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

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    Iraq's sarin stock was made with high imperfections and only had a shelf life of 2 years. It was made in the 1980s so was long dead by 2003. Mustard gas and VX had much longer life. Michael Knights said that insurgents got into Muthanna site before back in 04 and used unfilled shells from there to make IEDs "causing mild nerve gas effects on US troops".

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    Iraq's sarin stock was made with high imperfections and only had a shelf life of 2 years. It was made in the 1980s so was long dead by 2003. Mustard gas and VX had much longer life. Michael Knights said that insurgents got into Muthanna site before back in 04 and used unfilled shells from there to make IEDs "causing mild nerve gas effects on US troops".
    JWing---occasionally there were up through 2010 IEDs found that had buried artillery shells as the explosives--on occasions chemical shells would be found that were worn and battered---it was assumed that the insurgent bomb makers just assumed that it was just another artillery shell thus into the hole with the others.

    Some EOD teams did disarm some of these mixtures and the chemical shells were detonated along with the other shells in disposal pits.

    There was also the assumption based on the worn condition that the shells were duds found along the Iraq/Iranian border in and or near to Mandali from the 8 years war.

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    Default The problem maybe outside the bunker

    Within a longer comment by Bruce Hoffman on the current worldwide jihadist scene is this paragraph, which I cite in full, with my emphasis on the ISIS activity:
    There are also already indications that Syria’s ongoing civil war, coupled with the focus on the use of chemical weapons by both government and opposition forces, have sharpened both groups’ interests and ambitions to obtain nerve agents, poison gas, and other harmful toxins for use as weapons. For example, in May 2013 Turkish authorities reportedly seized two kilos of sarin nerve gas—the same weapon used in the 1995 attack on the Tokyo subway system—and arrested twelve men linked to al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al Nusra. Only days later, another set of sarin-related arrests was made in Iraq of ISIS operatives overseeing the production at two factories of both sarin and mustard blistering agents. And, in November 2013, Israel reported that for the previous three years it has been holding a senior al-Qaeda operative with expertise in biological warfare.
    Link:http://news.siteintelgroup.com/blog/...rian-civil-war

    I will post the comment on another wider themed thread and finish reading it too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    My latest article "Iraq’s Southern Front Babil Province Where The Islamic State Has Free Reign". IS was never driven out of northern Babil even during the Surge. It now has been building up its network there for over a year. In response Baghdad has launched 6 security operations there so far this year. After each one the government claims success and then starts another one. In fact IS has been able to destroy a huge amount of ISF equipment and is using northwest Babil as a base to infiltrate into southern Baghdad as well as launch car bombs into southern Iraq. Despite official claims IS is as entrenched in northern Babil today as ever showing the failures of the security forces.
    JWing---the villages around Abu Ghraib were never fully cleared by the Army thus I am willing to bet their old rat runs are the same today.

    It was those villages along the main highway from the back side of Victory that ran through Abu G up to Fulluja that in 2004 had a major Army convoy ambushed that led to the longest MIA until his body was recovered I believe in late 2009.

    There was a planned insurgent attack against the Abu Ghraib prison in mid 2006 to free prisoners that consisted of the 1920/ASA/IAI and AQI that totaled over three hundred fighters that was side tracked by early attacks by the 10th Mountain. The threat was serious enough to bring in additional manpower ie the 11ACR inside the prison to beef up the MP security units.

    This was a repeat of the attack in April 2005 by the same insurgent groups that had over 150 fighters in the attack that came actually close to succeeding.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 07-09-2014 at 09:33 PM.

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    JWing---looks like you were right --the fighting has moved south of Baghdad now.

    BAGHDAD: Iraqi officials say 50 bodies have been discovered outside a city south of Baghdad, many of them blindfolded and with their hands bound.
    Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan Ibrahim says the bodies were discovered Wednesday in an agricultural area outside the city of Hillah.
    Hillah is a predominantly Shiite city about 95 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad.
    Ibrahim says an investigation is underway to determine the identities of the dead as well as the circumstances of the killings.
    The discovery of bullet-riddled bodies was common during the worst days of Iraq’s sectarian bloodletting in 2006 and 2007.

