Monday, August 25, 2014

Iraq / Syria War ( August 25 , 2015 ) -- Should one just call the War Theatre SYRAQ ? US broadens Iraq War ambitions as now Syria welcomes overt US cooperation with Syrian Government forces against ISIS ..... Shi'a vs Sunni / Peshmerga vs Arab divisions becoming as visible and common as the fight against ISIS ......Syria shaken by loss of Tabqa Airbase to ISIS - but still demands coordination for any attacks against ISIS ( whether at Raqqa Province or anywhere else in Syria ) .......... Turkey blasted by Syria as facilitating the rise of ISIS .....

War Theatre......

syria iraq isis
Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Evening wrap of Tweets....

U.S. says airstrikes on Syria are not imminent

U.S. military preparing for surveillance flights in Syrian airspace without Assad regime approval -officials via

The Islamic State resets balance with spoils of Tabqa airbase

Islamic State might have taken advanced MANPADS from Syrian airfield ...

Two car bombs in commercial area in Utaifiya section of killed 15 people. 58 killed in various Shiite cities/towns in today.

: We started preparations for possible strikes against in

ROUNDUP (1/2): takes airport, Arab ministers discuss -

ROUNDUP (2/2): fights water blockade, attacks rebels -

The business of ISIS....

( Should we call them the islamic S.P.E.C.T.R.E? )

The ISIS' Top Line: $2 Million In Daily Revenue From "Oil Sales, Extortion, Taxes And Smuggling"

Tyler Durden's picture

A few days ago when we commented, somewhat in jest, on the seemingly impressive strategic planning behind the Islamic State jihadists becoming a "commodities trading powerhouse" (when it was revealed that ISIS had sold the grain it had stolen from the Itaqi government back to the government), we described just how well-versed in the ways of the modern world ISIS was: "from quickly taking control of (i.e., robbing) a central bank, to capturing the latest andgreatest in US military equipment, to staging an amazing blitz-campaign that has resulted in the creation of a caliphate and captured the bulk of northern Iraq and a third of Syria including all of the former country's oil fields, to even having glossy year end annual reports, one would almost be forgiven in assuming that some vastly more strategic minds are behind what on paper at least would be a far more disorganized force."
Now, thanks to Bloomberg we can quantify this particular strategy, and put top-line numbers with the ISIS faces, so to speak: "The Islamic State, which now controls an area of Iraq and Syria larger than the U.K., may be raising more than $2 million dollars a day in revenue from oil sales, extortion, taxes and smuggling, according to U.S. intelligence officials and anti-terrorism finance experts."
In other words, a well-greased government machine, and not only that but one which has an infinitely greater net worth than the US, because with a net worth of some $2 billion (and rising by $2 million daily), the Islamic State has a "worth" of some $17+ trillion more than the United States, which instead of equity is funded entirely through debt, and ever more debt, thanks to the ongoing devaluation of the world's reserve currency.
Some more on how ISIS became the world's first self-contained, and funded, jihadist entity:
Unlike other extremist groups’ reliance on foreign donations that can be squeezed by sanctions, diplomacy and law enforcement, the Islamic State’s predominantly local revenue stream poses a unique challenge to governments seeking to halt its advance and undermine its ability to launch terrorist attacks that in time might be aimed at the U.S. and Europe.

“The Islamic State is probably the wealthiest terrorist group we’ve ever known,” said Matthew Levitt, a former U.S. Treasury terrorism and financial intelligence official who now is director of the counterterrorism and intelligence program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “They’re not as integrated with the international financial system, and therefore not as vulnerable” to sanctions, anti-money laundering laws and banking regulations.


Anti War........

America’s War in Iraq: Broad Ambitions, Few Details

Officials Haven't Even Settled on a Public Name for War

by Jason Ditz, August 24, 2014
The Obama Administration’s newest war on Iraq has been going for only a portion of the current month, but has already been expanded repeatedly and dramatically in scope, initially presented to the public as a “humanitarian intervention” and since becoming a full-scale air war, with ground troops seemingly only a matter of time.
It’s even expanding beyond the borders of Iraq, starting just in the area immediately surrounding the Kurdish capital of Irbil, and now spanning not just Iraq, but into Syria as well.
Every idea that has been floated on expanding the war, from Kurdistan to Baghdad to Anbar to Syria, has been embraced. Officials have liked every idea so far, even though they haven’t come up with a name for it.
That may not be entirely accidental, because unlike 2003′s “Operation Iraqi Liberation,” which came both with a broad, but clear ambition and the unfortunate acronym OIL, the new war is still being cobbled together piecemeal.
Though it’s unlikely that the Obama Administration went into this new war without knowing full well how quickly it would escalate out of control, they seem to have a preference for keeping the goals undefined and growing all the time, as a way to ease Americans into a wildly unpopular war.
Where this leaves Congress is unclear, as it was only weeks ago that they were voting against a new Iraq War without a new authorization, and now an “emergency” intervention on humanitarian grounds is snowballing into a border-spanning, open-ended conflict.
Even calling it “Operation Destroy ISIS” or some such now might be limiting to the administration’s ambitions for another transformative conflict in the Middle East, since Iraq unity is also a military goal that will likely be an issue with or without ISIS in the picture.
Where Obama’s War, and this will very much be the defining war of his presidency, ends up in the months and years to come remains to be seen, but one unmistakable feature is the policy of keeping details scant and changing the goalline on a near daily basis, allowing them to sell a huge war as something much smaller.

The growing ISIS war against Iraqi Kurdistan is fueling an ethnic divide between Kurds and Arabs, and increasingly, that violence is playing itself out at Kurdish checkpoints manned by Peshmerga fighters.
Peshmerga fighters are openly beating Arabs they believe to be ISIS, and it doesn’t take a lot of evidence to convince them of that.
McClatchy reporter Mitchell Prothero reported the Peshmerga cheerfully dragging an Arab out of his car at a checkpoint, roughing him up and throwing him into their trunk. “He’s Arab, talks like he’s from Mosul and had a Qu’ran in his car,” one declared. That’s all it takes.
The Arab-Kurd divide is a long-standing regional problem, and seems to be getting worse as the latest war picks up pace, and fuels more refugees from the front line.

Over 500 Killed as ISIS Seizes Key North Syria Air Base

ISIS Loses More Fighters, But Wins the Battle

by Jason Ditz, August 24, 2014
A multi-day siege on the key Tabqa Air Base in Syria’s northern Raqqa Province has ended with an ISIS victory, and the ouster of the Syrian military from their last possession in the province.
That means ISIS now controls the entirety of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa Province, and also holds portions of Hasakah, Aleppo, Hama, and Homs. In addition, of course, ISIS controls a considerable portion of Iraq, including virtually the whole Anbar Province.
The battle began poorly for ISIS, with Syria’s military knowing the offensive was coming, ambushing the fighters en route and killing 150. The battle continued through the weekend, and ultimately over 500 were killed, including 170 troops and 346 ISIS fighters.
That ISIS lost twice as many troops and still won the battle reflects how their ability to muster huge amounts of fighters and secure thousands of new recruits monthly is enabling them to expand into even fiercely defended territory. The air base was more or less out of supply for Syria, without the ability to get more troops into the area easily to defend the site.

Tweets of the morning.......

 Retweeted by 

Today at the WH: Pres Obama meets this morning with Defense Secy Hagel. Pres Obama considering airstrikes on ISIS inside Syria.

now moving into southeast province after taking regime's last base in by throwing multiple suicide bombers at it.

 Retweeted by 

ISIS is nervous. It beheaded its intelligence chief in Aleppo for allegedly passing info to the Brits |

officials say suicide bomber targets Shi'ite mosque in , kills at least 12 people -

: executed 670 "non Sunni-detainees" after take over Badush prison in at June 10

: Witnesses speak about mass execution conducted by IslamicState in prison soon more...

Syria's Foreign Minister says has close links with : "They were welcomed on red carpet in Turkey."

gained its strength in because of the facilitating role played -

freezes assets belonging to six foreigners connected to terrorist organization, al-Qaida

BREAKING: Moallem: US airstrikes on , Nusra must be coordinated with Syria

BREAKING: Foreign minister: ready to cooperate in fight against terrorism

 Retweeted by 
Waleed Muallem says any attack on ISIS in Syria must be coordinated with "Syrian Gov" and any incursion would be treated as attack on svrnty

's PM-designate ,at his 1st press conference, says militias and tribes will no longer act as law enforcers; only govt can

 Retweeted by 
The now control the Euphrates Dam (Tabqa Dam) in Raqqa, . Controlling flow of water into

 Retweeted by Joel Wing
Wondering what's been happening in Iraq this weekend? Check out our Situation Report: