Tag Archives: syria

Stratfor: Why ISIS lost Fallujah. What will jihad 3.0 look like?

Summary: Iraq forces (army & militia) have retaken Fallujah, another step by Jihad 2.0 (ISIS) towards its inevitable end. Here Stratfor describes why ISIS loses, along with the obligatory hopes that this begins the reunification of the Sunni Arab regions back into Iraq (hopes for a return of the Kurds are long gone).  Read this as a jihadist. Imagine what they have learned, and what they plan for Jihad 3.0.

Stratfor

Living With the Islamic State

By Scott Stewart
Stratfor, 30 June 2016

After over a month of fighting, the Iraqi government has at last reclaimed the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State’s grasp. Clearing the city of any remaining fighters could take weeks, and removing the booby traps left behind will almost certainly take months. Nevertheless, the June 26 defeat is a huge symbolic loss for the jihadist group and a significant victory for the forces trying to discredit and destroy it.

Fallujah has a history as a hotbed for jihadist insurgency. In 2004, the U.S. military had to invade the city twice to wrest it from the hands of the jihadists controlling it. The second attempt, an operation that lasted more than six weeks, resulted in some of the heaviest urban combat that American troops experienced during their occupation of Iraq.

It came as no surprise when, a decade later, Fallujah became the first Iraqi city to fall to jihadists trying to expand their territory. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant seized the town in January 2014, six months before it swept through Mosul. A few weeks after Mosul’s highly publicized fall, the group declared that it had re-established the Islamic Caliphate and changed its name to one that better reflected its global ambitions: the Islamic State.

Continue reading

Stratfor: Why the Islamic State Is Weaker Than It Seems

Summary: As I and others expected, the mad tactics and strategy of ISIS has resulted in a series of defeats. Here Stratfor evaluates the actual strength of ISIS, its strategic position, and likely future moves.

The late American strategist John Boyd (Colonel, USAF) said that a grand strategy focused our nation’s actions — political, economic, and military — to increase our our cohesion, weaken our opponents’ resolve and cohesion, strengthen our allies’ relationships to us, attract the uncommitted to our cause, and end conflicts on favorable terms, without sowing the seeds for future conflicts. (Patterns of Conflict, slide 139.)

Stratfor

Why the Islamic State Is Weaker Than It Seems
Lead Analyst: Omar Lamrani
Stratfor, 13 June 2016

Forecast

In Syria, the Islamic State will continue to lose cities and vital territory. The group will react to its losses by relying more heavily on insurgent and terrorist tactics, ensuring that it remains a serious threat. The continued disenfranchisement of Sunnis in Syria will enable the Islamic State, and groups like it, to maintain a foothold in the country.

Analysis

In Syria, the Islamic State is in crisis. Over the past 3 years, the group has managed to expand from a regional nuisance to a force with global relevance, declaring a caliphate in June 2014 that stretched from Iraq’s Diyala province to Syria’s Aleppo province. By doing so, it linked the two nations into a single zone of conflict and drew the attention of numerous powers, including the United States, Turkey and Russia. Today, the group maintains a presence from western Iraq to the Syria-Lebanon border — an impressive territorial spread.

But the breadth of the Islamic State’s holdings in Syria is deceptive. The group’s actual reach is largely limited to small, dispersed enclaves. The unbroken expanses of territory under its control are mostly empty desert. And a look at the group’s three core Syrian areas — northern Aleppo province, Raqqa and Deir el-Zour — shows how the Islamic State is steadily losing ground across its scattered, self-declared empire. Together, these territories form the foundation of the group’s power in the country and are critical to sustaining flows of revenue, fighters and materiel. Yet all three are under threat.

Continue reading

The hidden truth about Putin’s threat to nuke Turkey in Syria

Summary: Are there any limits to our gullibility? Why have clickbait and wild rumors come to dominate the news? A hot new story raises these questions. A possible answer reveals much about America and the decay of our democracy. {Second of two posts today.}

Ignorance is a choice

A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin told me that the Russians have warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to save their troops in the face of a Turkish-Saudi onslaught. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, any such conflict could quickly escalate into a full-scale nuclear confrontation.

— From Robert Parry’s “Risking Nuclear War for Al Qaeda?” in Consortium News. Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the AP and Newsweek, and wrote Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (2005) and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ (1999).

It is an exciting story, and might even be true. Bu why would anybody take it seriously with such weak sourcing? We would, in an America where the Outer Party (its managers and professional) read for entertainment, not entertainment.  Zero Hedge, Pat Lang, Naked Capitalism and many others uncritically repeated this story.

I’ve been reporting on this kind of fun rumor since the FM website was created. Cable Cut Fever grips the conspiracy-hungry fringes of the web (resolved here), Robert Fisk’s story about a conspiracy to wreck the US dollarAmerica’s biological attack on the Ukraine arm, The North Pole is now a lake! (Are you afraid yet?), and the secret reason why The Government Stopped Reporting Lake Mead Water Levels. Even better are the recurring stories, such as the countless false rumors from Debkafile, Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons will kill us soon stories, plus the  annual Iran will have the bomb in 5 years stories.

Continue reading