworthy opponent is palpable, and makes some sense in that it would keep people from watching the day-to-day operations of the war too closely. It also gives future officials the opportunity to argue for escalation on the grounds that they “underestimated” the ISIS threat, a card President Obama has already played in his own escalations. Either way, the feigned confidence is bizarre with the war going so badly on so many fronts.

No creditable analyst sees the US air war as being much good….regardless of what the admin puts out……this is quickly becoming a massive failure.  This is a bit immature….I expect better than name calling from someone in charge… a clear plan…..would be nice.

Item 4–A re4cent massacre of Sunni tribe members was seen as a possible uniting force for the battle against ISIS…..did not turn out as such….

The massacre of hundreds of members of the Albu Nimr tribe by ISIS was seen as potentially driving other Sunni tribes off the fence and into the arms of the Shi’ite government as an alternative to ISIS. It’s not working out that way.

They were trying to bring other Sunni tribes on board for expelling ISIS from Anbar, but there’s been no sign of any of these other tribes moving closer to the Iraqi government since the massacres, and they may well have had their intended effect of convincing the other tribes not to get involved.

Another plan for the fight against ISIS is a bust….like so many other plans.

Item 5–the FSA in southern Syria seems to be doing a better job in their fight against Assad than the other groups……

Rebel groups based in southern Syria are advancing on the western suburbs of Damascus and warning they might soon enter the capital, a development that’s in sharp contrast to the grim reports from northern Syria, where moderate rebels have suffered setbacks from the government and radical Islamists.

The advance by the so-called Southern Front also stands apart from the situation in the north because moderate rebels still appear to be the dominant opposition force in the south, eclipsing al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, in planning and executing military advances.

Further, Southern Front commanders credit airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition with helping their cause, primarily by keeping Islamic State fighters from moving against them. “If it weren’t for the coalition strikes, Daash would have reached our areas,” Abul Majd, a spokesman for the Southern Front, told McClatchy via Skype, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “Thanks to these strikes, we are focusing now on the regime, our main enemy.”

Conclusion:  Coalition airstrikes are having limited success against ISIS….none of the plans to unite the Anbar tribes to fight ISIS are a failure…..Southern FSA fighters are having some success against the forces of Assad……
That concludes today’s briefing……
Thanx for your time and attention…….
Turn The Page!

Joke Of The Day: Iraq Will Be Victorious!

As the world sees the Iraqi situation as a problem with no exit….the government of Iraq is thumping its chest like a sex crazed primate and predicting that they will defeat ISIS in Iraq by the end of next year…..

The US is working with Iraq on a plan for the government to push ISIS out of the Iraqi part of its self-declared Islamic State by the end of next year. As atrocities including the public execution of dozens of men, women, and children continue, a major offensive is being planned for next spring that will involve Iraqi troops assisted by American advisers and aircraft, officials tell the New York Times. Officials say the plan—which will require training tens of thousands of fresh troops—will be to isolate the group in its strongholds before retaking cities like Mosul. For now, airstrikes on ISIS targets by the US-led coalition continue, with Canadian warplanes launching their first strikes near Fallujah yesterday, the AP reports.

Does the Iraqi government see the reports coming out of their country?

Optimism can be a good thing….but too much is just….delusional!

There are few people that will admit publicly that the Iraqi government and its army will be victorious in its fight with ISIS without help….lots of help.

The Iraqi army’s defeat by Islamic State (IS) fighters in Mosul in June came as a surprise. Although the Iraqi military is superior in terms of numbers of soldiers and arms, its fighters quickly deserted their posts. The army is still unable to undertake serious operations to retake control of the cities that have fallen under IS control despite ongoing US-led air cover. The reality of the Iraqi army since its inception is that it has never won a battle against another armed force. In fact, it has exhibited power only when cracking down on popular protests.

The Iraqi army has suffered over the years from two major flaws: it was not designed to defend the country, but rather the governing authorities, and it has always been plagued by sectarianism.

Today’s Iraqi army is known for its lack of discipline. Its troops often demonstrate inappropriate behavior on the battlefield and in public places, showing little or no regard for military rules and regulations. It has had and continues to have adverse effects on the lives of Iraqis. Its reformation now necessitates addressing its flaws to build a true national army with the goal of defending the homeland, not only the authorities.

Sorry dudes but that statement is just bravado talking…….or maybe just wishful thinking….either way it is not grounded in reality.

The only optimism comes from a PM that has no foot om reality…..the US is their only hope….but will it happen?

Optimism is a good thing….that is until it becomes delusional.

ISIS Coalition SITREP #38

Good day……I would like to make a short statement…..for weeks now political leaders have gone before the cameras to voice their opinion about the use of US forces in the Middle East….and almost to a person they smile while talking…..THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT USING AMERICAN TROOPS TO FIGHT A WAR!

Item 1–Recently I warned the public of this….I wrote an op-ed on Ace News Room……..

In comments over the weekend, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel conceded that he is going to have to “consider” the deployment of ground troops to Iraq, though he reiterated that they would not be “combat troops.”

