The level of uninformed maundering in the media today concerning IS is impressive:
The civvies on the tube "go on" about the need for diplomacy and the need for an inclusive government in Baghdad. The civvies profess to believe that IS was somehow defeated or frustrated at "the gates" of Baghdad and are now milling about north and west of Baghdad frustrated by their inability to capture the city. The civvies think that IS will wait for an inclusive government to be formed and for re-training/re-equiping of the ISF to take place. The civvies want to believe that a handful of tactical airstrikes has halted an IS advance towards Irbil and its important airfield. They ignore the awkward truth that hitting a few isolated positions in the field will not stop a determined armored force that keeps moving.
Another awkward truth is the fact that getting the tens of thousands of Yazidis down off their mountain will require creation of a land bridge to Kurdish Syria or Turkey. (It is just too far to expect too be able to move all those civilians to the Kurdish mountsins in the east.) To build such a land bridge would require the participation of thousands of soldiers with heavy equipment, functioning logistics and lots of air support. Who would provide that, the pesh merga? Not! They lack the men, the equipment and the air support.
US air is still flying off an aircraft carrier in the Gulf. This is very far away and the distance, in itself, lmits the amount of air power that can be projected. It limits it a lot! If the administration is serious about the Yazidis or the Kurds they will have to start operating from Batman and Incirlik in Turkey as well as Irbil and Suleymaniyah in the KRG or start using heavy bombers like the B-52.
As I have previously written the present scale of US air attacks are mere "pin pricks." The idea of them frightens American and European journalists but IS troops will be unimpressed at this scale of attacks.
The notion that IS is somehow stymied in regard to Baghdad is silly. They are consolidating control over the area they conquered and establishing governance in the same area.
Kurdistan beckons to them as an objective because it is an obvious gateway for the entry of US troops into IS's northern flank.
IS is receivng reinforcements from among jihadis across the world. I presume that they get into IS territory through Turkey.
When they are done in the north they will return to the problem of eliminating the present Iraqi government. I doubt if they plan to occupy the Shia south of Iraq but the destruction of what remains of Iraqi government central authority is certainly possible
If they succeed in doing that much, Jordan, Lebanon and the Gulf will beckon. pl