« "Syrian army fights for last major rebel route into Aleppo" Reuters | Main | War Diary ME - 6 October, 2014 »

05 October 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Sorry but that excuse "can't see and identify" does not fit here.

This morning for example reporters and live TV on the Turkish side of the border could see and showed ISIS tanks traveling out in the open and changing positions on the eastern side of Kobane. Not just for minutes but for hours. The Kurds in Kobane do not have any tanks. Those hills on the Turkish side have an excellent overview over the north, east and west sides of Kobane. Anyone with a phone could have identified those tanks and their positions to the airjockeys.

In the afternoon the Turkish authorities had enough of the public pressure through the media and ordered everyone to leave. It was "too dangerous" there they said. The CNN and the BBC crew leaving in different vans were then both shot at with tear gas by Turkish police while they were clearly leaving. Both cars were damaged with several broken back windows and tear gas landing inside. "Too dangerous" indeed.

Some Kurds said (unconfirmed) that Turkey is pressuring the YPG to commit to joining the FSA and to fight Assad. Only then would supplies to them be allowed through the border.

There are clearly some very nasty game being played there.


Iraq: Reports that Anbar Operations Headquarter near Ramadi has been evacuated. All ISF forces are leaving the city. IS claims to have 70% of it captured. Some fighting still ongoing but it looks as if Ramadi is now gone too.

If true than IS now owns the axis Hit, Ramadi, Fallujah, highway 1 and highway 12 and is largely uncontested in the area west of Baghdad. The next station on the way to Baghdad would be, somewhat ironically, Abu Ghraib where some IS scouts were already seen.



Any significant government forces in or west of Abu Graib? pl



you missed my point. fear of hitting friendlies has caused the USG to impose restrictions on command and control that cause the air to be largely useless in the absence of JTACS. pl



Any chance they could 'accidentally' hit the FSA?



Yes, if there are any. pl


b et al

there is always the possibility that the kobane op is a ruse. pl


@Fred - There is some FSA in Kobane, one group, that is fighting on the Kurdish side. There are no other U.S. friendlies around.

@Pat - yes, Kobane could(!) be a ruse.

But I don't think it is a ruse. IS is clearly able to run multiple significant operations at the same time. The local commanders seem to have enough freedom of command to act on their own (such was reported before). There is pretty clean Auftragstaktik in IS which allows the central command to have as little communication signature as possible while keeping the overview of everything through watching CNN and AlJazeerah.

As for JTAGS rules - why aren't there any at the Turkish border if not in Kobane. There should be some qualified people sitting around in Incirlik. Just rent a car and make the drive. IS took (again) the radio hill south of Kobane. IS videos show tanks standing on the top of the barren hill with their canons in northern directions. Any kid could fire a TOW from Turkey and could take those out.

But the only TOW videos today, plenty of them, showed FSA using them in fighting Syrian government troops in al-Hurrah in Daraa province. Tell me again who Obama is really targeting in Syria?

Centcom said it used AH-64 Apache helicopters to fight IS west of Baghdad today. Those are stationed at BIAP with the official sole task of protecting it.


Any and all, at the risk of being off-topic and displaying my ignorance, I will note that the proliferation of acronyms is bewildering in this matter. I recall when I came to Greece in 1978, there were KKE, KKE(m-l), KKE (l-m) and later KKE external and KKE internal, the last two corresponding to the International Communists and the Eurocommunists in the 1980s. Monty Python's _The Life of Brian_ exposed me to the humor of this. Given all the acronyms based on the shifting alliances, I would appreciate if anyone could direct me to a site where I might sort this out. This is not a request for anyone to spend effort on this, since these acronyms pop up like mushrooms. My very first exposure to this was in Orwell's _Homage to Catalonia_ many many years ago.



yes, they can run multiple ops simultaneously but that does not mean that they would not a ruse that would draw our attention north.

JTAC presence north of the border is dependent on WH approval. pl


Also in reply to all, I think I managed to find what I had hoped for.


