February 28, 2015

THEY'D LOSE QUICKER IF THEY "WON":

ISIS is losing (Zack Beauchamp, February 23, 2015, Vox)

One year ago, ISIS was soon to launch the offensive in Iraq that, in June, would sweep across northern Iraq and conquer the country's second-largest city, Mosul. Today, the Iraqi government is prepping a counter-offensive aimed at seizing Mosul back, which the US believes will launch in April.

In that year, the situation has changed dramatically. After ISIS's seemingly unstoppable rampage from June to August of 2014, the Iraqi government and its allies have turned the tide. Slowly, unevenly, but surely, ISIS is being pushed back.

"There's really nowhere where [ISIS] has momentum," Kirk Sowell, the principal at Uticensis Risk Services and an expert on Iraqi politics, told me in late January.

"There are a significant string of [Iraqi] victories all along the northern river valley, up through Diyala and Salahuddin [two central Iraqi provinces]," Doug Ollivant, National Security Council Director for Iraq from 2008-2009 and current managing partner at Mantid International, explained.

In northern Iraq, Kurdish forces are threatening to cut off a highway that serves as ISIS's main supply line between Iraq and Syria. They took the town of Sinjar, which sits on the highway, in December; by late January, they had taken a longer stretch of the highway near a town called Kiske.

Ollivant describes much of the Kurdish progress in the north as a "circling around Mosul." Though the Kurds won't attempt to retake the city on their own, a joint Iraqi-Kurdish force is now poised to do so. Re-taking Mosul would be a major blow to ISIS.

One of the many reasons to remove Assad is the hope that ISIS would try to fill the vaccum, making themselves easier targets.


MORE:
US-led task force launches 20 air strikes in continued attacks on Isis (The Guardian, 28 February 2015)

US-led coalition forces have launched 11 air strikes in Iraq and nine in Syria since early on Friday, the Combined Joint Task Force said on Saturday.

The strikes targeted Islamic State (Isis) fighters and positions in both countries and were part of long-running air campaigns against the militants, who have conquered large areas of territory since last summer. Strikes began in Iraq on 8 August and in Syria, which is racked by civil war, on 23 September.

Posted by at February 28, 2015 6:32 PM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« IN CASE THERE WAS ANY DOUBT ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BELTWAY AND THE BASE: | Main | A RAISE EVERY DAY: »