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War Against ISIS

This is a discussion on War Against ISIS within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by gazzzwp I don't see that the US has many options to be quite honest. They could decide ...


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Old June 17th, 2017   #2956
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I don't see that the US has many options to be quite honest. They could decide to teach the Iranians a lesson and wreak carnage on some of these RIB's but where will that get them?
It will get them nowhere but no doubt military action will please the Gulf Arabs and Israel. Time and time again we've seen the U.S. undertake actions/policies that benefit its allies but in turn damages America's standing in the Middle East. What is needed is a rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran; after all whether one admits it or not, Iran is a major player in the region and there can be no lasting peace/stability without Iran. Viewed objectively the U.S. has much more in common with Iran than with the Saudi.

The problem is that not only are there Iranian ''hardliners'' who want continued bad relations with the U.S. there also elements in the U.S. who want things to remain as they are. The U.S. actually has quite a bit of options with regards to dealing with Iran and I don't mean by military actions or continuing with efforts to demonise and isolate Iran.

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The longer the situation is left the worse it will become. The only hope for the US is to arm it's regional allies to the teeth to retain the balance of power locally.
What do you think the U.S. has been doing? It's been selling billions of billions worth of arms to various countries but the region has become more unstable and despite all the billions of arms sold the Gulf states still want a U.S. presence the region. For the Gulf Arabs, arms sales are a way of binding the Americans to them and they know that should things really get serious Uncle Sam is always there; irrespective of the billions spent buying Made in America gear.

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The writing is on the wall; the US is a super power with too many capable adversaries and unless it takes a giant leap forward in terms of military capability soon it will be relegated to a local power only able to patrol the waters of the Americas.
That has been the case for a long time : the U.S. having too many obligations/commitments to NATO/ non NATO allies/friends/partners. Trouble simultaneously breaking out in the Middle East, with North Korea and elsewhere would see the U.S. severely overstretched. Taking a ''giant leap forward in terms of military capability'' may not be the answer. The answer might be to have a complete rethink about U.S. foreign policy as a whole
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Old June 17th, 2017   #2957
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Taking a ''giant leap forward in terms of military capability'' may not be the answer. The answer might be to have a complete rethink about U.S. foreign policy as a whole
Hopefully not too off topic; what would this rethink actually look like?
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Old June 17th, 2017   #2958
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In my opinion they should intervene only in cases where they already have an ally to support, so chaotic situations can be a avoided. Trying to make "strategic alliances", training and equipping adhoc local forces and setting up bases around every corner is a failed strategy.

A clear-cut example of the above is the Al Tanf situation in southern Syria trying to cut off the Syria/Iraq border by putting some incompetent paramilitaries on the payroll and pretending they will fight against ISIS. Now they are cut off by syrian and iran-aligned forces on one side, and the iraqi and iran-backed PMU from the other. And even the iraqi government has made it clear that they won't allow a US buffer zone on their borders.
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Old June 18th, 2017   #2959
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what would this rethink actually look like?
I'm not suggesting the Arabs are blameless [far from it] but decades of flawed and selfish Western policy towards the region has contributed to the mess we have now. What were the circumstances that led to the rise of AQ and IS? Has the longstanding policy of unconditional support for Israel [at great cost to American interests], isolating and demonising Iran and supporting Arab regimes that were never even elected actually benefited the U.S? Trump went all out to ingratiate himself with the oil rich Arabs but was silent over Yemen where quite a number of civilians have been killed. Do the human rights and well being of Syrian civilians matter more than that of Yemeni citizens? Assad gets vilified [and rightfully so] when his planes hit civilians but the West remains largely silent over the plight of Yemeni civilians at the hands of the Royal Saudi Air Force.

Are we any closer to solving the Israeli/Palestinian dispute? By the U.S. taking sides in the Sunni/Shia Cold War; does it actually benefit the U.S. and contributes to stability or does it only makes things worst? Which offers more benefits in the long run : a U.S/Iran rapprochement [based on realpolitik and diplomacy rather than Iran making compromises without getting much in return] or the continued policy of branding Iran as being responsible for all that's wrong in the region? Does it benefit the U.S. for the Gulf Arabs to be dependent on U.S. support [the case for several decades now] or does the U.S. really want the Arabs to pursue an independent policy without being beholden to the West?

