So ISIS propaganda is showing a map saying they captured all this in Kirkuk:
Meanwhile the Iraqi security forces about an hour ago said they have 90% of the city back. The attack on Kirkuk appears to have affected the Eastern assault as not much is coming out from there right now.
The killed American was Navy EOD CPO Jason Finan of California: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=97300 RIP brother.
looks like $#@!butt to me
I think the pause in the fighting around Mosul had more to due with clearing ieds and planning the next attacks than with Kirkuk.
The Kurdish government did divert some PKK to Kirkuk, but they were on the perimeter of the Mosul offensive. I saw one report of only 50 ISIS combatants in Kirkuk amd local security forces are taking care of it
Unfortunately Iraq will have to deal with random attacks for many years.
Sorry was too busy watching football and playing Battlefield 1 and Civilization VI this weekend to really keep close tabs on what's going on. However, here are some highlights of this weekend:
The Iraqis retook Kirkuk, and claim to have killed 74 ISIS fighters. In response, ISIS attacked Rutbah in the west of the country near the Syrian border and claim to have taken over half the city. I've been to that city before and it's not very big so that's believable. The Iraqis sent in reinforcements to try to take the city back.
The Peshmerga are now 15 miles from Mosul up from the North. They've secured a key stretch of highway to the North, but have encountered some resistance in the city of Bashiqa.
There are about 500 Turkish Army guys stationed in a base in Bashiqa (from the previous paragraph) who are training Iraqis and decided for themselves to start helping which angered the Iraqis a bit since they didn't ask them to. The Iraqi Prime Minister politely said "thanks but no thanks" and asked them to leave, which angered Erdogan. US Secretary of Defense Carter is now in Irbil trying to smooth it over and looks to be giving Turkey some face saving roll in helping out in Mosul, which currently is in the form of artillery support from their base in Beshiqa.
ISIS has started setting fires in sulfur mines in Mosul and in mines southeast of Mosul.
The Iraqis have now captured the following villages/areas:
Telul al-Nasr, Tell al-Shawk, al-Shuwayrat & al-Bakr villages
Village of Khafsan, and the villages of ar-Rasif, Hararah, Twaybeh, Saff el-Toot & Saffiyah
And are now advancing towards the town of al-Shurah in the south, part of the Nimrud district.
The PMU put up this video on YouTube of activities this weekend:
Al-Hamdaniya district, northeast of Nineveh governorate
And the village of Karamalish, where the Christian NPU militia resurrected a Cross on the top of their blown up Church:
And are currently fighting in Baghdedeh, Khazir, and Tahrawah villages
Tiz Khrab Gawra village
They surrounded the village of Fazliya (but haven't gone in yet)
They have also surrounded the city of Bashiqa and as previously stated are still fighting there. (This area is where the Canadian, US, and Turkish Forces are)
Miller, thanks for all your insight, I've really enjoyed reading your posts in this thread. What has made you stay so well-informed with the middle east?
The French put out a report that several hundred ISIS militants came to Mosul from Syria.
I also noticed that in Syria the FSA and Turkey have shifted away from their attacks on the Kurds and have started making progress toward Al Bab again. That is good.
I am very impressed at the number of towns the Iraqi's have taken so far. They should have the eastern half of Mosul encircled in about a week at the rate they are going.
Some highlights from today:
There's finally been some clashes in the West of Mosul around Shingal. And the the Iraqi PMU are just starting to mobilize in Telaafer. Presumably ISIS is either trying to clear a path for the reported hundreds of fighters France says poured into Mosul today, or they're making a run for it, which might explain the action in Shingal. I also saw a report that the Yazidi's are now cutting off access to Sinjar, to prevent ISIS from chasing them back up the mountain.
There is still some cleanup work going on in Kirkuk from ISIS' failed attack the other day, and people are now fleeing Qayyarah and reportedly getting sick in droves over the toxic gas from all the burning sulfur pits and mines ISIS set yesterday. So Coalition partners started giving out gas masks to the Iraqi forces:
Iraq's special forces cleared a number of villages near Bartella, east of Mosul today: Khaznah, Muwafakiyah, Tahrawah,Tarab Zawah, and Topzawa village has been reportedly captured by Iraqi army.
