"Pat - My folks were loading magazines last I checked. Just texted them. Firefight was on outskirts of city. Irbil will probably hold, but they'll probe Duhok too. Their MO is lightning penetration of Pesh lines, which has been successful. They attack every few miles, break the lines, then pince together and mop up. Hopeful enough heavy equipment has dropped in so that won't be the case. Also, they've learned to spread their forces to be less vulnerable to air. Lots of drones would be helpful here." Old Soldier (OS)
I received the above from a friend who is trying to save a few of the Yazidis trapped on the mountain at Sinjar. He is a retired infantry officer with a lot of combat experience. He was a battalon adviser with the ARVN airborne division in 1971- 72. He has men in the field trying to affect a rescue.
ISIS will surely kill any Yazidis who fall into their hands. For ISIS the Shia are murtadd (apostates) and deserving of death, but the Yazidi are not Muslim at all. For ISIS they are watheni (pagans). Logically, pagans should be given the chance to accept ISIS's version of Islam, but that does not seem to be their policy.
His field man's description of IS coalition tactics against the Pesh Merga are what I would expect. The Old Iraqi Army military experts who are the fighting brain of the IS coalition were well schooled in the military art. I remember conversations with men like these concerning tactical and operational level methods in the world wars. This has Guderian, Patton, Manstein et al written all over it. In addition to that theoretical base, the Old Iraqi Army had a lot of largely successful experience fighting the Kurds. That helps.
And in another bit of terrible news it seems that the Mosul Dam has been captured by IS. To the west of Baghdad they also control the Haditha Dam and the Al-Qaim Dam as well. These are major hydroelectric resources. What will happen if the lights go out in Baghdad?
Will Irbil fall? Who can say?
"IS is now on Turkey’s radar not because of its massacres in Iraq or hostage Turks, but because of the activities of people affiliated with the group inside Turkey.
On Juy 29, the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the sight of mass outdoor prayers performed by a large crowd of long-bearded men in white robes and the sermon that followed ignited a serious debate in Turkey. The sermon included, among other things, “Those who believe, those who … participate in jihad on the path of Allah with their lives and all their beings will be rewarded generously. They are the ones who will survive. Our plea to Allah Almighty is to accept us jihadists. We beg him to compassionately help the mujahideen, those in jihad … to hit their targets accurately.”
Images of this assembly were provided by the group itself. Only after they were released on websites known to be closely affiliated with IS did the mainstream media become aware of them and run the images.
This brings to mind the line of poetry quoted today by Babak. The line ran roughly that a man who raises a wolf is eventually torn to pieces by it. Did Erdogan really think that his half baked Islamism would protect him from the IS forces that he has nurtured and given training space and sanctuary? pl