Is ISIS On It’s Heels?

Meanwhile back in the sands of the Middle East…….you remember that area that the media is trying desperately to ignore…….

Reports are coming out of the Middle East at an alarming rate……success reports……Kobane has been retaken from ISIS by Kurdish fighters…..Diyala in Iraq is a success….the shi’a militias have driven ISIS out….but with some disturbing reports of shi’as attacking and killing Sunnis…..and the news seems to point to a weakening of ISIS over the past month.

Then there is the reports that the Iraqis will launch a major offensive to retake Mosul in the Spring…..is success breaking out in Iraq and Syria in the war on ISIS?

What could explain this?  Is it the airstrikes?  Maybe the well armed groups that have chosen to fight……just what can explain this weakening?

In recent days, Western media have increasingly reported that IS is unable to sustain its May-August blitzkrieg and that this may well be the beginning of the end for the group. Reporters say that IS has lost its initial popularity, that its power on the ground is waning, that combat with IS has reached a military stalemate and that, this time, it’s the coalition’s turn. Improved Iraqi security forces are pushing back IS fighters, they report, and some analysts have even developed scenarios for the post-IS period.

Certain indicators justify this optimistic picture. In particular, IS’ inability to capture new territory since September 2014; their setbacks in Sinjar against the peshmerga; their failure to capture Kobani, which IS initially saw as easy prey; severe restraints on IS fighters’ mobility due to coalition air attacks; the fading influence of their professional (and savage) media; and decreasing oil prices, which appear to have struck a blow to their financial resources.

Moreover, it is becoming increasingly clear that IS is having problems translating its military achievements to the realm of governance, especially in providing social services. News reports have stated that IS has been unable to maintain contact with opposition groups in Syria and Iraq, and that it is clashing with Islamist groups unwilling to submit to its authority.

ISIS is having its problems…..for one most of the well trusted associates have been killed leaving the leadership to the regional governors…..all this has indications of a group losing control……,if so can the Coalition take advantage of any weakness?

I could have the advantage but the Coalition needs to cease thinking that one grand plan will win this fight…..they are wrong!

To defeat IS, we do not need a single sweeping strategic plan, but instead a compilation of various tactical plans that take into account the local dynamics of cities under IS control. To see IS as a monolithic and homogenous group and to implement a “one size fits all” strategic plan in a top-down fashion would be a gross mistake. The tactical picture of IS in Mosul and Raqqa is different. Pillars of a successful military plan tailored for Mosul cannot be the same as the one for Raqqa. When tailoring a military plan to defeat IS, the basic unit of analysis should be the cities under its control, and the strategic planners should provide enough room for tactical diversity. For example, ignoring certain factors — like the growing Sunni Arab and Kurdish tension in Mosul; the influence of Turkey in Aleppo; growing Alawite discontent in Raqqa; and the Arab-Turkmen alliance that is becoming an anti-Kurdish bloc in Kirkuk — would only serve IS.

US leadership has not shown itself as a reliable leader…….instead of looking for the kill shot….the Coalition needs to exploit the small cracks in the ISIS admin of the regions it controls……if they pass on that then I feel that all the money and ordinance has been a waste and only helps those that deal in the resupply chain.

ISIS can be defeated…..but not by waiting for the knock out punch.  This situation sounds more like a possible reset…..a change in priorities.

ISIS Coalition SITREP #69

Good day…..and if the world does not end thanx to snow in NYC I will continue to keep my readers updated on the situation in the fight against ISIS

Item 1–As reported here in the last briefing Korbane has by won by Kurdish fighters…….

Reports from Kurdish officials say that after 112 days of fighting they have finally expelled ISIS from the contested border city of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic), and that the YPG militias are now fully in control.

YPG officials confirmed the takeover, and Idriss Nassan, the city’s deputy foreign minister (because apparently some cities have those) said there will be an official announcement of victory on Tuesday.

Good news that has been pushed aside to bring the reader….WINTER!

Item 2–More good news in the fight……but there may be a new problem arising…….

Tribal leaders and Sunni politicians in the Diyala Province are complaining, in the wake of reports that the Iraqi government has ousted ISIS from the area, Shi’ite militias are carrying out massacres against Sunni tribesmen.

The officials say 70 Sunni civilians were killed in attacks by the Shi’ite militias as part of the three day “anti-ISIS offensive.” Complaints of such massacres have been common where Shi’ite militias have taken Sunni towns.

More victories, at a price, but thew question now is…..Is ISIS back on their heels?

Item 3–Is Canada in the thick of the fight against ISIS?

Canada’s deployment of 69 special forces troops to Iraq has become an intriguing case study in how quickly “advise and assist” operations can get escalated into outright combat.

Last week, it was revealed Canadian troops had engaged in a gunbattle with ISIS. Today, officials confirmed they’ve gotten involved in two more firefights in recent days

Is this an indication of the fight to come?

Item 4–Appears anger has been directed to commercial flights into Baghdad…….

A security and an airport official say a spray of bullets hit the plane as it touched down on Monday night, slightly damaging the aircraft but causing no casualties.

Could this be a new front in this war?

Item 5–CIA’s mission to the ISIS fight is far from a done deal…….

There’ve been stories going around for awhile about how poorly the CIA program to smuggle arms in to various Syrian rebel factions is going, but the Wall Street Journal is offering some of the most stark details of a failed program, which failed to get those so-called moderate rebels any real gains, and indeed has seen a large number of them abandoning the battlefield, or joining ISIS and other Islamist groups outright.

Cash given to the rebel groups is increasingly drying up as well, as the US shifts to the plan of training up a whole new rebel force to fight against ISIS, and leaves the future of their old allies uncertain, at best.

The plan to build a new Syrian rebel force will be met with disaster……

Item 6– Idea for Iraq is a multi-ethnic National Guard……

Details about the National Guard — which Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi acknowledges as providing legal “cover” to assemble armed factions and tribes — are still being discussed in political corridors prior to the passage of legislation on its creation, but Oil Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has posted some general points about the draft law on his Facebook page.

Abdul-Mahdi wrote, “Members of the National Guard are of two types: the permanent section, namely, the professional apparatus, which will be key to this institution and will have the same responsibilities and rights of the army. The other section is temporary, and it will be mobilized whenever the need arises. This section is allocated to serve for a certain period of time and then return to its regular duties. This section will be asked to serve for a month every year to be trained, fit and ready.”

He also stated, “The idea is for the National Guard to be situated in each province, but it can be summoned when needed in other provinces for antiterrorism purposes, in periods of war, emergencies or natural disasters.” Abdul-Mahdi further observed, “It will definitely be possible to organize the Popular Mobilization forces, the Sons of Iraq and the peshmerga under the umbrella of the National Guard, knowing that the main goal of the latter is to prevent the emergence of militias, put all the weapons under the supervision of the state and provide backup forces when needed. This could limit the phenomenon of militias. The National Guard draft law, if approved, will be the alternative to the conscription system that prevailed in Iraq before 2003. In other words, there will be permanent forces with a high level of professionalism as well as backup forces, all under the umbrella of the National Guard.”

Another idea that is good on paper….but will not be effective in reality?

That concludes today’s briefing…….

Thanx for your time and attention……..

Turn The Page!

ISIS Coalition SITREP #68

Good day and welcome to the briefing.  Events are still not important enough for the MSM to pre-empt the SAG awards because we Americans need to know…..we cannot live without such knowledge…..SAD but true!

Item 1–New US base opens in Iraq……..

The fourth US military training camp has become “operational” in Erbil, Kurdistan Region to train 100 Peshmerga troops, Pentagon Press Secretary said Friday.

“But the fourth one (military site), which became active today, was in Irbil, and there’s about 100 Peshmerga forces right now there that are beginning — just beginning to do some training,” Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters.

The US has three other military training camps, including Ein al-Asad in Anbar province, Camp Taji and Bismayah near Baghdad where American military experts train Iraqi security and Sunni tribal forces to counter the Islamic State (ISIS).

Our involvement becomes more and more entangled in the future of Iraq…..yet again.

Item 2–US continues to taunt the successes in Iraq and Syria…..but they seem to ignore the elephant in the room……

Five months and 1,800-plus strikes into the U.S. air campaign against ISIS, and not a single civilian has been killed, officially. But Pentagon officials concede that they really have no way of telling for sure who has died in their attacks‚—and admit that no one will ever know how many have been slain.

“It’s impossible for us to know definitively if civilians are killed in a strike. We do everything we can to investigate. We don’t do strikes if we think civilians could be there. But we can’t have a perfect picture on what’s going on,” one Pentagon official explained to The Daily Beast.

Stuart Jones, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told al Arabiya that U.S. and coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria have killed 6,000 ISIS fighters. That no civilians could be among that figure strikes observers and even military officials as all but impossible.

Why ignore civilian deaths……the propaganda war is in full swing…..cannot keep support if there are reports of women and children being killed…..ask Israel!

Item 3–More US troops to Iraq…….
This week, 1,000 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne will be sent to Iraq on what is being called a “training mission” for the Iraqi Army. The troops will join 250 from the same brigade already there.
This deployment was announced back in December as part of the 1,500 additional troops President Obama approved for the ISIS war at the time. Officials have refused to say where these troops will exactly deploy.
More to come….watch this page!
Item 4–US Senator call for special forces ops in Middle East………
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: The American people do not want another war. There’s been two Iraq Wars, one Afghan war, they don’t see it, it is in a foreign land, it is far and apart from them, so this is very difficult. I do think that we need to look more deeply and br.ly into what we’re doing and how we are doing it…I don’t know whether 6,000 ISIS people have been killed or not, but that is the figure that has been floating around, but that isn’t going to do it. So where McCain is right, I do think we need some special operations in these countries on the ground, more than just advisers. I think we need to protect our allies: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan. And be more pronounced about it.
Her main concern is the protection of Israel…..the others are for show…….
Item 5–Finally some good news from the battle front……Initial reports coming out of Syria is the the Kurds fighting in Korbane have taken control of the city and pushed out the last remaining ISIS fighters……
Thanx for your time and attention….
Turn The Page!

