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Middle Eastern Conflict [General]

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acmilano
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#1

Posted 10 June 2014 - 09:08 PM Edited by acmilano, 10 June 2014 - 09:10 PM.

http://edition.cnn.c....html?hpt=hp_t2

 

 

(CNN) -- Militants on Tuesday seized the airport, TV stations and governor's offices in Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, as police and soldiers ran from their posts -- a stunning collapse of the security forces that has raised questions about Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ability to hold the country together.

In perhaps a sign of just how serious the threat is to Iraq's stability, al-Maliki took to the airwaves to call on all men to volunteer to fight, promising to provide weapons and equipment.

"We will not allow for the remainder of the ... province and the city to fall," he said in a live speech broadcast on Iraqi state TV.

The militants are believed to belong to the extremist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, an al Qaeda splinter group also known by its acronym ISIS. These fighters are believed to include many from outside Iraq, senior police officials said.

Mosul wasn't the only place in the country beset by violence Tuesday, including some focused closer to the capital of Baghdad. Still, what's happening in this northern Iraqi city the most serious, given its size, the bloodshed's scope, and the major humanitarian situation tied to it.

Already, hundreds on Mosul have been killed since the fighting began five days ago. Tens of thousands more have fled in vehicles and on foot, some of them carrying only what they could in plastic bags. This rush has contributed to bottlenecks at checkpoints as people tried to get to safety in nearby Erbil.

Within Mosul, militants managed to take control of security checkpoints, military bases and a prison, where they freed up to 1,000 prisoners, authorities said.

A Reuters journalist on the ground in Mosul reported seeing policemen take off their uniforms and drop their weapons.

The bodies of members of Iraqi security forces, some mutilated, littered the streets, the journalist reported.

"We can't beat them. We can't. They are well-trained in street fighting, and we're not. We need a whole army to drive them out of Mosul," one officer, whose identity was withheld, told Reuters.

A journalist with Agence France-Presse, who was fleeing the city with his family, reported security forces had abandoned vehiclesand a police station was set on fire.

Al-Maliki urged parliament to declare a state of emergency.

"This requires all efforts, both civilian and official, to confront this ferocious attack that harms all Iraqis, from a deteriorating security situation to a humanitarian crisis," he said in his televised speech.

Fighting elsewhere around Iraq

Political and sectarian violence have wracked Iraq for months, often pitting minority Sunnis against majority Shiite Muslims, who came to dominate the government after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003.

Tensions are fueled by widespread discontent among the Sunnis, who say they are marginalized by the Shiite-led government and unfairly targeted by heavy-handed security tactics.

Militants also believed to be from ISIS have also taken control of two villages in Kirkuk province and one in Salaheddin province, Iraqi police officials told CNN on Tuesday.

The move into Salaheddin province -- the capital of which, Tikrit, was Hussein's hometown -- shows how close the major fighting is getting to Baghdad.

On Tuesday night, for instance, Iraqi security forces were clashing with dozens of gunmen attempting to storm the Baiji oil refinery about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of the capital, police officials in Tikrit said.

Closer to Baghdad, at least 31 people were killed and 28 others injured in a series of roadside bombs detonated at a cemetery on the outskirts of the central city of Baquba, according to police officials.

This violence is not new to Iraq. Deaths were common in the years after Hussein's capture over a decade ago, though the Iraqi government had help from U.S.-led forces at that time.

Yet, after a brief lull, the bloodshed has picked up. The United Nations has said 2013 was the deadliest year in Iraq since 2008, with more than 8,800 people killed -- most of them civilians.

Conflicts starting everywhere. This really gives grim pictue to entire war. Imagine if the ISIS reach Saudi and Kuwait border,USA would probably get involved once again. We really live in little too interesting times.


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#2

Posted 10 June 2014 - 09:14 PM

USA would only get involved to protect the oil.

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acmilano
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#3

Posted 10 June 2014 - 09:31 PM

USA would only get involved to protect the oil.

Which is Iraq's main export.

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#4

Posted 10 June 2014 - 09:35 PM

USA would only get involved to protect the oil.

Haven't you heard? It's no longer our problem.

