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02 February 2015


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According to the side bar on CCN "Everything you need to know about ISIS". "ISIS is putting governing structures in place to rule the territories the group conquers ..."
The Iraq government is corrupt enough that Iraqis are willing to support, or at least not fight IS when they take over. They sure are not fighting for the current central government (or it's predecessor government). The Centcom strategy may kill jihadis in their thousands but that won't end corrupt government nor will it influence the religious dimension that is the fundamental draw of all these jihadists.

Babak Makkinejad


There are Kurds that have joined ISIS and are fighting other Kurds.

Charles I

Is the coalition drawing any borders, holding any territory, taking any tax revenue?


about the jihadi who has not joined ISIS is Paul Bremer, the grandfather of this cf. Remember this
"I leave Iraq gladdened by what has been accomplished and confident that your future is full of hope. A piece of my heart will always remain here in the beautiful land between the two rivers, with its fertile valleys, its majestic mountains and its wonderful people".


I thought it consistent last week that ISIS made a lunge for oil fields W and SW of Kirkuk. One wonders how long their stolen bank deposits from last year can last. Also was surprised about the killed to wounded ratios. Does ISIS have a method of treating its wounded?



Just to comment on the Yemen ISIS phenomenon. Yemenis are incredibly mercenary and while there is certainly AQAP here it remains a very localised and distinctly Yemeni phenomenon. Despite many kidnaps of foreigners they have yet to kill a single one. Yemenis don't really (or haven't until now) go in for murder for the sake of it. This culture has its affect on AQ, too.

As for the few individuals who've supposedly plead allegiance to ISIS at this stage I read it more as a means to get a handout from someone. This is just the latest trend and they know they can probably "milk" it.

Are they about to suddenly become an effective, organised fighting force? I highly doubt it.

On a side note, I heard from a friend in Erbil that last week ISIS crossed the river in boats and launched an attack barely 25km from the city. They slaughtered 120 people then went back again. The message was quite clear.



I believe they were crossing into Turkey for treatment.


An interview with Alastair Crooke about ISIS, Turkeys role in middle-east, US financial war against Russia, etc.



Salafists have always accused Hamas to put their Plaestinian cause before their religious one.

To Al Qaeda, and much more so ISIS, Palestine does not matter at all. Just like Sykes Picot borders, it is an arbitrary, man made entity. Religion trumps ethnicity or regionality with Salafists.

And, generally, when we have folks from Europe coming to Syria to fight with ISIS, we shouldn't be surprised to see Kurds follow the same path. In principle, Kurds fighting wih ISIS were to be expected.

The interesting question here is whether this is truly a conversion on parts of these Kurds, or just one of the odd and pragmatic, coerced or opportunistic alliances that are peculiar to the Syrian conflict.

ISIS will have a hard time accepting a distinctly ethnically motivated group as a partner for long. There will be a clash sooner rather than later.

The Kurds are tribal creatures, if Talabani's PUK and Barzani's KDP - not to mention Ocalan's PKK - and then there are the more obscure Syrian groups PYD/YPG and KNC. Not implausible to see infighting there.


Re: ISIS river assault on Arbil is remarkable. Such operations are not trivial.



Without focussing on killing foot soldiers, why don't the anti-ISIS coalition focus on taking out all oil ridges, pumping stations and refineries that are run by ISIS.
Why aren't all the bridges taken out to hamper their mobility?

When even Kuwaitis don't have equipment to put out oil well blazes, ISIS surely lacks this expertise in sufficient numbers nor can they make bridges.

On the other hand, they can fill their rands by new recruits.

Babak Makkinejad

If you think ISIS, Arabs, and Muslims do not care about Palestine I believe you have not been paying attention.

For ISIS, this is a tactical issue.

Yes, Kurds are tribal and I think those who think that they are capable of statehood are - like Kurds - living in a dangerous fantasy land.

Oh, yes, the Kurdish Communist Republic - the new Utopia - constructed in part on Arab, Azeri, Armenian, Iranian, and Turkish lands.


And yet, those Kurds are the most effective fighting force in combatting ISIS. The Iraqis would not be ready and, in my opinion, would never be ready because they have a tendency to wilt when they became the recipient of an ISIS attack.

When they (Iraqis) attack Mosul, think they will do the same tactic (retreat in a disorganized fashion thus leaving their equipment behind) again towards the Kurdish lines and let the Kurds face the brunt of the attack. My 2 cents worth of opinion, really. Hopefully, that scenario will not become reality.


I don't think they care. We agree.


"And yet, those Kurds are the most effective fighting force in combatting ISIS."

What about the Hezbollah-Syrian Army coalition? I know, one is not suüosed to speak well of them, but by and large, they fight relatively successful considering their circumstances and resources.

One wonders how much better they'd do if the US was not so intent to destroy them and gave them the support they give to the Kurds.

Babak Makkinejad

Well, my understanding has been that the city of Erbil, their purported capital, was saved by Iranians from ISIS and not by Kurds relying on their own resources.

I do not think that the Shia Iraqi government will attack the Sunni city of Mosul.

Their code for not doing anything is that "the fate of Mosul is tied to Sunni Youth of Iraq".

I think Iraqis will leave ISIS alone if ISIS leaves them alone.

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