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26 June 2014


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The prosepects are not good indeed. And ironically, Bush's invasion of Iraq has led to the destruction of one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Some much for his looking out for fellow Christians. This was also forseen years ago.



The ISIS captured some M-198s. I saw them being towed in a video shot in Mosul, I believe.

CNN can't figure out what to do about those aircraft. I would suggest to them to fly them out if the pilots are still present.


What are the chances of the Iraq Sunni tribes turning against the ISIS animals once they've regained some territory from the Shiites?
The ISIS-tribe alliance seems to be one of short term convenience.
The US, as usual, appears clueless.


i've been wondering about the evacuation plans -- esp with col lang's point that there were 25,000 present vs the 5,000 that the administration said were there. one would hope that evacuations have been ongoing since it was clear the iraqi army was so unreliable; but details not released to avoid massive panic. although how thousands of people being airlifted out is not being noticed seems highly unlikely. and it seems the coverage is getting less and less as the days go on. the msnbc reporter in irbil was just giving a live update; but cut off midstream when he began talking about iran -- to cut to some chatterbunny coverage of obama flying off to somewhere.

won't people be surprised when the coverage of the soccer games are interrupted... and meanwhile w sits in dallas painting self-portraits and the cheneys waiting to pop a cork at the slaughter.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

It appears that ISIS is also using the weapons and equipment it captured in Iraq to make gains in Syria (and not only in territory):

"While Nusra still controls the city, four of its top commanders defected to ISIS as it was able to bring to bear heavy weapons and armored vehicles captured in Mosul.....

In the northern province of Aleppo, where rebel forces largely had expelled ISIS, the group used its newly captured American equipment to retake the towns of Abla, Tel Gaghan, Cassar, Thelthana, Thelathina and al Barroza from the Free Syrian Army over the weekend......

On Sunday, ISIS used American-made Humvees to push Nusra and Ahrar al Sham fighters from the villages of Eksar and Maalal, which strategically sit next to the border with Turkey....."



Of interest regarding the supply lines to Ramadi/Falluja. The story may just be misinformation given the sources.


"(Reuters) - Syria's al Qaeda wing has pledged loyalty to the rival Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in a Syrian border town, a monitoring group said, boosting ISIL's control on both sides of the frontier.

Fighters from Nusra Front, the Syrian wing of al Qaeda, took an oath of allegiance to ISIL in the town of Albu Kamal, close to the Iraqi border, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and an Islamist website said on Wednesday."



I believe you forecast this unfolding Iraqi debacle approximately two weeks ago.

It will be interesting to see if our US leadership elites with access to several hundred billions of dollars of intelligence infrastructure, also anticipated this danger to the thousands of US citizens in and around Baghdad.

My guess is the elite's,inbred Harvard/Yale incompetent twits have already blown it, and we are in the early stages of an Iranian embassy hostage style crisis. Except this one will be on steroids.

But the our big corporate MSM will do their best to ignore it,and then down play it. This is in keeping with American MSM's new role as the replacement for the old soviet news paper of record, Pravda.


These photos were taken in Mosul of an Ba'ath/ISIS military parade on 24 June.


There is a load of captured US and Soviet era equipment along with ISIS infantry assault vehicles (aka, a 4WD pickup truck). There are three M-198s shown here.

Maybe we can get Michelle to post a phot of herself holding a sign that says "# Give back our Humvees!"


In Afghanistan I remember our battery put our 105mm barrels into direct fire mode when the tribals tried to overrun Border Checkpoint 4 in a human wave. Their "Gunny" was so excited, shouting on about how they'll never get a chance to do this if they were in the army for 30 years.


This is pretty much my view of the situation.

The Sunnis in Iraq were for the most part modern. Iraq was obviously modern, even during the occupation, versus the head trip that was Afghanistan. Modern conveniences and inane Salafist doctrine do not go hand in hand.

