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08 October 2014

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DH

Kobane:
US air support increases forcing IS to dedicate more fighters.

Turkey:
Sunni Turks, inspired by IS rhetoric and successes, continue demonstrations calling for Jihad, which leads to harsh military crack-downs in Ankara, Istanbul, and other large cities.

Aleppo:
Secured by Syrian Army.

Damascus:
Syrian Army on the offensive.

BIA:
IS continues to peck away with artillery, but will not attack due to Shia numbers and fear of US reprisals over a rout of her citizens. One Apache downed with MANPAD, crew beheaded.

Baghdad:
Being reinforced by Iranian arms.

US:
Looks on, knowing the Wahhabis in KSA and GCCs are supplying money and arranging arms, and that this cannot be effectively stopped for fear these states will be overrun, disrupting oil supply and world economy.

IS:
Except for the odd foray, stays put, concentrating on current projects.

FB Ali

Actions and events up to 5 Nov:

Kobane: Falls to IS in 3rd week of Oct. Turkey allows civilian refugees from there to enter Turkey but turns back fighting age males, who are captured and slaughtered by IS.

US and Turkey: US continues air strikes on IS with not much improved effect. Keeps up pressure on Turkey for use of Incerlik and use of Turkish ground forces in Syria. Turkey insists it will only allow use of airbase if an agreement reached on action against Assad. However, it agrees to base and train FSA forces in Turkey.

IS: After capture of Kobane it starts probing attacks against BIA while extending its control over Anbar province, and consolidating its hold on the territory it has captured. US moves additional troops into BIA to protect it, while using Apaches to fend off attacks.

Kurds: KRG Peshmerga builds up to defend own territory but does not undertake any offensive operations.

Iraq: Shia militias continue to be armed and trained with Iran's help, while army units are trained under US supervision. No offensive operations undertaken.

Cee

Makosog,

I don't believe that ISIS is out to establish a Caliphate. I believe they are a band of useful idiots and mercenaries as tools to wage war and reshape the borders of territory.

turcopolier

FB Ali

As of 5 November in game time and game world, there are no US ground troops in Iraq other than reinforced embassy guard. There are American soldiers at BIA but they are all staffs, logistics, advisers and the like. BIA is defended by the Iraqis. pl

Cee

Lemuel,

Sigh...the Kurds are pawns that everyone uses and nobody gives a tinkers damn about.

http://warincontext.org/2014/10/10/fsa-fighting-alongside-kobane-kurds/

I'm going to pour myself a Makers Mark and drop a few tears in it.

different clue

Elaine,

I wonder how much ISIS is really concerned with their fellow-Sunni Kurds as against acting against Kurds in future to satisfy Baathist leadership and keep it allied to ISIS. It seems to me that ongoing attacks into yet more of Kurdistan rather than other easier-to-take less-well-defended flatland areas would reveal a deep-seated Baathist desire for revenge on Kurdistan for achieving some semi-autonomy post-Saddam.

Fred

IS Forces
October Surprise.
Launch attacks in UAE airport to down civilian airliner. Priority 1) Quantis in retaliation for Australian actions 2) Emirates air . 3) any civilian airliner
If successful Claim responsibility for Australian and/or Emirates actions against the Caliphate.

Kobane/Mosul front.

New Year’s Offensive (October 25th) Continue push into central Kobane if not completed. Truck bombing attacks in Mosul area to include Irbil as well as deployment of decoys to further draw Coalition air asset attacks. Utilize available AAA assets where possible. Continue beheading of capture Iraqi troops with a special emphasis on any captured coalition pilots or SF troops.

Anbar
Consolidate areas North and West of Baghdad. Move assets including resupply to staging areas near BIA and GZ predatory to an offensive on or near Ashura.

