Sunday, October 23, 2016
That Iraqi offensive the objective the capture of Mosul now stalled? According to DEBKAfile this is so! Again from the newsletter and copied almost in entirety.
"Obama vs. Baghdad on Sunni cleansing of Mosul"
"A major dispute on combat tactics which has sprung up between Washington and Baghdad hangs over the coalition's Mosul offensive after three days of combat. Thursday, Oct. 20, President Barack Obama and US commanders challenged Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi and his generals over a 500km long route, the Ba'aj Road, which does not appear on maps, but is pivotal for the offensive's continuation . . . This route is a kind of 'Burma road' developed by the Islamic State as a private corridor between Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa, the terrorist group's Syrian capital, during the terrorist group's two years of control. The argument flared over a demand by President Obama and US commanders that Iraqi government forces turn to the Syrian border and block the Ba'aj Road, and so cut off the ISIS fighters' escape and supply route from Mosul to Syria. The Americans can't bomb the corridor because it is also packed with a stream of refugees in flight from the fighting in Mosul. However, according to our sources, the Iraqi prime minister countered this demand with a proviso unacceptable to Washington. He was prepared to order Iraqi forces to block the Ba'aj Road provided Mosul's entire population of 750,000 Sunni Muslims was expelled from the city. He argued that ISIS could not be defeated until then because some of the Sunnis were supporting and collaborating with the Islamist terrorists. Obama fiercely opposes the mass expulsion, seeing it as an attempt by the Shiite prime minister to cleanse Iraq's second city of its Sunni inhabitants and using the Mosul offensive against ISIS as a pretext for such action."
This "Burma Road" of the Islamic State was not taken into consideration during planning for the Mosul operation? American warplanes, the ace up the sleeve of the allied force not able to engage enemy targets such is the numbers of refugees fleeing the embattled city?
Once more from DEBKAfile as extracted almost in entirety and continuing with the topic of the Mosul offensive.
"The big Mosul offensive is stuck, halted by ISIS"
"Less than a day after its launch, the big Mosul offensive prepared for more than a year by the US, the Iraqi army, Kurdish forces and others, ground to a halt Tuesday Oct. 17 . . . although none of the parties admitted as much. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi said his troops were busy opening up corridors for some million civilians to escape, while US sources suggested that the Islamic State would use primitive chemical weapons against the advancing Iraqi and Kurdish forces. Both had the ring of cover stories to account for the spearhead forces, the Iraq army's 9th Armored Division and the Federal Police special anti-terror units, being thrown back Tuesday on their way to Mosul from the east and the south, while still 10-15km short of the city. They sustained heavy losses in lives and hardware. The Iraqi anti-terror force withdrew from the village of al-Houd outside Mosul, a move which left the Kurdish Peshmerga no option but to stop its sweep of the villages around the city or expose their flanks to ISIS suicide and car bomb assaults. Tuesday night, both Iraqi and Kurdish commanders announced a pause in their advance and said they would meet Wednesday to decide how to proceed. The Islamic State might have been expected to take advantage of the prior warning of the offensive for a stand in defense of the Iraqi capital of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's caliphate and so exploit the conflicting interests of the invading force. But ISIS leaders decided against waiting for the combined offensive. Indeed, according to DEBKAfile's sources, thousands of jihadis made tracks out of the city two or three months ago, leaving several hundred fighters behind to harass the approaching forces and retain a foothold in Mosul."
THAT MAIN COMBAT ELEMENT OF THE ISLAMIC STATE IN MOSUL HAS ALREADY AND EVEN SOME TIME AGO FLED THE CITY IN ANTICIPATION OF THE IRAQI OFFENSIVE!
Only one day into the offensive and the situation while not dire is hardly upbeat. The commanders of the Iraqi and Kurdish military units must FIRST meet and decide how to proceed. AGAIN, NO UNIFIED COMMAND!
Continuing with extracts from the DEBKAfile newsletter, the topic again the Iraqi offensive the capture of Mosul the objective.
"Hundreds of ISIS fighters fleeing from Mosul to Syria"
"Hundreds of fighters from the Islamic State organization were fleeing westward from Iraq's Nineveh province, where the city of Mosul is located, in the direction of Syria on Wednesday. They are using a road built by ISIS that connects Mosul to Raqqa, the terrorist organization's capital in Syria. The possibility that the fighters are using civilians, who were also seen fleeing the city, as human shields is being checked"
TYPICAL ISLAMIC STATE RUTHLESSNESS IN ACTION! THE USE OF HUMAN SHIELDS AN OBVIOUS VIOLATION OF THE RULES OF LAND WARFARE!
