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28 June 2014

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turcopolier

bandolero
"The question is whether Shia want at all rule over all of former Iraq if the Sunni people in the north and west of Iraq don't want it" If the Shia Arabs did not want to rule all of Iraq they would not be fighting to re-take Tikrit. You think they want to give it to the Sunni Arabs as a present? Their behavior under Maliki was completely demonstrative of a desire to run the whole country for their benefit. pl pl

Pete Deer

Pat,
Are you referring to Kursk? I thought that was Zietlers operation.

Pete

turcopolier

pete deer

no. pl

Babak Makkinejad

That project is supported by Ayatollah Sistani - an Iranian.

As well as by the Iran.

I agree with you that the Maliki government will fight to reassert government control over all of Iraq.

I do not expect any replacement of Mr. Maliki to do otherwise.

Ryan

Highlander,

Yes, I've seen those stories about McCain. Most folks haven't heard about the origins of his wealth.

McCain was only slightly less dangerous to naval aviation and the navy in general than the North Vietnamese air defenses around Hanoi.

There is this other thing I remember about McCain and Kerry, for that matter. It was the sorry way they treated the families of Americans missing in action from the Vietnam War back in the early 1990s.

Ryan

Jim,

I just saw Michael Hayden of the Chertoff Group (!) tell Chris Wallace that this is a "wise move" to hand over the money to the "moderates". He also said this should have been done 18 months ago. The Ba'ath/ISIS would probably agree. They could have gain more weapons sooner. More money thrown down the rat hole.

I'm glad you posted the list of weapons and equipment lost by the South Vietnamese. I wanted to see this again and recall this list from reading it from one of the IISS' books.

One thing for sure. The NVA certainly appreciated this stuff when they were fighting the PLA around their border back in 1979.

Fred

Jim,

The Benghazi weapons pipeline has dried up for obvious reasons.

Fred

Col.,

What is the chance that the rebel forces (the ones under Sabr Abd al-Aziz Al-Douri) could have the former Iraqi army (Saddam era) officers and NCOs in their ranks to call on their counterparts (and their families) not yet fighting to join them in overthrowing Maliki's government and thus 'freeing' Iraq from American (and other) foreign influence? Or has everything gone to far towards re-opening the ancient schism between Sunni and Shia for something like that to work?

MS2

Russia is providing Su-24s directly.
http://rt.com/news/169144-iraq-russian-jets-arrive/

Russian Su-24s have modern guided bomb capability, and if the Iranian ones didn't get the upgrades at some point in the last 20 years...

They may look like F-111 type Cold War nuke-delivery sleds, but the Russians used them extensively in Chechnya and Georgia.

Ryan

From today's WaPo:

"But the offensive appeared to be faltering as night fell. Residents and a local tribal leader said militants from an al-Qaeda breakaway group had repelled the troops’ advance, rigging roads into the city with explosives. In contrast to those claims, state television said security forces had cleared the town center of militants."

Oh, no! The attack appears to be stalling!

"The recapture of Tikrit, about 90 miles north of Baghdad and the home town of ousted president Saddam Hussein, would give a boost to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as he struggles to hold on to power in the face of a nearly three-week offensive by extremist fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). But a high-profile failure would deliver a deep blow to already disheartened forces."

True enough.

Seriously, for better or worse, this article has more stuff about this attack by the IA and Tikrit. Maybe when the smoke finally clears it will be possible to separate the rumors and falsehoods from what the actual truth is.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iraq-mounts-offensive-to-recapture-tikrit/2014/06/28/d9ebc336-fec5-11e3-b1f4-8e77c632c07b_story.html

Ryan

It looks like Israel may get involved. More gasoline for the fire. From Ynet:

"The Obama administration has voiced concern that Israel and the United States may be dragged into a war against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), the extremist Sunni organization that is threatening to transform Iraq and other countries into Islamist territories, the Daily Beast reported.

According to the website, senior Obama administration officials told senators in a briefing last week that while ISIS has already seized control of parts of Iraq and Syria, the jihadist group is now eying westward territories – including Jordan.

More...

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4535424,00.html

Daily Beast article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/27/israel-could-get-dragged-into-isis-s-war-obama-admin-warns.html

"The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) also has its eyes on Jordan; in fact, its jihadists are already Tweeting out photos and messages claiming a key southern town in Jordan already belongs to them."

