Saturday, October 25, 2014

Iraq / Syria Regional War ( October 25 - 26 , 2014 Weekend Report ) - Syria campaign rumbles on with Assad forces making incremental progress , while US bombs ISIS position in Northeast Syria and considers new ways to devastate Syrian infrastructure ( US considers bombing pipelines in Syria ) ...... As for Iraq , the usual and customary country-wide death dealing continues ......Lebanon slowly being dragged into the fray ..... Tweets for the weekend reflect current items of note.

Sunday Tweets

We can safely say no opposition fighters will go 2 . Head Islamic Front Zahran Alloush: "PYD &PKK work w/ Assad. They R our enemies"

SOHR: 815 killed in as of today: 21 Civilians 302 militias 481 10 Others ()

thwart new bid to cut off 's

: fighters oppose deployment

.S. and parter nations have used 12 airstrikes against positions in Iraq in the last 24 hours, CENTCOM said in a statement.

US : strikes destroyed seven vehicles and one ISIS building near , .

Intense clashes ongoing between and terrorists in East — Rudaw correspondent reports.

President Erdogan says refuses deployment of in to fight .

update: kurdish YPG still in control of border crossing with Turkey. All rumors suggesting otherwise are not correct. ISIS 1km away.

Saturday Tweets...


U.S. military forces continued to attack terrorists in and :

In the past 24 hours fighter jets have conducted 22 airstrikes on bases in .

Street clashes are raging between the Lebanese army and Islamist gunmen in Tripoli:

THE ROVING EYE The Kobani riddle: The barbarians, in the form of Islamic State goons, are at the gates of Koba...

— Peshmerga forces are in full control of , ousting from the area completely.

army on high alert opposite to . Reports they kicked all journalists from hill opposite to the town..

Marine death first US fatality in campaign

corners militants in after city erupts in clashes

warns of civil war over Army measures

In Basra, 's capital, security continues decline - at least 4 murders & 3 kidnappings in the past week.

Anti War - Saturday

ISIS Attacks Crossing, Aims to Cut Kobani Off From Reinforcements

Move Complicates Peshmerga Plans to Join Fighters

by Jason Ditz, October 25, 2014
Plans for Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to send some 150 Peshmerga fighters to the Kurdish town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic) could be greatly complicated today, as ISIS turned some of its focus on attacking the border crossing nearest Kobani.
Kobani is being defended by various Kurdish militias which have been bringing in fighters from Turkey, and Turkey intended to help the Peshmerga make the crossing soon.
ISIS, by contrast, is getting its own reinforcements from inside Syria itself, and doesn’t have to deal with border crossings or traveling long distances to get more fighters into the Kobani area.
ISIS has been pushing toward Kobani for over a month, seizing hundreds of villages in the surrounding area and making its way to the key border town. Kobani is the last Kurdish territory west of ISIS’ caliphate, and the loss of it would mean ISIS would have an uncontested span of border with Turkey nearly to Aleppo.

716 Killed As Army and Peshmerga Forces Liberate Iraq Towns
by , October 25, 2014
Hundreds of militants were killed in security operations across Iraq on Saturday. At least two strategic towns were brought back under Iraqi or Kurdish control. Two more towns were also liberated. At least 716 people were killed and 107 were wounded. Very few security deaths were reported in these violent clashes, so the numbers are likely much higher.
The plight of Duluiya is a good example of the troubles besetting the country. Residents and tribal fighters have managed to fight Islamic State militants for months, but requests for assistance from Baghdad continue to be ignored. The residents believe this is due to the Sunni predominance in the city. They point north to Amerli, a Shi’ite town that was suffering in similar circumstances and was successfully rescued by Baghdad support, even though it is farther from the capital. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has promised to turn back the sectarian nature of the army but that could take months to accomplish. He also said in a press conference yesterday that poorly operating army units would be replaced and asked for the country’s patience.
Zumer has changed hands again and is under Peshmerga control, along with 13 nearby villagesSeven Peshmerga were killed in a car bombing in a nearby village. About 80 militants were killed.
Two people were killed and seven more were wounded in a mortar attack in Falluja.
In Muqdadiya, a woman was beheaded after killing a militant who was trying to rape her.
Two civilians were killed, by accident, in a U.S. airstrike in Qayara.
Seventeen Turkmen from Tal Afar are being held captive in Ayn al-Helwa.
Militants blew up a Yazidi shrine at the base of Mount Sinjar.
In Hajaj and Albu Tu’mma, security forces killed 300 militants and liberated the two towns.
Security forces killed 140 militants and wounded 60 more as they wrapped up their operations in Jurf al-Sakhar. P.M. Haider al-Abadi visited the troops on Saturday, after the region was cleared of militants.
Twelve militants were killed in Arab Jabour.
Security forces killed nine militants, including one holding Chinese nationality, inAmiriyat al-Falluja.
In Kubaisa, unidentified assailants killed seven militants.

