October 21, 2016 – Philadelphia, PA – PipeLineNews.org – According to an in-depth report from the Institute for the Study of War [see, ISIS attacks Kirkuk in Zone Defense to Divert Attention from Mosul ] as Iranian forces, similarly aligned militias and the ISAF’s pretend soldiers engage ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul, ISIS has responded, executing a clever diversionary strike against oil rich Kirkuk, located about midpoint between Mosul and Baghdad in the South of Iraq.
As is always the case in fast breaking stories of this nature, reports are a bit sketchy, but it appears that as of this writing the ISIS attack has had a markedly disruptive effect in Kirkuk:
“As many as 40 ISIS attackers supported by sleeper cells targeted multiple government facilities and landmarks in central and southern Kirkuk City, marking the first time that ISIS launched a major attack in the city since January 2015....Several ISIS attackers also stormed an “education building” in central Kirkuk, forcing Kurdish security forces to call in a Coalition airstrike to target the ISIS fighters holed up in the building. Unconfirmed reports indicate, however, the a Coalition airstrike may have targeted a Shi’a Husseiniyah (place of worship) in Daquq District, just south of Kirkuk, killing and wounding as many as 47 people and Peshmerga. ISW could not verify the report at the time of publication…”
Other news sources have established that ISIS fighters have taken as many as 500 civilians in Mosul intending to use them as “human shields.” Though some reading these filings may draw the conclusion that the presence of so many innocents will halt the assault on Mosul [an extraordinarily difficult undertaking regardless] given that Mosul is primarily a Sunni city, the Shia dominated attacking forces will not be deterred at all, as their vocabulary doesn't contain the term “collateral damage.” The point being that these poor souls will most assuredly perish as the attack proceeds.
Stepping back a bit, given the nature of the resistance [ISIS] and its notorious scorched earth policy, it is likely that very little of the city will remain even if the Iranian/ISAF coalition succeeds in routing the group, which will of course flee at the appropriate time if it appears they will lose this sanctuary.
1. ISIS has proven to be far more effective in battle than just about anything thrown at them with the exception of the Kurds who are truly ferocious warriors. However, since the Obama administration has refused to provide heavy weapons to the various Kurdish fighting forces, the most effective counter to ISIS is being kept out of the battle.
2. The CIC’s dedication to actually eradicating ISIS is more than questionable. He has no grand strategy in Syria with the exception of removing Assad, something so far beyond his grasp that it’s demonstrative of his overall estrangement from the reality of the battlespace.
3. Upon consulting with parties who are in contact with those on the ground, it appears that the only way to really defeat ISIS and “cut down the black flag,” would be to work out an agreement with the interested parties, including Russia and Iran, and then - acting in concert - flatten ISIS’ stronghold Al-Raqqah [something we have counseled for a long time] in exchange for allowing Assad to remain in power. This is something that Obama will never do, so we must look past November 8, hoping that a president Trump would be open to such a bold move. If Hillary manages to win the election…well we won’t go there.
4. ISIS must be destroyed at just about any cost. The longer it remains an effective force it will continue to serve as the primary jihadist recruitment tool on the planet, very bad news for the West given ISIS’ already proven ability to project force far beyond its regional power-base.
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