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American Resistance To Empire

ISIS Secret Weapon—Suicidal, Psychopathic “Special Forces”

A secret to IS success: Shock troops who fight to the death 

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Hamza Hendawi, Qassim Abdul-zahra and Bassem Mroue, Associated Press

In this photo released on June 23, 2015, by a website of Islamic State militants, an Islamic State militant looks through the scope of his rifle in Kirkuk, northern Iraq. Though best known for its horrific brutalities _ from its grotesque killings of captives to enslavement of women _ the Islamic State group has proved to be a highly organized and flexible fighting force, according to senior Iraqi military and intelligence officials and Syrian Kurdish commanders on the front lines. (Militant website via AP) Photo: AP / militant website

BAGHDAD (AP) — Bearded and wearing bright blue bandanas, the Islamic State group’s “special forces” unit gathered around their commander just before they attacked the central Syrian town of al-Sukhna. “Victory or martyrdom,” they screamed, pledging their allegiance to God and vowing never to retreat.The IS calls them “Inghemasiyoun,” Arabic for “those who immerse themselves.” The elite shock troops are possibly the deadliest weapon in the extremist group’s arsenal: Fanatical and disciplined, they infiltrate their targets, unleash mayhem and fight to the death, wearing explosives belts to blow themselves up among their opponents if they face defeat. They are credited with many of the group’s stunning battlefield successes — including the capture of al-Sukhna in May after the scene shown in an online video released by the group.”They cause chaos and then their main ground offensive begins,” said Redur Khalil, spokesman of the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which have taken the lead in a string of military successes against the IS in Syria.Though best known for its horrific brutalities — from its grotesque killings of captives to enslavement of women — the Islamic State group has proved to be a highly organized and flexible fighting force, according to senior Iraqi military and intelligence officials and Syrian Kurdish commanders on the front lines.Its tactics are often creative, whether it’s using a sandstorm as cover for an assault or a lone sniper tying himself to the top of a palm tree to pick off troops below. Its forces nimbly move between conventional and guerrilla warfare, using the latter to wear down their opponents before massed fighters backed by armored vehicles, Humvees and sometimes even artillery move to take over territory. The fighters incorporate suicide bombings as a fearsome battlefield tactic to break through lines and demoralize enemies, and they are constantly honing them to make them more effective. Recently, they beefed up the front armor of the vehicles used in those attacks to prevent gunfire from killing the driver or detonating explosives prematurely.Those strategies are being carried over into new fronts, appearing in Egypt in last week’s dramatic attack by an IS-linked militant group against the military in the Sinai Peninsula.Andreas Krieg, a professor at King’s College London who embedded with Iraqi Kurdish fighters last fall, said IS local commanders are given leeway to operate as they see fit. They “have overall orders on strategy and are expected to come up with the most efficient ways of adapting it,” he said. The group “is very much success oriented, results oriented.” That’s a strong contrast to the rigid, inefficient and corrupt hierarchies of the Iraqi and Syrian militaries, where officers often fear taking any action without direct approval from higher up.IS fighters are highly disciplined — swift execution is the punishment for deserting battle or falling asleep on guard duty, Iraqi officers said. The group is also flush with weaponry looted from Iraqi forces that fled its blitzkrieg a year ago, when IS overtook the northern city of Mosul and other areas. Much of the heavy weapons it holds — including artillery and tanks — have hardly been used, apparently on reserve for a future battle.Iraqi army Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi said IS stands out in its ability to conduct multiple battles simultaneously.”In the Iraqi army, we can only run one big battle at a time,” said al-Saadi, who was wounded twice in the past year as he led forces that retook the key cities of Beiji and Tikrit from IS.Even the group’s atrocities are in part a tactic, aimed at terrorizing its enemies and depicting itself as an unstoppable juggernaut. In June 2014, the group boasted of killing hundreds of Shiites in Iraq’s security forces, issuing photos of the massacre. It regularly beheads captured soldiers, releasing videos of the killings online. It is increasing the shock value: Recent videos showed it lowering captives in a cage into a pool to drown and blowing off the heads of others with explosive wire around their necks.The number of IS fighters in Iraq and Syria is estimated between 30,000 to 60,000, according to the Iraqi officers. Former army officers of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein have helped the group organize its fighters, a diverse mix from Europe, the United States and Arab and Central Asian nations. Veteran jihadis with combat experience in Afghanistan, Chechnya or Somalia have also brought valuable experience, both in planning and as role models to younger fighters.”They tend to use their foreign fighters as suicide bombers,” said Patrick Skinner, a former CIA officer who now directs special operations for The Soufan Group, a private geopolitical risk assessment company. “People go to the Islamic State looking to die, and the Islamic State is happy to help them.”The group’s tactics carried it to an overwhelming sweep of northern and western Iraq a year ago, capturing Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city. Shortly thereafter, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a “caliphate” spanning its territory in Iraq and Syria.In May, it captured Ramadi, capital of Iraq’s vast western Anbar province, in a humiliation for Iraqi forces. In Syria, it seized the central city of Palmyra.The elite shock troops were crucial in the capture of Ramadi. First came a wave of more than a dozen suicide bombings that hammered the military’s positions in the city, then the fighters moved in during a sandstorm. Iraqi troops crumbled and fled as a larger IS force marched in.”The way they took Ramadi will be studied for a while,” Skinner said. “They have the ability to jump back and forth between traditional (military operations) and terrorism.” He said a similar combination of suicide bombings ahead of ground forces was used in last week’s Sinai attacks in Egypt.Since US-led airstrikes in Syria and Iraq have made it more difficult for the group’s forces to advance, IS has lost ground. Iraqi troops and Shiite militiamen retook areas to the south and northeast of Baghdad, the oil refinery city of Beiji and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit north of the capital.In Syria, Kurdish fighters backed by heavy U.S. airstrikes wrested the border town of Kobani from the IS after weeks of devastating battles. More recently, IS lost Tal Abyad, another Syrian town on the Turkish border.Despite that loss, IS shock troops attacked Kobani last month. Around 70 of them infiltrated and battled a much larger Kurdish force for two days, apparently on a mission not to retake the town but to cause chaos.They were all slain, but not before killing more than 250 civilians, including roughly 100 children, and more than 30 Kurdish fighters. At the same time, they attacked the northeast Syrian city of Hassakeh, driving out thousands of people and still holding out in parts of the city despite continued fighting. Last week, they carried out a bloody incursion into Tal Abyad, again fighting until they were all killed but demonstrating their relentlessness.”We are still nursing our wounds in Kobani,” said Ghalia Nehme, a Syrian Kurdish commander who fought in last month’s battle. “From what we saw, they weren’t planning to leave alive. It seems they were longing for heaven,” she said.The use of suicide bombings has forced IS’s opponents to adapt. Al-Saadi defied his own Iraqi military commanders who demanded a fast assault to retake Beiji. Instead, he adopted a slow, methodical march from a base near Tikrit, moving only a few miles each day while clearing roads of explosives and setting up barriers against suicide attacks. It took him three weeks to go 25 miles to Beiji, fighting the whole way and fending off more than two dozen suicide attacks, then another week to take Beiji, but he succeeded with minimal casualties.IS also has adapted, and recently began using remote controlled aircraft fitted with cameras to film enemy positions. It is believed to have agents within the military. It also has superior communications equipment, using two-way radios with a longer range than the Iraqi military’s, said Maj. Gen. Ali Omran, commander of Iraq’s 5th Division.Omran said that when the extremists figured out the military was listening in on its radio frequencies, it switched to more secure lines but continued using the infiltrated frequencies to feed the military false information.Even IS supply chains are robust. Its fighters’ rations often include grilled meat kebabs and chicken, better than what Iraqi troops eat, Omran said.But IS has its vulnerabilities, noted Skinner. It has no air force. And its open, state-like organization gives an opportunity for spies to infiltrate, something the group clearly fears given the many killings of people it suspects of espionage. It also faces internal strains, trying to control and direct its multi-national personnel.”We think of them as this spooky faceless organization that runs seamlessly,” Skinner said. “I imagine it’s probably the hardest organization to run, because it’s staffed with unstable, violent people.”___Mroue reported from Beirut, Lebanon. AP correspondents Lori Hinnant in Paris and John-Thor Dahlberg in Brussels, Belgium contributed to this report.

Even Gen. Dempsey Admits Futility of Obama’s ISIL “Air War”

[SEE:  The Unserious Air War Against ISIS ]

Most combat sorties in Iraq end without striking ISIS

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U.S. aircraft are coming back from most combat missions in Iraq without dropping any bombs, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said Tuesday.

“At a similar period in the Afghanistan conflict in 2012, the number of aircraft that returned with their ordnance because there were not targets available on the ground was 83 percent,” Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It’s 65 percent in Iraq right now.”

Dempsey was responding to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who was pressing Dempsey on why he has not recommended to President Obama that the U.S. embed joint terminal attack controllers with Iraqi troops to better coordinate airstrikes.

“The JTACs and the Special Forces observers are not a silver bullet to the destruction of ISIS,” Dempsey said. “The silver bullet is getting the Iraqis to fight.”

ISIS, AQAP, Saudi Arabia, US, UK and France–Anti-Shia Coalition In Yemen

ISIS, AQAP and Saudi Arabia in anti Shia Tripartite Attack against Yemen: US, UK and France Supports?

modern tokyo times MODERN TOKYO TIMES

ISIS, AQAP and Saudi Arabia in anti Shia Tripartite Attack against Yemen: US, UK and France Supports?

Murad Makhmudov, Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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The tripartite sectarian nature of ISIS (Islamic State), Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Saudi Arabia led coalition is in full swing and aimed at crushing the Shia Houthis. At the same time, Sunni loyalists who oppose being pawns of Saudi Arabia are in the firing line. After all, given the nature of ISIS, AQAP and Saudi Arabia, then radical clerics will be on the frontline in deeming all and sundry with being apostates. However, the real targets for AQAP, ISIS and Saudi Arabia applies to the Shia Houthis because of the sectarian nature of all forces that are destabilizing Yemen.

Since it became clear that Saudi Arabia would intervene in Yemen with the backing of many mainly Sunni Muslim dominated nations, then ISIS also began to emerge in what appears to be a twin assault by stealth. At the same time, AQAP is gaining from the Saudi Arabia led coalition and increasing terrorist attacks by ISIS. Therefore, AQAP was able to attack Mukalla in the province of Hadramawt in the southeast and then consolidate because of the tripartite attack against the people of Yemen.

Once more, the nations of America, France and the United Kingdom are siding with Saudi Arabia. In other words, AQAP, ISIS, the Saudi Arabia led coalition and the usual Western powers are all on the same side – irrespective if from a distance or based on different motives. This brutal reality highlights the severe plight that the Shia Houthis face and likewise for the people of Yemen irrespective of faith.

Last month the BBC reported: “Yemen has been in turmoil since Houthi rebels overran Sanaa last September, forcing the government of President Mansour Abdrabbuh Hadi to flee… In late March, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia began targeting the rebels with air strikes. Since then, more than 2,000 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 1,400 civilians, according to the UN.”

Since this report by the BBC the death total keeps on rising and the growing menace of ISIS is also abundantly clear. AQAP also knows full well that the Shia Houthis are being overstretched and while they fear the growing rise of ISIS, given internal Takfiri butchering in Syria, at the moment AQAP can consolidate based on the intrigues of the Saudi Arabia led coalition.

This reality renders the policies of America, France and the United Kingdom to be morally bankrupt when it comes to Yemen. After all, are internal security agencies in these nations worried about al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS – or do they fear the Shia Houthis? Obviously, the internal and external threat internationally applies to al-Qaeda affiliates, ISIS and Gulf petrodollars that are spreading indoctrination and hatred.

In the latest ISIS terrorist attack AFP reports: “An attack on Houthi rebel leaders in Yemen’s capital claimed by the Islamic State group killed at least 28 people, medics said Tuesday, the latest anti-Shiite assault by the Sunni extremists.”

