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Author Topic: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)  (Read 4177 times)

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Offline Vekseid

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2014, 08:52:36 AM »
I know people loooooove to be super reactionary and speculate and all that shit but this map is fake as hell and put out by a right wing fascist group who have posted the following tweets+more racist and anti-semetic bullshit:https://twitter.com/Third_Position/status/484124314115899393
https://twitter.com/Third_Position/status/484012587017699329
https://twitter.com/Third_Position/status/484012997342294016

http://io9.com/that-isis-caliphate-map-is-bogus-so-stop-freaking-ou-1598657469
http://www.businessinsider.com/isis-five-year-expansion-map-is-fake-2014-7
http://qz.com/228833/dont-believe-the-people-telling-you-to-freak-out-over-this-isil-map/

Basic research, kiddos.

To top that off...

Attacking both NATO and BRIC?



Offline Monkeys Razor

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2014, 09:11:04 PM »
To top that off...

Attacking both NATO and BRIC?

I can't see ISIS even lasting in Iraq let alone expanding, and I am a right winger.

Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2014, 09:36:53 PM »
Whose going to extricate ISIS from Iraq then?

Offline Monkeys Razor

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2014, 05:23:25 AM »
Whose going to extricate ISIS from Iraq then?

Were you asking me?

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2014, 11:16:55 AM »
Were you asking me?

The point she is trying to make is we have possibly the most radical Islamic Terrorist organization EVER nearly hitting critical mass and becoming a full fledged militantly agressive state, via taking a big bite out of two unstable countries.

Put another way. Six or seven  years ago..ISIS didn't exist, they were a sub branch of Bin Laden's group. Last summer, they were strong enough to sell Syrian oil to the Assad regime. That is right, they were raising capital by selling oil to the same people they were fighting. Today, they have some where north of two BILLION dollars in capital. That means, unlike Al Qaida, they are fiscally reliant on NO ONE. All the radical Saudi, Iranian, Jordanian, ECT clerics that used money as a lever to manipulate events in the region via terrorism can be told to pound sand. ISIS is truly self guiding, obligated to no one.

Already, they are claiming Syria, Iraq and Lebanon in part or whole as theirs. In addition to doing the standard 'We hate Israel', they have also made it abundantly clear they will crush Hammas as well. Best parallel I can think of..well truth be told.. I can't at the moment. They have tentatively asserted they will be the unifying group for Islam. IE.. Follow OUR ways or be declared an enemy of the faith and put to the sword.

For a perspective of how deep the shit is getting..IRAN gave IRAQ JETS to fight them. The same country that was working to destabilize northern Iraq less than five years ago is supporting, advising and supplying them.

IF Iran had a nuke right now, it would be a hard call between using it on Tel Aviv or a location they knew where the leadership of ISIS is.

What we, and the rest of the western world, should be doing right now is trying to build a coalition group to help Iraq and setting up a properly stable and balanced government like we should have done in the first place instead of foolishly thinking we could dash in and out in less than a generation

If we don't.. Well I think we will be looking at decades of civil wars throughout the Middle East. And easily loss of life into the millions.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 12:34:13 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Monkeys Razor

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2014, 04:23:19 PM »
The point she is trying to make is we have possibly the most radical Islamic Terrorist organization EVER nearly hitting critical mass and becoming a full fledged militantly agressive state, via taking a big bite out of two unstable countries.

Put another way. Six or seven  years ago..ISIS didn't exist, they were a sub branch of Bin Laden's group. Last summer, they were strong enough to sell Syrian oil to the Assad regime. That is right, they were raising capital by selling oil to the same people they were fighting. Today, they have some where north of two BILLION dollars in capital. That means, unlike Al Qaida, they are fiscally reliant on NO ONE. All the radical Saudi, Iranian, Jordanian, ECT clerics that used money as a lever to manipulate events in the region via terrorism can be told to pound sand. ISIS is truly self guiding, obligated to no one.

Already, they are claiming Syria, Iraq and Lebanon in part or whole as theirs. In addition to doing the standard 'We hate Israel', they have also made it abundantly clear they will crush Hammas as well. Best parallel I can think of..well truth be told.. I can't at the moment. They have tentatively asserted they will be the unifying group for Islam. IE.. Follow OUR ways or be declared an enemy of the faith and put to the sword.

For a perspective of how deep the shit is getting..IRAN gave IRAQ JETS to fight them. The same country that was working to destabilize northern Iraq less than five years ago is supporting, advising and supplying them.

IF Iran had a nuke right now, it would be a hard call between using it on Tel Aviv or a location they knew where the leadership of ISIS is.

What we, and the rest of the western world, should be doing right now is trying to build a coalition group to help Iraq and setting up a properly stable and balanced government like we should have done in the first place instead of foolishly thinking we could dash in and out in less than a generation

If we don't.. Well I think we will be looking at decades of civil wars throughout the Middle East. And easily loss of life into the millions.

Firstly I just wasn't sure if she was addressing me or not so I asked. :-)

And yes I do agree something needs to be done and although I didn't support the whole war against WMD's once they went in they should have stayed to finish the job and maintain a force in the country to rebuild and stabilize the nation. That said it will be interesting to see what happens next, I can a mixed force of Middle Eastern countries and the USA/NATO going in again or some kind of operation to keep ISIS hemmed in.

Nuking the leadership of ISIS wouldn't work, just like we saw with the death of Bin Laden and Hussein there is always someone else and usually someone worse to take over once they are gone.

That is why a force should have been kept in the country long term rather than being pulled out, the same will happen in Afghanistan.

Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2014, 05:39:19 PM »
Yes, unfortunately Nouri al-Maliki decided to have a conscious uncoupling with the United States in not agreeing to a SOFA to allow our troops to remain there. And then within a week of the US depature, he sent tanks to arrest the Sunni Vice President and began the process of purging the military and police of US trained officers, of Sunni Awakening Council and Concerned Local Citizen aligned groups who were Sunni and replaced them with officers who depended more on loyalty and nepotism. PM Maliki seemed to assume that the US support of Iraq was somehow unconditional only to find out it actually wasn't. He thought that threatening to end ten billion dollars worth of arms contracts to Iraq was something the US wouldn't risk losing. He was wrong about that too.

Now he's incapable of bringing the Kurds, instead his power bloc is accusing them of collusion, and due to oil disputes, hasn't released to the Kurds their portion of the budget even now. And in desperation he's gone to Iran for support, not realizing that just because they are 'co-religionists' that Iraqi Shia are also highly nationalistic and don't want to be puppets to Iran anymore then they want to suffer the Americans or Sunnis again. Maliki a few days ago had a confrontation with a Conservative Shia cleric, Sarkhi Hasani in parliament. The disputes, apparently Iranian related (in that Hasani is anti-Iranian and Maliki is pro-Iranian) resulted in violent clashes in Karbala and Baghdad.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2014, 10:22:46 PM »
*nods at Neysha* Ukraine; Iraq, Syia and ISIS; Japan deciding to take a more active role in its on defences and stepping up to have a real army again - does look like 2014 will be the year when the "post-Cold-War" era of half-peace and no one wanting to make too much of a loud rustle came to an end.

Offline Monkeys Razor

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2014, 11:12:45 PM »
*nods at Neysha* Ukraine; Iraq, Syia and ISIS; Japan deciding to take a more active role in its on defences and stepping up to have a real army again - does look like 2014 will be the year when the "post-Cold-War" era of half-peace and no one wanting to make too much of a loud rustle came to an end.

The whole "half peace" thing is why we have the problems we have I agree with you. The way the west has been fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular doesn't achieve anything in the end as they do not want to look like invaders but they aren't liberators either they are just seeing the seeds for more trouble in the future.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2014, 10:46:44 AM »
One thing that would guarantee a multilateral, UN Security Council unanimous vote to invade and crush the Iranian government would be them using any nuke on any target.  No country in the world is safe from nuclear weapons, and the level of pariah status for a nation of Iran's size and power would make its defeat a foregone conclusion at the hands of a coalition of the US, Russia, China--you name it.  Nothing like annihilation to unify considered enemies.