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    An interesting view from inside the Muslim world:

    If there is one positive that has come out of the announcement of a caliphate by the Islamic State (the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant or ISIL), it is the debate it has triggered in Arabic media. “ISIL’s actions are but an epitome of what we’ve studied in our school curriculum,” tweeted Saudi commentator Ibrahim Al Shaalan. “If the curriculum is sound, then ISIL is right, and if it is wrong, then who bears responsibility?”

    It is significant that such remarks come as part of a collective soul-searching from intellectuals, religious scholars and ordinary people from within the region.

    Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi columnist, published a piece in Al Hayat on Saturday under the title “What went wrong for us to reach this situation?” He referred to a sentence attributed to the vicious Mongolian conqueror Hulagu Khan when addressing Muslims in Baghdad: “I am your sins befalling you.” Khashoggi wrote: “Perhaps it is time to ponder that sentence and work to rectify the mistakes of our ancestors as we live a similar situation, seeing angry young men with a backward thinking and understanding of life and religion eradicating the heritage of centuries.

    “As for those who look for a foreign conspiracy, they are escaping the truth, which is that there is something wrong with us. What is it? No one wants to admit that something wrong has happened, and the only things that are moving dynamically forward are the flood [of extremism] and history.”

    A second dissection has come from Dr Mohammed Habash, a religious scholar and a former member of the Syrian parliament, in an article titled “Where did ISIL really come from?” Dr Habash argues that extremism is born out of a dangerous mix: the systematic repression carried out by tyrannical regimes along with a “desperate religious discourse” that preaches a “just world” that can only materialise through the caliphate.

    Placing blame on preachers, not excluding himself, he wrote: “We did not speak about the caliphate as a political system that is fallible. No, we spoke about it as a sacred symbol of unity and that anything – even values and principles – has to be subordinate to the realisation of it … ISIL did not arrive from Mars; it is a natural product of our retrograde discourse. Talk about the caliphate has always provided a way to justify our defeats, failure, losses and inability to catch up with the rest of the world.”

    Dr Habash concludes with a counsel: “What we need is a revolution within the Muslim mindset that takes it back to the true Islamic values of freedom, justice, human dignity; away from the sacredness of the caliphate … to a political system that simply governs the affairs of people.”
    Looked at from this perspective, Al Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim, is playing out what Christians would recognize as "the second coming", the restoration of God's glory on earth via the resurrection of a religious symbol of perfection. In Christianity it is the second coming of Christ. In Islam, it is the return of the Caliphate. Apparently this is something that many children were taught as part of their Islamic education. That someday Muslim pride would be restored in the re-establishment of the Caliphate. Now that it has occured, there is some soul searching to be done.

    But that is secondary. If Al Baghdadi is using this widely taught religious myth his actions will have repercussions in places that he does not control. It will be interesting to see how the intersection of myth and reality play out in Saudi Arabia or Libya. I would really like to hear from a Muslim about what they were taught about the return of the Caliphate.

    If accurate, it also means that what is occurring has a greater significance to the larger Muslim community than mere politics. Westerners, as outsiders, should tread cautiously when deciding what to do about ISIS.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 07-10-2014 at 12:52 AM.
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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Dayuhan---following your logic then we do not need to understand that IS is sitting on a 2B USD war chest, they have effectively unified both the Syrian and Iraqi Sunni's and control all the production oil and gas fields in Syria/there have been oil deposits located in Iraq Sunni areas and are to a degree in partial control of the largest refinery in Iraq.

    And if you read through the NYT article of the IS strategy-- they control a large amount of the water infrastructure in both countries and who controls water controls the farming economies of both countries.

    Then on top of all that they are effectively blocking a 300K man ISF and another 50K Shia militia/Quds from retaking territory they control.

    So why are you worried about how high the oil revenues are? There is a lot of other things that are more important.
    Actually you're the one who cited oil and associated revenues as key elements of a viable State:
    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Currently the IS through the declaration of the Caliphate has created effectively a new Sunni State complete with oil reserves and revenue streams so the argument that the Sunni's in Iraq can not sustain themselves is actually false from the IS perspective---they are in fact right now in this time and space a viable state.
    I have no doubt that, a JWing says, they are trucking some oil out, and that this gives them enough money to pay their fighters and run their insurgency. That's not the same thing as running a viable state. I see no evidence to suggest that they have the capacity to do that, certainly not on the basis of oil production.

