Articles of the Day 6/20/14: Words Unspoken
“With its carefully collated facts and figures, it reads like a set of company accounts. But closer inspection of the 400-page document reveals it is a chilling breakdown of the murderous activities of the fanatics battling for control of Iraq. For this is the ‘annual report’ of the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), designed to demonstrate its power and attract funds from potential donors. Like any corporate document, it uses computer-generated graphics, details a management strategy, lists performance and targets.”
“The jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday, gaining access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin.”
What I find fascinating is that when the Obama administration withdrew American troops he left a fully functional, intact, chemical weapons facility available to anyone in Iraq.
“Now, though, with Iraq facing its gravest crisis in years, as Sunni insurgents have swept through northern and central Iraq, Mr. Maliki’s claims about Baathist plots have been at least partly vindicated. While fighters for the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, once an offshoot of Al Qaeda, have taken on the most prominent role in the new insurgency, they have done so in alliance with a deeply rooted network of former loyalists to Saddam Hussein.”
“Militants attacked the town of Muqdadiyah northeast of Baghdad on Friday, sparking clashes that killed 30 Shiite militiamen, a police colonel and a doctor said.”
“Events on the battlefield will reveal the true effects of the crisis, but the ISIS campaign in Iraq could ultimately help the Syrian opposition and hurt the Assad regime.”
“An Iranian-backed presence in southern Syria isn’t necessarily better than a Nusra one.”
“The fate of the state of Iraq hangs in the balance, US President Barack Obama said at the White House on Thursday, announcing military preparations for “targeted and precise” kinetic action against ISIS, a terrorist militia conquering territory in eastern Syria and northern Iraq.”
“Forty Hezbollah militants were killed Thursday in an ambush in Syria’s Rankous, near the Lebanese border, Lebanese news website LEBANON NOW reported. A Free Syrian Army told NOW that the ambush was carried out in farmland on the outskirts of the town.”
“A senior Israeli government official said Friday that the noose was tightening around the kidnappers of the three teenagers who were abducted last Thursday from a hitchhiking post in the Gush Etzion area in the West Bank, as a large-scale, ongoing IDF operation to locate the trio continued through its eight day.”
“The Israel Air Force attacked five terror targets overnight Thursday in response to rocket fire at southern Israel earlier Thursday.”
“(Reuters) – Israeli forces traded gunfire with Palestinians on Thursday, the military said, in the fiercest street battles in the occupied West Bank since a search began for three Israeli teenagers missing for a week.”
“Israel’s mission at the United Nations on Thursday ripped the international body as hypocritical, “0ut of touch and out of line” for claiming in had “no information to confirm” the abduction of three Israeli teens last Thursday.”
“TEL AVIV — Even if Israeli teens allegedly held captive by Hamas militants are found and safely returned to an anxiously awaiting nation, Israel’s ongoing rescue operation could continue indefinitely until the West Bank is sufficiently “cleansed” of the threat posed by the Islamic terror organization, officials here say.”
“Eight days after kidnapping of 3 teens in West Bank, army makes 25 arrests, strikes Gaza targets; former Shin Bet head: Operation could take a long time.”
I think Israel should demand release of the kids within 48 hours or Israel will resume targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders beginning with those who sanctioned the kidnapping.
“First, complete the disarmament of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups operating in Gaza, including the Iranian proxy Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This means that he must follow through on his commitment to demilitarization – including rescuing the three students – and the removal of existing stockpiles of thousands of largely Iranian-supplied missiles nestled and shielded amidst the homes, grocers and schools of Palestinians. It means that Hamas fighters put down their arms and embrace the peace process.
Second, there must be a complete cessation of the production and smuggling of weapons and materials that enable terrorist groups to both acquire and make rockets.
Third, the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatus must assume immediate and total control of Gaza and the Rafah border crossing. There is no place for militias, private armies or alternative security forces. The principle of “one authority, one gun” must be enforced, and security co-ordination between the Palestinians and the Israelis should continue.”
These are words that should be coming from the US, the EU and the UN.
“Former Shin Bet head praises ongoing wave of arrests against Hamas as ‘justified’ and ‘conducted with good judgment’.”
Warplanes: Israeli Air Force Need For Speed
“After the 2006 war the air force quickly made radical changes in the way it coordinated its operations with the ground forces. To do this it mobilized dozens of older (some retired) fighter pilots and used them to staff air support coordination detachments at army brigade headquarters. These officers were in turn supported by new technology and procedures that provided the air support coordination officers, and the army commanders they supported, with more real time video from UAVs and aircraft and the ability to quickly get firepower applied to target after it was identified. The objective of all this was to increase the speed and accuracy of smart bombs and missiles hitting targets the army wanted taken out. In the last few years this has meant new display technology and software that enables a commander to identify and designate a target with a few taps on a touch screen. Israel is also using cell phone size devices for this and constantly upgrading the crypto (that keeps the enemy from making sense of these communications) used. The goal now is to further streamline and speed up so ten times as many targets can be hit as was the case in 2006. Since 2008 the standardization and communications have been further improved so that you no longer need air force officers with ground units to get air support quickly.”