Sunday, October 12, 2014

ISIS is Now a Serious Threat to Western Baghdad

The Independent reports on the state of battle:
Isis reinforcements have been rushing towards Kobani in the past few days to ensure that they win a decisive victory over the Syrian Kurdish town's remaining defenders. The group is willing to take heavy casualties in street fighting and from air attacks in order to add to the string of victories it has won in the four months since its forces captured Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, on 10 June...

Unfortunately for the US, Kobani isn't the only place air strikes are failing to stop Isis. In an offensive in Iraq launched on 2 October but little reported in the outside world, Isis has captured almost all the cities and towns it did not already hold in Anbar province, a vast area in western Iraq that makes up a quarter of the country. It has captured Hit, Kubaisa and Ramadi, the provincial capital, which it had long fought for. Other cities, towns and bases on or close to the Euphrates River west of Baghdad fell in a few days, often after little resistance by the Iraqi Army which showed itself to be as dysfunctional as in the past, even when backed by US air strikes.

Today, only the city of Haditha and two bases, Al-Assad military base near Hit, and Camp Mazrah outside Fallujah, are still in Iraqi government hands. Joel Wing, in his study –"Iraq's Security Forces Collapse as The Islamic State Takes Control of Most of Anbar Province" – concludes: "This was a huge victory as it gives the insurgents virtual control over Anbar and poses a serious threat to western Baghdad".

As I have previously commented, the US should stay out of these sectarian battles fueled by differing perspectives on the true will of Allah. That said, the crazed blood thirsty neocons are right about one thing, Obama has no chance of winning the war against ISIS simply with airstrikes. It will take troops on the ground and the US absorbing serious casualties to stop ISIS advances.

Will our "reluctant war leader" now intensify the insane involvement in the region? Most likely.


1 comment:

  1. I don't know about absorbing serious casualties. We'd quickly neutralize their tanks. We did that against Saddam 24 years ago and he had whole divisions. Without armor, ISIS couldn't stand up to the SAA and certainly not against our military. So they'd revert back to guerilla tactics and terrorism. This is where we'd be in real trouble because, since they are no longer capable of holding ground, they will have more incentive and opportunity to try to carry out attacks in the US. Our involvement is what makes them a threat to us.