I sincerely hope that all my readers had a pleasant and restful day yesterday……with that said…..shall we begin today’s briefing?
Item 1–US returns to Anbar…….
With some 1,500 additional US ground troops heading to Iraq, the first advance team of US forces has gone to the Anbar Province, the restive southwestern province held almost entirely by ISIS.
Though the Pentagon denied any plans to send the troops into combat, they insisted they are “prepared to defend themselves,” and sending them to the front lines makes this virtually inevitable.
What do you think will be the result of sending US troops into Anbar?
Item 2–It appears that not everyone sees the airstrikes as a good thing……
Hadi al-Bahra, the head of the self-proclaimed government-in-exile of Syria, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), today blasted the US for its attacks on ISIS, saying they are undermining the rebellion they think will eventually land the SNC in power.
The SNC is nominally the head of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), one of the primary “moderate” rebel factions, but one which is also virtually entirely landless, as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra take most of the rebel territory.
Bahra was also critical of the US for attacking Nusra, which is al-Qaeda’s wing in Syria, saying it was undercutting the SNC’s efforts for a “permanent solution to the crisis,” which is to say their installation as the actual government.
Things in this war are now becoming as clear as a particulate matter suspended in a liquid…..MUD!
Item 3–ISIS may have just expanded its influence outside of the Levant……
ISIS has garnered its first major international ally in the form of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an Egyptian militant group the New York Times calls the country’s most dangerous. That organization pledged obedience to ISIS yesterday, the Times reports. Until now, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has largely targeted only Egypt’s official forces, but the new alliance could prompt it to begin killing civilians.
This could change the reach of the coalition and its activities……
Item 4–I have been worried about sectarian violence returning to Iraq and it appears that I am not alone……
The Iraqi military is trying to keep Shi’ite militias out of the front-line territories in central Iraq. It’s not hard to see why, with the reports of Shi’ite militias massacring Sunni tribesmen time and again in revenge killings.
The militias claim that those slain were ISIS backers, and that the bloody revenge killings are entirely appropriate. The efforts to keep them out of Sunni towns are also facing growing political backlash.
I guess justification can be made for deeds the world may not appreciate….Israel is a prime example……
Item 5–ISIS is trying to make IS a gold backed economy…….
In a move that appears to be aimed at bolstering its claim to be the legitimate revitalization of the Islamic Caliphate, ISIS has announced plans to introduce a new, or rather very old, currency to its territory.
Details are still scant, but imams in Iraq’s Nineveh Province, an ISIS stronghold, say the plan is to introduce new gold and silver coins based on the specifications of those used during the original caliphate
That concludes today’s briefing…………
Thanx for your time and attention…….
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