Just Who Is Dead?

Recently the Russians claimed to have killed the ISIS leader al-Baghdadi….I wrote about the news piece ……

Source: Death Of A Bad Man – In Saner Thought

I bring this up because the US has issued a report that says they have killed the “Grand Mufti” religious leader of ISIS…..

US Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed today that the Islamic State’s Turki al-Bin’ali was killed in a May 31 airstrike in Mayadin, Syria.

Mayadin, which is in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, has become a hub for the so-called caliphate’s senior personnel. The US has targeted several high-profile figures in or near the city this year.

Source: CENTCOM Confirms Islamic State’s “Grand Mufti” Killed in Airstrike | RealClearDefense

Now this could be good news….but the US has killed “leaders” before…one guy in Afghanistan he was killed at least 3 separate times….

If true this could be good news…take out the radicalizing force of the group….but this does not eliminate the group….just one of the “soldiers”.

Since both were supposedly in Syria, around Raqqa, could one be mistaken for the other…..

Just who is dead at this point?

More news from the ISIS front…..

It seems that ISIS is admitting that they are doomed….one of their last acts of violence in the Iraqi city of Mosul was barbaric and unnecessary….

In what American commanders called a crime against the people of Iraq and the country’s prime minister called an admission of defeat, officials say ISIS fighters blew up Mosul’s most iconic mosque Wednesday night as government troops closed in. The Grand al-Nuri Mosque, more than 800 years old, was where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in 2014 during his only public appearance, the BBC reports. ISIS—whose fighters had been seen bringing explosives to the site, according to CNN—claimed the mosque in Mosul’s Old City had been destroyed by American aircraft, but US commanders swiftly denied the claim, saying there had been no strikes in the area.

Aerial photos showed little but rubble remaining at the mosque complex, where the black flag of ISIS had flown since 2014. The destruction of the mosque and its famous minaret “amounts to an official acknowledgement of defeat,” Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement. The Old City is the only part of Mosul still held by ISIS and commanders say the “final chapter” of the offensive to retake the city has begun. The Iraqi military says elite counterterrorism units had fought their way to within 170 feet of the mosque when it was destroyed, Reuters reports.

Why?  What purpose did this serve?

More thoughts on the destruction of this magnificent mosque…..

Source: In Apocalyptic Vandalism, ISIL blows up 800-year-old Nuri Mosque in Mosul | Informed Comment

Death Of A Bad Man

Word is spreading through the news organization that ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi, has been killed in a Russian airstrike…..I believe this is the 5th time he has either been injured or killed…..what we need is verification…..not speculation…

Russia’s claim to have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an airstrike in Raqqa on May 28 should be taken with a heavy grain of salt. At the time in question, the U.S.-led Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) were only days away from launching their final assault on the city and there’s no logical reason imaginable why Baghdadi would have risked staying in a surrounded, sitting target. Notwithstanding justified doubts surrounding Baghdadi’s then presence in Raqqa, Russia’s statement also says its strike killed another 330 ISIS fighters – which is almost certainly an absurd claim.

Russia has a long track record of issuing fake claims and deliberate misinformation during its campaign in Syria. This recent statement also contradicts a claim by its Syrian partner, the Assad regime, to have killed Baghdadi themselves on June 10. Either Baghdadi has dozens of lives, or nobody really knows where he is.

Source: Russia’s Baghdadi Claim Needs Verification | Middle East Institute

Let us say that their claim is genuine…..what will that mean for the region?

Does that mean we may be winning the War on Terror?  I think not…there will be someone to step into the void.

The news of the possible death of the leader of the so-called Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, no doubt filled most people with a certain sense of relief. It’s not often the death of a human being elicits such an emotion but Baghdadi, most sane people can agree, barely makes the homo sapiens cut.

Nonetheless, our collective exhale may be premature. According to the Russian defence ministry, Baghdadi may have been caught by a Russian airstrike targeting a meeting of senior ISIS commanders south of Raqqa, the capital of the group’s self-declared caliphate, at the end of May. He was reportedly killed along with 30 other mid-level ISIS commanders and 300 fighters.

Source: Why the death of ISIS’s leader could spell trouble – Macleans.ca

You see if he is dead then he is one terrorist dead…there are many others waiting their turn.

Do not rejoice…..be vigilante…..

Iran: ISIS Attacks

It is a busy day here on IST…..attacks, hearings, Qatar and USS Liberty…..I will try to be short and sweet…whenever possible….and thanx everyone for the visits……

I have waited a few days before posting on this situation to see how the tale shakes out…..

A couple of days ago ISIS hit the capital of Iran…..killing and injuring many…. first time Iran has tasted the likes of ISIS and its tactics……

Terror in Tehran: Several attackers stormed into Iran’s parliament and a second group of attackers including a suicide bomber targeted the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Wednesday. At least 12 people were killed and 42 people were wounded in the twin attacks, reports the AP. ISIS claimed responsibility, marking the first time it has taken responsibility for an assault in Iran, the AP reports. The Sunni extremist group is fighting Iran-backed forces in Syria and Iraq.

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry says security forces were able to thwart a third terrorist attack in the country’s capital. In one image in state media, a man was seen lowering a young boy from the parliament building. Authorities say a woman was arrested at the scene of the shrine attack. The attack on the tomb of Khomeini was symbolically stunning, the AP notes. As Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Khomeini is a towering figure in the country and was its revolutionary leader in the 1979 ouster of the shah.

Just like all these types of attacks the rhetoric is on-going…..out of Iran a reason for the attack is being spread…….

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia for twin attacks on Iran’s parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini on Wednesday morning which left 12 people dead.

The attacks, which took place a few kilometres south of the capital, were the first in the country to be claimed by the Islamic State group.

“This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the US president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists,” said the IRGC in a statement, published by Iranian media.

Source: Iranian Revolutionary Guard blames Saudi Arabia for Tehran attack | Middle East Eye

They could have a point…..

ISIS: The Beginning Of The End?

We hear of the demise of ISIS often.

With every success it has been billed as the beginning of the end of the barbarous ISIS…..all that is just ducky but what will the Middle East, especially Syria, look like if and when end arrives?

A few thoughts from the region……

With a new American administration in place an idea has begun to crystallize in the war against ISIS.

This idea is not limited to deploying helicopters and artillery in Raqqa and Mosul and empowering the presence of special forces but also includes forming a US-Gulf front that contributes to fighting ISIS on condition that the areas liberated from ISIS are not occupied by Iran or militias affiliated with it.

This is the major point concluded by the Moscow document and the US Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ visit to the Gulf and Iraq. So there’s a US-Russian-Turkish-Gulf agreement to end the Iranian expansion in Arab capitals. We must be clear regarding this point if the world wants our cooperation to eliminate ISIS.

Source: Iraq and Syria, post ISIS – Al Arabiya English

The above piece is dated so keep that in mind…….

…..the United States deepened its involvement in the Syrian Civil War in ways that may only gradually become apparent. In targeting a convoy that Secretary of Defense James Mattis said included Iran-backed militiamen as well as Syrian regime forces, the U.S. apparently, for the first time since the conflict began six years ago, attacked foreign fighters allied to the Syrian government. The same incident also represented the second time the U.S. military has deliberately targeted Assad’s own forces, which the Trump administration struck last month in retaliation for the Syrian government using chemical weapons against civilians. Under Barack Obama, U.S. military operations in Syria were directed at ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliates. Now two additional factions in the multifaceted civil war are in America’s crosshairs.

Source: The Scramble for Post-ISIS Syria Has Officially Begun

Please keep in mind that the US does not have a plan for post-ISIS Syria/Iraq…….the plans all along have been to defeat ISIS and that is the extent of the plans…..I am sure that some corporations see a money making opportunity in the defeat but they have not shared what they will do for the region.

But more over we cannot understand the things that ISIS is doing without understanding Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia…..

The dramatic arrival of Da’ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed — and horrified — by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, “Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?”

It appears — even now — that Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da’ish’s strict Salafist ideology.

Source: You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia | HuffPost

What is that old war adage?  “Know your enemy”….that is great advice maybe we should heed it……our hubris has not allow us to “know our enemy”….Vietnam is the perfect example…..and we are repeating the mistakes once again…..

Einstein was right!

New Pentagon Strategy to “Annihilate” ISIS

While everyone was otherwise distracted with the Russia thing and the impending presidential trip a new “plan” was hatched by Trump to annihilate ISIS…..it begins with the visit to Saudi Arabia by the prez……

Global Research has looked at the news plan……

Defense Secretary James Mattis announced at a press briefing on Friday that President Donald Trump had approved a new Pentagon plan that would escalate the war for US domination of the Middle East and North Africa.

Mattis told reporters that the plan would aim to militarily encircle strongholds of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to “annihilate” the Islamist militia, which still controls significant portions of Syria and Iraq

The immediate target is the ISIS capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, where a major offensive is being prepared by the US in coordination with the various Kurdish and Arab Syrian militias it has built up during the five-year conflict. The civil war has been stoked by the US and its regional allies with the aim of unseating Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Source: Trump Approves New Pentagon Strategy to “Annihilate” ISIS | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Actually sounds like the same plan that has been in place for years…..but this plan may require more American troops for it to be a success…if a success is possible.

