Thursday, September 11, 2014

Iraq / Syria Regional War Watch ( September 11 , 2014 ) - President Obama speech highlights evergrowing " Mission Sprint " toward US involvement into Syria Civil War and further involvement in Iraq Conflict ...

Obama's 4 Part Strategy To 'Destroy' ISIS

Obama Speech Sets Stage to Expand War on ISIS Into Syria

Syria Insists Uncoordinated US Strikes Would Be Considered Aggression

by Jason Ditz, September 10, 2014
During his high-profile Wednesday night speech, President Obama promised he “will not hesitate to take action against ISIS in Syria,” effectively expanding the new ISIS war into another country.
Obama insisted hunting ISIS anywhere on the planet is a “core principle of my presidency,” and made a move that has been considered likely for a couple of weeks now as the war expands.
The administration has beenlaying the groundwork for attacks inside Syria for quite some time now, whether to attack the Assad government, as was the plan last year, or to attack ISIS, as they now intend.
Yet, the administration has rested the legality of its attacks inside Iraq on being “invited” by what passes for an Iraqi government there, and in Syria, while the Assad government has expressed openness to coordination, the US has ruled it out.
Uncoordinated US strikes, being carried out as Syria tries to fight its own growing battle against ISIS, are a big problem, and Syrian officials say they’ll consider unilateral US strikes an act of aggression and a violation of Syrian sovereignty.
Which is in keeping with what literally every nation on the planet would do, but as the administration tries to build up a huge, but ultimately feckless, “coalition” to fight ISIS, they want to keep Syria and Iran away from it in favor of the Saudis and other GCC countries which want to bankroll Syria’s various other rebels.
That’s where the new US war in Syria is going to get extremely complicated, as those arms for “moderate rebels” are ending up in ISIS hands, something those US allies have been perfectly willing to ignore in the name of ousting Assad, and will continue to push Syria toward more and more factions fighting with more and more foreign arms.

Obama Touts ‘Coalition,’ But US to Lead War

Obama's Coalition of Nations Not Committed to Do Anything

by Jason Ditz, September 10, 2014
President Obama’s major Wednesday speech on the new war against ISIS tried to assure the American public, even as he is expanding a new open-ended Iraq War into neighboring Syria, that there will be “coalition partners” doing the real fighting on the ground.
Yet the nations cobbled together so far, mostly NATO members, haven’t actually committed to do anything, and while a few nations like France and Britain have floated the idea of sending warplanes, none are expected to send ground troops. Secretary of State John Kerry’s tour of the Middle East is unlikely to secure any tangible support either, beyond financial pledges for Syrian rebel factions already being bankrolled by the GCC.
Rather, the “boots on the ground” in this major new war are likely to be exclusively the Iraqi and Kurdish forces already there in the near-term, as the US continues to build up its own presence on the ground for what, despite all promises to the contrary, is going to be an American ground war.
President Obama made it clear that the air war is just “stage one” of the war, but the future assumptions that the heavy lifting of the ground war is going to be carried out by some coalition partners is sheer fantasy. The war is, and was always going to be, America’s to fight.
The scramble for the buildup began awhile ago, with the Pentagon already putting out feelers for contractors to support an open-ended conflict in Iraq. Announcements of a few hundred new troops for Iraq, including 475 announced at tonight’s speech,  are happening pretty much weekly now.
With the president continuing to try to pretend this isn’t taking the US straight down the road to a new ground war in Iraq (and Syria), the policy continues to be sneaking as many ground troops in under the radar as quickly as possible, while continuing to scare the public about the ISIS threat so that when the ground war begins in earnest, they are too frightened to object.