 

http://www.theonion....-anymore,26766/

 

I don't even know what an Iraq is anymore. I'm guessing it's some type of fancy shoe. 

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#5

Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:04 PM

USA would only get involved to protect the oil.

Haven't you heard? It's no longer our problem.
 
http://www.theonion....-anymore,26766/
 
I don't even know what an Iraq is anymore. I'm guessing it's some type of fancy shoe.

Well... more or less...

man-throwing-shoe-at-george-bush.gif
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#6

Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:50 PM Edited by D- Ice, 11 June 2014 - 12:55 AM.

Firstly, the US really doesn't care for Iraq's oil now. Most of Iraq's oil infrastructure is controlled by Chinese and Iranian interests, and only a tiny minority ever reaches the US.

 

PM Nouri al-Maliki's claims that the fighters are ISIS are largely exaggerated IMO. I think most of the fighters are tribesmen, shown by the fact that most of the fighting is in the tribal areas of Iraq (Mosul and Anbar Province). They are generally opposed to Islamists (they only recently became friendly with the moderate Islamists of the Syrian revolution after the appointment of Ahmad al-Jarba into the SNC). Though there are some reports of cooperation between local Anbar Tribes and ISIS, it just seems a bit off due to the massively opposing ideologies. Remeber, most of ISIS follow Wahhabism, an ideology created to oppose Bedouin Tribalism.

 

The tribes are generally greatly under-represented in Iraqi politics due to undemocratic exclusion ("De-Ba'athification"), and are greatly oppressed with everything from abuses by security forces, to the repeated denial of budgets to regions like Diyala and Anbar. The Iraqi government is also very close to Iran (IMO a puppet to Iran), which the Sunnis, especially the Bedouin Tribes, highly dislike.

 

It will be very interesting to see how this turns out.

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#7

Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:32 PM

^Agreed

 

While one can disagree with the how and why of the start to the second Iraq War, one thing is certain, the surge of troops (and change in strategy) in 2007 did help quell the violence.  A surge that our current president was steadfast against (along with our current Sec of State and Sec Def).  This is the same president that pulled all troops out, claiming victory.  

 

Iran

Egypt

Lybia

Syria

 

All places in the mid-east that have seen a spike in violence as our current Golfer-in-Chief dithers on the world stage.  

 

One can wonder if this is ignorance or deliberate....

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#8

Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:07 PM Edited by Flynny, 11 June 2014 - 03:15 PM.

^Agreed

 

While one can disagree with the how and why of the start to the second Iraq War, one thing is certain, the surge of troops (and change in strategy) in 2007 did help quell the violence.  A surge that our current president was steadfast against (along with our current Sec of State and Sec Def).  This is the same president that pulled all troops out, claiming victory.  

 

Iran

Egypt

Lybia

Syria

 

All places in the mid-east that have seen a spike in violence as our current Golfer-in-Chief dithers on the world stage.  

 

One can wonder if this is ignorance or deliberate....

The thing is the head of state's primary responsibility is to their own people. It is not the job of the president of the USA, or the USA themselves to police the world and stop all conflicts, at least not alone.

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#9

Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:19 PM

Iran

Egypt

Lybia

Syria

 

All places in the mid-east that have seen a spike in violence as our current Golfer-in-Chief dithers on the world stage.  

 

One can wonder if this is ignorance or deliberate....

 

Yh he should bomb those places or send the troops in. That'd reduce the violence.

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#10

Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:27 PM Edited by D- Ice, 11 June 2014 - 08:43 PM.

News that the Insurgents have now seized a second city, Tikrit, the hometown of former president Saddam Hussain.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...e-east-27800319

 

The article, like most, claims they are from ISIS. The mass exodus from Mosul also seems to suggest that perhaps they aren't the generally popular local tribes I thought they were in my previous post here. However, I still have a hard time believing they are all, or even mostly, ISIS. ISIS are incredibly unpopular in Iraq (and everywhere really), they have been severely weakened by fighting against an alliance led by Al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al Nusra), and the Iraqi government has a nasty habit of blaming every sort of resistance on the most hated Jihadist factions, whether Al-Qaeda, or now ISIS. So I find it odd that they managed to take two Iraqi cities now.

