Sunday, August 24, 2014

Iraq / Syria War (s) Updates ( August 24 , 2014 ) -- As the US , Iran and Syria confront ISIS ( primarily in Iraq presently but imminently in Northern Syria ) , has the West Conceded the War against Assad is over ? State of the battlefield i Iraq ..... Tweets of the day for Iraq and Syria ......

War Theatre.....

syria iraq isis
Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Late Day tweets.....

Fall of Tabqah airbase to ISIS is a significant then Regiment 121 or Div 17. SAA went all in for defense of Tabqah airbase and still (1/2)

failed. Kuwayris airbase, Dayr az-Zawr airport and the Aleppo-Hamah corridor through Khannasir and Salamiyah are likely next targets (2/2).

Simultaneously w/ the assault on Tabqah airbase ISIS also launched another large-scale assault on the Bayji refinery complex involving (1/2)

at least one SVBIED and 7 SVEST in a suicide assault team. Demonstrates ability to coordinate simultaneous ops across two countries (2/2).

Walid Muallem to announce tomorrow regime's response on intentions to launch air strikes on targets inside

Anti War.....

US Set to Expand ISIS Air War into Syria

White House to 'Take Action' Against ISIS Threat

by Jason Ditz, August 23, 2014
The White House today confirmed its intention to escalate the ongoing air war in Iraq into neighboring Syria, saying that they have to “take action” against any threats against Americans, no matter what nation it is in.
The Pentagon began talking up the expansion of the war on Thursday, with Gen. Martin Dempsey saying that the Iraq War was virtually unwinnable without going into Syria to target ISIS too. Officials have made clear that’s exactly what they’re going to do.
Publicly, the US has repeatedly downplayed the risk of escalation, amid complaints of mission creep, though in the period since beginning the air war they’ve repeatedly added new goals and are setting the stage for a much longer, much larger war than anyone bargained for.
The administration is now presenting the Syria expansion as something they were forced into, though the reality is that upon starting this new war with ISIS it was already obvious that they were going to be expanding it across borders, and are continuing to move closer to announcing a ground operation alongside it.

Report: US Giving ISIS Targeting Intel to Assad

Common Enemy Could Drive US-Syria Rapprochement

by Jason Ditz, August 23, 2014
The US is moving close to direct military intervention in Syria once again, but this time focusing on ISIS, not on the Assad government. Having long cynically armed the Syrian rebels against Assad, with a lot of those arms going to ISIS, they’ve changed their allies of convenience.
Now, reports have the US providing targeting intelligence to the Assad government against ISIS, in particular giving them intel on the location of ISIS leaders.
The reports say the US is funneling the intelligence to Syria, still officially an “enemy,” by way of Germany’s BND. The changing narrative is likely to go public eventually as well, however, with Syria hoping for a long-term rapprochement.
The great thing, from the Syrian perspective, is that they don’t actually have to change their behavior, and they can go from a nation the US is angrily condemning for its brutality to a US partner in the war against the newest enemy, in the newest US adventure.
With talks of US military intervention in Syria growing, the US would no doubt prefer to have Assad on board, since then they can claim to be operating “at the request” of an ally, even if it’s a enemy-turned-ally for the sake of war.
The wild-card in all of this is Israel, which has for awhile been touting ISIS as preferrable to Assad, on the notion that Assad, as a Shi’ite, is closer to Iran than ISIS would be.
US officials are also touting the Assad military’s airstrikes having killed Abu Mosa, an ISIS press official. It wasn’t so long ago the US was griping about every Syria airstrike, regardless of the target.

Suicide Bombers Strike Kirkuk; 103 Killed, 189 Wounded Across Iraq
by , August 23, 2014
At least 103 people were killed and 189 more were wounded today. The deadliest attack took place in Kirkuk where dozens of civilians and security forces were killed or wounded. Also, Iranian soldiers may have briefly crossed the border to help Peshmerga fighters in Diyala province.
The U.N. special representative for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, is calling on world leaders to rescue the town of Amerli from the Islamic State. After weeks of keeping ISIS/DAASH from taking the city, residents are running out of supplies, including food and water. It is feared that Amerli coule suffer the same fate as another Turkmen town, Tal Afar, or that of predominantly Yazidi Sinjar.
Although the Iranian Foreign Ministry denies it, there are reports of Iranian soldiers crossing over briefly into Iraq on Friday. They may have been deployed to reinforce Peshmerga forces in the area of Jalawla. Because it is the closest city to the Iranian border where militants have achieved a foothold, retaining control of Jalawla is strategically very important to Iran.
Maneuvers in the Jalawla did leave five militants dead and seven wounded. Several roads were recovered, as were four eastern villages and a valley. It is unclear if the Iranians participated in any of these particular operations.
Three suicide bombers targeting a Kurdish headquarters in Kirkuk killed 31 people, including civilians, and wounded 123 more. Separately, three dumped bodies were found. Also, five Arab Iraqis were detained in retaliation for the kidnapping of a Kurdish Iraqi.
In Baghdad11 people were killed and over 24 were wounded when a suicide bomberstruck at the Interior MinistryNine militants were killed in Thaar.
In Falluja, shelling left four civilians dead and 13 more wounded.
family of five was killed during an airstrike in Qayara.
A rare bombing in Arbil left four wounded.
In Duluiyathree militants were killed and 18 more were injured during a clash with security forces and volunteers.
Airstrikes in Haditha left three militants dead.
Two militants were killed in separate airstrikes around Mosul.
In Makhmour, Peshmerga forces spread out across the city after airstrikes killed many militants.
Unidentified planes bombed Rawa.
Airstrikes took place in BaijiYenkeja, and Suleiman Pek.
Militants in Jurf al-SakharYusufiya and Dhabtiah were killed in airstrikes.