ISIS Coalition SITREP #67

Good day……the war is still the furthest thing from the minds of Americans….but that does not stop the death and the destruction…..

Item 1–Is this the beginning?

Canadian Brigadier General Michael Rouleau has confirmed Canadian ground troops were involved in the first battle by members of the US-led coalition against ISIS forces.

Details on the clash are still vague, but Canadian troops were said to have been “planning” an Iraqi offensive, and went to the front lines to see the terrain first-hand. That was when they came under fire.

Item 2–A peace deal brewing in Syria?

In a dramatic change in policy that has gone largely unappreciated, the Obama Administration has recently come out in favor of both the UN effort to negotiate a ceasefire in Aleppo and the Russian effort to resume peace talks between Syria and secular rebels.

Giving support to either measure is a shift, as the US has long spurned diplomatic efforts in Syria on the grounds that only a full-scale regime change was acceptable to them. They have long pressed the pro-US rebels not to join such talks

Item 3–The flood of fighters joining ISIS appears to be unstoppable…….

The tide of foreign volunteers crossing from Turkey into Syria to fight for Isis cannot be stopped, the Turkish Prime Minister has warned, with authorities unable to close the porous 510-mile border between the two countries.

Ahmet Davutoglu, whose government has been accused of not doing enough to stop jihadi fighters from Britain and other countries crossing into Syria, told The Independent that Turkey could not put “soldiers everywhere on the border”. He added: “In any case, there isn’t any state on the other side [of the frontier].”

Time for someone to step up and do something to control this situation…..ya think?

Item 4–The battle for Mosul is about to bring….hopefully this is not an indication of the success that will be fleeting…….

Ahead of attempts to recapture Mosul, Kurdish forces launched an operation that reclaimed a large amount of territory. Airstrikes and fighting in that region reportedly left hundreds of militants dead, but there is, so far, no independent confirmation of any casualty figures. Assuming they are correct, however, that would leave 361 dead and 19 wounded across Iraq.

Kurdish forces killed more than 200 militants in a large operation near Mosul that allowed them to gain back a 300-square-mile area and liberate several villages. In the city, militants killed dozens of members of the Gahaish tribe and arrested dozens more.

Item 5–Did VP actually say we need boots on the ground?

Joe Biden inadvertently made the case for boots on the ground in Syria during an interview Wednesday.

Responding to the fact that the Islamic State is gaining ground in Syria, the vice president went where President Obama probably wishes he did not. Biden said the reason Obama’s plan is failing was because there were no troops to combat the Islamic State group.

A scary report….but one that is gaining popularity among the halls of DC….

Item 6–$6 million in tax dollars goes to Syria…….

The opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said on Thursday it had received $6 million from the United States in the first direct US financial support for the rebel body.

Ahmed Tohme, the chief of the SNC’s self-proclaimed interim government, said the money would be divided into two parts, with $4.4 million devoted to reconstruction and the purchase of heavy equipment include generators, water pumps and tankers.

The remaining $1.6 million will be used to strengthen local governance in rebel-controlled areas and for emergency aid response, including food baskets and assistance to bakeries.

Be honest….do you really see this cash going to reconstruction in the middle of a war?

Item 7–We have conflicting reports coming out of the Coalition on just how much damage we are actually doing to ISIS…..State Dept sez we have killed 6,000 fighters……

“We do know that thousands of ISIS fighters have been killed, and we do know that some of ISIS’s leadership have been killed,” Hagel said, saying he hadn’t seen any verification of exact numbers on either.
This kinda reminds me of the bogus body counts back during the Vietnam War……..I do not believe the count either.
Thanx for your time and attention…..that concludes this briefing….. I will return as more news is made available……
Turn The Page!

Iraq beat Iran

No this not some headline from the early 80’s….when Saddam was at war with Iran……nope it is a bit more recent than that……

There is not much good news….great news coming out of Iraq these days….all the death and destruction…..but there was a bright spot in the sports world for Iraq……

 

Iraq beat Iran on penalties to settle classic Asian Cup encounter | Football | The Guardian.

 

I would like to say CONGRATS!  Now time to celebrate and then get to work for the next round….good luck!