(Sorry for commenting too much on this thread but) This is quite a revelation and McClatchy is a very serious source:

IRBIL, Iraq — A former French intelligence officer who defected to al Qaida was among the targets of the first wave of U.S. air strikes in Syria last month, according to people familiar with the defector’s movements and identity.

Two European intelligence officials described the former French officer as the highest ranking defector ever to go over to the terrorist group and called his defection one of the most dangerous developments in the West’s long confrontation with al Qaida.

The identity of the officer is a closely guarded secret. Two people, independently of one another, provided the same name, which McClatchy is withholding pending further confirmation. All of the sources agreed that a former French officer was one of the people targeted when the United States struck eight locations occupied by the Nusra Front, al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate. The former officer apparently survived the assault, which included strikes by 47 cruise missiles.




This won't help with understanding the peoples front of Judea but here goes:


FB Ali

Col Lang,

More than "WH approval", it is dependent on Turkish approval. I would guess it's the latter that is missing.

robt willmann

David Stockman has an article out today about the Kobane situation, and he is not a fan of Obama's policy--


Stockman, who had been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan, was made the Director of the Office of Management and Budget during Ronald Reagan's first term (1981-1985). President Reagan got a little constipated when Stockman was quoted as saying, "None of us really understands what is going on with all these numbers," but did not fire him. Stockman later got into the corporate leveraged buyout racket, and had some successes and failures, but enough success to be able to buy earlier this year for $14.85 million a 4,900 square foot penthouse residence overlooking the east river in New York, where he lives with his gracious wife--


Nevertheless, Stockman has remained clear-eyed about the rotten economic situation and policies regarding it, does not excuse all leveraged buyouts, was against the bailouts of banks and financial companies beginning in 2008 and continuing on, and wrote a 742-page book called "The Great Deformation" (2013). The book also has a good general history of economic policy in the U.S. beginning around the 1920's--


On a lighter but effective note, the useful capacity of human beings for satire and ridicule remains alive, as a new Twitter account has been created as a play on words on ISIL, as #JSIL: The Jewish State of Israel in the Levant--



You are spot on colonel. As a former helicopter gunship pilot, I know its true. Many times there's no substitute for eyes on the ground. Even low level, unless they are shooting at you, it can be hard or impossible to tell friendlies from the bad guys.


Perhaps the lack of JTACs is related to risk aversion going into the mid term election, with the Obama Administration fretting over a second Benghazi effect.

If so, we might see a more aggressive war against ISIL after the election.


Nasty games...it's impossible to know who is doing what to whom. Through a glass darkly. What is Turkey's game? The Saudis, Qataris and Zionists?

As for the US narrative that ISIS is the greatest threat since Satan, the dots simply do not connect. Either there is an extremely elaborate ruse being staged here, which will fail because of all the moving parts, or US "allies" have decided to run amok and ignore the indispensable one.

And if the ME "allies" all decide to run amok, what cards does the US have to play to bring them back? Have the ME "allies" finally discovered the hegemon's soft underbelly?



Try this.



Haralambos, try this:



Thanks for this. It helps with some, but the problems I have are keeping track of the who is who in the alphabet soup of acronyms of the different groups.


Thanks for this. I will see if it helps.

ex-PFC Chuck

Perhaps the most highly regarded book on the 2008 meltdown is "ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism," by "Yves Smith," aka Susan Webber. (http://amzn.to/n7w32y) She has been in the financial industry for over 30 years and had a front-row seat during the debacle. She had acquired the nom de plume when she established the blog "Naked Capitalism" about 2006, and chose to publish the book under the pen name because of the recognition it had achieved. Although I find Stockman's blog insightful, he doesn't have nearly the severely critical view of neoclassical economics that Yves' book has, beginning with the title, which I agree with and also believe is an important part of the back story as to why our foreign policy has been so f***ed up lo these past 30+ years.



Welcome to the party. You have the same problem everyone has. Acronyms change constantly. for example, the US military no longer the uses the names for things that they used when I was on active duty. Actually, there have been several generations of changes since then. pl


b et al

A ruse or feint in the form of a secondary attack would be pressed home for the purpose of being convincing. the troops involved are not normally told that theirs is not the main effort. pl

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad