Good day and we shall waste no time getting to the point……
Item 1–The troop build up continues….only it is NOT all the US doing so……
The UK is to send nearly 60 extra Army personnel to Iraq to support the fight against self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militants, it has been announced.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “This counter-IED training will give Iraqi forces a vital capability in taking the fight to Isil and is another example of our commitment to the campaign against Isil.
“Along with our airstrikes, Britain is making a major contribution to training Iraqi forces to help them defend their country.
Item 2–ISIS is attempting to eliminate the noise of battle from its troops……
ISIS really wants to make sure it covers all its bases: A recruitment video released yesterday stars two deaf and mute fighters using sign language. “We, the deaf and mute, direct our message to the Islamic world,” the video begins, per Vocativ. The video, titled “From Who Excused (sic) To Those Not Excused,” “represents an attempt by the group to recruit other physically or otherwise impaired individuals, as well as demonstrates the multifaceted responsibilities of those in its ranks,” a researcher tells NBC News. Those “multifaceted responsibilities” apparently include directing traffic, as that is what the fighters are doing (while heavily armed) in the video.
Item 3–As Iraqi forces attack to retake Tikrit, is the US seemingly sitting it out?
The Tikrit campaign lays bare the layered dilemmas facing the U.S. in Iraq. For months, Washington has sought to paint its war against ISIL as separate from, if parallel to, that of Iran and its Shia proxies — a line is growing harder to maintain. As Tikrit shows, the U.S. is uneasy about the leading role Iran has taken against ISIL, an effort that is spearheaded on many fronts, including in Tikrit, by hard-line Shia militias that many say are liable to exacerbate the alienation of Iraq’s Sunni minority. Sectarian resentments were part of what made ISIL’s surge across Sunni lands in Iraq last June possible, with Sunnis in many areas allowing ISIL forces to move in unchallenged or even providing local conscripts. With Iraq’s fight against ISIL taking an increasingly sectarian cast, the U.S. is staying behind the scenes, limiting its role to airstrikes or military advisers.
Oh God…..playing politics in a time of war…..truly a disgusting turn of events……
Item 4–The Arab league has issued a statement…….
The Arab League called for the creation of a regional force to combat militants as countries face a growing threat from Islamic State and other groups.
Speaking at the opening session of an Arab League meeting of foreign ministers, Secretary General Nabil el-Araby called for action.
“What is required now and urgently is to look into creating a…multi-national force that is able to look at what unites them in terms of responsibilities in the areas of quick intervention to fight terroism, the activities of terrorist groups, helping in peacekeeping operations and securing humanitarian operations,” he said.
Okay unless I missed something…..is not that what the US-led Coalition is suppose to be?
Item 5–Does ISIS have an eye for Lebanon?
A group of young men from Akkar were recruited to an ISIS cell recently and traveled to Turkey with the intention of undergoing training in a militant camp in Syria, sources told The Daily Star Tuesday.
Is Lebanon in the sights? If Iraq goes bad….will they surface in Lebanon?
Update: As writing of this SITREP….reports coming out of Iraq say that the Iraqis are winning the battle for Tikrit………Iraqi forces are claiming major progress in the ongoing war with ISIS saying they seized the town of al-Alam, just north of Tikrit, and have made their “final push” into the major Sunni city. This may be a typical chest thumping by the army…..awaiting confirmation before going any further with this story.
Item 6–The new SecState has hit the ground running with the war drums……
Top administration officials, including Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, are pushing hard for Congress to sign off on President Obama’s Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS.
Carter claimed ISIS is “metastasizing” outside of Syria and Iraq, and that US military action is “desperately needed” to counter them. US military action has been going on for months now, of course, without the AUMF.
Item 7–US main strategy in Iraq is religious unity as well as a unity government…..but events are not cooperating….
Taking back ISIS-held towns for the Iraqi military has become a much bigger long-term problem than anyone expected. It’s not just the fighting that’s the problem, it’s the brutality that comes afterward.
Iraq claims they’re investigating reports of atrocities carried out by the Shi’ite militias, but those investigations never go anywhere. It’s not just the militias, either, with Iraqi troops getting involved oftentimes.
With the US couching their entire Iraq strategy on religious unity, an admittedly unrealistic plan in the first place, regular sectarian massacres are really leaving that plan in tatters. Iraqi Sunnis may not like living under ISIS control, but they may look fondly back on that if living under Shi’ite occupation is too brutal.
A problem that must be solved before any measure of success can be counted.
This concludes the briefing…..have a great weekend and we will be back next week.
Thanx for your time and attention.
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