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24 October 2015


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If it's all that's keeping them from kicking ISIS butt, I have boots to spare.

It's that Arab thing I presume: Yes! Of course, comrade! We will kill our common enemies, Allah the merciful curse them, but we need new boots first, for which you have to pay, good friend!


What I am saying is that sandals, in my humble opinion, have never kept Arabs Kurds, or whever local, from killing each other.


Pashtuns would fight in rags wrapped around their feet.

More rug merchant culture at it's finest.


apologisiong for my silliness, but indeed the bit about "that [US arms deliveries] makes Turkey more than unhappy because they don't want the Kurds with better weapons than they already have".

The US arming Kurds, for lack of a better alternative (seriously, they Kurds have been the only fighting force which, the SAA aside, has held up in face of a Jihadi onslaught), to fight ISIS, has never been approved of by the Turks, and has necessarily strained US-Turkish relations ever since it started.

That the Turks played their own game anyway, arming Jihadi nutters, didn't help in any way.

J Villain

Every thing I keep reading says that Washington wants the Kurds to go get slaughtered in Raqqa, but the Kurds aren't interested because it isn't in a area that they want for their future country/state/province and they don't want to make the Sunnis and more angry with them than they have to.

Margaret Steinfels

CP: No apologies needed, I focused on the sillies. I do mean to ask the more knowledgeable precisely about the Turks, about the somebody U.S. general who assured the WashPost that the weapons are in the intended hands, about the Kurds apparent ability to be on top, and given the attention given here to the Northwest of Syris, what anyone makes of the Northeast....

I don't assume the Russians will go to the Northeast. But if they did, what would they do with this motley crew?


Lord forbid they have to do like that ancestor of mine who fought with Washington (the man, not the place) or those other guys who visited my birthplace back in July of '63. Will he settle for some Birkenstocks?

Margaret Steinfels

Now. Now. If you are to be the "boots on the ground," you really have to have boots. Flip flops won't do.

The Twisted Genius


I wore blue nylon Adidas running shoes at times in combat and found them most appropriate. I often thought of that whenever I heard the term "boots on the ground" and figured I didnt qualify. Of course I only carried an AKMS, a couple of drum magazines, a bag of mini-grenades and a hatchet. I've seen videos of YPG fighters wearing running shoes and carrying little more than an AK.

On the serious side, this story rings true to me. The Kurds are the stronger and more numerous force in that region. I figured they'd be the ones to get to the airdropped supplies first and control the distribution. The Pentagon may have really planned for the Arabs to get the drop or they were just saying that to placate the Turks. You know, that info ops thing. I'm sure the Kurds' Arab allies are willing to go for Raqqa, but they can't do it alone. I heard we moved A-10s into Turkey. If we employ them in a vigorous enough manner and convince the YPG/YPJ to provide some unadvertised support, the Arab militias might be able to move towards Raqqa. The Arab militias helped the Kurds take Tal Abad. Maybe the Kurds will be willing to return the favor. That's a lot of ifs, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility.


LOL... maybe, or maybe not!



The YPG want to close the border with Turkey,

The U.S. apparently does not want to allow that,

And Russian is not strong enought in Syria, to make it happen,

Give the Russians a couple of months.


The Kurds are highly mistrusted in the Near East, they're basically seem as proxy for Zionist-American interests by everybody.


"Just as significant, however, is the recognition that Kurds are unlikely to be able — or perhaps even willing — to fight for the Sunni Arab lands controlled by the Islamic State, including Raqqa, the jewel in the crown of the militants’ self-styled caliphate and a city the Kurds do not aspire to govern."

I think that passage is key. IMO, the theory, as discussed here, that the YPG kurds will stay and defend their localities rather than allow themselves the be used (up) as shock troops ('abroad') against IS quite plausible.

A US policy that would try to use them against Raqqa is probably not going to work very well.

Joshua Landis has background info on this Arab group complaining about lack of US supplies, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa, on his site Syria comment:

"In September 2013, Jabhat al-Nusra announced its ‘return’ to Raqqa city. Some of the smaller brigades saw in Jabhat al-Nusra the chance to protect themselves from the growth of ISIS, and accordingly pledged allegiance in some form. This included Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa, though the exact terms of the allegiance are disputed. It appears Jabhat al-Nusra had hoped to integrate Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa through Shari’a sessions, but regardless of whether or not this was actually agreed upon, it is therefore clear that Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa was not properly integrated into Jabhat al-Nusra’s ranks.
As infighting spread between rebel forces and ISIS, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa appears to have taken the lead in fighting ISIS inside Raqqa city in January 2014, at which point it had broken off from Jabhat al-Nusra.
In September 2014, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa along with a number of rebel groups in the Kobani area joined the Burkan al-Furat (‘Euphrates Volcano’) coalition led by the YPG, and participated in the battle of Kobani as well as the subsequent push eastwards following the failure of the Islamic State to take the city. Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa appears to have been the main rebel auxiliary force alongside the Kata’ib Shams al-Shamal formation of the Dawn of Freedom Brigades
Yes, it may be that the PYD takes into account for the time being local Arab and Turkmen objections to incorporating Tel Abyad into Kobani, and certainly it has little interest in pushing further south to Raqqa city and thus delegates an area like Ain Issa to Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa. Yet the playing up of ‘YPG-FSA’ cooperation tends to ignore the fact that the YPG has done the bulk of the fighting, sustained the bulk of the casualties, and as a result its political wing the PYD has come to be the administrator of the vast majority of localities retaken from the Islamic State."


The last part would explain why the YPG apparently kept the goodies to themselves rather than handing them to their auxiliaries.


And then there is this:



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William R. Cumming

All troops will be in running shoes before long IMO [easier to carry spares]!


Every so often, I just need to step outside of the serious media I read and imbibe a little absurdist viewpoint.


Given the volume of empty noise you introduce on SST it's rich for you to protest such!


Leander has been here with this community for a long time. If you don't like her writings then ignore them.



Yes, LeAnder is, in navyspeak, a "plankholder" here. There are several such. pl


When I was studying Arabic (forty years ago) one of my teachers told me a joke Algerians were making about Russian military equipment supplied to the UAR. "Look, brothers, this tank is made from marvelous steel. Just the thing for forging swords from."

I don't quite get the complaint that they "only" have AK-47s. That's a better weapon for their purposes than the M-4. Ammunition is a lot more available.


Naw, some footwear manufacturer will buy a Pentagon procurement officer who will decree that boots cannot be replaced. I remember when paratroopers bought their own boots because they claimed the issue combat boots were not appropriate for parachute landings. There was no way the procurement officer in charge of buying boots was going to cut his retirement plan just to please some airborne types. I also remember the guy(s) who sabotaged the ammo for M-16s for years because Hercules didn't want to change the propellant they were selling at such excellent profit to the government. May they burn in Hell.

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