ISIS/ISIL conflict in Syria/Iraq (No OpEd, No Politics)


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I presume there is some sort of understanding reached with the Russians that air coverage for the A-10's might not be necessary anymore. The alternate view is that, the Turks are not happy with the agreement reached with the Russians over Assad and the F-15's got booted out.
As long as the A-10's are not attacking Syrian targets they don't need escorts. Your alternative explanation sounds more likely.


Junior Member
There is a lot happening behind the scenes over the last couple days. Saudi's attempting a new play (more Sunni vs Shia, surprise surprise), while a closer understanding on objectives seems to have now been reached between Russia & US. Turkish and Saudi actions on the ground, however they unfold, await to be seen.

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Image caption: The alliance was announced by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister, Mohammed bin Salman

A number of countries have expressed surprise that they were included by Saudi Arabia in a new military alliance to fight terrorism.

Officials in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia all said they had not formally agreed to join the alliance.

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34 mainly Muslim nations would be part of the counter-terrorism grouping.

Prince Mohammed said it would focus on efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.

"Currently, every Muslim country is fighting terrorism individually... so co-ordinating efforts is very important," he told a news conference.

He indicated there were still "procedures" for these countries to go through before joining, "but out of keenness to achieve this coalition as soon as possible, [the alliance of] 34 countries has been announced".

'Awaiting further details'
Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry was quoted in the
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as saying he was surprised by the announcement and had asked the Pakistani ambassador in Riyadh for clarification.

The country's foreign office said in a statement later on Wednesday that it was "awaiting further details to decide the extent of its participation in different activities of the alliance" before making a decision on whether to join.

In Indonesia, the foreign ministry said it too had not yet decided whether to join.

"The government is still observing and waiting to see the modalities of the military coalition formed by Saudi Arabia," foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told
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Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein went further - expressing support for the coalition but
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"The Saudi initiative does not involve any military commitment, but an understanding that we will combat militancy," he said.

Announcing the alliance, Saudi Arabia said a joint operations centre would be established in the capital Riyadh and the coalition would focus on terror groups "whatever their doctrine".

It comes amid international pressure for Gulf Arab states to do more in the fight against so-called Islamic State.

The BBC's Frank Gardner points out that the Shia-majority nations of Iran and Iraq, as well as Syria, are noticeably absent from the alliance.

It is far from clear how it could conduct counter-terrorism operations in IS-plagued Iraq and Syria without the agreement of those governments, he adds.

Saudi Arabia's list of 34 alliance members: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinians, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


Junior Member
I would characterize initial responses from the US and Europe as cautious.

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© AP Photo/ Mosa'ab Elshamy
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00:27 17.12.2015(updated 00:32 17.12.2015)
With the Saudi-led anti-Daesh coalition officially off the ground, several of the 34 member states have some important questions, including, "What is this?," "What role do I play?," and, "Is it too late to opt out?"

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia announced the creation of an "Islamic coalition against terrorism." The coalition includes 34 nations from across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, and will be coordinated from a command center in Riyadh.

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The true intentions of the new coalition are already in question. The exclusion of Iran has led some to criticize the partnership as a dividing force between the Sunni and Shiite religious factions. Others have labeled the alliance as little more than a hollow attempt by the Saudi government to distance itself from Daesh, also known as ISIL/Islamic State.

But that confusion isn’t limited to outsiders. The coalition’s own members seem to be unclear as to what is expected of them.

Indonesia has expressed alarm over a statement from Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in which he described the partnership as an "Islamic military coalition."

"We don’t want to join a military alliance," Indonesia’s Chief Security Minister Luhut Pandjaitan told Reuters.

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir elaborated, saying that Saudi Arabia had previously argued for the establishment of a "center to coordinate against extremism and terrorism," without mentioning any military aspects.

"…What Saudi Arabia has announced is a military alliance," Nasir told Reuters. "It is thus important for Indonesia to first have details before deciding to support it."

According to Pakistani Senator Sehar Kamran, Riyadh’s announcement of a coalition came as a complete surprise.

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"I haven’t seen the news yet," she said, having learned of the announcement in a Reuter’s phone call seeking her comment. When asked if the motion had been debated in Pakistan’s Senate or National Assembly, she said, "No. Not yet."

The daily newspaper Dawn also quoted Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry as saying he was surprised to find that Islamabad had been formally included in the Riyadh coalition.

Despite the early signs of infighting, Riyadh is standing by its newly formed coalition. On Tuesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters that member states could take part by contributing financial aid, as well as providing material or security expertise. Military assistance was also mentioned, though Jubeir did concede that more concrete plans are still under discussion.

The US has expressed support for the new coalition.

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"We look forward to learning more about what Saudi Arabia has in mind in terms of this coalition," US Defense Secretary Ash Carter told journalists in Turkey. "But in general, it appears it is very much in line with something we’ve been urging for quite some time, which is greater involvement in the campaign to combat ISIL by Sunni Arab countries."

Washington’s allies in Europe aren’t so sure.

"The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been subject to criticism in Europe, and France in particular, with regard to extremism and Daesh," Jubeir said on Tuesday, "and I think it is based on not knowing the facts."

