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Thread: Iraq: Out of the desert into Mosul (closed)

  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Iraq: Out of the desert into Mosul (closed)

    Like many here following Iraq is not a priority. AM today I read via Twitter reports that Mosul, Iraq's second city had fallen to ISIS, after Iraqi forces crumbled and left.

    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27778112 and http://eaworldview.com/2014/06/iraq-...ke-part-mosul/

    I am aware, from old SWC threads, that the Kurds watch the city closely, but was unaware that our old friends - geography and water - play a part:
    It was also unclear whether ISIS fighters had managed to cross the Tigris river, which dissects the city into two parts, and are also threatening the eastern bank, which is mostly Kurdish. But it appeared clear that the western bank, which represents the original heart and commercial center of Mosul, is in insurgent hands.
    Link:http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...674_story.html

    Just whether the Kurds will sit and watch is unclear.

    As others who watch the region more closely comment there is a growing ISIS governed territory / enclave stretching across Iraq into Syria.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    It wouldn't surprise me to see the Kurds/Pesh go meshugganah on ISIS in the wake of this.

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    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    It wouldn't surprise me to see the Kurds/Pesh go meshugganah on ISIS in the wake of this.
    Does the Kurdistan Regional Government control (using the word loosely) any de facto or de jure paramilitary forces?
    If you donít read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. Ė Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Dunno anymore, but when I was in N. Iraq in 2008-09, it was clear that the Kurds Pesh forces and the Kurdish-heavy Iraq Army echelons were maneuverable, well-armed, and professional compared to other forces in the kettle.

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    Default Fall of Mosul ISIS now heading back to Salahaddin

    The Pesh are not in Mosul anymore. They are deployed to the east and north of the city. The ISF completely collapsed in Mosul last night and now ISIS is heading back towards Salahaddin province. It is repeating the same strategy that Zarqawi laid out before his death. To take Anbar, then urban centers, surround Baghdad, and then start fighting within the capital itself. Here are a couple reports you might be interested in to explain the current situation in Iraq:

    Iraq's deteriorating security situation interview with Alexandre Massimo

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...situation.html

    Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Storm Samarra In Salahaddin

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...ant-storm.html

    Beginning of June 2014 Deadliest In Iraq

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...t-in-iraq.html

    Islamic State of Iraq Launches Battle of Ninewa In Mosul

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...es-battle.html

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Joel,

    Thanks I knew you would have been watching events unfold.

    Yassin Musharbash is a German SME and has a rapid commentary on what might come next:http://abususu.blogspot.de/2014/06/d...scenarios.html

    Various Tweets indicating Black Hawk helicopters possiblty taken; just under 3k prisoners released (terror suspects and ordinary crimianls), US$425m in the banks seized (in local currency), Humvees and no doubt more.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-10-2014 at 08:31 PM.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Things getting worse

    ISIS has quickly moved south after taking Mosul last night. They have taken northern Salahaddin and reached the outskirts of Tikrit. Also taken areas of western Kirkuk. Seems like a total collapse of the ISF. Many reports that few are putting up a fight and are simply fleeing as soon as ISIS shows up. Baghdad in its infinite wisdom said they will hold a special session of parliament Thursday to discuss the crisis! ISIS is also posting lots of pictures of people in Raqqa, Syria celebrating the fall of Mosul. ISIS's ideal of creating a state is becoming a reality stretching from Syria into central Iraq.

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    Default ISIS seized huge stores of equipment from ISF

    ISIS took a major army base and air force base in Mosul and also the Baiji repair/supply depot of the army. Has captured 2 helicopters and hundreds of humvees, trucks, etc. Also just took the Baiji refinery and power station two of the largest in northern Iraq.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    davidbfpo

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    ISIS took a major army base and air force base in Mosul and also the Baiji repair/supply depot of the army. Has captured 2 helicopters and hundreds of humvees, trucks, etc. Also just took the Baiji refinery and power station two of the largest in northern Iraq.
    What an absolute sh*t show.

  11. #11
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    Default Islamic State of Iraqís 2014 Uprising And Security Forces Collapse

    Here's my latest on ISIS advance south from Mosul into Salahaddin and Kirkuk and the collapse of the security forces

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...-uprising.html

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    Default correction

    ISIS was claiming that it took Baiji refinery and power plant yesterday but now it appears that is contested. The peshmerga has also pushed to the outskirts of Mosul and gotten into some firefights with ISIS.