Anti War..... Friday

US Considers Bombing Oil Pipelines a ‘Viable Option’

Analysts Warn Attacks Would Set Horrible Precedent

by Jason Ditz, October 24, 2014
Top State Department officials Julieta Valis Noyes, discussing the US concerns with ISIS oil revenue, has revealed that the administration considers attacking oil pipelines in Syria a “viable” military option.
US warplanes have been attacking oil refineries and whatnot in ISIS territory in Syria, but attacking pipelines outright would be a huge move, with analysts warning the precedent it sets would be horrible.
Strikes on oil pipelines in Syria would risk huge environment damage and massive civilian casualties across the ISIS-held territory, which would be a huge embarrassment for the US, and would also give various factions all the more excuse to attack pipelines themselves.
Economic warfare already threatens to cause significant civilian suffering, something the US seems to be comfortable with right now, but escalating it could make the problem far, far worse.

Rebels Urge US Intervention as Syrian Forces Near Aleppo

How Many Different Enemies Can US Have at Once?

by Jason Ditz, October 24, 2014
After al-Qaeda lost the strategic town of Morek to the Syrian military yesterday, the Assad forces seem to have an eye on attempting to retake Aleppo, a city that’s been contested for years now, and is in virtual ruins.
The “moderate” Syrian rebels are seeing this as a desperate pretext for the US military to get involved and stop the Assad advance, saying the loss of Aleppo would close of supply routes into Turkey.
They’ve been pushing the US for a long time to get involved in a war against Assad, but with the Pentagon already fighting ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, it’s hard to imagine they could add the Assad forces to their active enemies right now, even if they’re presenting that as a long-term goal.
That’s doubly true because the “moderate” rebels have next to no territory and a comparatively small combat force, meaning the US is increasingly aligning itself against materially everybody in Syria, with an eye toward installing a faction that by and large does not exist.

Kurds Hype ISIS Threats With Eye on US Escalation

Chemical Weapons, Refugee Infiltrators the Latest Problems

by Jason Ditz, October 24, 2014
Kurdish officials have quickly adapted to the idea that they can manage the extent of US involvement in the war against ISIS with media statements, and their success has been remarkable. After all, virtually the entire US war effort, despite being couched as an attempt to “save Iraq,” is backing Kurds in Syria or the Iraqi Kurdish fighters.
The idea that the Kurds are facing major, novel threats from ISIS is a key to keeping the US war machine focused on “saving” them, and the latest threatsinclude the ISIS “chemical weapons” attacks.
ISIS has been bragging for a long time about its chlorine gas capabilities, and a handful of reports have emerged lately of them using such attacks with some success. Yet the use of simple chlorine gas, while technical a “chemical weapon” in that it is a chemical, is an extremely primitive form of attack compared to the more advanced chemical armaments people likely associate with the term.
That’s not all, however, as Kurdish officials are also hyping the idea that refugees from Iraq and Syria, obviously the non-Kurdish ones, include “families of members of the Islamic State” who are infiltrating the refugee camps to some untoward end.
Going beyond that, Kurdish officials are also presenting the idea that Turkey remains uncooperative with their war on ISIS, rejecting claims by President Erdogan that a deal is already in place to send Iraqi Kurdish fighters into Kobani, and claiming Erdogan’s government is dragging its feet on the plan.
So far, US officials have been only too willing to throw their weight behind the Kurds, and despite maintaining that Kobani is not a “priority,” almost all US warplanes are being deployed to strike ISIS fighters threatening that town, to the exclusion of most of the rest of the region where the war is ongoing.

