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08 October 2014


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JCS see through Turkey's no-fly zone proposal as a continuation of their focus on overthrow of Assad and war against PKK. Turkey's objective is to prevent a Syrian Kurdish "victory" against IS in the battle for Kobani, fearing it will lead to an autonomy deal between Syrian Kurds and Assad, that is already defacto in place. So in effect, Turkey under Erdogan and Davutoglu is an ally of IS, also making loads of money on the black market for oil and other commodity deals with IS in both Syria and Iraq. Obama puts only limited pressure on Turkey to "join the coalition" prioritizing fighting against IS and so the situation remains status quo, with IS making gains in Kobani area while not winning decisively. Coalition further withers as GCC "partners" deplete their resources as an excuse for remaining passive in the "coalition of the unwilling."

Hagel and JCS already worried about looming deep sequestration cuts and lack of Congressional authorization of further funds for the war on IS. Without ground intelligence, impact of US-led bombing campaign is limited in effectiveness. Obama continues to insist there will be no American "boots on the ground," but US Special Forces will be beefed up further inside Iraq and will attempt to improve ground intelligence and also work on convincing some of the Sunni tribes to change sides. With paralysis in Baghdad coalition government, this will be a losing proposition.


US: No change in behavior until after November 7. However, ISIS murders yet another American, this time live. This hardens the resolve, which is expressed by a long term drone campaign, planned to degrade both ISIS leadership and economic interests. Despite the outrage at the murder, the body politic continues to make boots on the ground impossible.

Europe: The Russians escalate their intrusions into Baltic air space, further weakening their ability to aid in an air campaign. The Merkel government faces elections, as outrage over the gutting of the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht is now clearly understood by the populace. There are serious disturbances all across Europe by supporters of just about any fragment of Islamist ambition, including several terror attacks. When the threat of Ebola is added to the mix, Europe finds itself in a place it hasn't been since the end of WW2 and turns inward.

Turkey: The country edges towards civil war but Erdogan is finds it politically impossible to attack ISIS.

TC Control: The US sends a diplomatic mission, headed by the Sec State, and demands full Turkish cooperation in shutting down ISIS supply lines and any banking assistance, by a date certain. The stick is an embargo on military assistance, including spares and logistical support for US hardware. The US fear is Turkey buying increasing amounts of hardware from the Chinese. Answer?


Assad, concerned that ISL are doing too well on the Iraq front, and attendant re focus of US air to the ‘wrong’ ISL assets, opts for a false flag operation against Turkey.
The Kurdish rioting in Eastern Turkey escalates to include a successful IED attack on truckloads of troops heading east. Assad tasks the military intelligence directorate to undermine Turkish support for ISL. They opt to copycat the ISL truck bombs in Kobane and launch a coordinated attack on Turkish military targets in Suruc and Birecik making sure 'someone' catches one on their camera phone and the drivers are clearly IS fighters. Uploaded to Youtube and agitate for further pressure to allow US air power to operate from Turkey. The aim is to create the impression that ISL will ignore the boarder and roll west so adding the Turkish army to the clamour to open the air bases. This also allows for more urgent requests to Russia for additional sophisticated anti-aircraft related hardware to deter the US from switching targets to Assad’s assets.

Babak Makkinejad

US will ignore it.

Babak Makkinejad

I also think all of Anbar province will be lost to ISIS.

Babak Makkinejad

I tend to think of the NAZIs or the Bolsheviks or Khmre Rouge; which leads me to think that ISIS could maintain control of its conquered territories indefinitely.

Babak Makkinejad

Ahmadinejad did not represent anyone but himself.

That was the reason that his reform program of cutting off the access of various mafias to state funds was opposed tooth and nail by so many in Iran.

Iranians will not invade Iraq - there are enough recruits in Iraq ready to fight for the Government of Iraq.



TC response: As of 5 November 2014, US has continued to flow forces into Jordan and Kuwait. USAF units now operating in combat role from Azraq Air Base in eastern Jordan. The two US Army armored brigades in Kuwait are being filled to 100% of strength. Helicopter maintenance is being performed at BIA. pl

Babak Makkinejad

There will be no danger of civil war in Turkey initiated - I suppose - by Kurds in Turkey; in my opinion.

Turkey is sticking to a policy of legalistic neutrality.

Given the contempt for Arabs and the antipathy for Kurds in Turkey, the policy of staying out of the war in Syria & Iraq would be popular among Turks.

Babak Makkinejad

I have heard that SAR & Iran are coordinating their war efforts in Syria at very high organizational level.

A "false flag" operation initiated by Syria against Turkey is a doubtful prospect, in my opinion.

For now, SAR will continue destroying anti-government forces in Western Syria to create a contiguous geographical area under the control of the government.

Once that consolidation has been achieved, SAR can turn its attention to Eastern Syria - several years from now.


FB Ali

TC response: As of 5 November the US has not responded to Turkish demands for a no-fly zone, nor for establishment of a buffer zone that would be a US responsibility. The US continues to provide minimal air support to Syrian Kurds. pl



"I have heard that SAR & Iran are coordinating their war efforts in Syria at very high organizational level." Is this a real world comment? If so, pls do not mix real world and game world inputs. pl


"A recently (yesterday) released IS video stated on this point "You have bomber pilots. We have truck drivers.""

That's right out of Battle for Algiers, no?


ISL prepare 2 or 3 firing positions for each of their artillery pieces using them to fire sparingly and then move them a short distance. These are well supported by heavy machine guns and manpad protection against gunships. The aim being to render the runways unsafe and unusable also to provide some good propaganda footage of burnt out planes. They have a small number of pieces with artillery fire control which take out the control tower but they don’t bother to try and take and hold BIA immediately.

William Fitzgerald

Request for TC Input 1330GMT09OCT:

1. Intelligence on
a. Location and strength of IS units in northern and western Iraq to include northern Anbar, Salah al Din, and Nineveh Provinces. Emphasis should be artillery locations, routes used for supply and troop movement, and infantry strength.

b. Sunni tribal politics the objective is to identify potential alliances.

2. Central Command requests attachment of 1 SF GRP which will receive order for a move to Iraq, completing the move by 16 OCT. GRP HQ to be located in the Kurdish region in the vicinity of Irbil.



Knowing this, an attack somewhere in Jordan seems increasingly likely, if not on Azraq, then on the Jordanian royal family. That attack would not have much military significance but will serve to define the sides and serve notice on King Abdullah, who is in the pocket of the Americans. Such an attack would not only serve notice to Abdullah, but would also lead to a diffusion of the battlefield, all of Jordan becoming a potential theater for guerilla operations against the Americans and Jordanian elites. Potentially this could also bring Israel into the fight to defend Abdullah, which would further define the sides, greatly helping ISIS recruiting and guerilla operations.


ISIS will attempt an attack against Baghdad but this time the Shiite part of the Iraq Army (whatever may be remaining as main combat units) and the Shiite militias won't run. Baghdad is mostly Shiite now. It's their home. Moral may be low or high but the forces fighting in Mosul and Sunni central area were not defending their homes. From now they are.

My guess is that Iraq and Shiite militias are still using limited resources on their attempts to push ISIS and Sunni rebels in central Iraq. They also expect an attack on Baghdad so they need to keep the main forces in reserve while recruiting and training new army and militia forces with Iran advice.

Superior military resources (all those new toys being bought from the Russians, a lot of tanks and armor not being used at the moment), reinforcements from the Shiite South and Iran, and real US air close support (due to real urgency now from US leadership to avoid the embarrassment of running in defeat from US largest embassy) will push ISIS back to the surrounding Sunni area and may even become the start of an effective offensive against ISIS. May not really run for long anyway this year, the time is not yet set for a defeat of the new 'Taliban state'.

Kobane I give a 50% of holding for a month. ISIS can give up as it did to their surge towards the Iraqi Kurdistan from Mosul if cost increases and US finally is forced to do more than talk. Recovering back the area around Kobane will take months anyway so it will be just another token victory/defeat.

William Fitzgerald

Request for TC Input: 1500GMT12OCT

Advisory mission in Baghdad requests counter battery computer and radar equipment and personnel to augment the advisory mission. Advising Iraqi Army artillery units in the vicinity of BIA, which is receiving fire from IS captured howitzers.



William Fitzgerald

TC response. Request granted. Equipment being shipped from CONUS. Arrival Baghdad approximately 19 October. pl


William Fitzgerald

TC response. a. IS is observing strict COMSEC throughout zone requested. Unit identifications are few. Overhead is in the process of identifying major items of equipment. Non equipment targets are few. Many of these are in civilian areas of habitation. They are being struck by coalition air as possible. b. Al bu Nimr tribe in Anbar has sought to renew contact by Satphone with old Special Forces contacts at Ft. Bragg. Shammar in north central desert area are in contact with SOCCENT. SF on scene. 1SFGA request granted. Quartering party will arrive Irbil by 25 October. pl


Kobane falls. Faced with the inevitable some of the Kurdish force try and mingle with the refugees crossing the boarder and the rest are overrun. ISL sets about assimilating the town. ISL are keen not to disturb their Turkish friends and garrison the town with sufficient defensive troops to deal with the locals but not capable of engaging a Turkish ground force. All other forces are redeployed to disrupt attempts to cut off Aleppo.


TC Control: The US sends a diplomatic mission, headed by the Sec State, and demands full Turkish cooperation in shutting down ISIS supply lines and any banking assistance, by a date certain. Turkish answer?


Due to new information from sympathizers in Saudi and Turkish intelligence, Islamic State War Shura authorizes Operation Black Banner over Green Zone to commence one week earlier, on 17th Oct to be completed by 24 Oct. Goals are to take western side of Tigris, with raids on eastern side though orders to leave Sadr City alone unless attacked from there.



TC response: Turkey does not respond. pl


Request for TC Input

Diplimatic action:
US and Russian Federation attempt to curtail the ‘regime change’ actions in Ukriane and have back channel discussion on anti-IS actions in Syria.
US and Iran work to tacitly turn a ‘blind eye’ to sanctions violations. US provides intel to Iran on IS activities in Iraq where available and appropriate.

US and Gulf States – continue efforts to curtail funding directly and indirectly of IS supporters.

US and Turkey – US pressures to open NATO airfields to combat use. Will this be effective before Nov 5?
US and Egypt – US pressures Egypt to curtail IS actions and keep the canal area in operation.

Force structure for deployment
US and Nato Forces
What naval forces are available to deploy the Meditereanian and Persian Gulf to provide air and missle support to interdict and IS supply lines, exposed artillery and massed forces near BIA and the Green Zone? What can be deployed in Kuwait or Jordan to provide logistics support to JTACs, LR reconisaince (and defense of such bases of operation)?

Will raids outside the greater MEA be considered part of this scenario – i.e. an ‘October’ surprise attacks in the UK, US or other areas.

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