It’s WMDs–Once Again

Not long ago the Syrian military was accused of using CWs on the civilian population and that caused a missile response by the Trump admin….and for weeks afterwards the big story was the use of these weapons and where Syria got them since they supposedly had all theirs destroyed in the early days of this conflict.

Of course Russia was the culprit during these debates and that has since died down….but then there was a new twist to the CW thing…..and it involves ISIS this time…..

A US official warns ISIS could be getting all its chemical weapons experts together in a “chemical weapons cell” in a last-ditch effort to defend its remaining territory in Syria. CNN reports the unnamed official says the experts are from Iraq and Syria and haven’t previously worked together. “We know ISIS is willing to use chemical weapons. This is not something we want to see them get good at,” says Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesperson for the US-led military coalition in Syria.

The unnamed official says the chemical weapons cell is convening in an area of ISIS-controlled Syria that the US military is getting more interested in. The official says the area in the Euphrates River Valley could now be the “de facto” ISIS capital as military pressure increases on Raqqa. Syrian forces are said to be tightening “their noose” on that ISIS stronghold, according to Reuters.

Now this should revive the whole false flag thing about the original use of these weapons……did ISIS use them in the first place?  Did the US overreact before the truth was fully known?

Yes it is not a good thing if ISIS is developing CWs for use in Syria and possibly elsewhere.

Will we know the truth about this or will we just hear more and more about who has these weapons and who has used these weapons?

I for one will wait until the “rest of the story” comes out.

What Is The Anti-ISIS Plan?

I have asked before and now I ask again………

Just once….someone have a plan!

There has not been a major terrorist attack in awhile now and the world is not thinking about it right now.  No, they are thinking about elections or fired bureaucrats or nukes or…..well you got the picture right?

But while we are laser focused on other situations the war on terror rages on and one….now I want to ask….what is the plan to defeat ISIS and the after time?

I keep asking what the plan could be because eventually someone will have a plan and all my questions will be answered…..(Really?  I am old, do I really have that much time to wait?)

(Pause here for some thought….not that anyone will take the opportunity to do so)

The plan so far is as follows……

The U.S.-led strategy to defeat the Islamic State (IS) — a hybrid insurgent-terrorist group that as of mid-2016 controls territory in both Iraq and Syria — has been criticized for a lack of clarity, overemphasis on tactical objectives, and insufficient attention to the underlying causes of the greater civil conflict across both Iraq and Syria. This report assesses the current strategy and presents three options for a new strategy. Each of these options, derived from subject-matter-expert input, represents a broad strategic approach to defeating IS. Continuous counterterror focuses on containing and suppressing IS while accepting ongoing instability in Iraq and Syria. Practical stability seeks to reestablish the pre–Arab Spring order in Iraq and Syria, building stable states at the probable expense of democracy and human rights. The report recommends the third option: Legitimated stability. This approach pursues a long-term strategy that seeks to address the root causes of the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, reconciling the disenfranchised Sunni Arab populations with their governments, and thereby removing the conditions that allowed IS to emerge and thrive. Other alternatives that fail to address root cause issues are likely to condemn the U.S. and its allies to continual crisis and unpredictable and unending reinvestment of resources, with little real gain in security or reduction in international terror.

There it is….the strategy.

Not one of the so-called experts has bothered to think of a couple of things…..if they, ISIS, is defeated then what?

The RAND group has made a few recommendations…..

  • The National Security Council should lead a full-scope, bottom-up review of the strategy to counter IS. This review should address specific issues with the current strategy, including a lack of internal consistency in objectives, poorly defined objectives, and a narrow focus on defeating and destroying IS with insufficient emphasis on changing the conditions that allow such groups to exist and thrive.
  • The best way to reduce and, eventually, end insurgency and terrorism is to address root causes or, at least, to establish legitimate and capable governance. Stability is most consistent and enduring when it emerges naturally from popular satisfaction with governance and other socioeconomic conditions, rather than from government oppression or military action by external powers.
  • The legitimated stability option acknowledges that the best way to reduce and, eventually, end insurgency and terrorism is to address root causes or, at least, to establish legitimate and capable governance. The aim of this strategy is to establish legitimate governments in Iraq and Syria. Each government would be capable of addressing Sunni disenfranchisement while protecting the rights of all other groups. Ultimately, strong and legitimate central governments — perhaps federated or confederated to address regional challenges within each state — will reduce the current, dangerous emphasis on ethnosectarian identity politics and violence.

I cannot emphasized enough that there must be a plan or this scenario will continued to be replayed over sand over….

We should demand an end to the “Bait and Switch” attitude that we have been employing now for over a decade.

Source: The Bait-and-Switch ‘War on Terror’ – Consortiumnews

This attitude has accomplished nothing!

We are better than this.

And the peasants could care less.