The town in question is Ma'an.

MS2

That the Iraqis wanted Su-24s when offered jets directly from Russia suggests that they/Iranians must already believe that they know how to operate them. Otherwise they would have chosen a more suitable type such as the Su-25.

bks

Isn't the point of the Tikrit offensive to move on to Baiji and reclaim the petroleum refineries?

Ryan

Short al jazeera article on why the IA fell apart as quickly as it did up north.

“They weren’t soldiers because they wanted to be soldiers,” explained Marine First Lt. Dave Jackson, who fought with Iraqi forces during his two deployments to Iraq. “They were soldiers because they wanted a job.”

He said the decision in 2003 to dissolve Saddam Hussein’s army created a vacuum of structure and experience. Gone were its senior officer and senior enlisted corps, and he said what the army built instead never reached the level of a professional force.

“No matter how many billions of dollars you spend you cannot buy experience. You cannot buy legacy. You cannot just manufacture that out of nowhere,” Jackson said. “…They've been set up for failure from the beginning.”

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2014/6/28/how-did-iraq-s-armycollapsesoquickly.html

MS2

Syria has about two dozen Su-24M2 (fully modernized) variants and is another potential source of technical help.

http://www.janes.com/article/31723/syrian-air-force-maintains-high-sortie-rate

The point is, Su-24s are going to be dropping precision bombs on ISIS very soon.

There are pictures indicating that they are getting Su-25s too:
http://globalaviationreport.com/2014/06/29/iraq-confirms-arrival-of-sukhoi-su-24-fighter-jets-in-iraq/

Our two F-16s waiting shipment from Texas in the fall are looking like a bad joke.

Jim Ticehurst

Thanks for your feedback Ryan ..
Since Our Leaders are so determined to Liberate every oppressed People in the world except the North Koreans..(Perhaps they could start by Bombing The "Liberty" in the Harbor...) then I think they should start here in the United States and give the United States and Canada back to the Native Americans since they have already given the Southwest to Hispanics and other Native Peoples..I Like Pow Wows...and Dance to a different Drummer..

different clue

It looks to me that Maliki is more of a Shia supremacist than a pan-Iraqi nationalist. Might people such as al Sadr and al Sistani ( and indeed Alawi) be viewed more as Iraqi nationalists who would seek a three-way co-equally fair federation of the Big Three Regions? If it is not too late for that too?

Ryan

You're welcome, Jim.

I got a good laugh out of your reply.

Why not? This would be par for the course with this gang of do gooders or worse.

Babak Makkinejad

Sistani is an Iranian citizen.

Bandolero

turcopolier

From what I read between the lines from what General Saidi said it looked like the Iraqi army is not prepared to retake Mosul, and they wouldn't even try to. And neither will the Iraqi army try to reconquer Kirkuk. Following General Saidi's remarks all what the Iraqi army seems to be currently fighting for is where the borders between the future three-partitioned Iraq will be.

Therefore I think it may well be that the Iraqi army will try to go up to the Baiji refineries and no further north. That would mean that everything north of Baiji - including Mosul and Kirkuk - is up for the grabs of a Sunni Caliphate and Barzani's Kurdish Regional Government. Given the apparent lack of strengh of the Iraqi Army to do otherwise, that would seem quite logical to me from a military point of view.

According to General Saidi the Shia will make a nice face to this and claim they love their Kurdish and Sunni brethren so much, that they, of course, allow them regional self government. But, with a serious caveeat: when Sunnis and Kurds will sell their oil for themselves, the Shia will do the same - and the Shia have the southern Iraqi giant fields bringing 2.5 mio bpd, while the whole north has only about 0.5 bpd.

The thinking behind that may well be, that the Shia parties expect, the Sunnis and the Kurds will wear each other down fighting for the oil of Kirkuk, and after that the Sunnis and Kurds will have enough of separatism and they will come back to Baghdad asking nationalistic Shia to rule over the north of Iraq. I think such a shrew political strategy by the pro-Iranian Shia may even succeed.

All
For those who can read German, here is a link to this interview with General Saidi:

http://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article129570734/Irak-in-drei-Zonen-Das-ist-die-einzige-Loesung.html

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