Whatever the facts may be, Riyadh may want to inform their teammates.


Junior Member
Tension remains between Iraq & Turkey; Issue of unauthorized Turkish Forces inside Iraq still not resolved and has been brought to the UNSC:
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Agence France-Presse9:25 p.m. EST December 15, 2015

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government on Tuesday demanded the "complete withdrawal" of Turkish forces from its territory, indicating Ankara's partial pullout the previous day was not enough.

Turkey deployed soldiers and tanks to a military camp in northern Iraq earlier this month, a move it said was necessary to protect trainers at the site but which Baghdad condemned as an illegal incursion.

Turkish and Iraqi officials said Turkish forces and equipment were withdrawn from the camp early on Monday, but the trainers apparently remained, and Ankara has other military sites within northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
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The cabinet "renewed its firm position on the necessity of a response from neighboring Turkey to the Iraqi demand for a complete withdrawal from Iraqi territory and respect for its national sovereignty," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said in a statement.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday that "there has been a shifting of the (military) forces, and that Ankara did "what was necessary to do from a military point of view".

But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu indicated that forces remained at the training site, saying the number of troops there and at other locations "may increase or decrease as required".

Iraqi MP Salem al-Shabaki said Turkey had removed forces from the site near the northern city of Mosul, the main hub of the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, and that it seemed only trainers had remained.

The trainers have been working with anti-IS forces at the site for some time, and their presence had not previously been an issue.

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The Monday withdrawal provided Abadi, who has faced intense political pressure to oppose the Turkish deployment, with a potential opportunity to declare that Ankara had met his demands.

But the wording of the latest statement indicated the government may want the trainers to be withdrawn along with Turkish forces at other sites, some of which it has occupied for over a decade.

Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region has close ties with Ankara and is unlikely to back Baghdad in such an effort.


Junior Member
The following is, in my view, a partial response to concerns over perceived US support for hostile Sunni states:
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By Andrew Tilghman, Staff writer2:11 p.m. EST December 16, 2015

BAGHDAD — Defense Secretary Ash Carter traveled to Iraq's capital Wednesday with an offer to deploy more American troops and new attack helicopters to help the Iraqi army defeat the Islamic State group.

But for now, at least, the Iraqis are passing up that offer.

Specifically, Carter said the U.S. is willing to provide Iraqi army units with close-air support via Apache attack helicopters and also to expand the advise-and-assist mission to include combat advisers at the brigade level. The current mission limits such American advisers to division and headquarters levels.

But no agreement emerged from the 40-minute meeting between Carter and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad's Green Zone.

"The prime minister did not make any specific requests," Carter told reporters after the meeting. "However, we did discuss the possibility that circumstances in the future might cause our commanders to advise, and his commanders to advise, and him therefore to approve us doing more things like using helicopters, like using additional personnel."

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The offer, which Carter first floated publicly in testimony to Congress on Dec. 9, likely would mean deploying hundreds of additional U.S. troops to Iraq. It reflects Washington's growing interest in ramping up the fight against the Islamic State group in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks that killed 149 people in November and the shootings that killed 14 Americans in San Bernadino, California, in early December.

The Iraqi prime minister's rejection of the offer reveals the growing pressure he faces from Iran and Shiite factions inside Iraq to limit the role and influence of American forces in his country.

"This is a very complex environment that we are operating in, and we have to be attentive to some of the political realities that surround us every single day," said Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, as the mission in Iraq and Syria is known.

"There are a number of complex relationships that the government of Iraq has to attend to. And we are here in Iraq at the behest of that government, so sometimes we have to adjust the things that we would do," MacFarland told reporters in Baghdad Wednesday.

Ultimately, the American military must defer to Baghdad, he said. "It's kind of hard to inflict support on somebody."

The conversation between Carter and al-Abadi highlights how the political dynamics in Washington and Baghdad have reversed course over time.

For months, the primary constraint on the U.S. military mission in Iraq was the White House's reluctance to send U.S. troops into harm's way or become entangled in the complex sectarian politics inside Iraq.

Now, the political forces limiting the U.S. mission appear to be coming from Baghdad as Iran and hardline Shiites in Iraq have grown more powerful over time and the Iraqi prime minister risks losing his job if he appears to be too closely aligned with the U.S.

"He's in a tough spot," said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Defense Department spokesman traveling with Carter in Baghdad.

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"There are many forces here in Iraq that don't believe an American presence is a good thing, and Prime Minister Abadi has to balance that," Warren said. "It's a balancing act between what's going to actually help [defeat ISIS] and what can the system absorb, and when I say what can 'the system' absorb, I'm talking about the entire political-military-diplomatic system."

Ramadi battle continues

As Carter was visiting Baghdad, fighting continued in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

Carter first suggested providing attack helicopters and more combat advisers in the context that battle, saying more U.S. troops and firepower could help tip the fight in favor of Iraq.

About 10,000 Iraqi security forces personnel are closing in on the provincial capital and the estimated 500 Islamic State fighters who are holding the city, Warren said.

Yet the Iraqis so far have been unable to seize the city center, which is wedged between two rivers and is heavily fortified.

