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Old 10-21-2017   #341
Bill Moore
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First off we need to stop closing these threads, the history of these issues as they evolve are important. Kirkuk was a flash point in 2003 when we first went in, and has remained a flashpoint. The Kurds waited until they thought they had a position of advantage to claim it as sovereign ground. I have mixed feelings on the issue, I know Turkey (a NATO ally sort of), Iran, Syria, and Iraq are all opposed to an independent Kurdistan, and Kirkuk is essential to an independent Kurdistan's economic viability. However, with opposition on all sides to a landlocked country, how can they hope to survive if over flight into and out of is denied, and land lines of communication are closely monitored and controlled?

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/...-lurch-9319720

US strategy sees Raqa fall but leaves Kurds in lurch


Quote:
The power shift shows that, while US leadership has kept a coalition together long enough to defeat the militants, the region's political future is far from secure.

And experts warn that Washington's bitter foe Iran is poised to take advantage while US friends like the Iraqi Kurds retreat under pressure from Baghdad and Ankara.
Much like the other results of our war with Iraq, there is nothing unfolding now that was not predicted by regional experts. The only surprise is it took this long to happen. While many of us wish the Kurds the best, those who know the Kurds also know they're divided, and a number of outside actors, Iran being one of them, will leverage these tensions to pursue their ends.
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Old 10-23-2017   #342
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Default Who has what in Iraq & Syria

From the NYT series of graphics on the rise and fall of ISIS, a map showing the position October 2015 to October 2017.


There are other graphics. Link:https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...and-back.html?

From the BBC a map showing who has what; from IHS Conflict Monitor:
Link (part of a wider article):http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-41679377
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Old 10-23-2017   #343
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Just put together this collaborative piece on the Kirkuk crisis. Here's a link to the piece.
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Old 10-24-2017   #344
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Default Iraq’s security dilemma and the intractable problem of the PMF

A different commentary via Open Democracy, two authors one an academic and the other a US Army officer - both @ Queens University Belfast.

Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/beverley-milton-edwards-alexander-brammer/iraq-security-mosul-coalition-US-PMF?
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Old 10-24-2017   #345
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Security report for 3rd wk of Oct in Iraq. Still witnessing record lows in violence. Here's a link.
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Old 10-24-2017   #346
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This article is relevant to the discussion.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/are...-overseas-role

Areas Freed From Islamic State Will Test U.S. Policy On Limiting Overseas Role

Quote:
Losing the Syrian Kurds as allies may be inevitable: Supremely pragmatic, they have never completely cut ties with Assad and Russia.

“The Americans were useful to them, but they were not in dreamland, thinking that the Americans were ever anything more than occasional, useful partners,” said Paul Salem, senior vice president for analysis and research at the Middle East Institute.
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Old 10-28-2017   #347
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PM Abadi has upped the anti vs the Kurds and is moving govt forces into Dohuk to seize control of the Kurds pipeline to Turkey. Here's link to article.
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Old 10-30-2017   #348
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Kurdish Pres. Barzani said he would eventually step down from office which led his followers to go on a rampage in 3 cities in Kurdistan including invading KRG parliament building. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 10-30-2017   #349
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Default What Comes After Raqqa?

What Comes After Raqqa?

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Old 11-01-2017   #350
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Security report for Iraq in the 4th week of Oct. Here's a link.
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Old 11-02-2017   #351
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Talks between Baghdad and Irbil over borders has broken down. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 11-03-2017   #352
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Security report for Oct 2017 in Iraq. Here's a link.
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Old 11-04-2017   #353
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Qaim freed in WAnbar. Almost all Iraqi territory now liberated from Islamic State. Here's a link.
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Old 11-04-2017   #354
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Great history on Kurdish struggle in Iraq and how it consistently misread western intentions by Joost Hiltermann in the Atlantic. Here's a link.
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Old 11-06-2017   #355
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My analysis of how violence declined in Iraq starting in 2014 surprisingly. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 11-07-2017   #356
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Turkmen went on a rampage through Tuz Kharmatu and now trying to partially deny it. Here's a link.
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Old 11-09-2017   #357
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Security report for 1st week of Nov in Iraq. Here's a link.
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Old 11-13-2017   #358
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Calculated the casualties from the Mosul campaign. Likely over 100,000. Here's a link.
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Old 11-14-2017   #359
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Quote:
The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.

A convoy included some of IS’s most notorious members and – despite reassurances – dozens of foreign fighters. Some of those have spread out across Syria, even making it as far as Turkey.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/...s_dirty_secret
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Old 11-15-2017   #360
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Default Militant Convoy That Left Raqqa Contradicts America’s New Counter-IS Strategy

Militant Convoy That Left Raqqa Contradicts America’s New Counter-IS Strategy

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