As long as the double standards and hypocrisy continue; the region will continue to be a big mess and the people who live there will continue to pay the price.
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Old June 18th, 2017   #2960
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In my opinion they should intervene only in cases where they already have an ally to support, so chaotic situations can be a avoided. Trying to make "strategic alliances", training and equipping adhoc local forces and setting up bases around every corner is a failed strategy.
Indeed but there appears to be no alternative. The U.S. needs allies/proxies on the ground but allies/proxies often give a distorted picture [one is reminded of the Iraqi exiles whom the U.S. placed so much faith in] and may portray themselves as ''moderates'' to benefit from U.S. largesse [e.g. the ''moderate'' Syrians who weren't as ''moderate'' or effective as they wanted the U.S. to believe]. A major problem in Syria is that not only is there no clear strategy as to what happens if Assad leaves but all the outside players have their own allies/proxies; all of who have their own agendas which might be in conflict with the agendas of their patrons.
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Old June 18th, 2017   #2961
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I'm not suggesting the Arabs are blameless [far from it] but decades of flawed and selfish Western policy towards the region has contributed to the mess we have now. What were the circumstances that led to the rise of AQ and IS? Has the longstanding policy of unconditional support for Israel [at great cost to American interests], isolating and demonising Iran and supporting Arab regimes that were never even elected actually benefited the U.S? Trump went all out to ingratiate himself with the oil rich Arabs but was silent over Yemen where quite a number of civilians have been killed. Do the human rights and well being of Syrian civilians matter more than that of Yemeni citizens? Assad gets vilified [and rightfully so] when his planes hit civilians but the West remains largely silent over the plight of Yemeni civilians at the hands of the Royal Saudi Air Force.

Are we any closer to solving the Israeli/Palestinian dispute? By the U.S. taking sides in the Sunni/Shia Cold War; does it actually benefit the U.S. and contributes to stability or does it only makes things worst? Which offers more benefits in the long run : a U.S/Iran rapprochement [based on realpolitik and diplomacy rather than Iran making compromises without getting much in return] or the continued policy of branding Iran as being responsible for all that's wrong in the region? Does it benefit the U.S. for the Gulf Arabs to be dependent on U.S. support [the case for several decades now] or does the U.S. really want the Arabs to pursue an independent policy without being beholden to the West?

As long as the double standards and hypocrisy continue; the region will continue to be a big mess and the people who live there will continue to pay the price.
Of course double standards are used, that's politics. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the so called peaceful 'Arabian Spring', which are in fact a couple of bloody years.... We, the Western Civilized World, supported them, all to replace the evil regimes by the Good Guys. In the end these regimes (where indeed not the right examples for democracy) collapsed and replaced by several unstable weak governments caused by the power-vacuum. Iraq, Lybia, Egypt, Yemen, all ended up into chaotic unstable countries, all in the name of Freedom and Democracy.

But hey, thats not a problem ofcourse, because an unstable Middle-East means a lot of military equipment acquisitions.....

Many Middle-East countries dont have a democratic system, sometimes even a supressive human-rights violating system, but as long they are on the good side (pro-US), nothing will change.
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Old June 18th, 2017   #2962
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But hey, thats not a problem ofcourse, because an unstable Middle-East means a lot of military equipment acquisitions.....
It also means that the Gulf Arabs will continue to want a Western military presence there; not only to safeguard themselves against Iran but also from other Arab countries. If there was no AQ and IS and no Iran [whom some want us to believe is hellbent on supporting terrorism and destabilising the region]; would there be a need for a Western military presence in the region?

This is the real story behind the economic crisis unfolding in Qatar | The Independent

''Now the Qatari Emir hasn’t enough troops to defend his little country should the Saudis decide to request that he ask their army to enter Qatar to restore stability – as the Saudis persuaded the King of Bahrain to do back in 2011. But Sheikh Tamim no doubt hopes that the massive US military air base in Qatar will deter such Saudi generosity.When I asked his father, Sheikh Hamad why he didn’t kick the Americans out of Qatar, he replied: “Because if I did, my Arab brothers would invade me. Like father, like son, I suppose. God Bless America.''

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Many Middle-East countries dont have a democratic system,
Apart from Israel and Lebanon [as well as non Arab Iran]; I can't think of any other countries in the region in which leaders are elected.
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Old June 18th, 2017   #2963
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Apologies - double post.
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Old June 18th, 2017   #2964
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An interesting tidbit. Based on Syrian experience, the Russian military has decided to procure a small batch of BMPT fire-support vehicles. Given their active use of newest gear in Syria, and considering that analysis of combat actions in Syria led to this vehicle's procurement, I wouldn't be surprised to see a small deployment.