Al Jazeera.....

Iran 'sent soldiers to fight in Iraq'

Hundreds of Iranian troops crossed border to join battle against Islamic State group, sources tell Al Jazeera.

Last updated: 23 Aug 2014 19:32

Roadside bombs planted by the Islamic State group are making it difficult for Kurdish forces to advance [Reuters]

Hundreds of Iranian soldiers have taken part in a joint operation inside Iraq with Kurdish forces to retake a town held by the Islamic State group, security sources have told Al Jazeera.

It is believed to be the first time that Iranian troops have been directly involved in the fighting against the Sunni rebel group group on this scale.

Hundreds of soldiers crossed the border on Friday in a joint operation with Kurdish Peshmerga forces to take back Jalawla in Diyala province, an official Kurdish source who asked not to be identified told Al Jazeera.
He said the Iranian forces retreated back across the border early on Saturday.

Iranian denial

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham dismissed the reports of any Iranian military presence in Iraq.

According to the official IRNA news agency, she said Tehran "has a close watch on field developments in Iraq sensitively with regards to mutual cooperation and international commitments and takes into consideration cooperation with the Iraqi government".

Jalawla, fewer than 30km from the Iranian border, is a strategic point for both Iraq and Iran.

"Previously there had been Iranian assistance with security advisers and Iranian backed militias, but this does seem to the the first time soldiers have been involved," Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reported from Erbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdish region.

Kurdish officials said their forces had surrounded Jalawla but have so far been unable to advance because of roadside bombs placed by Islamic State fighters.

The Islamic State controls large swaths of land in northern Iraq and neighbouring Syria. The US earlier this month launched air strikes to help Iraqi federal troops and Peshmerga stop the group's advance.


Scores killed in Iraq bombings

At least 42 killed in bombings in Baghdad and Kirkuk, a day after deadly attack on mosque heightened sectarian tensions.

Last updated: 24 Aug 2014 06:09

Bombings in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk have killed at least 42 people in Iraq as the government investigated a deadly attack on a Sunni mosque the day before that has heightened sectarian tensions amid a fragile political transition.

In oil-rich Kirkuk, three bombs went off in a crowded commercial district, killing 31 people and wounding dozens, Kirkuk deputy police chief Tarhan Abdel-Rahman said on Saturday.

One witness said he heard "an explosion between the cars, and then we started carrying out the dead bodies from there while people were burning inside the shops and cars". The witness asked not to be named for fear of retribution.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber had earlier driven an explosives-laden car into the gate of the intelligence headquarters in Karrada district, killing six civilians and five security personnel, a police officer said. He said 24 other people were wounded.

A medical official confirmed causality figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to brief the media.

The attacks came after parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri said that a committee of security officials and lawmakers were probing Friday's attack against a village mosque in Diyala province, northeast of the capital, which killed at least 73 people. The results of the investigation are expected in two days' time.

It remained unclear whether the attack in the village of Imam Wais was carried out by Shia militiamen or fighters from the Islamic State group who have been advancing into mixed Sunni-Shia areas in Diyala and have been known to kill fellow Sunni Muslims who refuse to submit to their harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

Since early this year, Iraq has faced an onslaught by the Islamic State group and allied Sunni fighters, who have seized large areas in the country's west and north. The group took over Iraq's second-largest city Mosul in June, and has since declared an Islamic state, or caliphate, in territory under its control in both Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

Local security officials in Diyala said Friday's attack began with a suicide bombing near the mosque entrance. Gunmen then stormed the building and opened fire on worshippers. 

Government formation

The attack led two major Sunni parliamentary blocs to pull out of talks on forming a new government. The move creates a major hurdle for Shia prime minister-designate Haider al-Abadi as he struggles to reach out to Sunnis to form a government by September 10 that can confront the Islamic State fighters.

In a press conference, al-Jabouri did not say who might have been behind the attack, saying only that such violence was "carried out by the same hands (of those) who want to derail the process of building the government."

Al-Jabouri heads one of the blocs that suspended talks, but he declined to comment on the move at the press conference, saying he was there in his capacity as parliament speaker. Al-Abadi issued a statement late on Saturday calling upon all political blocs to submit their nominations for ministerial positions in the new government.

Iraqi President Fouad Massoum, a Kurd, condemned Friday's attack and appealed "to all for self-restraint and to act wisely." He promised the incident would be "properly investigated and its perpetrators held to account."


Tweets of the day.......

FWIW .....

 Retweeted by Brown Moses
The rockets are dropping on civilians on daily basis are now property from airbase.

160 soldiers killed (dozens beheaded).. 270+ prisoners in the hands of in air-base.

Attack on Baiji refinery involved armored vehicles and suicide bombers

: fighters and few locals are celebrating in , I think we can say that Tabqa has fallen

forces control all areas from to Qaratapa, and are fighting fiercely against

 Retweeted by 
Looks like it's confirmed now that Tabqa airbase, last regime base in , has fallen to the Islamic State

With more or less clear, can push massive forces into , . Likely will go for DeZ airport first though.

: Reports that airport has been taken by lions! province is now free of regime! TAKBIRR!!

MP Omar Ose revealed to that the Syrian Prime minister plans on giving one of the ministerial posts in the new government to

Tide has now turned against , Presidential Chief says.

Militants make renewed push for main Iraq refinery

surges towards border to secure gateway to 'Caliphate' Iraq

Reuters source says IS tipped off before attempted US rescue operation to free James Foley, Steven Sotloff

100s of troops cross border into Iraq to support Kurdish fighters against , Aljazeera reports. Via

If Sunni allies turn against ISIS & Baghdad forms an inclusive government, ISIS will lose NW Iraq. If.