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More than 3,500 U.S. troops currently are in Iraq, many of them ordered to stay inside secure Iraqi and Kurdish military facilities and limited to providing local fighters with training and advice.

Putting U.S. advisers into Iraqi combat brigades and sending American pilots in Apaches to support Iraqi ground units in battle would be far more dangerous than most of the current work U.S. troops are doing.

MacFarland said he is "optimistic" that the Iraq security forces can defeat the Islamic State in Ramadi, and he reiterated that he's willing to send in Americans troops to help if needed.

"Right now, things are going pretty well in Ramadi so the Iraq security forces haven't asked us to provide Apache [helicopter] support for them. If they were to ask, we could do that. And we're prepared to do that," he said.

"We're prepared to say yes if requested."


Registered Member
There is a lot happening behind the scenes over the last couple days. Saudi's attempting a new play (more Sunni vs Shia, surprise surprise), while a closer understanding on objectives seems to have now been reached between Russia & US. Turkish and Saudi actions on the ground, however they unfold, await to be seen.
I only read some news articles but haven't found a direct qoute of actual words from this prince. From reading other news such as WSJ, the substance of the coalition is still not clear. But using word "coalition" seems to mean actions are not limited to sharing intelligence.

So I want to ask two questions:
Did this prince actually use the word "coalition" or "alliance"?
Was this prince surrounded by his colleagues from these 34 countries when he said the word "coalition" or "alliance"?

If the answer is yes to the first and no to the second (as your qoutation indicated), it seems to me that this prince just hijacked other countries' good will by stuffing his own words into other people's mouth. Not an honest act, but "forgivable" considerring his age (31) and being a royal.

It is not surprising that Saudi Aribia announced this "coalition" now soon after BND (the German Intelligence Agency) released report accusing SA of being destablizing factor in the region, and German deputy chancellor openly accused SA's relation with IS just after BND report.

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
what gives?!
U.S. military says pulls 12 fighter jets from base in Turkey
Well, they say that the F-15Es there were a part of a temporary deployment.

That could mean that those aircraft were part of something different than the ISIS mission, or that they represented a particular, temporary part of that mission only. That sounds mor elike the reasoning to me.

The A-10s are going to accomplish more against ISIS in any case.

I would not draw too much from it, or ascribe it to a knee jerk as a result of current other geo-political considerations.

At least not until we know a lot more about it.


Registered Member
The following is, in my view, a partial response to concerns over perceived US support for hostile Sunni states:
I agree.
Iraq (same as Syria) has the manpower suply from Iran and airpower from Russia if asked. What it need the most that Iran and Russia can not provide but US is most capable of is pressing Iraq's neighbour to block the inflow of terrorists and weapons. Without such assistance, this offer from US present nothing that Iraq does not already have.


Lieutenant General
Registered Member
After night now day operations :)

Jura, Bro :) have you heard something for this deal :
Czech company
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delivered to
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45 BMP-1 armored fighting vehicles
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I did not know him
No for money :) hehe date or other.
I have find mysterious deal because former Swedish BMP-1 ! and with law Sweden can't sold then Excalibur do.
But big order 250 BMP-1 first batch of 45 actualy delivered, old AIFV but good for the bad guys.

Footage of First Helicopters Taking off From Kuweires Airbase after SAA Secured The Perimeter
I thought somebody would beat me to it :)
LOL thinking for me ;)
Truman Carrier Strike Group Enters U.S. 5th Fleet To Begin Anti-ISIS Operations
The U.S. Navy once again has an aircraft carrier in U.S. Central Command, after the Truman Carrier Strike Group passed through the Suez Canal on Monday and became a U.S. 5th Fleet asset.

The region had gone without any naval air power for a stretch of time, after the Theodore Roosevelt CSG and the Essex Amphibious Ready Group departed the region in mid-October. The
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with Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers about two weeks later, after a one-month gap in naval air power operations.

With USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and its strike group – which includes guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG-68) and guided-missile destroyers USS Gravely (DDG-107), USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) and USS Ramage (DDG-61) – entering the region on Dec. 14 after a month in U.S. 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, American forces can increase the pace of air strikes.

“Certainly we’ve said we plan, particularly with regards to Syria, to thicken the air campaign and you’ve seen that,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said at a press briefing on Wednesday,
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As the Truman Carrier Strike Group battles the Islamic State, it will do so under the command of a French flag officer. Rear Adm. Rene-Jean Crignola, commander of the French Maritime Force, took command of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force 50 on Dec. 7. CTF 50 plans and conducts naval air strikes for Operation Inherent Resolve, the formal name for the fight in Iraq and Syria.

Crignola, embarked on the aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R91), will help integrate naval air power from France, the United States and other coalition forces.

Charles de Gaulle deployed on Nov. 18, just days after a terrorist attack hit Paris, and
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. The ship is escorted by the air defense destroyer (FN) Chevalier Paul, anti-submarine frigate (FN) La Motte-Picquet, anti-submarine frigate (BN) Leopold Ier, anti-submarine frigate (GN) Augsburg, command and supply ship (FN) Marne, and a nuclear attack submarine.
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