Iraq: Battle For Hearts And Minds

The big news of the week is that the battle for Mosul has finally begun….after months of moving equipment and men around all the prep work has come to the “final” battle…..

If you have been living under a rock and not aware of the situation in Iraq…then I can be of assistance…..

Source: War Against Islamic State in Iraq

I felt it necessary for my readers to be notified of the start of thew battle for I had no confidence that it would be a priority for the MSM……

The war in Iraq has not been in the headlines later even though about a 100 people a day die….the media rather play on an endless loop the gossip coming out of both sides of the election̷…

Source: Iraq: And So It Begins – In Saner Thought

Even if the battle is won and ISIS takes it on the lame….will this be the end of the problems in Iraq?

The Unesco constitution says: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”

The only thing people seem to agree about the current battle for Mosul is that Isis will be defeated militarily and the city retaken. Militarily, Isis is losing. But progress on giving Sunnis in Mosul reasons to believe in their future and to support the country’s Shia-dominated government remains elusive. And this is the key battleground: without victory here, we will be locked into a cycle of violence without end.

Source: The battle for Mosul is not just coalition (good) v Isis (bad) | Jonathan Shaw | Opinion | The Guardian

Any defeat of ISIS is a welcome story….but in Iraq’s case the possibility of it sinking into further violence is possible…..we have the Iraqi military, the shi’a militias and the Pesh Merga fighting to liberate Mosul….but why?

Each one of them has an agenda…..and not one of them is fighting for the nation of Iraq…..

Iraq could sink into the divisions that have all players in Syria at each others throats…..none have any idea what is at stake beyond their own petty dreams of power….Iraq is looking as a similar problem for the world to sort out.

I say the world because…..well they created the problem….they need to man up and handle it.

Iraq: Battle For Mosul Update

The battle to take back Mosul from ISIS has begun and the story is that it will be the Iraqis in the lead and in the fighting….


“No boots on the ground” has evolved into over 6,000 US troops in Iraq, and pledges that they would play no combat role in the war against ISIS has now given way to US ground troops being deployed on the front lines in Iraq’s largest invasion to date, the ongoing attack on the massive city of Mosul.

The troops are special forces who are being used as “forward air controllers,” and are meant primarily to do targeting for US warplanes that are constantly pounding the city from above. Officially, these troops are still being classified as “non-combat.”

Pentagon officials later insisted that “most” of the troops in Iraq, which again is over 6,000 of them, aren’t on the front lines in Mosul. The ones that are, however, seem like they’ll inevitably end up participating in combat, whether they’re classified that way or not.

Now for the update on the Iraqi situation……

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the launch of operations to retake Ninewa Province and Mosul from ISIS at dawn on October 17. PM Abadi named Deputy Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Abdul al-Amir Jarallah as commander of the operation. The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Peshmerga began offensives on the Khazar-Gwer axis, southeast of Mosul, and moved north from the Qayyarah airbase, retaking several villages. ISIS offered minimal resistance to the joint forces’ advance and may elect to withdraw the bulk of its forces to Mosul to await the city offensive.
Security forces over the past several weeks have moved into position to begin a multi-axis offensive to encircle the city. Units from Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) and Iraqi Army moved to locations in Kurdish-held territory north and northeast of the city, where they have begun to work in parallel with Peshmerga forces around Khazar and Gwer. Units from the Peshmerga affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) also moved into primarily Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) terrain around Khazar. Coordination between the KDP and PUK Peshmerga is rare and was likely the result of a still undisclosed agreement. Shi’a militias, including Iranian-backed groups, have deployed into the vicinity, primarily around Qayyarah and Shirqat, where they will likely shadow militia-friendly ISF units northwards. Turkey also responded to the launch of the Mosul operation, moving military forces along the Iraqi border as Turkish President Recep Erdogan maintained Turkey’s right to intervene in Iraq. Coordination between forces in Iraq remains high, although complications may ensue as these forces near the city itself and prospects for Mosul’s post-ISIS administration become more immediate.
Mosul will be a tough nut to crack, at least that is the feeling among those fighting this battle……
Iraqi and regional actors are preparing to assist with or spoil the Iraqi Security Forces’ (ISF) operation to retake Mosul and its environs from ISIS. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the start of operations to retake the city on October 17. The ISF began shelling ISIS-held villages south of Mosul, Iraqi Army armored units and Federal Police advanced towards Mosul near Gwer, southeast of Mosul, and Peshmerga units began advancing towards Mosul from Khazar, east of Mosul. The ISF’s operation against ISIS will require security forces to isolate Mosul before it can begin a block-by-block clearing operation in the city itself. The ISF recaptured Shirqat, the last major ISIS-held city on the Mosul-Baghdad highway, on September 22, thereby setting the operational conditions to launch operations for Mosul. The ISF will need to continue its line of effort up the highway while also encircling the city from the north and northeast. ISIS will seek to conduct attrition warfare against the ISF before it arrives in Mosul, leveraging its remaining lines of communication in Anbar, Ninewa, and Syria to shift people and supplies. ISIS will also use the sparsely populated areas on both the eastern and western sides of the Tigris River to launch attacks against recaptured areas and the ISF.
Will a win in Mosul be all that they want?
The fight to liberate Mosul has begun. In fact, it began with a new round of U.S.-led air strikes before the Iraqi announcement that the various elements of Iraqi ground forces were ready to engage. It will be one of the most critical elements of the U.S. military effort to defeat terrorism and violent Islamist extremism, as well as help determine the success of future U.S. efforts to bring some elements of stability to an increasingly more unstable Middle East.
There are so many outcomes to this that not all will be good for the US and its allies…..

Iraq: And So It Begins

The war in Iraq has not been in the headlines later even though about a 100 people a day die….the media rather play on an endless loop the gossip coming out of both sides of the election…..mind numbing bullshit!

The breaking news is that after months of promising that the final push for Mosul would take place… actually began this morning….

Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi has announced the beginning of the nation’s invasion of the city of Mosul today, the largest city held by ISIS, which ISIS forces have held for over two years. The invasion had been expected for some time, and Abadi had indicated the announcement was imminent just two days prior.

Iraqi planes have been dropping leaflets on the city over the past few days as well, advising locals the invasion was to begin soon, and telling them to remain in doors. The early offensive appears to be centered around US shelling of the city.

The battle includes many diverse factions in the fight against ISIS….and that could be a bad thing…..depending on how the battle fairs……

Source: What is the battle for Mosul?Everything you need to know about the fight to liberate Isil’s last bastion of power in Iraq

These diverse groups could quickly create problems in the invasion, as the Shi’ite militias were hugely problematic in previous invasions of Sunni cities, and the Peshmerga has been annexing most of the territory its gained recently, leading Abadi to warn that the Mosul border cannot be changed by this battle.

Also looming over the invasion is the question of Turkish military forces nearby, as the Turkish government has insisted it will play a role in the invasion, but has been warned against involvement by the Iraqi military, who says they aren’t welcome in Iraq to begin with.

Many are predicting that ISIS will be defeated in Mosul and they will fall back to Raqaa in Syria….possibly for their last stand…..

Along those lines I read a post that touches on the possibility…..

Last Friday, while most of the US media was myopically focused on the collapse of Donald “Genitalia-Grabbing” Trump’s campaign, there was, in fact, other news happening. With all the current talk about fights for survival and battleground states, it’s easy to forget that a very genuine war is being fought.

And what happens in the battle for the capital of the Islamic State may have a profound effect on what happens next month in the US elections.

ISIS’ Armageddon in Dabiq

At the end of last week, the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters scored a major and perhaps a decisive victory against the terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, otherwise known as ISIL or Daesh: the liberation of the strongholds of Dabiq and Soran. 

Source: Could We Soon Be Witnessing the Fall of ISIL? | Nomadic Politics

I realize that the accusations and gossip flowing from the mouths of idiots is far more important than this bit of news…..but you might want to keep an eye on this situation…..why?  There are so many diverse directions it could go and so many results that it bears attention.  Plus 5000+ US soldiers are in country……how will they fair?

Even More Troops For Iraq

Slowly but slowly the US has been sending more and more troops to Iraq and the media ignores this….what is more important than our troops in a war zone?

Not Kim and her fucking diamonds……not Trump and his propensity for vulgarity……NOTHING is more important!

Since I reported last month that more US Troops were to be deployed in Iraq ahead of the battle for Mosul……more news has been ignored…..

From the moment he announced, when the latest US war in Iraq began, that there would be “no boots on the ground,” President Obama was not being honest with the American public. Yet after years of trying to revise that to mean something short of no US ground troops, the sheer numbers appear to have overwhelmed the discussion.

Officially, the US had somewhere around 4,500 troops in Iraq. The actual numbers are in excess of 6,000, the discrepancy being the result of an attempt to brand certain troops as “temporary,” despite having no end date for their deployment, as a way to add troops above and beyond caps they’ve long since blown through.

Now, with Pentagon officials openly talking about US troops playing a substantial role in the imminent invasion of Mosul, there is no room for pretense, and officials are just adding more and more troops all the time, hyping them as part of this “vital” invasion.


As the deployments rise the chances of death returning to Americans grows…especially when given the go ahead……

Powerful Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr instructed his followers on Sunday to target U.S. troops deploying to Iraq as part of the military campaign against Islamic State.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday the Pentagon would dispatch 560 additional troops to help Iraqi forces retake the northern city of Mosul in an offensive planned for later this year.

