"ISIS "took the weapons stores of the 2nd and 3rd [Iraqi army] divisions in Mosul, the 4th division in Salah al Din, the 12th division in the areas near Kirkuk, and another division in Diyala," said Jabbar Yawar, secretary-general of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, punctuating his words with quick flicks of his laser pointer as he stitched a scythe-like arc across a map denoting various provinces and cities strung across northern and central Iraq.
"We're talking about armaments for 200,000 soldiers, all from the Americans," concluded Yawar, a mustachioed figure whose office in Irbil features a photograph of him as a young peshmerga fighter in the 1980s against the government of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein." latimes
People like Cordesman are repeating the nonsense that holds the rebel coalition in such contempt as to claim that they cannot master the use of the masses of US made equipment captured as booty. Baloney! Do those who think that way not grasp the simple truths that there were already many skilled ex-soldiers among the rebels and that the rebels also captured technicians from among the Iraqi Army? pl
Syria - "moderate" rebel politics.
- "The Syrian National Coalition will pick a replacement for its current president, Ahmad al-Jarba, in a vote expected on Tuesday. The top candidate for the job is senior coalition members are Hadi Bahra and Muwaffaq Nairabiyeh, who belong to Jarba's Democratic bloc. Spokeswoman Sarah Karkour said that by Sunday evening, there hadn't been an agreement on a candidate, although members were coalescing around Bahra." newsok
Blah! Blah! Blah! John Kerry should attend the meeting in Istanbul. An opportunity for good Doner Kebab should not be passed up. This is more nonsense about the "moderate" Syrian rebels. These people have been defeated by the SAG, by al-Nusra and by ISIL. They have been beaten like "a rented mule." Their existence as a real force in Syria is yet another fantasy produced by the R2P/AIPAC influence in the US foreign policy establishment. We should appropriate $500 million for them? What a grand opportunity this will be to rip off the US tax payer as the money passes through various hands. And to what end? The alternative to a Syrian government victory in the civil war is NOT the kind of liberal democracy dreamt of by the US media and government fantasists as the "inevitable" result of the revolution in Egypt. No, IMO the inevitable result of the SAG's defeat and disappearance would be a Hobbesian maelstrom of jihadi factions fighting each other for control so that they would have a free hand in persucuting religious minorities. BTW, don't kid yourself that Assad can be removed and have his government and forces stand. That is just another fantasist dream. pl
"A growing number of Western officials are calling for an audit of the ballots cast in the Afghan presidential election, increasing the likelihood that the nation’s electoral commission will have to formally reassess the June 14 runoff vote even as it prepares to announce preliminary results.
Ever since Afghans voted in the runoff, the system has been deadlocked by allegations of widespread fraud. The presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has consistently complained that his opponent, Ashraf Ghani, with the help of the commission and other Afghan officials, rigged the vote." NY Times
SOFA anyone? pl