I do not see the Baathists, after reclaiming their homes, simply handing over the keys to foreigners again.

r Whitman

I am working with a 1999 national geographic map of the area. Can anyone point me to good map website that shows,political and military objectives in Iraq, Syria and Jordan.


fb ali
there is so much captured equipment and supplies that there is enough to use both in Syria's north and in Iraq. pl

cville reader

I am afraid there may not be hostages. So much better to post a video on Youtube....



Turning against ISIS after ISIS helped them to gain territory and power seems to be exactly the plan of the insurgent tribes of northern Iraq. See the recent interview on Sky with Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleiman for example. Quote:

Al Salman's men are currently fighting alongside ISIS against the Iraqi military.

But whilst they have a mutual cause, he warns that ISIS has no future in Iraq.

"ISIS came after our revolution and they tried to benefit from it. ISIS has tried to open Iraq up to international interference. Will we fight ISIS? Yes, but not for the time being."



From what I've seen from ISIS in Syria, Sheikh Suleiman and his fellows made a gross miscalculation.

ISIS proved in Syria to be much stronger and much more capable then their allies thought they would be. ISIS is not in the fight to first be used by others and then to lose the infighting with allies. I expect either Sheikh Suleiman to subordinate himself and his forces to ISIS soon or ISIS will eat Sheikh Suleiman and his fellows alive, as they did it with all those insurgent groups "fighting alongside" ISIS in Syria.


You can try this site. Unfortunately, it only covers Iraq. There is a load of material about the IA.


This one is labeled an operation commands/OOB.


I've seen some maps that help address your question, but I can't recall where I saw them. If I run across them or some better ones I'll post the links here.



IMO you greatly exaggerate ISIS strength as a stand alone force. Deprived of their allies in Iraq they will not seem ten feet tall at all. pl


Headline says it all: Perhaps Bandar's departure was a change in style not substance:

Iraq crisis: Britain and US must not meddle in Iraq, warns Saudi Arabia


Even though ISIS is rapidly acquiring lot of cash, they likely will need more to continue buying loyalty of the tribes-certainly the Saudi's can replicate the Sunni Awakening success.....

Seems likely that it will be hard for Iran to stay out at some point. Funny, lots of reports in the media of Russian troop movements near the Ukraine border. Anyone seen reports on Iranian troop movements? There is a report they are flying drones in Iraq.


"they likely will need more to continue buying loyalty of the tribes-certainly the Saudi's can replicate the Sunni Awakening success....." I have never understood the moralistic obsession with whether or not the Sunni tribes received subventions from the US during the Awakening. Money almost always changes hands in covert operations or clandestine intelligence. If you are the operators you want the subjects to take your money. It establishes a relationship that you want. If you think the Sunni tribes fought AQ in Iraq because they wanted the money you are very mistaken. they fought AQ because AQ attempted to destroy the traditional way of life of the tribes. Do you have some personal reason to wish to denigrate the tribal Arabs? pl


Other than volunteers to defend the Shiite shrines I haven't seen anything other than this and this has been known:

"The New York Times reported that Tehran is supplying Maliki with tons of military equipment every day, and that the very powerful commander of Iran’s elite Quds force, Qassem Soleimani, has been in Iraq to coordinate the fight against insurgents, who are led by the jihadi Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)."


This is a Kurdish news source.

ex-PFC Chuck

As the folks at Washington's Blog note while recapping the history of how we got here, for the neo-cons the collapse of Iraqi state and its neighbors is a feature, not a bug.


ex PFC Chuck

Ralph Peters is a self obsessed nut. Nobody pays any attention to him in the government. pl


ex-PFC Chuck,

The Securing the Realm plan by Perle, Feith and Wurmser had its inspiration with this one from the 1980s. Interesting.




We shall see. I've seen ISIS in Syria surprisingly capable of coming out on top of tribal alliance games.



Sounds like an interesting day in the field artillery.



I've heard the same 'bout Bill Lind, Col.

In your opinion, who's worse?

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