The distinction is increasingly ill-defined, as there are in point of fact already some 3,000 US ground troops in Iraq, and some of them are already on the front lines in the Anbar Province in an “advisory” capacity.

Americans need to pay attention and ask the right questions…..

Item 2–Hagel has said that the Us needs a “game changing technology”…..some please ask him what the Hell that is…..

Despite spending several times more on its military than anyone else, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel believes the US military advantage is not nearly overwhelming enough, and warns Russia and/or China are both gaining on them.

Hagel insists that what the US really needs is some sort of new game-changing military technology that will ensure that the Pentagon “overmatches” the other nations for decades to come.

And does this apply to the fight with ISIS?

Item 3–Kurdish leader gives a battle update…….

The Islamic State (Isis) has recruited an army hundreds of thousands strong, far larger than previous estimates by the CIA, according to a senior Kurdish leader. He said the ability of Isis to attack on many widely separated fronts in Iraq and Syria at the same time shows that the number of militant fighters is at least 200,000, seven or eight times bigger than foreign in intelligence estimates of up to 31,500 men.

Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of the Kurdish President Massoud Barzani said in an exclusive interview with The Independent on Sunday that “I am talking about hundreds of thousands of fighters because they are able to mobilise Arab young men in the territory they have taken.”

This to me is a ploy to get more cash and assistance…..ISIS has a large army bit that figure is a bit too high…..

Item 4–Even with the extra fighters Kobane is a stalemate….tit for tat…back and forth……

BEIRUT // ISIL is locked in a war of attrition in the Syrian border town of Kobani, where Kurdish fighters backed by US-led airstrikes are mounting fierce resistance.

“[ISIL] controls more than half of the town but is unable to advance further,” he said. Buoyed by a string of victories in Syria and Iraq, ISIL launched a major offensive on September 16 to seize Kobani and expand its self-proclaimed Islamic “caliphate”.

The militants believed they would quickly conquer the small town in northern Syria, which was little known to the outside world before the deadly fighting broke out.

And have you noticed that the news is dwindling…..why?

Item 5–We, the public, hear constantly about the effectiveness of the Coalition airstrikes….but Jane’s see it another way…..

The US air war in Iraq is not leading to any tangible results in slowing ISIS’ ability to carry out attacks, according to analysts from IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center (JTIC).

Analysts there, including JTIC head Matthew Herman, say that ISIS has showed they are still “calling the shots” in Iraq, and that the number of attacks they are carrying out on a monthly basis seems entirely unaffected by the US war.

If anything, the number of attacks has picked up significantly since June, and Jane’s conceded that their own database is likely calculating only a fraction of the overall ISIS campaign.

OOPS!  Not the news that will be made ready available to the general public……

That concludes today’s briefing……

Thanx for your time and attention……

Turn The Page!

ISIS Coalition SITREP #37

Good day my fellow bloggers……

Item 1–The BIG news coming out about the use of force against ISIS……..

To the extent that anyone still believes President Obama’s pledge that the ever-growing number of ground troops sent to Iraq, the notion was destroyed by comments from Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey in testimony to Congress.

Gen. Dempsey confirmed that the US is “actively considering” the use of ground troops in direct combat roles against ISIS, in the course of its plans to send yet more troops on top of the 3,000 already there.

If anyone finds this statement a surprise…..may I suggest that you bookmark this site and you will NO longer be surprised…..

Item 2–The battle for Congressional supremacy over this conflict is beginning……

House Armed Services Chief Rep. Buck McKeon (R – CA) today warned that he will block any attempt to pass an authorization for the new ISIS war that includes any restriction on the use of US ground troops.

McKeon cited comments from former Pentagon chiefs saying the new war needed “boots on the ground,” and insisted any bill that aimed to limit that would be dead on arrival in his committee.

Now that the neocons control Congress it is NO longer “if” Americans will return to combat but rather “when”……

Item 3–After days of speculation on whether al-Baghdadi is injured or worse is over……

After a few days of speculation about an attempted US airstrike against him, ISIS leader Caliph Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi has emerged with a new audio recording which appears to have shown he survives.

The audio recording wasn’t specifically dated, though Baghdadi did make mentions to events that took place after the US airstrike

Item 4–It is now official….the Coalition has a new target other than ISIS…….

Details of the pact are still unclear, but the Associated Press is reporting that a deal has been signed between ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra somewhere in northern Syria.

The deal, signed last week, at the very least has the two factions, the largest in the Syrian rebellion, agreeing not to fight against one another, and to work together to some length against their mutual enemies, which is to say both the US and Syrian governments.

It is confirmed and the enemies are multiplying…..things will get more complicated…..

Item 5–The leader of ISIS has called on the jihad to target Saudi Arabia………

Baghdadi urged supporters in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, to take the fight to the rulers of the kingdom, which has joined the US.-led coalition in mounting air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria.

If his followers do as told….the Middle East will become a lot more chaotic than it is now……

That concludes today’s briefing… one will be on Monday….

Thanx for your time and attention……

Turn The Page!