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    Default Tikrit fell

    Reports and pictures of ISIS taking Tikrit. More reports of Iraqi forces folding up shop and fleeing without even putting up a fight. Looks like we might be heading for a battle of Baghdad much quickly then I thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    The Pesh are not in Mosul anymore. They are deployed to the east and north of the city. The ISF completely collapsed in Mosul last night and now ISIS is heading back towards Salahaddin province. It is repeating the same strategy that Zarqawi laid out before his death. To take Anbar, then urban centers, surround Baghdad, and then start fighting within the capital itself. Here are a couple reports you might be interested in to explain the current situation in Iraq:

    Iraq's deteriorating security situation interview with Alexandre Massimo

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...situation.html

    Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Storm Samarra In Salahaddin

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...ant-storm.html

    Beginning of June 2014 Deadliest In Iraq

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...t-in-iraq.html

    Islamic State of Iraq Launches Battle of Ninewa In Mosul

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...es-battle.html
    I fully agree with these comments---the QRBJ, then the AQI, then the ISIS and actually the first true Iraqi Sunni Salafist grouping the Islamic Army in Iraq which was the largest group before Zarqawi/AQI came in 2004 all followed the same campaign plan and there never has been a second one. The IAI had by the end of 2003 had established major cells in all the major cities and rural areas in the Sunni triangle especially Mosul and Baqubah.

    The ISIS stated in mid 2013 their newest campaign plan which had two single points 1) raiding prisons and releasing prisoners to join the fight and 2) taking territory and cities. By the end of 2013 they declared victory in point one and stated they were moving onto point two. During point one ---they attacked five prisons and released over 1400. They freed over 1500 just from the Mosul prison this week as well.
    They were so successful at prison breaks and were on the move in Fallujah-- it even forced Malaki to close Abu Ghraib and move the prisoners there something even we were unable to do--shut down Abu G.

    After Mosul comes Salahaddin, then Baqubah/Diyala---it is all about the Sunni triangle and then into the Sunni districts of Baghdad. Exact to the 2003 campaign plan which was released for all to see but no one believed it possible.

    All captured HMMV 114s have been sent immediately into Syria to be used against the Syrian Army as well as some of the heavier weapon systems they were after---looks like they are rearming themselves with US weapons systems especially anti tank and heavy AAA.

    This was taken out of an article in today's The Daily Beast about the loss of Mosul which was a major defeat of a US trained, supplied, and mentored 300K man army.

    General Najim al-Jabouri, a former mayor of Tel Afar, which is a little more than 31 miles from Mosul, told The Daily Beast the bases seized by ISIS this week would provide the group with even more heavy weapons than they currently control. “The Iraqi army left helicopters, humvees, cargo planes and other heavy machine guns, along with body armor and uniforms,” the general, who is now a scholar at the National Defense University, said. He said he was able to learn about the equipment from soldiers and other politicians in and around Mosul with whom he keeps in touch.

    General Najim is not alone in this assessment. Jack Keane, a retired four-star Army general who was a key adviser to General David Petraeus during the counter-insurgency campaign in Iraq in 2007 and 2008 known as the surge, said ISIS has now established itself as a formidable military force.


    Malaki is in military trouble for the simple reason the two main Shia insurgent groups capable of going toe to toe with the ISIS were all packed up and were sent off by Malaki to support the Syrian Army/Hezbollah and the Iraqi Army while trained in our image never was trained to fight for the "flag" thus the high desertion rates---there were rumors of over 10,000 alone just in the Fulluja campaign.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-11-2014 at 06:37 PM.

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    So can we all here at SWJ now finally declare COIN dead and buried--because the last time I checked a "total failure" in a delivered doctrine tends to in fact signal the doctrine was not valid?
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-11-2014 at 06:34 PM.

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    This makes it worse now for Malaki---the Turks are getting involved thus indirectly NATO/US as reported by the Russian Voice of Russia from today.

    Militants stormed the Turkish consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday and kidnapped 48 people including the head of the diplomatic mission, a Turkish government official said. "48 Turks including the consul, staff members, guards and three children were abducted," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. "All are doing well," the official said. The kidnappings came a day after the Mosul consulate said fighters from the powerful jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized 28 Turkish truck drivers.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_0...qs-Mosul-3074/

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    At the tactical level it is frustrating to see the flood of displaced civilians trying to get out of Mosul. Claims of 500K are floating around. Take even 1/50th of that number and you get 10K males who could take up arms and defend their neighborhoods against these knuckleheads, but apparently most are just trying to get from in-between ISIS and ISF (which is proving hard to do if they are fleeing and changing clothes as fast as the reports say).

    Perhaps it is just the fatalistic attitude I came to sense deep in the soul of the Iraqi Arab that convinces them it is hopeless to defend that neighborhood against extremists, and put a stop to violence that can serve no good for Iraq's long-term interests. Perhaps they see ISIS as a good thing for the Sunni cause in the triangle, and a counter-balance to Shiite power clustered in the center, the government and the security forces.

    It's surprising that ISIS has been able to mass and strike distant targets from traditional areas of operation in the Sunni Triangle and have such significant effect, but I expected the security apparatus to be less than effective. The will to fight has always been a shabby one.

    At the strategic level, the question David poses of "what next" is something a whole lot of actors are looking at.

    The US is limited in what it can do to bolster the Maliki government and ISF, unless the relationship changes significantly. Even if he did an about face and came begging for help, geography, distance, and collections capability conspire against us, limiting responses to what I imagine will be "too little and too late". It does pose the peculiar possibility of US-Iranian cooperation--or at least looking the other way for the moment--to halt ISIS progress, and what strange bedfellows we will make. The right answer will ultimately be adversely influenced by partisan politics and ill-informed public opinion.

    Even if ISIS does not attempt to hold on to gains, but rather foment a general state of instability that upsets Iranian aims in the trans Syria-Iraq belt, the fracturing that I expected 4-5 years ago has begun in earnest.

    I think we need to try to look less at what happens next, and focus on what happens well after the next, deep down the planning horizon. What that scenario is I do not know, but somehow the old OIF coalition needs to decide if Maliki's government is too important to let fall, mend up strained relationships, and take action achieve policy goals in the region.

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    An now the Russians are signaling support for Baghdad via Interfax today.

    This is a new layer of complexity not found in 2010/2011. They had offered recently to provide new arms shipments especially heavy weapons.

    19:13 Moscow supports resistance of Baghdad to extremists in N. Iraq

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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    There may be a silver lining. It is easy to claim to be jihadists fighting towards the goal of a world-wide caliphate. It is another to actually try to govern this new world-wide caliphate. The wanting is often more pleasant (and easier) than the having. Letís see how well Al Qaeda actually governs territory.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Absolutely agree on the silver lining aspect you mention, but what if they do enough damage by simply ensuring the territory acquired remains un- or under-governed space, and never aim to take on responsibility for governance, essential services, and the like?

    I am reminded of the time in the end of April 2013 when my company was tasked to round up a group of local toughs who were terrorizing a village and causing all sorts of ills for a sheik a few miles to the west of Diwaniyah. He claimed they were stealing vehicles previously owned by the government, shooting up his small town, and generally terrorizing the area.

    We drove off and got to the spot in short order, finding several government-looking buildings burned out or actively burning, and an empty town square/market area. Within five minutes of arrival, the center was swarming with able-bodied grown men, and the crush got so great I worried about being able to extract ourselves from the blocking positions. Why they men had not gotten up off their knees, picked up their AK from behind the back door of their home, and shot those knuckleheads dead baffled me for a long time. Instead, they had been able to slip away before we arrived.

    We didn't get any solid leads until someone fingered an old man, who was passing by on the street, as a distant relative of the bandit family. We bundled him into a vehicle and made him show us the location of his clan's area, and it wasn't more than 5 miles east of the town we were in!

    The gang that had originally been reported as possessing crew-served weapons, and moving around in platoon-minus strength turned out to be five brothers with a couple of busted up AKs, scampering around in the ubiquitous red racing stripe Isuzu pickup truck. They were detained and dumped off at Blue Diamond Headquarters without ceremony, to an intelligence officer and battle captain who said we needed to hold on to them since we'd captured them. They must have not expected we'd actually accomplish the mission and bring back five younguns' in the back of a pickup truck.

    A town versus five guys...No action.
    Last edited by jcustis; 06-11-2014 at 07:16 PM.

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