In Kobani, Kurds See War of Attrition

Kurdish Fighters Retake Village From ISIS

by Jason Ditz, October 24, 2014
The ongoing battle for the Kurdish border town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic) continues apace today, with Kurdish officials reporting that they managed to retake the village of Tel Shahir overlooking Kobani.
It’s not the first time the Kurds have retaken the hill, and it probably won’t be the last, as Kurdish leaders talk up the idea of the Kobani conflict being a war of attrition against ISIS that could last a long time.
In a way, it already has, as ISIS first moved into the region over a month ago, and has seized hundreds of villages in the conflict. Kobani hasn’t fallen as fast as many expected, but ISIS continues to pump reinforcements in, and the town is very much still contested.
The talk is still that some 150 Peshmerga fighters will eventually enter Kobani from Iraqi Kurdistan, but this doesn’t seem like a game-changer either, and rather just more of the same tit-for-tat escalation of the battle for the border town.

Pentagon: Iraq Won’t Attempt to Retake Mosul for a Year

Officials Say They're 'Encouraged' by War So Far

by Jason Ditz, October 24, 2014
Centcom officials are saying they’re increasingly “encouraged” by the way the US war against ISIS is going in Iraq and Syria, particularly with the Iraqi military’s attempts to recover after repeated defeats at the hands of ISIS throughout the year.
That said, they concede that the attempts to retake anything significant, like the major northern city of Mosul, are a long, long way off, with the Pentagon saying it would be conservatively a year before Iraq was ready to even attempt such an operation.
That makes military attempts to spin the current situation as progress even more difficult, as in practice Iraq is continuing to lose more territory than they’re gaining back from ISIS, and the admissions are that this isn’t going to change at any foreseeable point going forward.
Saying “at least a year” is, in practical terms, the same as saying they have no clue when the momentum is going to start shifting away from ISIS. Politicians want to hear that it’s going to get better, and the Pentagon seems willing to say that, so long as the timetable is vague and open-ended.

U.S. Marine, 286 Others Killed Across Iraq
by , October 24, 2014
At least 286 were killed in the latest attacks and 155 were wounded. A U.S. Marine also died, but he was not killed in combat.
U.S. Marine has died in Baghdad. The Pentagon reported that Lance Cpl. Sean P. Neal of Riverside, Ca. died on Thursday from a non-combat-related incident.
French Chief of Staff of Armed Forces, Pierre de Villierssaid that French fighters bombed 12 Islamic State weapons arsenals at unspecified locations.
Militants destroyed two ancient shrines, dating to the Abbasid Dynasty, in Salah ad Din province.
In Mosul20 people were executed, including high-ranking officers.
A mortar attack on Amiriya killed 12 civilians and wounded 30 more.
In Tikrit, mortars and rockets killed nine civilians and wounded 11 moreSeven militants were killed in a drone attack.
In Baghdad, a bomb killed one civilian and wounded six in AmilOne person was killed and six more were wounded by a bomb in Adhamiya. In Shabb, a bombwounded four civilians.
Yazidi commander was killed on Mount Sinjar.
Fighting was reported at Lake Thar Thar. Government forces gave up control of at least one floodgate, which the militants left open for several hours.
Government forces reported taking control of more land around the Baiji refinery, but several fighters were killed when two car bombs were detonated.
In Amiriyat al-Falluja75 militants were killed.
Security forces declared Jurf al-Sakhar free of militants after they killed 70 of them.
In Baghdadi11 militants were killed.