While conventional states try to win hearts and minds abroad before necessarily resorting to military force, the jihadist group is also achieving its aims by psychological means - backed up by a reputation for extreme violence.
The Islamic State, which in June captured a vast stretch of territory in the north including the largest city Mosul, used this strategy when its fighters met armed resistance from the town of al-Alam for 13 days running.
They kidnapped 30 local families and rang up the town's most influential citizens with a simple message about the hostages: "You know their destiny if you don't let us take over the town."
Within hours, tribesmen and local leaders caved in to save the families. The black flag of the Sunni militants, who are bent on overthrowing the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government, was soon flying over government buildings and police stations in al-Alam." Reuters
This kind of population control works. I have seen it many times, but it also fuels a future resistance that will begin when assistance in money and arms begins to flow to those who will wish to resist. pl
"H.E. Lukman Faily told an audience at an Atlantic Council event in Washington that for the US and Iraq “to conduct counterterrorism operations in urban areas occupied by ISIL, we need precision US air attacks,” and that “the US should offer air support targeting terrorist camps and supply convoys in remote areas.”
American air strikes would also “protect Iraq’s borders against further terrorist influx” the ambassador said, since key elements of ISIL have flowed across the porous Iraq/Syria border in the past several months, giving the group freedom of movement across the Sunni-dominated western Iraq and eastern Syria.
Last week, almost 70 House Democrats sent a letter to President Barack Obama demanding congressional approval before ordering any offensive American military operations in Iraq, telling the president that “as you consider options for US intervention, we write to urge respect for the constitutional requirements for using force abroad.” The Democrats were joined by nine Republicans on the letter." Defense News
This is not going to happen. The rump government of Iraq now located in Baghdad was unable to defend itself and its territory against what was initially a few thousand lightly armed men. It then failed in a counteroffensive attampt at Tikrit with yet more losses in men and equipment. The Kurds have already begun to sell oil from the Kirkuk area fields they recently captured. Iraq is powerless to do anything about that. Finito. pl
"Television pictures showed the senior police officers being led outside in handcuffs with some raising their handcuffed hands above their heads in a show of defiance.
The Hurriyet daily said on its website that simultaneous raids were conducted in 22 cities across Turkey.
The suspects are accused of espionage, illegal wire-tapping, forgery in official documents, violation of privacy, fabricating evidence, and violation of secrecy of investigation, the reports said.
Istanbul's prosecutor's office said in a statement that the head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) Hakan Fidan was among the key figures who were wiretapped.
Erdogan has accused supporters of Gulen of holding excessive influence in the country's police and judiciary and concocting a graft scandal to unseat his government ahead of March local polls.
Erdogan's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) scored a decisive victory in those local polls, and the prime minister is now standing in elections for president to be held on August 10." Ahram on Line
Erdogan is following the usual ME pattern of suppression of political enemies. This seems to be working well for him. He now says that he does not speak to Obama anymore because Obama does not obey with regard to Syria and Gaza. I have been waiting for several years for signs of life in the secular Turkish republic that I once lived in. If there is such life, it is invisible. pl