Sadr, who rose to prominence when his Mahdi Army battled U.S. troops after the 2003 invasion, posted the comments on his official website after a follower asked for his response to the announcement.

Source: Iraqi Shi’ite cleric tells followers to target U.S. troops fighting Islamic State | Reuters

Another news item that the MSM in the US seem to overlook……

I find it very pathetic that the lives of the troops means NOTHING to most Americans…..only when it is politically expedient.

One Tough “Lady”

NOTE”  The term “lady” is not intended as a slight to this woman….her exploits are hard to describe….please do NOT take it as a slight to her person.

We hear so much about the barbaric ISIS fighters with their raping, killing and other such inhuman acts…..and on the other side we hear about the heroic acts by the different army units in their fight with the extremists….

This post is about a brave and yes brutal woman that is leading the fight against ISIS in Iraq……

06_iraqi housewife Wahida Mohamed_06_03 iraqi housewife Wahida Mohamed_12241713_103721679996057_2906077868473787312_n

“Shut up and stay still,” the woman in black fatigues and a black headscarf snapped over her shoulder at the armed men behind her as she sat down for an interview.

Immediately they went quiet, each adjusting his weapon and standing up straight as if he’d been called to attention.
This is a woman who commands respect, I thought. She keeps a Beretta 9-millimeter pistol in a holster under her left arm. The area around the trigger was silver where the paint had worn off.
This should help put to rest the nonsense that women are the weaker sex…….nothing weak about this one…..
I like her

Greed Knows No Religion

Back in the days after 9/11 there was a ransom offered for the location of Osama….it stood for a decade…… one would step up to claim the multi-million dollar reward.

I thought hen that these people that knew of his whereabouts were more dedicated to the movement than to the pursuit of cash…..almost admirable…..

But in the end….greed will always win the day…..a true American way……

A friend in Iraq sent me a mews story that I need to pass onto my readers…..

Kirkuk – Iraqi media outlets announced on Monday, that eight people working in the so-called Diwan al-Zakat (Zakat Bureau) of the Islamic State in Hawija district, southwest of Kirkuk, disappeared with 600 million dinars in mysterious circumstances.

According to, “Eight workers in ISIS Diwan al-Zakat in Hawija, including the currency exchange official, disappeared in mysterious circumstances yesterday.”

“600 million dinars also disappeared from the fund of Diwan al-Zakat with the workers,” Sumaria explained. “The ISIS militants waged raids on the homes of the workers but failed to find them, which raised suspicions that the disappeared persons fled with the money out of Hawija,” Sumaria added.

Noteworthy, the areas southwest of Kirkuk have been under the control of ISIS since June 2014, including the areas of Hawija, Zab, Riyad, al-Abbasi and al-Rashad.

File photo.

I guess greed will win out every time…..

The Decentralization Equation

Let me see….we have been trying to mop up the crap in Iraq since 2003….then there is the manure pile that is Syria since 2011….no matter what we try… is wrong.

In the beginning of the war in Iraq there was a couple of plans that would bring federalism to Iraq… far none of them have gone very far but the Iraqi military has had its hands full for a few years now…..I am sure it is still on a back burner some place.

The there is Syria and some have floated a similar plan of partitioning of Syria….. to save time and space…….

Source: Would Partitioning Syria Be Folly? | Ace News Room

So far these plans have been all talk……and now there is new talk about a plan for both Syria and Iraq….it is called “decentralization”……

The term “decentralization” embraces a variety of concepts which must be carefully analyzed in any particular country before determining if projects or programs should support reorganization of financial, administrative, or service delivery systems. Decentralization—the transfer of authority and responsibility for public functions from the central government to subordinate or quasi-independent government organizations and/or the private sector—is a complex multifaceted concept. Different types of decentralization should be distinguished because they have different characteristics, policy implications, and conditions for success.

Source: Different Forms of Decentralization

I bring this issue up because of several articles I found while doing research…..these writings bring up the possibility of Iraq and Syria being able to profit from a program of decentralization…….

Source: Iraq’s regional decentralisation debate is heating up – Al Jazeera English

Source: No Going Back: Why Decentralization is the Future for Syria | World Affairs Journal

Could this truly be a godsend for these two countries?

But the one thing to keep in mind…..this is not a cure all…..

Obstacles will be many….but if a workable plan can come to light then why not give it a try?  I mean could not be any worse than the situation these days….

Once again…it should be the people that decide the future not the powers that are looking for some sort of benefit….whether is is natural resources or location…..the people will know what is best and the people will make any plan either work or fail…….