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18 October 2014

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FB Ali

I agree that the news about Iraqi army operations sounds hopeful - if they succeed.

However, I doubt that the appointment of al-Obeidi will have any significant impact on Sunni attitudes. He is part of the Sunni 'establishment' that made its deal with the Shia and prospered under their rule. To ordinary Sunnis they would appear tainted.

bth

This is a link to an article quantifying the degraded ISIL refining capacity due to airstrikes. http://petroglobalnews.com/2014/10/u-s-airstrikes-cut-islamic-state-oil-production-by-50000-bpd/ Refined fuel must be in short supply. If ISIL has to begin importing gasoline then cash flows reverse quickly.

A few artillery shells on BIA keeps the ISIL scare up but it doesn't pay the bills. A state-let needs funds.

I'm going to take a wild guess that the next easy source of cash flow for ISIL is going to come from an attempt to seize Kurdish oil fields. But such a move would require ISIL to fix its forces and occupy a geographic area vulnerable from the air.

Alternately if one were really cynical and thought Erdogan in league with ISIL then one might see Turkey making such a move under pretext?

turcopolier

FB Ali

IMO the Iraqi Army and militias around Baghdad will run when and if IS gives them a hard push. IMO IS is withdrawing from Kobane voluntarily. pl

Piotr, Poland

Little offtopic, but not completely:

31 suicide bombers in Iraq in 45 days and 46% of them are Saudis.

https://twitter.com/zaidbenjamin/status/523512729395793920

Haralambos

All, at the risk of being off-topic massively on this thread but perhaps on-topic, since it relates to US policy-makers' delusions, (willful?) ignorance, and wishful thinking, I will post this brief clip related to Russia and the current situation in the Ukraine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LexhW8SCM2c

One key to me is the "I barely got a history degree from the University of South Florida" admission as if that is an excuse for a lack of basic understanding of recent history and policy let alone any sense of history and geography as they relate to warfare. How can anyone like Rear Adm. John Kirby rise that high? I know Col. Lang has explained elements of this in the past, but I wonder if this level of ignorance and hubris are fueling current policy assessments and decisions.

But then he is just a sailor in uniform with numerous ribbons and a spokesman for Hagel, who is political appointee. I had greater hopes for Hagel, the PNAC seems to still be dominant policy.

turcopolier

Haralambos

IMO an active duty officer should not be press spokesman for SECDEF. This is an inherently political job. Kirby is strictly a PR guy and an obvious lightweight, probably in more ways than one. http://www.defense.gov/bios/biographydetail.aspx?biographyid=330 pl

Haralambos

Col.,
Thanks. I am not surprised. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought both active-duty soldiers and officers had an obligation to avoid public party-affiliation at one time, or so my father lived and related.

turcopolier

Haralambos

Yes. Hagel either does not know that or this twerp doesn't make him feel uncomfortable. pl

The Beaver

@ Piotr

If they are suicide bombers and as such they are pushing daisies somewhere , or scattered around , then how come this owner of that tweet has got all their details ?

Piotr, Poland

Maybe he is one of the "accredited journalists" to IS? I don't know his sources, but found him rather reliable

Poul

I'm sceptical if the new minister of interior is a particular good choice.

Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban is a member of the Badr Organization and given that group's activities in killing Sunnis in Baghdad. I have a hard time seeing Sunnis not being nervous. Hadi Al-Amiri will be running things though his proxy.

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