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  1. #401

    Islamic State Watch

    This short documentary on a Kurdish sniper fighting the IS goblins is really worth watching.

  2. #402

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    With Mosul all but liberated and Raqqa under siege and certain to fall, even if that takes months, what is next for Daesh and their fighters?

    Will it be back to guerrilla warfare in Syria and Iraq, moving to fight in Libya, the Sinai Peninsula or Afghanistan, or bringing more terror to western Europe?

    I think the fall of their major strongholds and the loss of symbols of power that they brought means this is more likely to be the end of the beginning of Daesh and their caliphate than their defeat.

  3. #403

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    Yes. Surely the lack of a center of power and the lack of focus means they'll resort to more and more lashing out, attempting to create a visibility for themselves now they've lost all their implicit prestige that comes from being something equating to a nation state. That means more high visibility (but probably low strategic value) terrorist attacks, particularly in Europe. But, as happened with Al Qaeda, at some point the name "ISIS" will lose its prestige and extremist terrorists will drop their claim of affiliation for whatever the next new name is.

  4. #404

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    Thought this was quite a good article.

    Isis may be on its knees but it will rise again if we don’t break the cycle

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...y_to_clipboard

  5. #405

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    This is a deeply disturbing read but it does alter the current narrative slightly.

    Slaves of Isis: the long walk of the Yazidi women

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...y_to_clipboard

  6. #406

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    What are the thoughts of OTF on the case of Linda W and other foreign Daesh fighters?

    For me, it's fairly straightforward, they should face trail and sentencing in Iraq. I don't care if foreign Daesh fighters are 15 or 50, they made a massive, far from impulsive choice and the severity of that choice should not be undermined by accepting their return into other judicial systems.

    As many have said, this is the end of the beginning, there exists a choice of new vacuums for Daesh to eventually fill. Anyone who wants to leave a free and tolerant country where multiple religions can be practised or not practised without fear of persecution in order to join Daesh should be under no illusion that they can return should they be on the losing side.

  7. #407
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    It depends on Iraqi intentions. I would not agree to death penalty or torture but a long jail sentence in Iraq would be OK.

  8. #408

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    I agree with both of you but she's just a kid. She was groomed online and therefore is also a victim as well as guilty of crimes. I'm happy to leave this to experts and don't think anything will be gained from putting her in a prison in Iraq.

  9. #409
    ad hoc's Avatar
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    There was a brilliant piece by Peter Oborne on Middle East Eye this week about Daesh which is long but well worth reading http://www.middleeasteye.net/essays/...slam-367524521

    It still baffles me that Oborne is a tory. He seems altogether too thoughtful and tolerant and, well, brilliant. He gives me some serious cognitive dissonance

  10. #410

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    Quote Originally Posted by ad hoc View Post
    There was a brilliant piece by Peter Oborne on Middle East Eye this week about Daesh which is long but well worth reading http://www.middleeasteye.net/essays/...slam-367524521

    It still baffles me that Oborne is a tory. He seems altogether too thoughtful and tolerant and, well, brilliant. He gives me some serious cognitive dissonance
    That's a great read.

  11. #411

    Dhéanfadh mé mo chuile dhícheall chun a bheith ar meisce, go scanreoidh sé an saol mór
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  12. #412
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    Is Trump going to claim credit?

  13. #413
    There is no question that Clinton would have been full-on neocon in Syria, much like she was in Libya, country which Obama/Clinton destroyed and looted. Trump is in a gray area, having campaigned as a non-interventionist, but seemingly going with the flow now and not sticking with his previous stance.

    US strategy in northern Syria has been to destroy the cities and pave the way to a client Kurdish state. This has been done with large-scale indiscriminate bombing of cities, and ethnic cleansing of the non-Kurdish majority in leveled cities like Qamishly, Hassakeh, Deir El-Zor, Raqqa (where after the carnage locals have been prevented from returning) to set up a pro-israeli client state hostile to all its neighbors. Both Daesh and other terrorist jihadi groups as well as Kurdish militias armed to the gills by NATO/Gulf/Israel have been carrying this out.

    Daesh in Syria is not an organic project, unlike in Iraq, where its ranks were swelled with Baathists and Sunni tribesmen who had nowhere elese to go), it's been built from the ground up with covert NATO/Gulf funding, foreign jihadi/mercenaries recruitment and logistical support, it's an astroturfed militia that's despised by local muslims. They are the gunmen former French foreign minister Rolland Dumas referred to in his 2009 statement:

    "I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria."

    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...ergy-pipelines

    Those soldiers have spent the last few years shuttling hundreds of miles in Toyota convoys from city to city on open desert roads virtually unscathed by NATO air power. Their fleet of tankers, which had been delivering cheap stolen oil destined for Turkey and Israel, was wiped out in a fortnight by the Russian air force after Russia stepped up their military intervention.

    As a foreign agent army, Daesh was bound to fail eventually, but they did their job destroying much of eastern/northern Syria, paving the way for the Kurds, the designated good cops who have the same set of supporters, and will now be taking over the colonial baton from the designated Isis villains. The oil resources in the region are already spoken for, with deals signed in London and Tel Aviv already in place by the likes of Genie Oil and Genel Energy.

    https://sarahabed.com/2017/10/03/syr...ed-by-the-u-s/

  14. #414
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    Em, judging by the way everyone except Israel was hardly jumping up and down when the Kurds in Iraq voted for independence, I wouldn’t be too sure the endgame is a Kurdish puppet govt in Northern Syria. And the chaos in Iraq did allow ISIS to grow organically, Syria was the main smuggling route into the hell of Iraq. There was also a largely conservative Sunni population who always hated the Baathists, and took advantage of the Arab Spring to begin the revolt. A fair amount of those got aligned to various nut job groups. Was the entire Arab spring a US front too (that was most successful in deposing the leaders of pro Weatern states)?

  15. #415
    The organic element of the Arab Spring in Syria was fairly limited and more regional (Daraa, Homs), Damascus and Aleppo never really rose up en masse. The people there had mixed feelings about the regime, but understood that the alternative was chaos and the total breakdown of the country. The economy was fairly well-off back then in the main cities.

    The idealist elements that rose up were wiped out early, being targeted both by the Syrian regime and foreign-backed jihadis. 1-2 years into the conflict, citizen-fighters run out of money, you had people selling their AKs to feed their families, while the Gulf countries were pumping billions arming the jihadis.

    The latter had gained the upper hand until Russia/Iran/Hezballah stepped up their intervention, with the full backing of the minorities and the Sunni majority largely back into the fold, as the regime became the clear lesser evil.

    ISIS and other jihadi militias in Syria were built with mostly foreign jihadis/useful idiots from places like Chechnya, Xinjiang, Trappes or Molenbeek, along with some local mercenary-thugs, which included basic criminals cynically released from jail by the regime early on and sent on to ISIS, when the regime targeted the organic rebel movement as a top priority.

    The organic element of the uprising in Syria was limited and short-lived. ISIS had more local buy-in in Iraq because they had the arms and funding monopoly in the Sunni region, and captured some of the Iraqi nationalist mantra, the government being viewed as a colonial force (US-backed early on, then Iran-backed), so their ranks were swelled with former baathists and local tribes alike, whereas in Syria, the baathists are the regime, and have completely captured the nationalist mantra, with the other factions being foreign-backed elements bent on tearing up the country.
    Last edited by linus; 13-10-2017 at 20:46.

  16. #416

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    Only option is to kill British Isis fighters in Syria, says minister

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...y_to_clipboard

    This is Rory Stewart calling for the extra judicial execution of UK citizens. Perhaps he's right but it's a dangerous precedent to set.

  17. #417
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    Is it extra-judicial killing if they have declared allegiance as fighters to a paramilitary group that is killing British hostages? They would be casualties of an asymmetrical war, as I understand it. Killing people giving logistical, political or economic support would be more clearly wrong.

  18. #418

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/...s_dirty_secret

    Heard about this on PM today, sounds like a credible piece of news.

  19. #419
    I'm surprised that the BBC is starting to report on the real nature of this evacuation, though they will probably steer clear of giving away the real picture of US/NATO collaboration with ISIS.

    This has gone on for years, ISIS convoys with armed Toyota pickups freshly sourced from the US or Gulf countries shuttling hundreds of miles between desert towns unscathed by US/NATO air force. In combat situations such as last year's battle in Deir Ezzor where the Syrian army had ISIS pinned down, the USAF provided coordinated tactical support to ISIS forces, bombing the Syrian army over an extended period of time, and allowing the jihadis to break the siege.

    That's how this mercenary force was able to conquer most of eastern Syria and western Iraq, against the will of the locals, but with the logistical support and complicity of US/NATO air force. The same air force that had absolutely no qualms obliterating tens of thousands of Iraqi military and civilians retreating from Kuwait, along with thousands of foreign workers from Egypt, Palestine or Sudan back in 1991.

    The more insidious aspect of this latest operation is that all the while this ISIS convoy was being planned (this type of large coordinated evacuation had taken place many times before in cities across the region), the city of Raqqa was being indiscriminately carpet bombed. The real goal here was to destroy the city, not to kill ISIS fighters. Raqqa is just downstream from the main source of freshwater in the region, Lake Assad, its destruction helps pave the way for the control of this region and its water/oil/agricultural resources by the Kurdish forces.
    Last edited by linus; 22-11-2017 at 16:45.

  20. #420

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    Thanks Linus, I'll read them later.

  21. #421

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    British Isis fighters should be hunted down and killed, says defence secretary

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...y_to_clipboard

    He's the third UK minister to call for extrajudicial executions, following on from his predecessor and Rory Stewart. Whilst this might be popular with the vast majority of the country it takes us down an extremely dangerous road. For Williamson to say that a dead terrorist can do us no harm shows how naive he is as this is another tool being given to Daesh to recruit or to carry out more attacks in the UK.

    Of course this news has been buried by Brexit and Trump.

  22. #422
    A stark cartographic demonstration of the ISIS collapse, from AFP:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AFP/statu...09952443432960

  23. #423

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    Last week Syria, well actually Russia, declared themselves to be free of Daesh and today Iraq did the same. I'm guessing they'll be going back to the Sunni tactics of insurgency in the region and high profile attacks in Europe.

  24. #424
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    Daesh must get some kind of bounce from the Jerusalem decision but then so must Al Qaeda, and it's not clear how the Sunni/Shia split in the response will play out. Iran must be getting stronger, given its growing power in Iraq and its links with Hamas, which has obviously been boosted immeasurably by it.

    At some point the Trump policy, if unchecked, must lead to some kind of conflict with Iran, but I'm sure both the US and Iran would prefer to fight it via their proxies, such as Hamas and whichever groups might be funded by the Saudis. Meanwhile Assad gets to keep rolling out his genocidal policies unchecked.

  25. #425
    ad hoc's Avatar
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    This is a really interesting read on how Daesh ran Mosul https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2...run-city-mosul

    One of a series, I must remember to go back every day this week.

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