    Of course they have the capacity to make a mess and cause all kinds of trouble; that's already established. Saying that they have a viable State or the capacity to manage a viable State seems a substantial overreach


    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Dayuhan----

    Robert Jones would say ---the current problem in Iraq is the lack of the rule of law and good governance.
    If Robert Jones wants to say something, he will. Tell us what you want to say, not what he would say. He'll speak for himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    As former U.S. official in Iraq Ali Khedery wrote in The Washington Post, the U.S. policy during the crucial years following the 2008 Sunni awakening was to place faith in Maliki to build an inclusive system rather than use American influence to support other political actors.
    Did the US ever really have the option of imposing an "inclusive" system? The US cannot reshape Iraqi political culture by executive fiat, short of running Iraq as an effective colony for a generation or two, which was never an option.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    “Nobody from the Arab Sunnis are ready to repeat the same experience of 2008, no way. But if we establish a real state in Baghdad, extremism will be over, I assure you.”
    Have to wonder who the "we" in that sentence is meant to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    “The U.S. ethically is still in charge of our security, our stability and preventing interference from foreign countries, whether neighboring countries or far away countries, it is still the responsibility of the U.S.,” he said. “Transparency, human rights, no corruption, justice, no interference. All of these values have been talked about nicely but nobody has pressed the government on which have been achieved and which have failed. That is the role of the United States.”
    The role of the United States is determined by the United States.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Posted by Dayuhan

    I have no doubt that, a JWing says, they are trucking some oil out, and that this gives them enough money to pay their fighters and run their insurgency. That's not the same thing as running a viable state. I see no evidence to suggest that they have the capacity to do that, certainly not on the basis of oil production.

    Of course they have the capacity to make a mess and cause all kinds of trouble; that's already established. Saying that they have a viable State or the capacity to manage a viable State seems a substantial overreach
    There is a difference between establishing governance and a government according to one source I recall reading. A state run by a government is recognized by the international community and it develops institutions. Governance means controlling the area without international recognition. Whether we accept the definition or not is somewhat irrelevant, but was is relevant is that IS and other non-state groups can govern an area without being a viable state in our eyes. We're so indoctrinated with Western models we are almost incapable of perceiving other models of government and governance. We'll see how things play out in Iraq, but I think it is a mistake to pass judgment based on what we think a viable state is, since that concept may not be relevant in this situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    There is a difference between establishing governance and a government according to one source I recall reading. A state run by a government is recognized by the international community and it develops institutions. Governance means controlling the area without international recognition.
    Certainly true, but with or without recognition, those who control must sooner or later begin to govern, and when that happens money makes a difference. I was just responding to Outlaw's claim that the ingredients for a viable State were already in place, which seemed to me exaggerated.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Actually you're the one who cited oil and associated revenues as key elements of a viable State:


    I have no doubt that, a JWing says, they are trucking some oil out, and that this gives them enough money to pay their fighters and run their insurgency. That's not the same thing as running a viable state. I see no evidence to suggest that they have the capacity to do that, certainly not on the basis of oil production.

    Of course they have the capacity to make a mess and cause all kinds of trouble; that's already established. Saying that they have a viable State or the capacity to manage a viable State seems a substantial overreach

    If Robert Jones wants to say something, he will. Tell us what you want to say, not what he would say. He'll speak for himself.

    Did the US ever really have the option of imposing an "inclusive" system? The US cannot reshape Iraqi political culture by executive fiat, short of running Iraq as an effective colony for a generation or two, which was never an option.



    Have to wonder who the "we" in that sentence is meant to be.



    The role of the United States is determined by the United States.
    Dayuhan---

    Dayuhan---I will paraphrase something JMA told you recently--it is far easier as you do to tear something about-but then that is what your and mirhond both tend to do calling it debate.

    Finally say something that means anything, finally have your own opinion---unless you can counter the Robert concept of rule of law and good governance then not say anything. If you noticed which you did not I was paraphrasing Robert not putting words in his mouth which you tend to do.

    I could go back on anything you have written and tear apart sentence for sentence by why---it usually is a waste of time as nothing is really every sound.

    Dayuhan---by the way ask yourself the following question?

    Do I as a superpower having invested say at the least 1 tillion USDs with a big T, having lost 4.4 KIA over 200K WIA and had one MIA until 2009---have I actually "pressure" power to get an inclusive government if I play my game correctly. This "pressure" is also not counting at least 160K troops inside your country and oh by the way the corruption money you are making off of me in the millions of USDs counts as well as "pressure" does it not?