The Bedouin tribes are also horribly oppressed by the current Iraqi government, due to mostly belonging to the Sunni sect, having a different ethnicity and culture, and being highly opposed to anything to do with Iran - the current regime's biggest backer and ally. They have also historically always been heavily armed and very willing to fight. So I find it odd that they'd just sit there being oppressed, doing nothing against the Maliki regime. The Bedouin also despise the Islamists in general, so they certainly won't allow hard-line Jihadists to take very tribal areas like Mosul, and now Tikrit.

 

^Agreed

 

While one can disagree with the how and why of the start to the second Iraq War, one thing is certain, the surge of troops (and change in strategy) in 2007 did help quell the violence.

The surge was certainly incredibly effective. It wasn't just about sending more troops, the troops were also concentrated in the most troublesome areas. I remember relatives of mine in Ba'qouba telling me that the city had more US troops than residents!

 

But it wasn't just brute force either. The US also allied itself with tribesmen who used to be insurgents, paying them good wages and allowing their Sheikhs and tribal leaders to rule their areas - they were the 80,000-strong Sahwa/Awakening Councils/"Concerned local citizens". It was this force that was responsible for the eviction of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and the Islamic Stae in Iraq (ISI) from most regions of the country, and since they stopped being insurgents themselves, there was far less violence.

During the start of the US troop pull-out, and the passing of Sahwa responsibility to the Maliki regime, despite repeated US opposition and warnings, Maliki decided to disband and disarm the tribes, making their paramilitaries and militias illegal. Add to that their increased persecution, and a power grab from their tribal leaders, and this was all bound to happen. In fact, I won't doubt that the same AQI and ISI the Sahwa kicked out of Iraq returning in an attempt to capitalise on this - though I doubt they had much success with the tribes.

 

The current Iraqi government, as well as their Iranian backers, lack the funds to start paying the tribes to form pro-government Sahwas. They also lack the will toworkwith the Sunnis in Iraq, especially those of a different ethncity and culture. Finally, even if they do manage to work around those twoproblems, I highly doubt the tribes would forgive them as easily as they did the Americans.

 

A surge that our current president was steadfast against (along with our current Sec of State and Sec Def).

The issue now with Iraq is that it is a choice between two evils.

If the US fights the insurgents, then it will be helping the Iran backed (IMO puppetted) regime of Nouri al-Maliki. This will in turn make Iran all the more powerful (just like removing mutual enemy Saddam from Iraq did). Iraq also acts a conduit for arms and fighters from Iran to Assad's forces in Syria, as well as providing it's own militia fighters to help Assad. So the whole Iran axis will benefit from Western intervention against the insurgents, far more than the West.

If the West is to do nothing, and Maliki's regime fails to take back Mosul and Tikrit (as they failed to take back Anbar Province), the insurgents would likely continue to take over the rest of Salahuddin province, moving next onto Diyala. This would signal virtually all Sunni areas falling outside the central covernment control. If the central government fights back, it could result in a potentially long and bloody civil war like in Syria, with a largely unknown outcome.

So as you can see, it is a very difficult choice - civil war and empowering unknown factions, or empowering the Iran axis.

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#11

Posted 11 June 2014 - 06:07 PM

The BBC article might claim that they were from ISIS, but the analysis they had on PM today suggested that they were- in part at least- made up from tribesmen, soldiers and Ba'athists (which of course there are still plenty of in Tikrit). So, basically, anyone who has an intense dislike of the Shia central government or who suffered as a social group under de-Ba'athification. It's not particularly surprising, given that the overriding experiences many of the Sunnis in the region seem to have of the central government are less than positive. Nouri al-Maliki called on citizens to take up arms against the aggressors and defend Iraqi society; in this region I can't really see that happening any time soon.
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#12

Posted 11 June 2014 - 06:43 PM

Well we all saw it coming. Just a matter of time that's all.

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#13

Posted 11 June 2014 - 06:51 PM Edited by Vlynor, 11 June 2014 - 07:00 PM.

Apparently the Turkish consulate was assaulted in Mosul*, and 48 Turks were taken captive.

 

*Corrected this. Actually happened in Mosul, not Tikrit. 