ISIS declares officially they captured Rutbah, which isn't all that significant, because it's basically a glorified truck stop in the middle of the desert for travellers traveling from Baghdad to Syria
For Iraq I think the best possible outcome is that they continue to push out ISIS in the West, after being spurred on by the military success of taking the large city of Mosul. I think terrorist attacks will continue in the West and sporadically in Baghdad, but I think the South and Central of the country will be firm, and the west will continue to have some problems for a few years until the weak government they keep in place there will finally strengthen. Fighting a common enemy in ISIS might have the added effect of making the Sunni North and West and Shia'a majority come together. Of course they'll focus the rebuild on the central government first before slowly rolling it out to the Sunni areas, so as long as they can survive those trying times they'll be alright.
I think the Kurds in the North will continue to push for even more autonomy politically as they're already basically a country inside a country. I don't think they'll forcefully remove themselves from Iraq unless they can link up with the Syrian Kurds and form their dream of a Kurdistan. Which would cause all kinds of problems internationally because of Turkey. I could see a referendum at some point, especially if they start to have troubles over who gets what as far as spoils of war, since the Kurds feel they've done the brunt of fighting and they're currently holding lands previously Sunni. No word on if they will just give them up when this is over, since some of those include oil fields which they'll need if they do go independent. Of course the Syrian Kurds are politically much different as they're more socialist politically than their Iraqi counterparts who are much more democratic. Right now the Kurds can have their cake and eat it too, so I don't see any crazy shakeups there.
So again, best case would be they unite over a common enemy and things go back to how they were right before the US left, minus the sectarian flareups. Their biggest issues they need to deal with once this is all over and ISIS is dealt with, is they need to demilitarize the militias and police forces. They especially need to bring their police forces more in line with other countries, as it stands now most of them are riding around in trucks and military uniforms with the IA assaulting villages. Maybe this means they'll convert them into a National Guard or Reservist type force, I'm not sure but under Saddam every male had compulsory military duty, so if they decide to re-enact that then maybe that's where they can move their conscripts.
As for our role, I foresee a relationship similar to what we had with Iran under the Shah, I foresee us continuing to pay them for a big chunk of their military, conducting joint training ops, and in the short term keeping units in the country on one of their big air bases to continue to advise and train them. The next hard part will come after the war with ISIS is over, how do they act in peacetime without resorting to a country like Egypt where the military is more powerful or separate from the central government. In the long term I could see us negotiating a permanent presence at one of their air bases for continual training, which strategically speaking is a great deal for the US, as we can keep a permanent presence in the ME to keep Iran in check, which is quickly gaining as the big dog in the ME, and if Assad wins (which is looking likely) we'll have a military presence to keep him and Russia in check.
Last edited by MillerEP; 10-24-2016 at 03:18 PM.
thanks miller, i enjoy your thoughts on the subject!
Doesn't that kind of play into Al-Quaeda/ISIS/Whoever pops up next's hand? We stay and give them another reason to go after us?. Granted, we can pull out completely and someone will still try some $#@!.In the long term I could see us negotiating a permanent presence
Some highlights from today:
US Sec of Defense Carter believes that most of the biggest and highest ISIS leaders are currently in and around Mosul, and the US have actively been conducting operations against them, so assuming the cordon is tight, we may see a good cutting off of the head of the snake when the assault finishes. Speaking of the US there were a few reports last week of ISIS buying cheap drones off the internet, strapping C4 to them and then flying them into enemy troops and detonating them. I think there have been 2 Kurds who have been killed by one so far. To counteract this (and ISIS using them as recon) the US forces there were spotted with a Drone Defender at a post outside if Irbil:
The Iraqi army sent a convoy in to Ruthbah way in the West part of the country to kick ISIS out after the invaded it yesterday, and claim they took the city back and killed 50+ militants. However, in my experience the Iraqis always inflate their numbers, so the actual number may be smaller.