DON'T EXPECT ANYTHING LESS FROM ISIL!
Continuing with extracts from the DEBKAfile, the campaign to liberate Mosul NOT going according to plan.
"Iraqi and Kurdish commanders pause Mosul offensive"
"The frontlines to the east of Mosul were largely quiet Tuesday, a day after Iraqi Kurdish forces advanced amid a barrage of United States-led airstrikes and heavy artillery. 'We are just holding our positions,' said Colonel Khathar Sheikhan of the Kurdish Peshmerga, which captured a handful of villages east of Mosul on Monday. An Iraqi special forces commander said his troops had delayed an advance following a request from Kurdish forces for more time to achieve their goals. Iraqi Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil said his men had planned to move at dawn, but postponed the operation until Iraqi army and Kurdish commanders meet later on Tuesday."
"I don't want any messages saying 'I'm holding my position.' We're not holding a goddamned thing. We're advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding anything except the enemy's balls. We're going to hold him by his balls and we're going to kick him in the ass; twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all the time. Our plan of operation is to advance and keep on advancing. We're going to go through the enemy like shit through a tinhorn." - - G. S. Patton.
THE IRAQI AND KURDISH COMMANDERS HAVE TO MEET FIRST. NO UNIFIED COMMAND. UNFOCUSED ENERGY AND FORCE NOT CONCERTED!!
It is a go!
The long-awaited Iraqi offensive to re-capture the important city of Mosul is underway.
Here begins a series of blog entries extracts from the latest edition of the DEBKAfile newsletter the topic of which is the Iraqi campaign to liberate the city of Mosul from the Islamic State. Images thanks in all cases to AP and Getty! Thank you AP and Getty.
And from the very get-go problems have arisen.
"Suicide bombers, fires slow US-backed Iraqi advance into Mosul"
"The battle for the liberation of Mosul was slowed on its first day by a series of suicide attacks, fires and the homemade bombs that littered the roads and fields in the path of the advancing US-led coalition convoys. Black fumes from oil fires obscured the retreating Islamist fighters and their hideouts from air strikes. Some mingled with civilian inhabitants. Kurdish Peshmerga troops meanwhile combed through the surrounding villages street by street for hidden ISIS fighters. The huge, long-waited Mosul offensive is being carried out by a motley assortment of often rival fighting forces"
The "motley crew" as described sans unified command. Combat action of participants it would seem unfocused not concerted and concentrated. An egregious violation of one of the most basic principles of war!!
To be continued.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
From the latest edition of the DEBKAfile news letter we have an exclusive. Russian naval forces the vicinity of the eastern Mediterranean being further bolstered.,
"EXCLUSIVE: A sophisticated Russian spy ship deploys off Syria, Lebanon"
"The Russian Navy has just moved into position the advanced spy ship Yantar opposite the Lebanese coast at a point midway between Syria and Israel . . . It is therefore located for moving at speed either to Syrian or to Israeli waters. The Balzam-class vessel is 344 ft long, mounts Medium Frequency sonar, High Frequency dipping sonar, Electronic warfare gear to include jammers, interception devices and code-breaking software. These ships were revolutionary when built in the 80s, when they carried not only intercept and direction-finding electronics but also the necessary computing power to feed raw signal data into on-board information processing computers. An Underway replenishment system was installed as well."
I suspect LONG-TERM DEPLOYMENT the mission of which is to support the Northern Fleet of the Russian navy currently en route to Syrian waters.
Yantar NOT the Soviet/Russian electronic warfare "trawler" of a by-gone age. Far more sophisticated!
Yet more from the latest edition of the DEBKAfile news letter.
This is the REASON for the DEFCON 3 status of the U.S. military?
"Obama administration mulls covert cyber action against Kremlin"
"The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, US intelligence officials told NBC News. Insider sources say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging 'clandestine' cyber operation designed to harass and 'embarrass' the Kremlin leadership"
WILL NOT BE CLANDESTINE, THAT IS FOR SURE. HAS ALREADY BEEN ANNOUNCED. IN PUBLIC SURREPTITIOUSNESS AS THAT WORD UNDERSTOOD HARDLY POSSIBLE NOW. ALSO I FEAR NO ONE TO BE "EMBARRASSED".