 

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey would retaliate if any citizens captured by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant militant group are harmed, Reuters reported June 11. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, assaulted the Turkish consulate with overwhelming force and captured 48 Turks, including the consul general, at least three minors and elements of Turkish special operations forces. Those captured are in addition to 28 Turkish truck drivers also detained by the militants in Mosul. The militant group claims that the Turks have not been kidnapped, simply moved to a safe location.  

 

And the Turkish government is calling for an emergency NATO meeting.

 

Turkey is calling for an emergency NATO meeting after dozens of Turkish consular personnel were kidnapped in Mosul, Iraq, DPA reported June 11. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant assaulted the Turkish consulate with overwhelming force and captured 48 Turks, including the consul general, at least three minors and elements of Turkish special operations forces. Those captured are in addition to 28 Turkish truck drivers also detained by the militants in Mosul. 


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#14

Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:22 PM

I'm no expert on this so I await D-Ice, sivis et al.'s analysis but I personally can't foresee direct NATO intervention.

 

However, if the Turkish citizens are harmed or held hostage for an extended period of time then the Turkish government's hand may be forced to intervene in some way. Turkey has kept itself pretty restrained during the Syrian conflict despite the odd cross border exchange and stray shell but as this conflict widens into Iraq and more Turkish citizens are put at risk it may provoke a reaction.

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#15

Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:04 PM

Agreed D-Ice  :^:

 

I guess my previous comment was more about the power vacuum after we left.  Some of the sectarian violence might have been avoided, at-least early on, by having the US as a go-between that both sides could, if not trust, then maybe tolerate.  

 

And no I don't believe it should be Iraq War 3.  However we should not have let such expense in blood and treasure be wasted by leaving with predictable results.   

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#16

Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:15 PM

The BBC article might claim that they were from ISIS, but the analysis they had on PM today suggested that they were- in part at least- made up from tribesmen, soldiers and Ba'athists (which of course there are still plenty of in Tikrit). So, basically, anyone who has an intense dislike of the Shia central government or who suffered as a social group under de-Ba'athification. It's not particularly surprising, given that the overriding experiences many of the Sunnis in the region seem to have of the central government are less than positive. Nouri al-Maliki called on citizens to take up arms against the aggressors and defend Iraqi society; in this region I can't really see that happening any time soon.

Thank goodness something agrees they aren't all ISIS - I was really finding all the reporting of ISIS very difficult to rationalise. What you say about it being a coalition of everyone opposing the Maliki regime really makes sense IMO.

ISIS really isn't popular in Iraq - especially in the tribal areas. Even the long-established Islamist movements in cosmopolitan urban centres despise the likes of ISIS. The only way I can imagine ISIS being tolerated is if they put their unpopular ideology on hold, and maybe avoid publicising all their foreign fighters - otherwise they'll risk beng kicked out of Iraq like their AQI predecessors, or they largely did a few months ago from Syria.

 

Also, just like you said, the Ba'athists are also gaining power. Their main militant faction is the Jaysh Rijal al-Tareeq al-Naqashbandi (JRTN) which, according to the Brown Moses Blog, have set up the front group the Military Councils for the Revolutionaries of the Tribes, which is attracting tribes thanks to the Secular Arab Nationalist ideology of Ba'athism.

 

I'm no expert on this so I await D-Ice, sivis et al.'s analysis but I personally can't foresee direct NATO intervention.

 

However, if the Turkish citizens are harmed or held hostage for an extended period of time then the Turkish government's hand may be forced to intervene in some way. Turkey has kept itself pretty restrained during the Syrian conflict despite the odd cross border exchange and stray shell but as this conflict widens into Iraq and more Turkish citizens are put at risk it may provoke a reaction.

I completely agree bro, I really can't see NATO intervening directly. I see three main possiblities:

  • They send UAVs, rockets and other military equipment to the Iraqi government, like they did with Anbar. This will increasethe chances of the Iraqi government winning (though in Anbar it didnt result in success).
  • They sit it out. No side is helped out, and they are left to fight it out amongst themselves.
  • They aid the more desirable elements of the anti-Maliki insurgency, increasing their chances of victory. I don't see this happening as the West trusts them less than the rebels in Syria. It willalso involve a politically difficult reversal of stance, as the US has already condemned the take-over.

