Events in the battle against ISIS have been overshadowed by other situations…..like a plane crash…..religious intolerance……you know menial crap!
I want to keep my readers ahead of the game as far as the Middle East goes…….
Item 1–The battle for the Northern Iraqi city of Tikirt is over….at least that is what the Iraqis are saying…..but is it?
Iraqi officials are bragging about a “magnificent victory” over ISIS in Tikrit, and the “liberation” of the Sunni city from foreign Islamists. The liberation looks an awful lot like another ugly occupation.
Shi’ite militias that led the offensive against Tikrit are now carrying out lynchings, insisting the people they are summarily executing are ISIS sympathizers, dragging their bodies through the streets on parade.
Then there’s the looting. The militias are gleefully running amok in Tikrit, ransacking stores and private residences, and burning homes seemingly for the run of it.
It is getting uglier by the week in Iraq….
Item 2–The Iraqis are getting cocky thanx to the ‘win’ in Tikrit…….
Iraqi officials are brimming with confidence after the capture of the city of Tikrit from ISIS. Don’t let the ugly round of lynchings and looting fool you, they’re seeing it as a trend.
Now, Iraq is ordering their military to wipe out ISIS nationwide by the end of the year, with military sources saying the aim was to have them in full retreat “within a few months.”
Me thinks that these people have gotten a bit over-confident……
Item 3–ISIS has entered into a Palestinian refugee camp and fighting is heavy in Syria…….
A surprise Wednesday offensive by ISIS saw them taking a large portion of the Yarmouk refugee camp in metro Damascus, and on Thursday they’d lost most of it back in the face of opposition from Palestinian fighters.
Within hours, ISIS launched a counter-counteroffensive, and had regained portions of the camp that they’d lost, leaving them in control of an unspecified, but significant, percentage of it.
The PLO is doing the fighting and doing the dying……..
Could the PLO and Hamas become willing partners in the fight against ISIS?
Item 4–The big plan for combating ISIS is the arming and training of Syrian rebels….but just how effect will this be?
U.S. military officials had been vetting the first unit of Syrian fighters slated to join a new force to be trained by the United States and allied nations. But when violence flared up in the unit’s home area, the fighters made a decision to stay home and defend their communities, forcing U.S military officials to line up an alternate unit.
That last-minute scramble delayed the launch of the training program by several weeks to sometime in May, military officials said. It is also a sign of the obstacles the United States and its allies face as they try to build a rebel force, from a distance, in the midst of Syria’s civil war.
A senior military official said that training preparations had been held up “due to the fluid environment in Syria” but were now moving ahead. Training sites will eventually be opened in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan.
Maybe it is time to re-evaluate this whole damn plan….it is met with delay after delay…….a substantially well trained force looks to be further away than when the situation began.
Item 5–The next great battle, according to the Iraqi officials, is Mosul, the largest city that ISIS has taken in its run up to today……..but there is a problem brewing in the plan for Mosul…….
TIKRIT, Iraq – Mosul’s exiled governor Atheel Nujaifi ruled out any role for the Hashd al-Shaabi Shiite militia in the battle for Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and ISIS’ Iraq stronghold since the militants captured it 10 months ago.
After a crucial role in liberating Tikrit from ISIS, fighting alongside the Iraqi Army, the militia’s leaders have been eyeing the bigger anticipated battle for Mosul.
The presence of Hashd al-Shaabi in Mosul will cause sectarian tensions. The Iraqi government already agreed to exclude the group in the Mosul operation,” Nujaifi told Rudaw.
Sectarian in-fighting can be as harmful to Iraq as ISIS……..
Item 6–With the relative success of the Iraqi Army and militias the world seems to think that it will be Mosul as the next ‘big’ action…..but is it?
The success in liberating Tikrit presents Iraqi leaders with their next choice — determining when to begin operations to retake Mosul and Anbar. According to most predictions, the next battle will be in Anbar, because that confrontation does not require the degree of political consensus that will be necessary before the battle for Mosul can get underway.
Although the tribes in Anbar will partner with Iraqi forces, Mosul’s situation is more complex because of an overlapping of Kurdish peshmerga forces with units being trained by Atheel al-Nujaifi, the Mosul governor, with the help of Turkey and the United States. The participation of the PMU at Tikrit required taking a number of factors into consideration. It was difficult to devise an arrangement for coordinating the popular forces and the international support being provided. Developing an effective configuration of forces in Anbar will necessitate reaching understandings with the various tribes in the province.