Middle East update: September 27-28 2017

ISIS ISIS released a new (?) audio recording from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Thursday. Baghdadi, assuming it was really him, offered the usual “keep fighting” pablum that these messages always include, but the real reason anybody listens to these things is in order to gain some clues into whether or not the guy is still… Continue reading Middle East update: September 27-28 2017

Liberating Fallujah, or whatever’s left of it

Fallujah officially belongs to Iraq again, per the Pentagon: Iraqi security forces have “100 percent control” of Fallujah, located 40 miles west of Baghdad, Pentagon officials said. Fallujah was the first city taken over by ISIS in January 2014. “I congratulate Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and the Iraqi people for their progress in freeing the… Continue reading Liberating Fallujah, or whatever’s left of it

Consolidation first

War on the Rocks published an interesting article today by the National Defense University’s Denise Natali about all the things that need to be worked out before the Iraqis are going to be ready to attempt to liberate Mosul from ISIS. Truth be told, the actual military campaign is going to be the most straightforward… Continue reading Consolidation first

Ramadi and its aftermaths

Although there may still be some pockets of ISIS resistance that need to be cleared out, it appears that the Iraqi army has retaken the city of Ramadi. It will take some time to fully secure the surrounding countryside and to clear the city of any IEDs the retreating ISIS fighters may have left behind,… Continue reading Ramadi and its aftermaths

Attack on Ramadi has begun

The Iraqi air force began dropping leaflets on Ramadi yesterday, advising civilians to amscray in advance of an all-out assault to liberate the city. That assaukt appears to have begun, with Iraqi forces reportedly moving into the center of the city earlier today. ISIS may be (probably is, let’s be honest) preventing civilians from leaving,… Continue reading Attack on Ramadi has begun

The Iraqi army is closing in on Ramadi

Don’t look now, but the Iraqi army is almost in position to try to recapture Ramadi from ISIS: More than six months after falling to the Islamic State, the city center of Ramadi is under siege by Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters backed by American air power. Commanders say that as few as 300… Continue reading The Iraqi army is closing in on Ramadi

No-win scenario? Or bad choices in arms sales?

CENTCOM confirmed on Wednesday that a US airstrike hit a factory in Hawija, a city in Iraq’s Kirkuk Province, where ISIS makes giant car bombs (“Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device,” or VBIED) of the type that were used to devastating effect in its capture of Ramadi last month. Per VICE, the Kurdish news service Rudaw is… Continue reading No-win scenario? Or bad choices in arms sales?