As for the turn-out of the situation, here are the possibilities IMO:

  • Maliki forces route out the insurgents and retake Mosul. This will be a far greater victory for the Iran axis (Iran, Maliki regime, Assad regime, Hizbollah etc...) than for the West. Maliki will continue oppressing the Sunnis, the tribes and other political opposition. Consiquently, violence will continue in Iraq, though it will move to a less direct insurgency with car bombs etc, until, and if, insurgents can gather their strength up for another big attack like this. The Iraqi government is also on bad terms with the Kurdish Regional Authority (KRA), which rules the Kurdistan autonomous region. If Maliki gets help from the Peshmarga forces of Kurdistan, then he'll have to make concessions to the KRA.
  • Long and bloody civil war, somewhat similar to the one in Syria. This will be massively destabilising for the entire region, as we'll have too neighbouring countries undergoing sectarian civil war. Countries in the region, and from all over the world will get involved,and allsorts of extremist ideologies will be bread in the two-country wide warzone.
  • Maliki ignores them. This seems somewhat unlikely, but involves Maliki just leaving the areas they taken over out of his control. The insurgents will likely try to take over the rest of Salhudin province, as well as Diyala province. They will set up their own state, with unknown ideology and international recognition. Maybe all ideologies are allowed to co-exist, from ISIS' brand of Jihadism to secular Ba'athism. They might start fighting amongst themselves, like the rebels in Syria, resulting in a long and bloody civil war in the regions they control only, again resulting in destabilisation and extremism. Or one faction might come out on top through fighting or politics.
  • Insurgents win civil war, moving to take over the rest of Salahudin province, as well as Diyala province, and setting up a breakaway state with unknown ideology and international recognition. This will be a crushing defeat for the Iran axis, but not necessarily a victory for the West. Who will come to power is unknown, and whether or not the various insurgent factions fight amongst themselves (as mentioned in the previous point) is also unknow.

So those are the West'soptions and the likely outcomes of this war. Which one is most likely, I geniunely have no clue right now mate. I am very interested in this, and I will try to follow it closely.

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#17

Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:33 AM

We knew this was going to happen. And I really, really hope that NATO has no direct involvement in this new conflict. The only things I can see them doing, D-Ice said above, UAVs in the area to launch rocket attacks and gain intel on ISIS, military material to help fight, and possibly, sending in small special operations and CIA teams to launch behind-the-lines attacks on supplies and convoys. 

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#18

Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:16 AM Edited by Brad, 12 June 2014 - 02:16 AM.

The BBC article might claim that they were from ISIS, but the analysis they had on PM today suggested that they were- in part at least- made up from tribesmen, soldiers and Ba'athists (which of course there are still plenty of in Tikrit). So, basically, anyone who has an intense dislike of the Shia central government or who suffered as a social group under de-Ba'athification. It's not particularly surprising, given that the overriding experiences many of the Sunnis in the region seem to have of the central government are less than positive. Nouri al-Maliki called on citizens to take up arms against the aggressors and defend Iraqi society; in this region I can't really see that happening any time soon.

 

Its claimed that ISIS mounted 1000-2000 fighters into Mosul; its more than reasonable that a fair proportion of Mosul's populace are sympathetic to ISIS. So either a coalition between ISIS and local tribes or unwillingness to fight is undisputably the reason.

 

However, what is interesting to note is the response of the Iraqi security forces -- the fact that the exodus of forces and retreat signals that there are morale and organizational issues to contend with within the Iraqi force. Most personnel stationed in Mosul were Sunni by ethnicity who are resentful of fighting against other Sunni fighters for a Shi'a-dominated government. So yes, the population-military axis is in jeopardy where the central government in Baghdad are failing to create a political purpose within their own ranks and additionally failing in "winning the hearts and minds" of the populations concerned. 

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#19

Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:22 PM

I think the NATO should send drones to kill those terrorirsts. The West can't allow them to rule Iraq; they would be a threat to us all.

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#20

Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:40 PM

I think the NATO should send drones to kill those terrorirsts. The West can't allow them to rule Iraq; they would be a threat to us all.


Doesn't Israel have drones?
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#21

Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:52 PM

I think the NATO should send drones to kill those terrorirsts. The West can't allow them to rule Iraq; they would be a threat to us all.


Doesn't Israel have drones?

Yes, but if we attacked Iraq, then all Arab countries would retaliate against us. Also, the NATO would not let us attack Iraq, just like happened in the Gulf War, because then all Arab countries would oppose the NATO intervention.
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#22

Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:06 PM Edited by D- Ice, 12 June 2014 - 08:54 PM.

It seems that the majority of the fights are in fact ISIS, both from footage on Youtube showing paramilitaries wearing ISIS uniforms (Pakistani-style Shalwar Kameez in digital camo, brown or black colours and using ISIS flags, and from family friends who have relatives fleeing Mosul. I apologise since my earlier thoughts that the fighters were in large part tribals is not the case.

It seems that the insurgents are mostly ISIS,with some

There does seem to be many tribal fighters and low-level Sheikhs who have been essentially assimilated into ISIS, most prominently used to make deals to get the 250 security personnel guarding the Baiji oil refinery to surrender. These most likely forced or intimidated into working with ISIS (which has a history of coercing tribals), or joined due to disillusionment. However, despite their terrible oppression and exclusion from the current Iraqi state, the Bedouin Tribes and Sunnis muslims definately aren't on board this from the top levels of Sheikhs, community, and religious leaders leaders. In fact, most would prefer the oppression of the Maliki regime over that of ISIS (as in the case of Ramadi, and to a lesser extent, Fallujah).

So, the situation resembles what sivispacem said earlier - mostly ISIS with some assimilated members from other anti-Malik factions.

 

There are some reports that 23 elements of ISIS were killed by some tribal fighters in central Mosul, though not sure of the reliability of the news source, the number of tribal fighters killed, or if it was a spontaneous or organised attack. Some unverified rumours I heard is that the Shiekhs organised the sudden and large exodus from Mosul.

 

 

The BBC article might claim that they were from ISIS, but the analysis they had on PM today suggested that they were- in part at least- made up from tribesmen, soldiers and Ba'athists (which of course there are still plenty of in Tikrit). So, basically, anyone who has an intense dislike of the Shia central government or who suffered as a social group under de-Ba'athification. It's not particularly surprising, given that the overriding experiences many of the Sunnis in the region seem to have of the central government are less than positive. Nouri al-Maliki called on citizens to take up arms against the aggressors and defend Iraqi society; in this region I can't really see that happening any time soon.

 

Its claimed that ISIS mounted 1000-2000 fighters into Mosul; its more than reasonable that a fair proportion of Mosul's populace are sympathetic to ISIS. So either a coalition between ISIS and local tribes or unwillingness to fight is undisputably the reason.

 

However, what is interesting to note is the response of the Iraqi security forces -- the fact that the exodus of forces and retreat signals that there are morale and organizational issues to contend with within the Iraqi force. Most personnel stationed in Mosul were Sunni by ethnicity who are resentful of fighting against other Sunni fighters for a Shi'a-dominated government. So yes, the population-military axis is in jeopardy where the central government in Baghdad are failing to create a political purpose within their own ranks and additionally failing in "winning the hearts and minds" of the populations concerned.

 

I am not sure if most of the Iraqi soldiers in Mosul are Sunni, or if they have been recruited from the southern Shia areas, but what you say regarding their organisation and morale is spot on. The Iraqi army interestingly used the exact same retreating tactic of stripping off their uniforms, dropping all their weapons and equipment, and escaping in civilian clothes during the 2003 invasion.

 

ISIS' ideology, with an absolute focus on Jihadism, is not really popular anywhere IMO. Al-Qaeda's seems to have more anti-imperialist rhetoric, and shrewdly adopts local political discourse to win popularity with many oppressed and disillusioned people. ISIS lacks any of that, and generally does not believe in any sort of ideological compromises.

There are a couple of good videos on YouTube that demonstrates this; of heavily-armed ISIS members talking to an intimidated elderly tribal leader with blatant disrespect, saying how they used to live in "ignorant tribal ways" before ISIS showed them Islam, and of heavily armed ISIS members taking over a mosque full of people and getting them to denounce their "infidel ways". You simply cannot win hearts and minds like that. I'll try and post them here with translations if I find them.