As the preceding is just a response to a conjectured response by Iran to ISIS, I'd rather focus on ISIS.  Setting up a nation-state isn't small change.  They're still a terrorist organization.  They only have less than 40,000 fighters from what I've heard, and they are still defeating the Iraqi Army--not the best morale and leadership around.  When ISIS faces a regional enemy with the will and the determination to defend their homeland, like the Kurds, the Iranians, or Israel...then we'll see what they're made of.

I wonder if they can even shift gears from terrorist operations to the kind of warfare actual national governments use--total war.  Espionage, counterintelligence, wholesale cyberattacks, and the usual conventional warfare based around airpower, not just ground troops.  Once they shift from guerilla tactics to actual masses of infantry or armored vehicles, they are a hard target.  Once they form an actual government and have to base it in a capital in order to exercise their national will, they are a hard target.  That's when Israel and Iran (weird to mention them together, yes?) will hit them hard, and knock them back to the level of a terrorist organization.  I could see the Kurds using that as an excuse to seize more territory for themselves as well.

Of course all of this will destabilize the area; that's a given.  The question is, what will that destabilization result in?  The Arab Spring showed that not all regional destabilization is a bad thing for all states.  The sectarian conflict in the region isn't going away any time, soon, however, and that is the root of all evil there...along with poverty.

Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2014, 12:56:18 PM »
ISIS have been acting more like a proper guerrilla army then the classic insurgency that the US faced in Afghanistan and Iraq. If they did what they are doing now back when the US was occupying Iraq, they would've been clobbered much like Sadr's Mahdi Army was back in April of 2004 where you had 'battles' between Shia militia and Coalition troops that resulted in hundreds of dead militia and a handful of Coalition casualties. Hence the insurgency was far more dispersed and fluid and essentially 'incapable' of holding territory or fighting anything larger then skirmishes with their adversaries.

What we have here is a guerrilla army that's moved well beyond an insurgency, but still below a conventional force. They're acting like Hezbollah in the 2006 Lebanon War or the Viet Cong/NVA main force units in Vietnam except with a stronger emphasis on terrorism, but still with the capable of fighting actual open battles, holding and seizing territory, and not just infiltrating, but controlling the territory they seize to the extent they are able to enforce law and order, extort taxes, and even engage in resource extraction and offer social services. They've shown they're more then capable of standing toe to toe if not being superior to the Iraqi Army that Maliki has spent the past three years nerfing into uselessness) as well as protecting and battling the Syrian Army, the Peshmerga and rival Syrian rebel groups (the Free Syrian Army, Islamic Front, al-Nusra) rather effectively as long as they are in Sunni-controlled territory.

It seems like ISIS militants, instead of besieging Baghdad, are using the largesse of equipment they've liberated from the Iraqi Army to reinforce their forces in Eastern Syria. Even as we speak, ISIS forces are busy swallowing up the last pockets of resistance along the Syrian portion of the Euphrates River.



That little pocket around Deir ez-Zor is an oil producing area held by the other AQ aligned Syrian Rebel group al-Nusra. But ISIS recently conquered it and drove them out, now they control an extra oil producing area in Eastern Syria. And once the Islamic State ends it's understanding with the Syrian Assad regime (basically... we'll fight other Rebel groups more then the government and you'll pay us above market price for the oil fields of yours that we now control) they'll swallow up the government holdings in Deir-ezzor and essentially have contiguous control over a large swath of Eastern Syria.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 12:57:55 PM by Neysha »

Online Chulanowa

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2014, 01:45:02 PM »
While interesting as a case study, ISIS is ultimately nothing, a flash-in-the-pan of opportunism that has no real staying power.

The term "extremist fundamentalist" might be pretty trite-sounding after all this time, but that's a perfectly accurate term for these guys. They're o out-there that they were disowned by Al-Qaeda. AQ, while certainly extremist in its way. envisions a world where it and its affiliates rule over the assorted sects and groups in the middle east with an iron fist. ISIS, on the other hand, envisions a middle east where the only people left alive are sunni salafists, and this al-Baghdadi dude ruling over those. That is obviously untenable and unachievable, especially given where the group is operating.

And with fundamentalists... the whole idea of fundamentalism, of any flavor is "I'm more 'pure' than the guy next to me." And hte more hardcore the fundamentalism ,the bigger the divisions caused by even minor differences of opinion. Let ISIS squat over its territorial gains for three months and they'll basically dissolve into about thirteen different armed gangs intent on murdering each other.

And third, those territorial gains are pure opportunism, rather than an indicator of effectiveness. Syria's forces are naturally focused on the west of the nation which is where most of the activity is, where the important cities are, etc. Eastern Syria's pretty vacant for the most part. Same with northern / Western Iraq, it's not exactly heavily populated and isn't the first concern of the Iraqi government. Also, as we've seen, the Iraqi military is... less than effective. However this is not always going to be the case; Syria is very handily crushing and subsuming the insurgents, and will soon turn its attention West. iraq is getting bolstered by Iran, which has a pretty capable military. To the south, Saudi Arabia has moved its forces to the Iraq border, just in case - and movement against Saudi Arabia is very likely to bring a US response beyond "military advisers."

What we're likely to see is either ISIS self-destructs, or a joint operation by the Arab league states plus Iran and maybe Turkey moves to crush them. either way ISIS and its "caliphate" is not long for the world.

However the repercussions are going to be interesting. The weakness of iraq's government and military has been very painfully demonstrated; in the northern portion of hte country, Kurds are calling for an independence referendum, which may lead to similar moves by Kurds in Syriua, Turkey, and Iran... which could lead to more fighting, obviously. Southern Iraq is further split by this mess, its Shia majority being violently targeted by ISIS, which has the appearance of support from the Sunni community (even if it's not actually supported by them). It's anyone's guess whether Iraq remains "Iraq" or is split into two or three states.

Syria and Iran are going to come out of this with very solid gains; Assad in Damascus will have affirmed his authority over Syria and achieved a place of political prominence that may lead to renewed diplomatic pressure on Israel with regard to GOlan - it's unlikley to become military, as Assad's been very adamant in the past about that being a diplomatic issue, and Syria's military will be depleted at this point. Iran however is not likely to take many losses, and will reaffirm its regional power and cultural solidification among the Shia of the Persian gulf area - Iraq, Bahrain, minorities in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, etc.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2014, 01:56:40 PM »
Quote
That little pocket around Deir ez-Zor is an oil producing area held by the other AQ aligned Syrian Rebel group al-Nusra. But ISIS recently conquered it and drove them out, now they control an extra oil producing area in Eastern Syria. And once the Islamic State ends it's understanding with the Syrian Assad regime (basically... we'll fight other Rebel groups more then the government and you'll pay us above market price for the oil fields of yours that we now control) they'll swallow up the government holdings in Deir-ezzor and essentially have contiguous control over a large swath of Eastern Syria.

What do the purple, yellow, and pink regions represent?  I'm guessing pink is Assad's regime, purple likely the other Islamic militias, and yellow the Free Syrian forces.

It looks like, much as usual happens in such situations, the fractious nature of the various rebel groups does nothing to help them when one begins to get the upper hand.  My question is whether ISIS will seek to conquer the other rebel factions, or attempt to deal a death blow to Assad's forces.  I'm not sure if they're strong enough to do that...yet or ever.  If they are using liberated Iraqi army equipment, it puts them on a better footing to do so...but just owning tanks and APCs doesn't make you an effective armored fighting force.  They need qualified crews for those vehicles and artillery, not to mention a command structure and actual leaders from squadron to division level to make those forces effective in the field.  I can't picture your typical terrorist fighters running armor across Syria and doing anything but being destroyed by experienced tankers in the Syrian Army.  If anything, they should maintain their guerilla tactics...to engage in a conventional battle before their forces are trained up would result in the same kind of ass-kicking the Continentals originally received from the British Army in America...until they were trained up enough and experienced.  Hopefully ISIS is too obsessed with the religious side of their group to pay attention to proper military strategy and tactics.  Considering how they've fared so far, I'm mixed on it.