ISIS Coalition SITREP #66

Good day……while you were distracted by a whole lot of BS the war in the Middle East marches on……I will try to keep you informed….after all your children may be fighting this conflict for a long while.

Item 1–One could ask…..how well are the airstrikes doing at slowing ISIS?

ISIS continues to gain substantial ground in Syria, despite nearly 800 airstrikes in the American-led campaign to break its grip there.

At least one-third of the country’s territory is now under ISIS influence, with recent gains in rural areas that can serve as a conduit to major cities that the so-called Islamic State hopes to eventually claim as part of its caliphate. Meanwhile, the Islamic extremist group does not appear to have suffered any major ground losses since the strikes began. The result is a net ground gain for ISIS, according to information compiled by two groups with on-the-ground sources.

In Syria, ISIS “has not any lost any key terrain,” Jennifer Cafarella, a fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War who studies the Syrian conflict, explained to The Daily Beast.

Does that answer the question?

Item 2–Is that a troop build up?

The US has been sending ever-growing numbers of ground troops to Iraq, and positioning them deeper and deeper into ISIS territory, for months, and officials said today that the plan is for ground operations to begin sometime in the spring.
Officials say the program is going to involve around 1,000 troops, split between Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar. 400 troops are said to be heading for Qatar to begin the training.
The steady build-up of US Troops continues…..(watch this space)………
Item 3–ISIS is planning a further venture into the propaganda field…..
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is about to launch an online TV channel, according to the Vocativ website.A “teaser” for the new channel was published this week on a popular ISIS online forum with a link to the page that will host the 24/7 propaganda channel.The new channel is expected to feature a new video series by British captive John Cantlie, who has already made several videos for ISIS, and a daily news program.Also scheduled is a program called “Time to Recruit,” which is expected to deal with the recruitment of young Muslims to the ranks of the jihadist organization. The program will be broadcast on Wednesdays at 5 P.M. Islamic State Time (GMT+3.)

Item 4–Not everyone is thrilled with the US training of ‘moderate’ rebels……
(Reuters) – The Syrian state news agency on Friday attacked U.S. military plans to train and equip Syrian rebels, saying they amounted to support for terrorists.

The insurgency is today dominated by hardline Islamist groups including Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. The non-jihadist opposition has little presence.

The United States has not yet said exactly which elements of the opposition it plans to train, though it says the support will go to moderates.

This is NO surprise….Assad has never been on board with the training of rebels that he would have to fight…

This concludes today’s briefing….updates will be made as news becomes available…….

Thanx for your time and attention………

Turn The Page!

ISIS Coalition SITREP #65

Good day and welcome to the briefing…….

Item 1–I have long said that airstrikes and supplies will not be enough to defeat the advance of ISIS……..

Iraqi officials have told US special envoy to the ISIS war General John Allen that they don’t believe the US-led coalition is doing enough in that war, and that their support is “not convincing.”

With the US not wanting to directly coordinate with Iran on the war, despite having virtually identical interests, this is putting the two nations into competition with each other for buying the support of the Abadi government in Baghdad, a question which will likely be more important as the war winds down and the territories of the respective powers become more stationary.

The problem is that any minor successes will be short lived without a constant state of war from the Us and the Coalition.

Item 2–US training troops continue to face enemy fire……

The 300 US soldiers and Marines at al Asad air base in Iraq’s Anbar province continue to see mortar fire directed at their positions, with six more mortar rounds landing on the sprawling complex last week.

Item 3–When will Iraq be ready for a massive offensive?  Good question, huh?

A statement from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office said the alliance should “increase the tempo of the effective air strikes on Islamic State positions,” while also calling for an expansion of the training program for Iraqi security forces.

Speaking with Reuters on Jan. 11, Abadi predicted that the US-led training program would take three years, and that “the most difficult thing is to restructure and build the Army while you are in a state of war. … Our aim is to create a balance between both, restructuring the Army in a way that will not impact the fighting.”

Item 4–Remember Korbane?

It is a stunning reversal for the Islamic State group, which just months ago stood poised to conquer the entire town — and could pierce a carefully crafted image of military strength that helped attract foreign fighters and spread horror across the Middle East.

“An IS defeat in Kobani would quite visibly undermine the perception of unstoppable momentum and inevitable victory that IS managed to project, particularly after it captured Mosul,” said Faysal Itani, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, referring to the militants’ seizure of Iraq’s second-largest city during its blitz into Iraq from Syria last summer.

It would also rob the group of a “psychological edge that both facilitated recruitment and intimidated actual and potential rivals, as well as the populations IS controlled,” Itani said.

Events are unfolding and the American public is more concerned with the antics of some big butt broad or a group of adrenalin junkies climbing a rock….eventually this war will slap them in the face and they, public, will clamor to know why they were uninformed of the turn in the war……

I shall continue as often as good news is available……

Thanx for your time and attention……..

Turn The Page!