    The actual question should be if you read carefully my comments---just why did not "we" play the "game?

    Now answer it in a couple of paragraphs so we can actually understand your thinking---stop tearing apart ---contribute something, anything.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 07-10-2014 at 06:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Certainly true, but with or without recognition, those who control must sooner or later begin to govern, and when that happens money makes a difference. I was just responding to Outlaw's claim that the ingredients for a viable State were already in place, which seemed to me exaggerated.
    See Dayuhan part of the problem is your thinking---it does not reflect actual Iraq ie Arab thinking both on the ground and throughout the ME.

    The actual parts are now in place for a separate creation of a Sunni and Kurdish state---that is what needs to be understood---it is not your ideas of a state nor mine--it is what a targeted population feels that state should reflect.

    That is why we have gotten this so wrong---we went in assuming that we could change things based on our western assumptions but forgot along the way the actual population that was being affected has a big say in events on the ground.

    We ignored starting in mid 2005 the Shia revenge killings which were really ethnic cleansing because we in the west could not fathom "ethnic cleansing ever occurring in front of our noses"---when we did wake up in 2007 what did we have to do--surge and then we "celebrated" the surge as what "a victory"?

    If victory is defined as finally waking up and realizing we made a mistake then I guess it was a "victory of sorts".

    By the way did you finally get the symbolism of the Green Crescent paralleling the old Silk Road---that goes to the heart today of the regional hegemony fight between Iran and the KSA but we hide it in the Sunni/Shia divide debate.

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    TC----we are light years behind in understanding exactly what currently is occurring inside both Iraq and Syria since we tend to approach it from our "western" thinking.

    I have said a number of times we are seeing the redrawing of Sykes-Picot and we must let al Baghdadi's Caliphate play itself out---note the link I posted of a leading Sunni theologian and his remarks---as well as the remarks from a few days ago from the former AQ religious Emir sitting by the way in Jordan.

    That internal Sunni debate has stated and it must play out in the Sunni world---the question will be will the Shia follow the conversation and truly listen as it impacts them as well and it directly if one reads between the lines of al Baghdadi's announcement---AND the provided map is really important for us to fully understand as he envisions the Caliphate back to the glory days when it was in Spain and eastern Europe.

    In some aspects he represents many Sunni who feel the west has downtrodden the Islamic world (and globalization has heaped on problems for them as well) and that is reflected in the map he provided depicting the Caliphate.

    It attacked directly as well the current Iranian theocratic government to it's core.

    Notice al Sistani has not said a word ---yet---watch when he does.


    "If accurate, it also means that what is occurring has a greater significance to the larger Muslim community than mere politics. Westerners, as outsiders, should tread cautiously when deciding what to do about ISIS."
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 07-10-2014 at 06:29 AM.

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    Default Iraq rebels 'seize nuclear materials'

    A very thin BBC report:
    Iraq has warned the UN that Sunni militants have seized nuclear materials used for scientific research at a university in the city of Mosul....nearly 40kg (88lb) of uranium compounds were seized...US officials reportedly played down the threat, saying the materials were not believed to be enriched uranium....it would be difficult for the rebels to use the materials to make weapons.

    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28240140


    Many universities across the world have radioactive materials for research, training and public health provision. Just whether the University of Mosul has such an amount of material we have to rely on the Iraqi government; I think I'll leave the reader to draw their own conclusions.
    davidbfpo

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    A little more background

    What exactly is a Caliphate?


    A caliphate is the Islamic form of government representing the political unity and leadership of the Muslim world. The head of state (Caliph) has a position based on the notion of a successor to Muhammad’s political authority. It is a dream that has never been realized by Muslims and it will never be.

    There will always be Muslims who dream about this empire and on the other hand the power-hungry leaders will prevent any movement that could dissolve their nation-state. Therefore, Muslims are stuck in an eternal conflict between Islamists and nationalists.

    What are the goals of this Caliphate?

    Besides uniting the Muslims, the goal is to arrange a massive army and call for Jihad against infidel states for the expansion of the Caliphate. Various caliphates have used this strategy to expand their states. The rapid Islamic expansion during the reign of the Caliphs is nothing but staggering.

    The reason behind that is millions of eager men willingly joining the fight with the Infidels bacause they believe that Allah will reward them heftily if they die. There has never been a shortage of recruits in the army. This is the same reason there is no shortage of suicide bombers today.