Honestly, I see Iran coming out ahead in this whole affair more than anyone else.  They really don't have anything to lose, other than their allies in Palestine and Syria suffering through the current crisis.  They may even be able to seize territory from Iraq with no repercussions--is the world really going to put together a coalition to go into Iraq again, this time to push Iran out of it?

No, the only thing I see pushing the world into this is if Iran does the really stupid thing and threatens anybody with nukes.  No fanatic like a religious fanatic--but trust religious fanatics to underestimate the threat secular governments see them as if they go full-on nuclear threat.

Quote
While interesting as a case study, ISIS is ultimately nothing, a flash-in-the-pan of opportunism that has no real staying power.

That's what the largest percentage of my opinion falls into as well.  However, even if they ultimately fail, the shockwaves of what they are attempting will shift the paradigm, as far as what religious terrorist groups may try and claim.  Just like Dominionists in the U.S., the Caliphate types aren't going away, at least not until the entire region evolves away from predominantly conservative Islam to some kind of reform version.  Islam has never had a reform like Christianity, and until it does and forms some kind of liberal wing to counteract and counterbalance the conservative branch...this sort of thing will crop up repeatedly.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 01:57:43 PM by HannibalBarca »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2014, 02:56:00 PM »
One thing that would guarantee a multilateral, UN Security Council unanimous vote to invade and crush the Iranian government would be them using any nuke on any target.  No country in the world is safe from nuclear weapons, and the level of pariah status for a nation of Iran's size and power would make its defeat a foregone conclusion at the hands of a coalition of the US, Russia, China--you name it.  Nothing like annihilation to unify considered enemies.

Not intending to rain on anyone's parade or sidetrack the thread, but Israel has nuclear weapons; practically all security experts and intelligence specialists agree they have had functional nuclear strike capability for a few decades. They have (in the opinion of most experts) hundreds of warheads, very effective missile launching/guiding systems and the best air force in the Middle East. Even if Iran did acquire atomic weapons, there's no way they would catch up with the stock and technical know-how in firing them that Israel has built up, not for many, many years. And many states in the region view Israel as a key enemy (not least Iran, but others too). For well-known reasons, there's never been any UN action to engage with the question of Israeli nukes.

Okay, most UN states (in number) do see Iran as more dangerous and volatile than Israel - or they're allied with countries that are taking that view (many African countries are hooked up with France and so on) but I'm not that sure Russia and China would allow a UN invasion of Iran, a major country and an ally on their own doorstep.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 03:10:49 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2014, 03:19:09 PM »
I think every powerful nation in the world has a vested interest in not letting the nuclear Pandora's Box open, ever.  Once one nation sets one off, the next will be that much easier.  True, Israel has had nukes for a long time...but neither are they a fundamentalist religious state.  And I believe Russia and China would specifically feel threatened by a use of a nuclear weapon from Iran--who would say they wouldn't be next, seeing as they are so close to each other?  Trade and neighborliness aside, all bets are off once your crazy ayatollah starts spouting off about infidels needing to be burned in fire. 

The political fallout (no pun intended) from a nuclear strike by any nation would be severe in the extreme, and it is partially that threat that keeps nations like Iran from using them.  Three times (at least) India and Pakistan have been on the brink of nuclear war, and each time the threats of the rest of the nuclear powers backed them down.  If anything could unify this world against a common threat (if only for that one threat), it would be a rogue state or madman threatening to use atomic weapons.

Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2014, 07:02:38 PM »
What do the purple, yellow, and pink regions represent?  I'm guessing pink is Assad's regime, purple likely the other Islamic militias, and yellow the Free Syrian forces.

Yellow is actually Kurdish control. But yeah, green is the various non-ISIS groups. The Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front and al-Nusra.

Offline Zakharra

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2014, 07:59:18 PM »
Yellow is actually Kurdish control. But yeah, green is the various non-ISIS groups. The Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front and al-Nusra.

 Are the gray areas ISIS controlled ones?

Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2014, 10:32:35 PM »
Though nothing to "confirm" what is probably obvious... the Iraqi Armies armored counterattack to retake Tikrit, despite Iraqi reports to the contrary, have failed.