On top of all that, Mosul is home to the influencial Shammar tribal confederation (Jarba territorial division), and seat to their ruling clan of al-Yawar. The city and the areas to the south towards Baghdad (including Tikrit and Samarra) also have the Dulaim tribe - the largest Sunni tribe in Iraq - and Jabour, as well as various other Bedouin Tribes. All of those are inherently strongly opposed to any sort of Islamism, prefering secular tribal politics.

So, personally, I really can't see much support of ISIS in Mosul and the areas to the south that they now control.

 

The genius of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi is that he created an organisation from hard-line Jihadists from all over the world, and promised them their dream state stretching Iraq and the ancient region of al-Sham (correspondng roughly to the northern Levant). He also drew from veteran al-Qaeda fighters disillusioned with al-Qaeda's seemingly endless fighting against "Western/Crusader/Zionist Imperialism" with no immediate goal in sight. al-Baghdadi promised them a nation, they just have to get it.

ISIS also seems far better trained, and with far better strategic leadership than any other militant force in the Middle-East.

But without popular support, all they can do is force their ways on the desperate who are unable to flee, i.e. Raqqah in Syria. Winning hearts and minds is also strategically very important - it presented great problems for even the most powerful army in the world in Iraq.

 

I think the NATO should send drones to kill those terrorirsts. The West can't allow them to rule Iraq; they would be a threat to us all.

That certainly seems like the best option to defeat ISIS quickly - especially given that they are partaking in regular warfare instead of irregular guerilla tactics.

However, Maliki, his Iranian backers, and other factions influenced or allied to Iran will greatly benefit, including Assad and Hizbollah. Remember also that it was Maliki who, following Iranian orders, forced the US to withdraw from Iraq, despite the Americans wanting to keep a permanent contingent there. So there might be a bit of an "I told you so" situation with the US refusing assistance, at least initially.

I think the West can really profit from Maliki's desperate situation now. Iraqi state TV is now playing patriotic songs 24 hours a day, expecting a last stand soon. The US can offer assistance in return for measures that will ensure the Iraqi government breaks all ties with Iran and come under the West'ssphere of influence, become less corrupt, more inclusive, and more democratic. Alternatively, agree to allow Sunni and Kurdish areas to secede.

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Adriaan
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#23

Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:55 PM

Relax. It won't happen. Obama ended the war, plus he closed down Gitmo.

 

Gawd.


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#24

Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:40 PM

Relax. It won't happen. Obama ended the war, plus he closed down Gitmo.

 

Gawd.

Um, not exactly. Gitmo, or Guantanamo Bay, is still open.

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#25

Posted 12 June 2014 - 10:45 PM

It's still open? Oh, I see. I just assumed incorrectly then.... I mean, he did promise to close when he was Senator, President-Elect and as President...during most of his State of the Union Addresses.

 

Sorry for the ignorance.


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#26

Posted 12 June 2014 - 11:20 PM

Politicians lie, dude. You should have known that already.

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#27

Posted 13 June 2014 - 12:11 AM

^ Believe Adriaan was being ironic.  

 

Thank you for that rich and detailed post D-Ice, all I can do is sigh and shake my head.  

 

One has to question why, all of a sudden, this group is using standard military tactics.  Did they all of a sudden get an infusion of cash?  They're just brazen about it?  Or just want to win quick?  

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#28

Posted 13 June 2014 - 06:58 AM

At least there's one benefit coming from the instability in Northern Iraq- the strengthening and expanding of Iraqi Kurdistan. It's already probably the only bit of Iraq that could be categorised as functioning.
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#29

Posted 13 June 2014 - 07:00 AM

I'm sure that won't create any problems with Turkey. 

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#30

Posted 13 June 2014 - 07:06 AM Edited by The Yokel, 13 June 2014 - 07:06 AM.

And of course, that muppet McCain wants to go back and he's blaming Obama for getting the troops back from Iraq. Sure, and the idea to go to Iraq in the first place under false pretenses was a brilliant f*ckin' idea.

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