The Iraqis have started to attack the village of Kokelgi/Kok Geli, east of Mosul while still fighting in the eastern villages of Beshiqa, and Tel Keyf, while the Shia'a milita are now moving in from the West of Mosul to Tel Afar, which is a city about 60km from Mosul. Because of all the fighting along the Eastern front the advance has grinded down to a halt there. In the North, the Peshmerga and Iraqi SOF moved into Batnaya Villages liberating the village of Khursabad in Naweran. The Iraqi Federal Police are also claiming to have helped to liberate 1275km2 of land, 58 villages and cleared 55km of mines and IEDs. (I think they're just taking into account all land taken from ISIS currently, not that they did it all themselves)
On the flipside, some bad highlights:
There are reports that ISIS in villages outside of Mosul rounded up and killed 50 former police and 70 villagers, and dumped 17 of the villager bodies into the River. Also, the Iraqi Army uncovered some Mustard Gas supplies in Qayyarah, which they should thank their lucky stars it wasn't used on them:
As a side note, there were Biological and Chemical weapons (WMDs) discovered in Iraq, which these presumably came from. There was a decent article done a couple years back by the New York Times about them and why it didn't really receive much coverage that you can read about here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...l-weapons.html
Last edited by MillerEP; 10-25-2016 at 01:25 PM.
When you say "in check," what exactly does that mean? What is Iran prevented from doing by us having an airbase there, which they would do if we weren't there? Isn't the Shia government in Iraq already pro-Iran?
Yes Iran has a lot of influence over Iraq, what I mean by in check is simply a show of force deterrence strategy, and in the extreme something like Operation Opera/Operation babylon. In my earlier post I likened it to why we're in Okinawa, Japan. Our entire presence there is simply to act as a reminder to North Korea, and (previously soviet) Asian countries that we are there and can react quickly to deal with any contingencies that may arise in that area. Within a matter of days, rather than weeks/months we can mobilize an entire Marine Corps Air and Ground Task Force to be at anyone's doorstep. Currently we do not have anywhere like that in the Middle East, if you look at a map of the Middle East Iraq is smack dab in the middle, so strategically it makes sense to be there. I'm not saying they'll ever have the same numbers of troops there as we do in Okinawa, but probably a permanent air squadron with some rotational units on a one year tour similar to one of the smaller Okinawa camps like Camp Schwab (where I spent a year and hated very minute of it).
I should also note, I'm not trying to cloak room it and expressing any belief that we should or should not be there, I am simply saying that I can see this becoming a long term solution that the US takes. Which is still in response to the previously asked question about the US' role moving forward. When I was in Iraq it was already well established at the time that we would maintain a permanent presence there (Al-Asad, Al-Balad, Al-Talil, Al-Qayyara, and Camp Liberty/Camp Victory) and we were pumping billions into building these and the US Embassy up. This fell apart after President Obama came in on the promise to remove all troops from Iraq and the relationship with the Iraqis soured. (again not taking sides, just pointing out facts)
Last edited by MillerEP; 10-25-2016 at 02:21 PM.
What is a "drone defender"? What am I looking at in that picture?
Here is an article about it's use in Iraq: http://www.popularmechanics.com/mili...lectronically/
Last edited by MillerEP; 10-25-2016 at 03:07 PM.
That's $#@!ing 21st century Buck Rodgers bad ass $#@! is what that is.
Battles have started to pick up in the South, where ISIS is picking off Humvees, Tanks, and BMPs with Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. This is super bad news for the Iraqis down there. No telling how many they stockpiled, but judging from some of the stuff the Iraqi's recovered today there is no telling. For instance in this same area the Iraqis captured Syrian military vehicles, so they could've been bringing all kinds of stuff over:
And in the East part where they are bogged down in Qaraqosh they found this stockpile. I've seen worse when we were there fighting them, but not my much:
Also, this came out from NASA today from those burning sulfur mines, really sucks for them:
There is a report on liveuamap that Iraqi forces have entered the Easternmost part of Mosul. That said there still looks to be a lot of fight ahead to clear the other roadways into Mosul.
Some highlights for today:
Peshmarga forces continue push toward Bashiq after capturing Derik village today in the Northeast. Iraqi forces preparing to storm Shorah and Hammam Alil in the East. And as Raydog mentioned the Iraqi Special Forces entered the first district of Mosul today, the Gogjali district, while the rest of the forces are assaulting the village of Bazwaia only about 5km from Mosul.
Iraqi paramilitary forces are almost to Tel Afar in the West of Mosul, and Turkey is laying down the gauntlet saying they will invade Iraq if threatened and their foreign minister said they will take action if Telafar is attacked, which is helping nobody.
Meanwhile, the oil fires and sulfur mines are still burning in Qayarah, where visibility is said to be only 20 meters.
pretty damn crappy considering we cannot stop ISIS from expanding across the region no matter what we do in Iraq. But Boeing and General Dynamics love it.
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