Assad “The Human Monster & His Gang of Thugs” ISIS “The Satanic Band” Jabhat al-Nusra “An ISIS Wanna Be”
The Iraq Front
According to The Times of Israel, speaking to reporters in London, John Kerry said “I have asked people for more support and I think my call didn’t go unnoticed.” Kerry went on to say that the Islamic State group had been “definitively” halted in Iraq, even though the strategic city of Mosul remains under IS control.
According to Conflict Report, after all the support that the Kurdistan Regional Government gave to the Coalition to push back ISIS in Northern Iraq, President Masoud Barazani criticized the fact that they were excluded from the anti-terror conference held in London. He called the exclusion “disheartening.” He said that he expected they would be invited to future such events.
Over the past two days, Riyadh Mohammad at The Fiscal Times reported that ISIS has lost every battle they have fought in Iraq. He said, “From Mosul to the north to Anbar to the west and Diyala to the east, Iraqi government forces, Shiite militias, Sunni tribes and Kurdish forces were all victorious in their battles with ISIS.” [Fiscal Times]
Next comes the freedom of Mosul which now seems feasible with the coordination of the various fighting forces.
According to Asset Sources Conflict Report, ISIS has abandoned the military base at al-Kasik and the oil refinery both west of Mosul. Prior to abandoning the facilities, the Conflict Report stated, “ISIS militants inflicted material damage to the base and the refinery before abandoning the structures.” ISIS has transferred oil refining machinery and military supplies from the oil refinery and military base in al-Kasik to ISIS-controlled areas of Syria.”
With all this success in Iraq, the Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi has been loudly complaining to the US that weapons promised to Iraq are not coming fast enough. However, weapons that have arrived have not been allocated as expected. Kurdistan reports they have not received the weapons that the US intended for them according to Bloomberg News Report. Bloomberg additionally reported that US weapons are ending up with the Shite Militia, (including Iraqi Hezbollah) which is expressly against US policy.
The US Administration told Bloomberg that they expect al-Abadi’s government to exercise the same level of control with US arms as the US Military does. The US Administration is putting a lot of faith in a government in Iraq that can barely function. An Administration official told Bloomberg, “while the government in Baghdad under new Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has been more responsive to U.S. concerns about weapons transfers than the previous government of Nouri al-Maliki, it has not been vigilant enough.” All that said, the U.S. knows that Iraq’s new interior minister, Mohammed al-Ghabban, was a senior official in Iraq’s Badr militia, an organization U.S. officials have privately suspected of launching attacks on hundreds of Sunni Iraqis over the last decade.
The Syria Front
The fact that ISIS has moved their armaments and supplies to Syria indicates that ISIS has plans to relocate their Iraq operations to join the Syria terrorists who have been busy “executing, kidnapping and terrorizing” the Syrian population. They have taunted the British and United States with the public beheadings of journalists, and published them on YouTube.
According to the International Business times, “In a grotesque twist of the saying ‘live by the sword, die by the sword,’ an Islamic State executioner in Syria who carried out beheadings for the jihadist group has been found with his head cut off.” The body of Egyptian-born Abu Zaid al-Masri, the deputy emir of the feared al-Hesbah (or Hisbah) force in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, was recovered near a power plant in al-Mayadeen city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. As a symbol of defiance, the killer of al-Masri put a cigarette in his mouth which is strictly forbidden by the Islamic State. SOHR has also reported that other unknown assailants have attempted to kill additional IS militants.
ISIS and Assad have had this “game of risk“ going on since Iran and Assad first brought them to Syria to derail the revolution at a time when Assad was about to fail. Without ISIS to take the attention away from the Assad regime, Assad would certainly no longer be sitting in his position as President of Syria according to Nehad Ismail, Middle East Expert and Writer.
Although ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra are both terrorizing Syria’s population, it is unlikely that any of the terrorist groups in Syria will be leaving until Bashar al-Assad goes. After Iran, Assad is the second largest supporter of terrorism in the Levant. More importantly, Assad takes his directions from Iran.
The Stupid Syria “Strategy”
The Obama Administration has “finally” decided that it should support the “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) with training and weapons. The “strategy” which has been discussed since mid-2014 is now supposedly being implemented in March (2015). It will take selected FSA members outside of Syria for several months of training, provide them with weapons, and then send them back to Syria with the intent to fight ISIS. Syria doesn’t have a large army like Iraq that can be backfilled by Iran and Kurdistan. Is there a strategy to help the FSA manage the personnel shortage while their fighters go off to be trained by the US Military?
If ISIS is “definitively” halted in Iraq, as John Kerry states, and they relocate all their terrorists and hardware back to Syria as is expected, the Free Syrian Army is going to need as much help as possible on the ground. It will be difficult when some of their best fighters are off in US military training in a foreign country (Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar). It should not be forgotten that the Free Syrian Army is not just fighting ISIS. In Syria, they are fighting the Assad regime and his external military support coming from Iran – the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iraqi Militia, and Lebanese Hezbollah.
But that isn’t all … the FSA is also fighting Jabhat al-Nusra (aka JAN or Victory Front) the al-Qaeda group in Syria. While JAN also is fighting the Regime, historically they fought parallel to the FSA in the effort to defeat Assad. More recently though, JAN has had a change of heart and has turned on the Opposition fighters. They have moved in on areas of Northern Idlib previously controlled by FSA, executing an FSA commander, and also capturing regime bases and equipment. The most disturbing issue regarding Jabhat al-Nusra is their increased cruelty to civilians, including executing a woman on the street in Idlib Province blaming her of adultery. [Warning, link to graphic video]
Syria Is a Boiling Pressure Cooker
As President Obama is patting himself on the back for the great job the US-led Coalition has done in Iraq, where did he think the ISIS fighters were going to go? The only place they had to go is back to Syria, and despite the fact that the Coalition killed “single-digit thousands” of ISIS fighters in Iraq, they also recruited in Iraq. How many ISIS fighters are retreating back into Syria? How many are leaving the Levant for Libya, Yemen and Somalia?
Many Syrians and Iraqi Sunnis have asked the question, “How can our brothers join ISIS and then turn on us and kill us?” Listen to the story of one very frightened 15 year old ISIS prisoner held in a Kurdish prison in Syria and maybe his story will provide a little insight. “Why do these guys seem like they are such satanic killers?”
What now …
ISIS may be “definitively” halted in Iraq, however, they are far from being definitively halted. The Coalition needs to regroup and come up with a Syria and beyond policy. The Syria policy needs to be without question, Assad first then the rest of the terrorists in the country. Once Assad is gone, many of the Syrians who have joined JAN and ISIS will re-join their communities in Syria to begin the hard task of transformation.
As in WWII, when people and their families were starving, many reluctantly joined the “German Army” not because they wanted to, but because they paid money to buy food. Those that have “blood on their hands,” such as killing women in the streets, or executing FSA commanders, or the true ISIS demons who rose up and grabbed the revolution from the people of Syria had better run … although there may not be anywhere to go