Disputes With Baghdad Highlight Kurds Tenuous Support for New Iraq Govt

KRG: Iraq Owes Nearly $8 Billion Since January

by Jason Ditz, September 10, 2014
Iraqi Kurdistan’s political leadership, under intense pressure from the Obama Administration, give its backing to the new Iraqi central government, but that doesn’t mean they’re on board unconditionally, and the big issue of oil revenue remains unresolved.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) hasrejected the proposed Abadi government oil plan, which is to pay “installments” on past oil exports to the Kurdish government going forward.
The KRG is owed nearly $8 billion since January, when Iraq cut them off from promised oil payments over export disputes. The Kurds tried to export oil on their own to make up the difference, but threats of lawsuits by Iraq have made buyers tough to come by.
Iraq maintains they just don’t have the money anymore because of their budget shortfall, and is also trying to condition the “installment” payments on Kurdistan agreeing to once again give the central government a monopoly on production and exports.
Abadi may have the Kurds on board for the time being, but keeping them there is no guarantee they will remain there if the oil dispute, as well as territorial disputes over Kirkuk, remain unresolved.

Administration Ratchets Up Rhetoric, While Ratcheting Up War on ISIS

Officials Vow to Destroy ISIS 'Wherever They Exist'

by Jason Ditz, September 10, 2014
As the administration continues to expand the scope of the ISIS war far beyond its initial presentation to the American public, the administration’s leadership is also picking up their hysterical rhetoric, trying to justify the conflict.
President Obama has continued to promise to destroy ISIS “wherever they exist,” while he and Secretary of State John Kerry continue to present the group as a massive threat to the whole world, and one with no ideology of their own, but simply vision-less, irredeemable evil whose sole purpose is to be the latest dragon for the US to go forth and slay.
The rhetoric of the threat is also beingmatched by the claims about the largely fictional global coalition that the US is supposedly leading in this huge new conflict.
Promises that the US won’t get dragged into a ground war in Iraq seem to be getting dialed back a bit by President Obama, who in tonight’s speech insisted only that the US troops couldn’t be in direct combat, while Kerry conceded that US troops might be committed to a ground war in “extreme circumstances.
That’s a telling bit of rhetoric, as the administration has been working tirelessly to convince the public that extreme circumstances already exist in Iraq, and they continue to send more troops, a few hundred at a time, building up the eventual ground force for this war.

Sunnis in Iraq Often See Their Government as the Bigger Threat

Shi'ite Cleric Al-Sadr Says Iraq Should Not Cooperate With 'Occupiers'

Lebanon: Some Arsal Refugees See Militants as Only Advocates

Hayden: Obama Will Need to Put Boots on the Ground in Iraq

Kerry: US Troops Might Deploy to Iraq if 'Something Very Dramatic Changes'

Pentagon: US Warplanes Have Taken Out 162 Islamic State Military Vehicles


Despite Wednesday's speech, Obama has not yet authorized the U.S. to conduct offensive combat operations in Syria.

US and Muslim partners such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia are clashing over which rebel forces will make the best allies

ROUNDUP: Battle over Turkish border area, releases soldiers, /Kurdish unite, Syrians 90% poverty rate

INTERVIEW: As airstrikes rain on , battle between , moves underground -

If part-time insurgents, support networks, VBIED cells, etc. are factored in, 20,000 to 31,500 is probably a low estimate of ISIS numbers.

CIA estimates ISIS now has between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters in Iraq and Syria via :

New minister checking up Baiji refinery today, only 2nd day on the job! Very promising..

MT Today, 10 Arab states (GCC+4) hailed formation of new Iraq gov't & agreed to join ranks against ISIS

125+ US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles have been used by vetted FSA rebels in 6 months, inc. 30+ in first 11 days of September.

Too much focus upon combating IS finance by cutting off international oil sales. IS is establishing an internal oil market, esp. in .

— In a bid to form an international coalition against — Saudi Arabia is hosting a counter terrorism...

: US action in Syria without government consent is 'attack': minister
View this content on Al Arabiya English's website

Syria main opposition backs Obama on ISIS

says ready to cooperate with envoy De Mistura. No mention of -

Hayden on US thinking behind risking more in : 'If your choice is between Assad winning & ISIS winning, the choice is pretty clear'

— Masrour Barzani, Director of Intelligence and Security in region urges to broaden its...

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475 U.S. troops to be deployed to Iraq over the next week: