Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Islamic State still holds Mosul

So much for openess during the Age of Obama.

Andrew deGrandpre and Shawn Snow (MILITARY TIMES) report:

The American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed. The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts.

RT notes, "The investigation also revealed discrepancies in Iraq and Syria where the Pentagon failed to account for nearly 6,000 strikes dating back to 2014, when the US-led coalition has launched its first airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS,ISIL) terrorist targets."

Wait, this took place during the 'transparency' of Barack Obama.

Why should anyone be surprised?

And why should anyone be surprised by a ho dog barking?

Iraqi soldiers fighting ISIS feel betrayed by Trump's Muslim ban...sure that will really help in fight against Isis.

Ho dog, ho dog, won't you go home.

Neera never gave a damn about the Iraq War -- well never gave a damn about stopping it.

She was all on board with starting it.

But she wants to pretend that Donald Trump is the problem.

She's a stupid liar.

The ones loudly objecting were the popular mobilization -- the militias.

They're the ones whining and they're the ones who were threatening the US when Barack wouldn't let them call in air strikes.  Where was Neera then?

Baria Alamuddin (ARAB NEWS) reports on this group:

However, when Hashd militias were deployed to retake urban areas, they proved worse than useless. After weeks of costly stalemate in Baiji and Tikrit, the Hashd was removed from the battlefield. Conventional forces succeeded in doing in a couple of days what the Hashd failed to achieve in months.
The Hashd has now been deployed to isolated areas west of Mosul, while elite forces like the Golden Division do the real fighting. Whenever Hashd fighters have been allowed near population centers, they perpetrated terrible atrocities.
Another myth asserts that Hashd militias commit abuses because they are undisciplined; yet even American commanders testify to how obedient Hashd fighters are. Across Iraq Hashd militias destroyed thousands of homes; summarily executed and forcibly disappeared thousands of young men; and perpetrated abuses against thousands of displaced citizens. The Hashd’s human rights violations are systematic and well-planned, perpetrated by disciplined forces doing what they are told.
The worst abuses occur in demographically mixed areas where the displacement of hundreds of thousands of citizens will impact election results. Sectarian cleansing is being employed to consolidate political power.
Iraq today is under the control of a paramilitary clique every bit as narrow and brutal as the gang that ran Iraq under Saddam Hussein. When most components of Iraqi society find themselves excluded and marginalized, the potential for conflict is obvious.

That's who Neera defends.  That's who she frets over.  She's disgusting.

Meanwhile PRENSA LATINA reports, "Three Iraqi soldiers were killed and ten members of the security forces were injured today in three attacks perpetrated in the western province of Diyala, security sources said."

The Mosul Slog continues.

In June of 2014, the Islamic State seized Mosul.

Late last year, the Iraqi government suddenly grew interested in liberating or 'liberating' the city.

111 days ago, the operation to liberate Mosul began.

All they've accomplished in 11 days is clearing eastern Mosul.  (Though that is already in question.)

Patrick Cockburn (THE LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS) offers:

The offensive against Mosul, the biggest city still held by Islamic State, began on 17 October when Iraqi army troops, with the support of US-led air power, entered the city’s eastern districts. Expectations of a quick victory were soon disappointed when Iraqi soldiers began to suffer heavy casualties as small but highly mobile IS units of half a dozen fighters moved from house to house through hidden tunnels or holes cut in the walls to set up sniper positions, plant booby traps and bury IEDs. Local people whose houses were taken over say that the snipers were Chechens or Afghans who talked in broken Arabic. These fighters were supported by local IS men who also helped hide the suicide bombers who were to drive vehicles packed with explosives. There were 632 vehicle bombs during the first six weeks of the offensive. An IS squad would use a house until it had been pinpointed by Iraqi government forces and was about to be destroyed by heavy weapons or US-led airstrikes. Before the counterattack came they would move on to another house. IS has traditionally favoured fluid tactics, with each squad or detachment acting independently and with limited top-down control. Adapted to an urban environment, this approach allows small groups of fighters to harass much larger forces, by swiftly retreating and then infiltrating captured neighbourhoods so they have to be retaken again and again.
The Iraqi and US governments had every reason to play down the fact that they had failed to take Mosul and had instead been sucked into the biggest battle fought in Iraq and Syria since the US invasion in 2003. It was only in the second week of January that Iraqi special forces reached the River Tigris after ferocious fighting: with the support of US planes, helicopters, artillery and intelligence they had finally taken control of Mosul University, which had served as an IS headquarters for the eastern part of the city, along with the area’s 450,000 inhabitants. But reaching the Tigris was far from being the end of the fight. On 13 January, IS blew up the five bridges spanning the river. The city’s western part is a much greater challenge: home to 750,000 people, many of whom are thought to be sympathetic to IS, it’s a larger, poorer and older area, with closely packed streets that are easy to defend. Only the aid agencies, coping with the heavy civilian casualties and the prospects of a fight to the death by IS, appreciated the scale of what was happening: on 11 January, the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande, said the city was ‘witnessing one of the largest urban military operations since the Second World War’. She warned that the intensity of the fighting was such that 47 per cent of those treated for gunshot wounds were civilians, far more than in other sieges of which the UN had experience. The nearest parallel to what is happening in Mosul would be the siege of Sarajevo between 1992 and 1995, in which 10,000 people were killed, or the siege of Grozny in 1994-95, in which an estimated 5500 civilians died. But the loss of life in Mosul could be much heavier than in either of those cities because it is defended by a movement which will not negotiate or surrender and kills anybody who shows any sign of wavering. IS believes death in battle is the supreme expression of Islamic faith, which fits in well with a doomed last stand.
Figures for wounded civilians in Mosul over the last three months may well exceed those for East Aleppo over the same period. This is partly because ten times as many people have been caught up in the fighting in Mosul, whose population according to the UN is 1.2 million; 116,000 civilians were evacuated from East Aleppo. Of that number, 2126 sick and war-wounded were evacuated to hospitals, according to the WHO. Casualties in the Mosul campaign are difficult to establish, partly because the Iraqi government and the US have been at pains to avoid giving figures. Officials in Baghdad angrily denounced the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq when it announced that 1959 Iraqi soldiers, police, Kurdish Peshmerga and their paramilitary allies had been killed in November alone. The UN was forced to agree not to release information about Iraq’s military casualties in future, but US officers confirmed that some units in the 10,000-strong Golden Division – a US-trained elite force within the Iraqi army whose soldiers get higher pay – had suffered 50 per cent casualties by the end of the year. The Iraqi government was equally silent about the number of civilian casualties and emphasised its own great restraint in the use of artillery and airpower. But the doctors in Iraqi Kurdistan treating injured people fleeing from Mosul were less reticent: they complained that they were being overwhelmed. On 30 December, the Kurdish health minister, Rekawt Hama Rasheed, said his hospitals had received 13,500 injured Iraqi troops and civilians and were running out of medicines. The extent of civilian losses hasn’t ebbed since: the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Iraq said that over two weeks at the turn of the year, some 1500 Iraqis from Mosul suffering from trauma injuries had reached Kurdish hospitals, mostly from frontline areas and ‘with most of these injuries occurring just after the fighting intensified at the end of December’. These numbers only give a rough idea of the real losses: they don’t include the dead, or the wounded in western Mosul who didn’t want to leave – or couldn’t, because they were being used as human shields by IS. The UN says that many people were shot by IS fighters as they tried to escape.

That's the sort of reality that the Neeras can never get honest about.

Meanwhile Iraqi Christians wonder why no one protested on their behalf?

Iraqi Christians to Americans: Why Did You Not Protest While We Were Being Slaughtered by Islamists?

And ANTIWAR.COM's Justin Raimondo takes on Senator Ben Cardin.

Mr. Cardin, you voted 14 times for the war: for war funding, against an exit strategy, & u voted on a resolution saying Iraq was a moral war

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