Attacks on BIA and Green Zone to occur on November 4th. These are preceded by diversionary attacks timed to coincide with the start of Ashura on November 3rd. Diversions in 1) Karbala 2) Western Baghdad (bombings) 3) Probe of the Green Zone Defense 4) deployment of decoy of artillery/tanks to draw coalition air and attempt ambush of such assets. 5) use truck bombs/ieds to block responding forces.
Attack Green Zone in strength at midnight on 3 November. Attacks on BIA at dawn 4 November. Designated artillery and commando forces to specifically target fuel and ammo reserves in exposed areas of BIA.
Central reserves brought up to close with either target with primary objective being BIA.

IS Diplomatic efforts
Saudi Arabia and Gulf States. Continue infiltration efforts against Saudi units and civil population.

Turkey
Continue 5th column efforts. Attempt to convert air force pilots or naval unit commanders and NCOs.

Syria
Closes the ring at Aleppo. Destroys rebel/IS forces there. Continued Russian and Iranian support.

Coalition forces.

Air attacks along Syrian border and near Baghdad.
If approved by POTUS provide advisors to Iraqi army forces in Baghdad to include planning of defense and counter attacks on IS forces. Advise need of central command of BIA defense forces.

Iraqi forces conduct spoiling raids on known IS positions near BIA and military airfields. Increase alert status near major Shia holidays.

US/NATO begins evacuation of non-essential staff from BIA and Green Zone.

Coalition Diplomatic efforts.

Continue contacts with Sunni Tribes in Anbar region in an effort to both have them provide intellegence and where possible engage IS forces.
Continue talks with Iran and provide intelligence data where approved.
Reach out to Turkish opposition parties and Turkish Armed Forces leadership

DH

Addendum: retract Kobane prediction as it conflicts with TC's current scenario.

William Fitzgerald

errata

In 1st para., "SAG forces around Aleppo", strike SAG and insert SAR.

readerOfTeaLeaves

Kobane Front: Turks won't intervene; area overrun by IS. The humanitarian disaster shines a harsh light on the idealism and ineffectiveness of R2P as a policy. Kurds in EU and US outraged.

Anbar Front: IS continues to consolidate. It sends most of its new recruits here and must create systems for food distribution and meeting social needs if it is to gain traction. This period is consolidation and early steps. IS infiltrated by Russian, Syrian agents.

Baghdad Activities: IS not yet ready for major confrontations; will continue to activate cells and engage in disruptions (i.e., suicide bombing). The Shia militias guarding BIA will not be able to operate effectively without accepting some degree of Iranian leadership; the US is not yet ready to come to terms with this reality.

Syria Front: Aleppo surrounded; SFA in hopeless situation. Assad makes nice with Kurds, but has little to offer at present other than future promises. Iran and Russia continue support.

Coalition Air Activity: Against experienced Sunni officers whose experience goes back to the Iran-Iraq war, the weaknesses in CAA become obvious over this phase of the game.

Diplomatic Activity:
(1) In US, Nov 4th midterms have 33 Senate seats up for election and control of the Senate at stake. Obama is hogtied until at least 4 Nov, and possibly later. Meanwhile, the GOP believes they benefit from portraying Obama as 'weak', and led by McCain and TOLFSC, feed the anger and angst that are driving young Arabs to join ISIS.
(2) Failure to deal with larger issues like global warming, financial reform, continue to delegitimize governments throughout the EU, as well as US and its close allies.
(3) Within diplomatic and military circles, private disgust with KSA, Israel, Qatar, and anyone else whose funding and activities spawned ISIS will grow silently, but ominously, throughout this phase of the game. This will not produce visible outcomes, but is a quiet, ongoing, shift of attitudes.
(4) In addition to #3, the problems created by poor governance will begin to quietly rise to public attention.

readerOfTeaLeaves

Request for TC Input:
The New Moon is 23 Oct; would ISIS take advantage of the dark to engage in operations, or is this now outdated?

25 October is the Muslim New Year; 3 Nov is Ashura. Are either of these factors in IS planning...?

Haralambos

Kobane falls as per Brigadier Ali. If refugees permitted into Turkey, the refugee situation for the southern rim of the EU worsens as those who can manage to get funds out will pay Turkish smugglers to try to get them into the EU. Greece the likeliest route with more migrants rescued or turned away. Fear in Europe over Islamic militants heading to the conflict ramps up security efforts and puts pressure on Turkey, both external and internal over its complicity both for allowing folks to head there and for not letting Kurdish fighters to enter from Turkey.

The refugee problem also is magnified by fears of the spread of the Ebola virus. The end of Eid means many Muslims will be heading home to their countries of residence or nationality. EU governments increase screening of incoming and outgoing passengers for Ebola (Eid pilgrims) and ISIS issues respectively, and the US increases limitations on flights from the region.

Russia steps up its initiative in the region and Iraq in particular.

The Republicans will gain control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate or at least produce a stalemate in the Senate. Gridlock for two more years. The situation will remain unclear as it has for the last 13 despite the Mission Accomplished moment.

Col. Lang, please let me know if this is too far off-task by looking at the situation I observe in my pat of the world.

FB Ali

Please consider my 'solution' amended to read:

More Iraqi SF are moved into BIA for its protection.

ISL

Nov 5 Forecast based on Oct 8 SitRep (Oct09_2014)

Kobane Front : ISIS will capture Kobane, there will be no significant strategic change to ISIS war with Syria or Iraq or its relationship with Turkey or Turkey;s relationship with Kurdistan. However, in the realm of political theater, this will increase pressure on the US to increase its involvement to ward off domestic critique of its failing policy. Increased USAF bombing has no significant effect.

Anbar Front: The increasing noose on Baghdad and loss of control of Anbar inspires Iraqi politicians to improve their escape plans to Iran. No other change in Iraqi gov't activity or success at re-supplying their forces. US increased involvement of using helicopters against IS is minimally successful due to a lack of good targeting information and experience that IS has against helicopter attacks from the Syrian government. IS increased successful use of MANPADs worries US political leaders that current US support will evaporate if one or more helicopters are shot down; thus US application of AH-64s is sporadic with much press fanfare.

FORECAST:

Allepo. Syrian Army continues its gains and successfully isolates Aleppo from Rebel re-supply.

ISIS/DAESH continues to test Lebanese forces with small expeditionary efforts. One penetrates into Lebanaon and captures a near border town with suspected IS supporter cells helping. Eventually, Lebanese military at high cost, retakes town. Hezbollab watches. IS focus on Baghdad means no probes at Saudi Arabia or Jordan. Kurdistan left alone. Anticipating greater challenges in moving hardware, later, hardware is moved by IS to suburbs of Baghdad sooner.

Syria: Allepo is successfully isolated from rebel supply lines, FSA forces respond by surrendering weapons and leaving; much of FSA outside Allepo pledges allegiance to IS. FSA continues to exist in name only to receive US funds.

US: Covert/intelligence forces in Kurdistan increased dramatically and in Baghdad. Diplomatic pressure on Turkey has no effect. Internally, the IC and Obama Administration disagreement frequently becomes visible publically, with the president no longer trusting any advice he receives from the IC. Thus, policy decisions become further isolated from the situation on the ground.

Saudi Arabia: no events forecast. Jordan: No events forecast.

Iran: Several shiite militia begin to feature many “Iranian volunteers.” These militia align with Maliki, not the gov't of Iraq. Sadr’s militia (Mahdi Army) continues to operate independent of Iran or Iraq activity. Conflicts are reported between BIA militia (which may or may not be Sadr aligned) and Apache helicopters.

Shia-Iraq: A Baghdad neighborhood declares itself part of IS, and running battles begin in Baghdad. If the Iraqi gov't fades away, IS commits, if not, security situation continues to degrade as currently.

Egypt: Attacks on a Sinai target are attributed to IS. Media frenzy ensues.

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