Gur Khan attacks!: Министерство обороны *Ф готовится к закупке БМПТ "Терминатор"
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Old June 18th, 2017   #2965
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Something just occurred to me. Has there been any reported use of Shmel or other types of thermobaric weapons in the Syrian conflict?
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Old June 18th, 2017   #2966
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So a US F/A-18 shot down a syrian SU-22 that was supposedly bombing SDF forces south of Raqqa in a contested town.

https://mobile.twitter.com/ragipsoyl...745536/photo/1

If it was really bombing the SDF I am starting to think that maybe the syrian airforce also did the chemical attack that resulted in the Tomahawk strikes. Back then it seemed to me that they couldn't possibly be so stupid, so I was very skeptical about that strike. But if they are attacking the SDF, maybe they are just stupid and always have been.

Noone needs this kind of escalation, the syrians need to sit down. Just continue clearing the desert, break the Deir Ezzor siege and keep the western rebels in check. Forget about Raqqa.

Anyway, I hope we learn what really was going on there between the SAA and the SDF and if SDF forces were attacked.
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Old June 19th, 2017   #2967
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The US is becoming concerned about the Daesh threat in South East Asia. Apparently Daesh are funneling fighters to the Philippines now, with Daesh telling foreign recruits via a video, in June 2016, that if they can't get to Syria to go to the Philippines instead. Islamic State threat in Southeast Asia raises alarm in Washington. Also of note, the US Treasury Dept has stated that a Daesh facilitator was moving recruits through Turkey with ease. Islamic State facilitator moved recruits through Turkey, US says | FDD's Long War Journal. This is something that posters have commented upon here frequently, so comes as no surprise.

Iraqi troops are now pushing into the Old City of Mosul, which is the last Daesh stronghold in Mosul. Iraqi troops move into Mosul's Old City, last ISIS stronghold

Germany intend to move their Luftwaffe AAR tanker (A310 derived tanker) from Incirlik to Azraq, Jordan by mid July. The Luftwaffe six Tornadoes will be operational from Azraq, Jordan by October. Germany to start moving anti-ISIS planes to Jordan in July

Relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia have soured after Turkey's support for Qatar. There are calls from within Saudi Arabia for the Saudis to boycott Turkey. Saudi-Turkish ties strained over differing views on Qatar
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Old June 19th, 2017   #2968
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IS fighters have been in the Philippines for quite a while now. According to the Philippines military there were foreign IS fighters in Marawi City [Malaysian, Indonesian, Chechen and Singaporean]; a number of whom have been killed. The mastermind behind the attempt to seize the city was Malaysian.

6 foreigners among terrorists killed in Marawi €“ AFP

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-...cy-in-southern

Malaysia's most wanted terrorist played key role in plotting Marawi City siege in Philippines, SE Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Despite whatever reverses it has faced; IS is still able to draw people to its ideology. Even the loss of Raqqa and other places it currently holds will unfortunately not change this.
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Old June 20th, 2017   #2969
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Update.

Syrian and Iraqi forces have made solid contact on the border, with Iranians proxies present. The SAA then moved, swiftly, towards T2 airbase, into Deyr-ez-Zor province. With the collapsing ISIS front line, large gains become easier and easier.

South of Raqqa Tiger Force has taken Resafa, an important crossroads that controls the path south out of Raqqa. This cuts off the SDF from further gains southward, barring an outright engagement of Syrian forces.

There is also a preparation for an offensive out of Ithriya towards Rusafa (not to be confused with Resafa) which will close the pocket, and connect the SAA south-west of Raqqa, with the SAA group around Khanaser.

Likely in the vein of trying to slow the Syrian offensive, the US has shot down a Syrian Su-22. The pilot fell in SDF controlled territory and his exact fate is unclear, though Syrian sources claim he has bin rescued. In response Russia has suspended the agreement on coordinating

žсвобожденная *еса„а - Colonel Cassad
”ейс‚вия САА в п€овин†ии ”ей€-эз-—о€: diana_mihailova
Шии‚ский мос‚ - Colonel Cassad
Си€ийская А€мия заняла *еса„ƒ - Colonel Cassad
*Ф п€ек€а‰ае‚ со‚€ƒдни‡ес‚во с США в Си€ии - Colonel Cassad
Ÿило‚ спасен - Colonel Cassad
NEWSru.com :: -
‘ƒдем соп€овожда‚Œ - ”енис œок€ƒˆин
NEWSru.com ::
’‹…од к г€ани†е - Colonel Cassad

5 Switchblade UAVs were shot down by the Syrians, in Deraa, in the wake of a developing Syrian effort to cut rebel supply lines out of Jordan. They also shot down a Jordanian Selex Falco UAV.

