Welcome to the briefing…..it has been awhile since the last one that is because there has been very little news that is worthy of comment….since the last report al-Baghdadi has been seriously wounded, number 2 man in Iraq has been reported killed, the ISIS minister of finance in Syria has been killed and wife taken prisoner with lots of data captured as well. Al-Anbar province is being overrun…………city of Ramadi has been taken by ISIS fighters…..and the airstrikes continue.
Item 1–Advancing near the ancient city of Palmyra, ISIS is said to have captured the al-Hail and Arak gas fields, two very important parts of fueling Syria’s electricity grid.
Item 2–US airstrikes are working as the air cover for Shi’ite militias……….
Item 3–the defeat in Ramadi of Iraq troops looked a lot like the early days of the fighting with ISIS……massive retreating leaving equipment and arms behind…..with the fall of Ramadi ISIS is just 50 miles from Baghdad……that should worry everybody in DC.
Item 4–ISIS has finally captured the ancient city of Palmyra and with that victory that control a wide swath of land in Syria……
Capturing the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur in Arabic) and valuable nearby gas fields was just part of the gains of ISIS across Syria, which have now reached the point that the “caliphate” includes more than half of Syria’s territory.
Indeed, ISIS seems to be making gains across both Syria and Iraq, taking the major Iraqi city of Ramadi yesterday, and then seizing the al-Waleed border crossing, the last crossing between Iraq and Syria that they didn’t already hold.
Item 5–……..the story around the fall of the Anbar Province capital of Ramadi in recent days has been predictions of Iraq retaking the city, the reality is ISIS is continuing its eastward advance.
Early in the day, Iraqi forces reported they were exchanging mortar fire with ISIS forces east of the city, and had held them off, but by evening police commanders confirmed they’d been overrun entirely by ISIS.
Keep in mind that Baghdad is less than 60 miles from Ramadi…..is the capital next on the list?
Item 6–It appears that our “ally” Turkey may have helped ISIS inn the beginning…….
Witness testimony obtained by Reuters has once again shown that the Turkish government was dishonest about their involvement in the rise of Islamist rebels in northern Syria.
The testimony of officials revealed that Turkey’s MIT state spy agency repeatedly accompanied cargoes of weaponry across the border into Islamist rebel-controlled territory in January of 2014, and threatened border police who objected.
The weapons shipments were distributed among various rebel factions, and are believed to have played a significant role in ISIS gains in that area of Syria, which they control to this day.
Now I will wait to see if the media touches this or if it is down played…..my guess is the later.
Item 7–Iran has sent in troops to Iraq to assist in the refinery fight that is raging at this time. This is gonna be a big deal. The US has got to decide one way or the other. Or should it be up to Iraq to decide who fights the good fight?
Item 8–Since the beginning of the conflict the Sunni tribes had to depend on the Shia government in Baghdad for supplies and arms……that is about to change…….
Under US law, foreign military aid is supposed to be provided directly to foreign governments. Efforts to arm up various factions in Iraq, including the Peshmerga and Sunni tribal militias, have thus long had to go through a central Iraqi government with limited interest in seeing those groups get too powerful.
Today, the Pentagon announced it has plans for direct provision of weapons to Sunni tribal factions inside Anbar Province, aiming to bolster them amid recent ISIS gains.
This one simple action could do more good than a month of training……
This concludes the briefing……next one will be as needed…….
Thanx for your time and attention…….
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