Tuesday, 14 October 2014

An Intercepted Blog - Watch the Kurdish fight....Watch Obama Cower...rooting for the bad guys.

      We came across this blog late last night.  It is a dry, reasoned, understated observation of a day reviewing battle reports and analysis by a correspondent using the name "Sovereign".  We tried to do some checking around and did, in fact, find that his information is not only better than what we are receiving but it is also very accurate and very analytical.  We commend this, therefore, to the attention of the OROG community.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Operation Featherweight: Month 3, Week 2, Day 1.
As I was writing yesterday's post the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) had just succeeded in repelling a fresh attempt by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to seize the northern border crossing that provides the city of Kobane/Ayn al-Arab with its only link to the outside world. As a result it looked as though this strategically important city which sits 140km (84 miles) from the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa and just 1km (0.6 miles) from Syria's border from Turkey would stay out of ISIL hands for one more day.

However just as I was going be bed last night rumours were starting to emerge that ISIL had dispatched a senior commander along with 100 fighters who are specially trained and equipped to fight at night to Kobane in order to launch a fresh attempt to seize the northern border crossing. Although that rumour has not been confirmed a convoy of ISIL fighters did attempt to advance on the border crossing from the east only to be ambushed by YPG fighters who destroyed the convoy killing at least 25 ISIL fighters. Amongst the dead is said to be Saddam Jamal - a senior "Emir" within ISIL who is perhaps better known to the outside world as commander of the Syrian Military Council's  (SMC) eastern division which is the "moderate opposition" that everybody keeps referring to.
It seems that the YPG were not content to sit back and simply repel ISIL attacks and instead launched a counter-offensive of their own. With limited support from the US-led coalition (I'm still waiting for details of air-strikes) the YPG succeeded in liberating the village of Tall Shair and the hill it stands upon which has been under ISIL control since October 3rd (3/10/14). This is a significant victory for the Kurds because being 4km (2.4 miles) from Kobane the re-capture of the hill puts the west of the city beyond the range of ISIL tank fire. Also by putting a huge hill between Kobane and ISIL positions it makes it extremely difficult for ISIL to fire artillery into the city. Finally it opens up a stretch of open ground which can be used as a drop-zone if Turkey continues to block supplies from reaching Kobane forcing the coalition to conduct air-drops.

Of course before all this happened ISIL announced that they had seized not only the northern border crossing but also the entire city and declared victory over the Kurds. This really serves to underline first just how delusional ISIL actually are and just how important Kobane is to them.
When I compare ISIL to Nazi Germany it is not a casual comparison because both the Nazi Reich and ISIL seem to have this constant need to continue expanding and destroying in order sustain their existence. For example Hitler came to power in 1933 and spent 3 years consolidating the Reich in Germany before moving on to occupy the Rhineland in 1936. In 1938 the Nazis invaded Austria and then made a quick march across western Europe. In 1940 they were stopped at the English Channel so immediately started pressing eastwards towards the Soviet Union. In 1942 the were stopped at Stalingrad prompting them to focus instead on the extermination of the Jews. This wasn't enough to sustain the Reich and eventually it collapsed in on itself. ISIL seem to have the same thirst for destruction so if they can be stopped at Kobane and stopped at Hit in Iraq it is likely that they will then collapse very rapidly.

Despite the success at Tall Shair the battle for Kobane is still far from won because ISIL can still attack from the east and the south. Also by re-claiming the hill the Kurds have actually put extra pressure on themselves because they now not only have to defend the city but the hill and the space between the hill and the west of Kobane. 

Turkey of course is continuing to refuse to allow support such as fighters and supplies to cross its border to provide relief to Kobane. It has also emerged that on Sunday (12/10/14) Turkey went much further then simply trying to starve Kobane into defeat by bombing Kurdish positions on the border with Iraq. This means that Turkey is now no longer in violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2170 (2014) by simply failing to do everything in it's power by obstructing the coalition's use of Incirlk airbase. Instead Turkey is now actively carrying out military operations in support of ISIL.
On Thursday (16/10/14) Turkey hopes to be elected on to the UNSC. Along with all the examples I noted yesterday this is exactly the sort of thing that can be blocked if Turkey continues to refuse to assist the US-led coalition. In fact Thursday's vote may have to be postponed while the current members of the UNSC meet to decide Turkey's punishment for its flagrant violation of resolution 2170.

16:10 on 14/10/14 (UK date).

Edited at around 18:50 on 14/10/14 (UK date) to add;

It's Tuesday night and I'm back from the pub. Whilst I was there I sampled the J.D Wetherspoon chain's attempt at the famous "Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich." The nicest thing I can say about this is that they served the cheese on the side essentially making it a Ribeye steak sub. Therefore I suppose I could treat you to a lengthy rant about the obsession with putting cheese on all food that I have been saving up for quite some time. Seriously the other day I tried to order a southern fried chicken burger which only led to a long argument about how only a mad man would put cheese on that.

Fortunately though US Central Command (CENTCOM) have got around to publishing details of the air-strikes they carried out in and around Kobane overnight. Basically they carried out 21 strikes - the equivalent of a single B-1 Lancer operating at 25% of capacity - against pretty much every ISIL target they had identified. The destruction of 3 ISIL compounds, 7 troops staging areas and a single ISIL ammunition store were amongst the highlights.

The fact that this significant increase in the volume of strikes occurred at the same time as the YPG were able to seize Tall Shair hill has led to speculation that the US-led coalition is now operating alongside the Kurds. Sadly I don't think this is the case nor do I think this was the US sending a strong message to Turkey over its bombing of Kurdish positions on Sunday. Instead the sad fact of the matter is that US President Obama's only objective for this operation remains to avoid negative press coverage ahead of the US mid-term elections. With the Twitter hashtag #Airdrops2Kobane trending most of Sunday and the Obama's leadership receiving negative reviews (on this blog at least) on Monday I think that Monday night's small increase in air-strikes was Obama trying to show that he is taking the situation seriously.

The Kurds then simply took advantage because fighting for their lives they don't any other choice.  
No comments:
     This entry is wholly attributed to "Sovereign" whom I intend to follow in order to pick up better information than any other that seems to be available.  It seems as though "Sovereign" has direct access to Central Command, apparently in London;  his information checks out...far more accurate than the pool dribble on our television.  Partok is the only one...along with Atkinson and Herridge....that come close to this fellow's matter-of-fact reporting and familiarity with the names and positions of the principal actors.
     The red underscoring in the actual blogpost of "Sovereign" is my own accentuation, so as to point out his agreement with the broad majority of OROGs.   We have sent a commendatory note to "Sovereign" and will attempt to have his permission and/or authority to duplicate his battle commentary and political analysis from his side of the pond.   This has been a good night, to learn that our guys have the Texas spunk in them that we thought they had.
     You all notice that "Sovereign" thinks that the Turks have painted themselves into a diplomatic and military corner, and that Father Obamaham is essentially the Eunuch Joker.  It seems as though it is up to the French, perhaps....to resupply the Kurdish.   We could do the whole thing with the 82nd Airborne.....and a couple of relays of C-5A supply operations.  But we have Obamaham.
El Gringo Viejo