Fighting ISIS

Although Vice is known to be a liberal hand puppet, they do make some very good War Documentaries and go where other journalist are afraid to. Ultimately, you have to separate the bias from the facts and move on.

This is the full length 47 minute Documentary called “Fighting ISIS”  that aired on HBO last week.

With San Bernardino, Orlando and now the recent stabbing incident in Virginia, we need to be vigilant and understand the ISIS threat is no longer just in Iraq and Syria.

 

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

 

Examining Terrorist Tactics: ISIS Takes a Page From The Battle of Stalingrad

More than a month after it began, the battle for the Syrian city of Manbij drags on.

Now surrounded on all sides by a coalition of Kurds and Arabs, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, and supported by U.S. Special Operations forces as well as dozens of airstrikes, the motley assortment of troops is slowly rooting out Islamic State fighters one block at a time.

Yet, despite gains around the city, one cluster of buildings at the southern tip of Manbij has turned into a small redoubt and a symbol of the Islamic State’s determination to hold its territory. The structures, a series of grain silos, elevators and administrative buildings, have been hit by numerous airstrikes since 2014. And despite various reports of their seizure by the U.S-backed forces, they still appear either to be partially held by ISIS fighters or so laden with mines and booby traps that advancing troops are unable to enter.

Know Your Weapons: The “Toophan”; The Iranian TOW Missile Knockoff

Toophan

The CIA program to supply Arab rebels in Syria has made TOW anti-tank guided missiles a nearly ubiquitous sight in media coming from the conflict. But the United States might not be the only country waging a covert war with TOW (or TOW-like) missiles in the Middle East.

Iranian reverse-engineered TOW anti-tank guided missiles, dubbed “Toophan,” have been been sighted headed toward Yemen with additional suspected appearances in Iraq and Syria — all in the hands of Tehran’s allies and proxy groups.

Iran’s production of reverse-engineered TOW missiles is no great secret. In official news outlets, documentaries and on Iran’s official arms export website, the Islamic Republic has touted its production of a series of different Toophan missiles derived from TOW variants.

It has produced at least a handful of different Toophan models, including the Toophan 1 through 3. According to Armament Research Services, the three systems appear to copy the TOW BGM-71A, BGM-71C and BGM-71F missiles. Iran makes two other variants, dubbed the Toophan-5 and Qaem.

In addition to the basic infantry launch platform, Iran has equipped some of its vehicles to fire the missiles. The basic Safir 4×4 tactical vehicle often appears in military parades equipped with a Toophan launcher.

Iran’s unhelpfully-named Toufan-2 helicopter, based on the Bell Sea Cobra, also appears able to fire Toophan anti-tank missiles.

Read the Remainder at War is Boring

Crusader Corner: ISIS “Fighters” in Action or a Chinese Fire Drill? You Be the Judge.

I suppose we should be thankful these IS goat humpers kill more of their own fighters during a firefight than anyone else. Wow. Amazing they have gotten as far as they have. -SF

New footage claiming to show Islamic State fighters in battle reveals confusion and retreat as they take on Kurdish peshmerga troops in northern Iraq.

Vice News says the video was taken from the headcam of an IS fighter killed in March during a battle some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the city of Mosul, which has since June 2014 been in Islamic State hands.

Vice does not elaborate on how it came to acquire the footage.

In the video, a handful of fighters dressed in some form of sand-colored uniform are seen inside a military vehicle, scrambling to find the correct weaponry as they engage the peshmerga.

“Pass me another rocket,” says one. “A rocket, a rocket.”

The video then shows a hand reaching down to locate the rocket among a collection of bags, guns and other miscellaneous clutter.

Read the Remainder at Times of Israel

 

ISIS Corner: Is the U.S. Lilly-Dipping in Syria?

Lilly-Dipping: A Term used to describe a person who does not place their entire paddle in the water when paddling. In Military circles, Lilly-Dipping is synonymous with the phrase “Doing something Half-Ass” Or Not putting forth 100% effort.

syria

The great, long-awaited counterattack against ISIS has finally begun. The offensive that spans Syria and western Iraq is targeting the ISIS-held cities of Raqqa and Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

For a variety of reasons, the much ballyhooed “final offensive” against ISIS is moving with all the speed of a medieval army of drunken foot soldiers and all the audacity of a lady’s garden party.

As a former soldier and war correspondent, I find the spectacle both pathetic and weird.  Back in my army days, our tough sergeants used to call such behavior “lilly-dipping.” There’s no risk that this pathetic campaign will go down in the annals of military history.

In fact, the whole business smells to high heaven.

In the west, the Syrian government and Kurdish troops, stiffened by US, British and French special forces, and backed by US close air support, are inching towards ISIS-controlled Raqqa, a dreary, one-camel town that sits on some strategic roads. Syrian troops just retook Palmyra, once the desert capital of the fabled Queen Zenobia. The battle was hardly a second Stalingrad: ISIS fighters piled into their pickups and skedaddled.

Washington has been slowly massing Iraqi and US forces for the campaign against Mosul, an important city of  64,000 that is the gateway to Iraq’s northern oilfields. Arabs and Kurds have been battling over Mosul for decades.  Iraq’s Kurds, now allied to the US, are set on cementing their hold on Mosul and its oil-producing region…and probably expelling many of its Arab inhabitants. The Turks, who once ruled this region, are angry as hornets and fearful that an independent Kurdish state may be proclaimed at Mosul.

To get to Mosul, all the US-led forces need do is start their vehicles and drive a few hours up the highway to that city. Iraq has excellent roads thanks to its murdered president, Saddam Hussein. US-led Iraqi government and Kurdish forces are similarly close to Mosul from their bases in western Iraq.

If Germans or Russians were running this mini-war, they would have taken Mosul last year.

What strikes me as so curious is that in reality the dreaded ISIS is little more than a bunch of 20-something kids without any military training or professional command except for some veterans of Saddam’s disbanded army.

ISIS has almost no artillery and only light anti-aircraft guns. Their supplies are scanty; their communications listened into by nearly everyone. US, British, French, warplanes buzz overhead, ready to blast anything that moves in the flat, empty desert terrain.

In WWII the Germans would have sent a  couple of jeeps commanded by sergeants roaring into Mosul, ordering its defenders “hands up, thrown down your weapons, and surrender. Schnell!”

This how the audacious Germans took bridges and towns across Holland, Belgium and Yugoslavia. A single jeep load of German soldiers reportedly took Belgrade, the Yugoslav capital.

The notion that a rabble of 20-something ISIS kids can stand up to highly trained heavily armed western troops and their native auxiliaries is absurd. ISIS is what the Ottomans used to call, “bashi-bazooks,” armed street thugs used for looting and attacking civilians.

The small Russian air contingent in Syria has proven far more effective than the US and its allies. The mighty US Air Force has continued pinprick attacks on ISIS positions in what has become a pantomime war. It’s almost as if the western powers are playing make-believe in Syria.

Perhaps they are.  The Saudis and Turks, both very close US allies, have been arming and supplying ISIS in order to topple the Damascus-based Shia regime of President Bashar Assad. Washington has gone along with this covert fight while lamenting the terrors of “terrorism.”

Washington’s strategy in Syria has become so comically inept that the Pentagon and CIA are actually backing rival Syrian jihadist groups who are fighting with one another. The Russians are mocking Washington. Who can blame them.

The Obama administration is clearly reluctant to use “force majeure” against ISIS.

So it continues to tip-toe and lilly-dip in Syria and Iraq, likely assuring that the US will eventually get stuck in another big Mideast conflict.

Read the Original Article at LEW Rockwell