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02 January 2020


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Almost a year after the final collapse of the Caliphate and the asymmetric campaign waged by holdovers in this area and neighboring Iraq is still shambolic at best, not even close to approaching complexity of 2009-2012 post-"defeat" ISI insurgency. If you had asked me in 2016-2017 I would have predicted hell to pay on all sides in the form of an insurgency. But it looks like pro-ISIS areas are so depopulated, from the men being killed and the rest herded off to camps, that there is noone left to fight besides disorganized groups of teenagers/greenhorns in their 20s who don't remember the US occupation. IS leadership went all-in 2014-2016 and failed to plan.. I believe in the end they expected the battle of Mosul to break the back of the ISF and so give them breathing room(it did, in a way, the PMU now largely = ISF due to the extreme casualties taken by the Feds in this battle), and that their plans 2017-2018 to insinuate themselves in Idlib have totally failed in large part to HTS anti-IS efforts. One notable exception to all this are the well-armed and highly organized groups of IS vets roving around from Sukhnah to the Iraqi border. And the franchises of course, which with the exception of the Caucasus wilaya(eradicated) and Afghanistan(serious reverses in the past year and particularly past month) are either stable or stronger since bayah.


The IS vets still left in the Sukhnah area beheaded too many of their own followers and lost support. So they now have to hide out in caves and camoflaged tents in the badiya. They can still stage a small raid or ambush, but I suspect the only support they are getting is probably at the point of a gun.


Unconfirmed reports of Soleimani killed in Baghdad. Just saw a very convincing photo of his corpse

ex PFC Chuck

Oh boy! If this was done by the USA, whose bright idea was it?

An air strike has killed Iranian Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and another senior Iranian-linked figure in Baghdad, Iraqi state television reported on Thursday.
No one claimed immediately responsibility for the strike, which Iraqi television also said killed Abu Mehdi al-Muhandas, an Iraqi militia commander, near the Iraqi capital’s airport, but the death of Iran’s most revered military leader appeared likely to send tensions soaring between the United States and Iran.



This has just come in to me here in Greece: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/world/middleeast/qassem-soleimani-iraq-iran-attack.html


ISF? Serge? Sorry, casual observer.



Iraqi Security Forces, catch all for PMU+US-aligned Feds. My bad, it is lazy to use such acronyms when there are so many similar ones, ISF ISI ISIS...


Geography Lesson Please

We see IDPs from the fighting in Idlib in tents near the Turkish border, with the GOT not letting them in. But from the map, parts of that area of Idlib are contiguous with the areas of northwest Syria controlled by Turkey. Are there SARG forces in-between? Even if that were the case, there is only a narrow band of Turkish territory between the Idlib border area and Turkish-controlled land. That would allow for some kind of convoy solution, if/if Turkey were intent on solving this problem. Or is it a matter of Turkey not wanting to incur more Syrian population expenses anywhere without further outside help.

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