—а сегодняˆний денŒ Си€ийская а€абская а€мия сбила 5 ‘›А-камикадзе Switchblade в ”а€аа: diana_mihailova
˜о€данский ‘›А Selex ES Falco над си€ийской п€овин†ией ”а€аа : diana_mihailova
http://charly015.blogspot.com/2017/0...-en-siria.html

Meanwhile al-Mayyadin was hit by a barrage of Iranian IRBMs. This is a response to the recent terrorist attack on Iran, and is rather reminiscent of the Russian cruise missile barrage, after the downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt.

Ÿо€аженн‹е в‡е€а и€анской €аке‚ой †ели в за…ва‡енном боевиками …али„а‚а си€ийском го€оде АлŒ-œайядин: diana_mihailova
˜€ан наноси‚ о‚ве‚н‹й ƒда€. США сбили си€ийский Сƒ-22 - Colonel Cassad
˜€анские €аке‚н‹е ƒда€‹ по †елям в Си€ии - bmpd

Russia claims their airstrike on Raqqa killed al-Baghdadi, a major ISIS leader. Evidence however is scant.

*езƒлŒ‚а‚‹ ƒда€а ’šС *оссии по *акке - bmpd
https://citeam.org/investigating-the...d-isis-leader/

Some interesting footage of Syrian helos being used as bombers.

œи-24 ’’С Си€ии бомби‚ боевиков в ”а€аа (ФžТž): diana_mihailova
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH9VJWn2mxQ

Footage of Russian Ka-52s using Vikhr-1 ATGMs in Syria.

bmpd.livejournal.com/2655761.html

There are unconfirmed claims that Russian air defense intercepted two objects near Kheimeem.

У‚ве€ждае‚ся, ‡‚о Ÿ’ž Хмеймима пе€е…ва‚ила над мо€ем два неопознанн‹… обŠек‚а : diana_mihailova

The A-50U remains active in Syria.

А-50У бовой 33 к€асн‹й на авиабазе Хмеймим: diana_mihailova

Syria plans to create pro-state militias like the Iranian Basidj. It's not clear how this relates to Russian efforts to re-stablish a Syrian Army through the 4th and 5th Army Corps.

œемо€андƒм о создании в Си€ии п€оп€ави‚елŒс‚венн‹… мили†ий, подобн‹… и€анскомƒ опол‡ениŽ ‘асидж: diana_mihailova

US projections for aiding the Kurds.

—аплани€ованная на 2018 г. аме€иканская военная помо‰Œ кƒ€дам - bmpd

An interesting info-graphic on Jihadis returning to their home countries.

СколŒко боевиков …али„а‚а возв€а‚илосŒ в •в€опƒ из Си€ии и ˜€ака: diana_mihailova

This photo is allegedly from Syria, but I have my doubts. It's a burned out T-90 turret, with two Russian Marines posing with it.

Т-90А в Си€ии - Andrei-bt

An interesting article from Oryx blog on continuing Russian deliveries of armor and artillery to Syria.

Oryx Blog: Syria Rearms: Russian deliveries of BMP-2s and 2S9s arrive

Rumors continue that high level ISIS figures are being evacuated with the involvement of the US-led coalition.

США ƒ‡ас‚вƒŽ‚ в пе€еб€оске клŽ‡ев‹… „игƒ€ ˜“˜› из *акки: diana_mihailova

Russian continues to para-drop supplies into Deyr-ez-Zor.

Сб€ос гƒмани‚а€н‹… г€ƒзов в ”ей€-*з-—о€ с ˜л-76œ” и немного п€о ƒзел ав‚оепки А”-47У(ФžТž, ’˜”•ž): diana_mihailova

Meawhile Turkey stands with Qatar in the recent rift, and Qatar is rapidly trying to make friends with Russia.

Turkey throws support behind Qatar in rift with Gulf Arabs | Reuters

Last edited by Feanor; June 20th, 2017 at 02:54 AM.
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Old June 20th, 2017   #2970
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Newest info is that the SDF are holding the pilot and he is safe. Good, at least this will help in deescalation. I still don't know if he was bombing the SDF or not, if an SDF unit called for US assistance or if the US did yet another attack to hold the SAA's dash forward.

And in the same day Iran launched a salvo of quasi-ballistic missiles? Exciting times
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