Bet Maliki wished he didn't remove all of those American trained officers and replace them with pathetic cronies and political parasites.

Are the gray areas ISIS controlled ones?

Yes they are.

Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2014, 10:31:10 PM »
Dun Dun Dunnn...

Quote
Iraq chases Baghdad sleeper cells as ‘Zero Hour’ looms over capital



Iraqi insurgents are preparing for an assault on Baghdad, with sleeper cells planted inside the capital to rise up at "Zero Hour" and aid fighters pushing in from the outskirts, according to senior Iraqi and U.S. security officials.

Sunni fighters have seized wide swathes of the north and west of the country in a three week lightning advance and say they are bearing down on the capital, a city of 7 million people still scarred by the intense street fighting between its Sunni and Shi'ite neighborhoods during U.S. occupation.

The government says it is rounding up members of sleeper cells to help safeguard the capital, and Shi'ite paramilitary groups say they are helping the authorities. Some Sunni residents say the crackdown is being used to intimidate them.

Iraqis speak of a "Zero Hour" as the moment a previously-prepared attack plan would start to unfold.

A high-level Iraqi security official estimated there were 1,500 sleeper cell members hibernating in western Baghdad and a further 1,000 in areas on the outskirts of the capital.
He said their goal was to penetrate the U.S.-made "Green Zone" - a fortified enclave of government buildings on the west bank of the Tigris - as a propaganda victory and then carve out enclaves in west Baghdad and in outlying areas.

"There are so many sleeper cells in Baghdad," the official said. "They will seize an area and won't let anyone take it back... In western Baghdad, they are ready and prepared."

A man who describes himself as a member of one such cell, originally from Anbar province, the mainly Sunni Western area that has been a heartland of the insurgency, said he has been working in Baghdad as a laborer while secretly coordinating intelligence for his group of Sunni fighters. The attack on the capital will come soon, said the man, who asked to be called Abu Ahmed.

"We are ready. It can come any minute," he told Reuters during a meeting in a public place, glancing nervously around to see if anyone was watching. "We will have some surprises," he said. He pulled his baseball cap down tight on his face and stopped speaking anytime a stranger approached.

A portly man in his mid-30s wearing a striped sports shirt, the man said he fought as part of an insurgent group called the 1920 Revolution Brigades during the U.S. occupation and was jailed by the Iraqi government from 2007-2009. He gave up fighting in 2010, tired from war and relatively optimistic about the future. But last year, he took up arms again out of anger at a crackdown against Sunni protesters by the Shi'ite-led government, joining the Military Council, a loose federation of Sunni armed groups and tribal fighters that has since emerged as a full-fledged insurgent umbrella group. While it was not possible to verify all details of his story, Reuters reporters are confident of his identity.

Like many Sunni fighters, Abu Ahmed is not a member of the al-Qaeda offshoot once known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and is ambivalent about the group which launched the latest uprising by seizing the main northern city Mosul on June 10 and shortened its name this week to the Islamic State.

Abu Ahmed said his own group, which includes former officers in Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein's disbanded army, supports some aims of ISIS. "There are some good members of ISIS and some bad," he said. Of the good ones: "We have the same cause."

The government says it can protect the capital and has spies who are tracking sleeper agents like Abu Ahmed to round them up.
"We have ample security plans. The sleeper cells are not only in Baghdad but in all other provinces and they are waiting for any chance to carry out attacks," said Lieutenant-General Qassim Atta, the prime minister's military spokesman.
"We keep those cells under careful and daily scrutiny and follow up. We have arrested some of them. We have dispatched intelligence members to follow up those cells closely and we have special plans to counter their activities."

An attempt to take Baghdad, a majority Shi'ite city with heavily fortified areas, would be a huge task for a rebellion that has so far concentrated on controlling Sunni areas. Many Baghdadis, Sunnis as well as Shiites, say they would fight an insurgency led by militants who want to establish a caliphate. Millions of people fled the capital and millions more fled homes within it, turning previously mixed neighborhoods into fortresses dominated by one sect or the other.

A senior U.S. intelligence official said Washington had evidence that ISIS was in the process of configuring its forces for a Baghdad assault using a plan that would include coordinated ISIS suicide strikes. However, other U.S. officials believe ISIS could overextend itself were it to try to take all of Baghdad. They say the more likely scenario would be for fighters to seize a Sunni district and cause disruption with bomb attacks.

"We will receive orders about Zero Hour," said Abu Sa'da, an ISIS fighter reached by telephone in Mosul. He said the group had cells in Baghdad and communicated with them by e-mail despite the government's sporadic blocking of Internet in an effort to disrupt the militants.

For now, it is a cat and mouse game in the city. Abu Ahmed said the insurgency had agents in the Iraqi security forces, government ministries and inside the Green Zone. Men like him try to dodge an intensified campaign by the security forces and Shi'ite militias to round up conspirators.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/03/Iraq-chases-Baghdad-sleeper-cells-as-Zero-Hour-looms-over-capital.html

Guess we'll be seeing in the next few days whether ISIS will actually assault Baghdad, simply besiege it or not even seriously threaten it at all. (beyond terrorist style attacks)

Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2014, 08:51:20 PM »
Some new developments on the Islamic State front:

First, the Islamic State has taken over the Mosul Museum, which is housing countless antiquities.

Second, the Iraqi Parliament has decided to reconvene on August 12th... supposedly due to political difficulties. No rush or anything, they need plenty of time to gather up their things (like looted wealth) and prepare to reconvene somewhere more secure... like Monaco. ::)

Thirdly, the Islamic State is an equal opportunity destroyer of religious shrines, whether Sunni, Shia, Sufi or Christian!

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Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2014, 10:08:42 PM »
Some new developments on the Islamic State front:

First, the Islamic State has taken over the Mosul Museum, which is housing countless antiquities.

Second, the Iraqi Parliament has decided to reconvene on August 12th... supposedly due to political difficulties. No rush or anything, they need plenty of time to gather up their things (like looted wealth) and prepare to reconvene somewhere more secure... like Monaco. ::)

Thirdly, the Islamic State is an equal opportunity destroyer of religious shrines, whether Sunni, Shia, Sufi or Christian!


*sigh* They may likely be fighting over Babylon as well as Baghdad within a few weeks. (Babylon is close to the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala, a place ISIS would be very committed to taking, and there's already been fighting reported nearby)

Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2014, 08:20:37 PM »
In case any of you were wondering what's happened in the past week, nothing good. While Gaza/Israel has been dominating world news (for inane reasons IMHO) the important conflict in Iraq has fallen by the wayside.

The prognosis still isn't good. The Iraqis, as I just saw on Al Jazeera, have claimed to have captured Tikrit (a third time in the past month they made that claim) but the truth is far more grim. Since the April Northern Iraq Offensives, essentially four entire Iraqi Army divisions have been destroyed due to battle and desertion. The Iraqi government is about to lose Haditha and Ramadi, which are both basically surrounded. Samarra, a largely Shia city north of Baghdad, is being held by large numbers of untrained, lightly equipped Shia militias (who have had great success massacring Sunni prisoners) who in other theaters (such as the numerous failed offensives to retake Tikrit) have shown to be nothing more then cannon fodder against veteran Islamic State militants. Twitter is literally full of pictures of Shia militiamen who can't flee fast enough simply having their corpses littering the battlefield or being captured by the dozen.

So basically, Haditha and Ramadi are about to fall, and Samarra may fall sooner or later, and after that, a siege of Baghdad can be tightened. It's estimated the Islamic State has captured dozens of mortars, roughly fifteen hundred Humvees, four thousand general purpose machine guns and over fifty 155mm howitzers as well as mountains of ammunition and hundreds of other vehicles, such as trucks and jeeps and other light armored vehicles. The situation in Samarra is so desperate that the Iraqi government is deploying police SWAT units to bolster the Shia militia defending that city. But thanks to corruption, incompetence and graft, essentials like food, water, pay and ammunition aren't reaching many deployed ISF and militia forces and they have to depend on the charity of the locals to supply them.

The Iranians are already there, they've already lost a pilot and two IRGC "advisors" in combat. But it seems the insertion of Iraqi Shia volunteers who fought in the Syrian Civil War and Iranian "advisors" and airpower hasn't done much to change the balance. It's doubtful if the new purchase of Russian helicopters, jets and so forth. Meanwhile the US advisers dispatched to Iraq are finishing their assessment of what the Iraqi Armed Forces need to help stem the tide of the Islamic State. Also, in case Baghdad is threatened, the United States has a brigades worth of US Marines stationed in the Persian Gulf, as well as an aircraft carrier full of jets to likely facilitate a withdrawal of the US Embassy if need be.

Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2014, 10:39:17 PM »
Unless  a lot of people from the West leave to join ISIS or convert in masses to Islam while in Europe, I'm not worried about ISIS. However, they should could be a threat if they got a hold of nuke or dirty bomb. ISIS has yet to fight an actual military with their only experience, in fighting Syrian and Iraq government forces. With Assad still president and the fact Iraqi soldiers ran rather than fight, I consider them untested.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2014, 05:44:35 PM »
Unless  a lot of people from the West leave to join ISIS or convert in masses to Islam while in Europe, I'm not worried about ISIS. However, they should could be a threat if they got a hold of nuke or dirty bomb. ISIS has yet to fight an actual military with their only experience, in fighting Syrian and Iraq government forces. With Assad still president and the fact Iraqi soldiers ran rather than fight, I consider them untested.

They, ISIS, are holding a lot of rich territory on both sides of the border. Last summer they sold Assad his OWN oil to keep him going against other groups in Syria.

That tells me they know how to fight their sort of war quite  well. I definitely call veterans of the chetznen, iragi and Syrian conflict as well as other.. Unskilled

Offline Neysha

Re: ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq/Syria/Levant)
« Reply #49 on: July 25, 2014, 05:45:19 PM »
They've fought Iran's Quds Force and Revolutionary Guard in Syria and Iraq, as well as Hezbollah rather extensively in the Syrian Civil War. Not to mention the more premier units of the Syrian and Iraqi forces, including those poor ISF Special Forces which I think are still clinging to bits of Basij despite their complete lack of supply from the Iraqi government or relevance to the overall picture of the war.

They'd obviously get clobbered by any of your typically lavishly equipped Western forces, but they're far more capable then any of their contemporaries. And in addition to being an effective militia, they are fantastic at terrorism.

Speaking of which, since Gaza is inexplicably still dominating the news, here's a bit of what's been happening. ISIS decided that destroying lives and societies wasn't enough, so they went full out on iconoclasm and just destroyed two ancient tombs dedicated to major figures in the Christian and Muslim religion, the (alledged) tombs of Jonah (the fellow swallowed by the whale) and one of the six alleged tombs of Daniel.

Also, thanks to the Iraqi's being Iraqi's, ISIS has continued to focus temporarily on consolidating their control of some key oil fields in Eastern Syria. Earlier I mentioned Deir ez-Zor. Well they managed to eliminate most of the Rebel opposition there since then, and just in the past week annihilated an entire battalion of the Syrian army that they were in a quasi-Cold War with there. According to the Islamic State, they've captured fifteen main battle tanks, three BMP armored vehicles, and numerous vehicle mounted BM-21 Grad rocket launchers as well as numerous amounts of smaller weapons including mortars, RPG's and heavy machine guns. And Wall Street Journal recently reported the Islamic State has opened up other offensives, using their captured Iraqi equipment, to seize other Syrian army holdouts in Eastern Syria, the assaults having captured numerous other armored fighting vehicles including six 2S1 122mm Self Propelled Howitzers. Those assaults also killed two Syrian Army Brigadier Generals and wiped out a lot of the local Ba'ath infrastructure. (the Ba'ath Party being the main Sunni secular organization in many cases)

Here's some pictures of the weapons they've captured from Syria recently.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

BM-21 Rocket Launchers



T-62 Main Battle Tanks



Anti-Tank Guided Missiles



Assorted weapons, including a pair of seemingly fancy ones in the back.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 06:17:47 PM by Neysha »