Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Iraq / Syria War Regional Updates ( November 4-5 , 2014 ) -- Comprehensive report on state of play in Syria and Iraq...


Islamic State tightens noose around ,

IS kills 500 members of the Albu Nimr tribe

Tripoli battle foils IS expansion

Hard to escape the conclusion that with tonight's airstrikes targeting JN and HASI in Idlib province in response to the collapse of (1/2)

the SRF and Harakat Hazzm in Idlib, the U.S. has, at a stroke, alienated some 70% of the armed opposition in Syria (2/2).

New wave of Coalition airstrikes targeting Jabhat an-Nusrah and also reportedly Ahrar ash-Sham in SW Idlib province.

5000 tribal fighters arrived Al Assad base in Anbar for training

Rudaw's fast update Kobane official calls for more outside help to defeat ISIS

Michael Werz: US consider protection of Kobane is more important than its current relation with Turkey which is not easy decision

New on MoA: "Western Training" And The Fight Against The Islamic State -

Please read my comprehensive security report for Oct 2014 in Iraq

troops to ‘train’ forces -

Tactical nature of airstrikes against from 8 Aug to 23 Oct shown in graphics.

Please read my comprehensive security report for Oct 2014 in Iraq

Jabhat al Nusra moving closer to capturing Bab al-Hawa Crossing in northwestern on the Turkish border

Anti War.......

ISIS Makes New Gains in Northern Iraq, Nearing Irbil

Counteroffensive Continues, ISIS Retaking Territory

by Jason Ditz, November 04, 2014
The Kurdish Peshmerga were making some gains against ISIS in late September and early October, backed by US warplanes. The gains began to reverse with an ISIS counteroffensive in mid-October.
At this point, ISIS seems to have recovered much of the territory it ceded in the early days of the US war, and is once again pushing deep into Kurdish territory, with fighting today focusing on a town just 60 km from the Kurdish capital of Irbil.
Kurdish offensives have focused north of Mosul, into the oil-rich area there, while ISIS seems to be simply hitting the Kurds as many places as possible at the same time, and taking the gains where they can.
Though analysts downplayed the chances of ISIS making a serious run at Irbil, even keeping pressure on the territory near the Kurdish capital will be both a psychological advantage for the Islamists, and a way to keep the Kurds on the defensive.
ISIS’ gains aren’t just centered in Iraqi Kurdistan, either, as the group continues to consolidate its territory in the Anbar Province, which it now dominates, and is also expanding deeper into Syria, with captures of gas fields in Homs Province.
Though Iraqi and Kurdish officials continue to talk up an eventual counter-counteroffensive against ISIS, particularly with an eye on expelling them from Mosul, these plans are all resting on things coming to fruition in late 2015, and for the time being ISIS seems to have all of the momentum.

Coalition Airstrikes Kill Seven Civilians Wound 27 in Western Iraq

Missiles Hit Crowded Marketplace

by Jason Ditz, November 04, 2014
A warplane from an unspecified member of the US anti-ISIS coalition fired a pair of missiles at the Iraqi city of al-Qaim, along the border with Syria today, hitting a crowded marketplace.
Qaim is in the ISIS-held portion of the Anbar Province, but the indications are that no ISIS fighters were in the vicinity of the attack. Rather,seven civilians were killed and 27 others wounded.
So far, coalition airstrikes around al-Qaim have been predominantly US planes, though Canadian and British planes have been involved in recent days as well, and cannot be ruled out as the culprits.
The US has insisted that their rules against killing civilians in airstrikes do not apply to ISIS-held territory in Iraq and Syria. There have been multiple incidents of civilian casualties in the Anbar Province since the US began its air war.