    The ultimate goal of the Caliphate would be to bring every square inch of this planet under Islam and convert/subdue all remaining Infidels.
    two western reactions I could find. Comments by two "Western" Muslims who think that the dream of the Caliphate is not as important to modern Muslims as it was to the older generations.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...Caliphate.html

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-06-2...eestablish-one
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    A little more background



    two western reactions I could find. Comments by two "Western" Muslims who think that the dream of the Caliphate is not as important to modern Muslims as it was to the older generations.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...Caliphate.html

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-06-2...eestablish-one
    TC---the series of speeches by al Baghdadi over say the last year that have appeared on the social media side are targeting young male Muslims---alone here in Germany the German Federal Defense of the Constitution (BfV) estimates the number of Islamists ie their term for Salafists at approximately 43,000---then take country for country inside the EU and one comes to numbers in the 100s of thousand "interested" disaffected Muslim males of war fighting age who want to prove themselves as "warriors".

    The core question then becomes why are they disaffected in their various European countries?---my answer is for some reason the Muslim communities much as say the Hispanic communities in the US tend to not want to fully integrate into the standard society out of fear of losing their identities and language.

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    Dayuhan--you were interested in oil revenues that IS earning daily---taken from a German article today in an interview with a IS jihadi fighter who deserted IS.

    By the way Iraqi ISF "claims" they found an USB stick on a raid indicating that IS had before Mosul a wealth of 875M USD and together with the estimated 1.5B USD they got in taking Mosul and other areas.

    Er sagt, Isis finanziere sich mithilfe zweier groer lfelder um Hama, mitten in Syrien, und ber 150 kleine lfelder an der Grenze zum Irak. l ist das Haupteinkommen. "Sie frdern 13.000 Barrel tglich und verkaufen ein Barrel fr 20 Dollar."

    So 13,000 barrels per day times 20 USD and that daily. The buyer has a great profit margin.

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    It seems Malaki is now blaming the Kurds for the IS successes---he is never at fault---especially since it appears that he is trying massively to hold onto his position as he views himself not as the problem thus the lack of any new government---a trick he has always used in the past.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/10/wo...hdad.html?_r=1

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    The core question then becomes why are they disaffected in their various European countries?---my answer is for some reason the Muslim communities much as say the Hispanic communities in the US tend to not want to fully integrate into the standard society out of fear of losing their identities and language.
    I have my own theories on why this is. My guess is that you will find a relationship between two factors, the income/wealth and time spent in a secular country of the Muslim (or Hispanic) individuals, and their attachement to the idea of nation-state political legitimacy versus religious political legitimacy.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 07-10-2014 at 06:46 PM.
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    The idea of the restored Caliphate has a powerful impact on Muslims across the Islamic world:


    The point can be argued, and has been,4 that the caliph was not only the temporal and spiritual (meaning able to head worship services and conduct religious ceremonies and rites) ruler, he was also God’s Deputy on Earth and thus was qualified to comment on, or more importantly, reinterpret Sura, Hadith and Sunna. Therefore, the caliph also had scholarly authority, could exercise religious authority and revise or establish religious doctrine. If the caliphate is restored, the potential struggle to define these differing interpretations would be critical not only to the US but to all Muslims.

    ...

    Yet there are those today who seek to re-establish a caliphate, say that they want a caliphate or point out that a caliphate is the goal of Islamism. Also, there remains an undeniable ‘longing’ by many Muslims for a caliphate, based on views of a not necessarily ‘Golden Age’ of Islam. In a 2007 poll conducted by the University of Maryland of 4,384 Muslims in four nations (Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia), over 65 per cent interviewed answered positively to the question: ‘To unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or caliphate.’9 Further, 65.5 per cent of the respondents said yes when asked if: ‘To require a strict application of Shari’a law in every Islamic country.’10 In fact, an electronic ‘Caliphate OnLine’ site has been established in Great Britain which seeks to raise awareness about a new
    caliphate and has even drawn up a tentative organizational chart of how a modern caliphate would be organized politically.11
    Unfortunatley, there is not an open link to the article. Here is the cite:
    Vernie Liebl (2009) The Caliphate, Middle Eastern Studies, 45:3, 373-391, DOI:
    10.1080/00263200902853355
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    Further prove the US has no strategy for both Syria and Iraq other than lets just wait for it to somehow improve.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...-key-city.html

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