"Jazirah" is a multi-purpose word in Arabic. It can variously mean; island, peninsula (properly shibhat jezirah), Algeria the country as in al-jeza'ir, (plural) Algiers, the city, also as in al-jeza'ir, the Qatari TV stations, etc. In my title here it refers to the crescent shaped semi-fertile band of land that stretches from northern Iraq to coastal Syria (the Fertile Crescent), in other words, the very land now claimed by IS.
The US has now commenced operations intended (beneath all the political baloney from the White House) to test the idea that perhaps the IS coalition is a fragile instrument that can be thrown back by a few dozen tactical air strikes from a carrier far away. These air strikes are being flown in support of a coming attempt by Pesh Merga and resuscitated refugees from the Maliki army to make a counter-offensive against the IS mini-horde west and SE of Irbil. The influence of the American advisory team in Irbil and Baghdad is evident in this plan.
The US Army nearly always believes that "the best defense is a good offense." Classical military thought dictates that the defense is the stronger form in war but the offensive is more decisive. Well, no matter, US forces can usually be relied on to opt for the offensive form no matter how crazed an idea that might be. This tendency was shown in the Maliki army's attempt to re-take Baiji and Tikrit from the south, whether they were ready to do so or not.
The Pesh Merga/Maliki army juggernaut is now going to attempt the same thing in Kurdistan. Like the attampt on Baiji/Tikrit this will be a desperate gamble. Armies, especially third world armies, are fragile instruments when they have experienced reverses. Bonaparte said that at least two thirds of the ingredients for success or failure had to do with states of mind. In other words, if an army is feeling good about itself and its leaders almost anything was achievable. If not, then almost nothing was achievable.
A failed counter-offensive in the north might doom Irbil and put Obama to the test yet again. pl