At the same time, fresh airstrikes by the Saudi Arabia led coalition is killing civilians. Indeed, even the United Nations is alarmed by the mass instability and indiscriminate nature of the bombing campaign that is being led by Saudi Arabia. On top of this, AQAP is consolidating its power base because clearly the tripartite assault is focused on the Shia and destabilizing the nation.

Sadly, the political elites in America, France and the United Kingdom are once more dragging their respective democracies through the mud by assisting brutal sectarian forces on the whims of Saudi Arabia.

Indian Intelligence Agencies Bribe Both Enemies and Friends In Kashmir

[SEE:  The Indian Art of Turning Jihadis Into Anti-Jihadis and the War On Pakistan]

Separatists, Militants, Politicos Get Paid by Indian Intelligence Agencies in J&K: Ex-Spy’s Explosive Revelations

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VAJPAYEE

In the first ever admission of its kind, one of the most influential and high ranking intelligence officers of India has said that Indian intelligence agencies have over the years, often paid militants and separatists, along with mainstream politicians and political parties in the Kashmir Valley. Speaking exclusively to NDTV, former RAW Chief AS Dulat asked, “So what’s wrong? What is there to be so shocked or scandalized by. It’s done the world over.” Talking about his controversial memoirs: Kashmir – The Vajpayee Years, Mr Dulat elaborated that the Indian government had quite often paid for the air fares, medical treatment and general upkeep of even hardened pro-Pakistan separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Saying that India’s spooks had been in touch with everyone “Separatists and militants”, Mr Dulat also argued that one of India’s most wanted terrorists Syed Salahuddin had been in touch with him and was ready to leave Pakistan and return to India. Defending the use of money in the Kashmir valley, he said it was done in the hope of engaging militants and separatists and also to compete for influence with the ISI. “Corrupting someone with money is more ethical and smarter than killing him,” Mr Dulat said wryly.

TURKISH STREAM IS NOW “TURKSTREAM,” new route, new pipe-laying company

Putin Meets with Turkish Pres. Erdogan!…
–14 hours ago

Gazprom has terminated the contract with the Italian Saipem …
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Gazprom Seeks New Contractor to Start Turkish Stream
–3 hours ago

[MEET “TURKSTREAM,” the latest manifestation of the former South Stream Euro gas line.]

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[PREVIOUS VERSION CAME ASHORE ON TURKISH MAINLAND.]

TURKSTREAM 1

The energy company announced on Wednesday that it has canceled a contract with Italian contractor Saipem to build the first section of the pipeline under the Black Sea, which had been reached during negotiations to construct the South Stream pipeline in 2014.

South Stream Transport, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russian gas supplier Gazprom, announced on Wednesday that talks will soon begin with new contractors to start construction work on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey, citing a failure to reach an agreement with the Italian engineering company Saipem.”Today South Stream Transport B.V informed Saipem S.p.A. of the cancellation of the contract to build the first segment of the gas pipeline’s undersea section, an agreement reached during the realization of the ‘South Stream’ project in 2014,” South Stream Transport announced in a press release on Wednesday.

“In the near future South Stream Transport B.V. will enter into negotiations with potential contractors to lay the first segment of the ‘Turkish Stream.'”

According to South Stream Transport, in which Gazprom gained 100 percent ownership in December 2014, after buying shares from minority shareholders (the Italian company Eni, Wintershall of Germany and EDF of France), the decision was reached due to a failure to come to an agreement on a range of working and commercial issues related to the project.

Saipem had been due to begin laying the first pipeline, beginning at the Russkaya Compressor Station near Anapa in Russia, at the beginning of June; construction of the line is planned to be finished in December 2016.The contract with Italian energy engineering Saipem, in which Eni has a majority stake, to lay the first length of the gas pipeline was agreed upon in March 2014 as part of negotiations for the construction of the South Stream project, which came to an end in December 2014 after the failure of negotiations with Bulgaria to run the pipeline across its territory.

On December 1 2014 it was announced that Gazprom had signed a deal with the Turkish company Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation to construct the Turkish Stream pipeline, running across the Black Sea to Kiyikoy on the Turkish coast. The pipeline will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas, and will have a delivery point at Luleburgaz in Turkey for Turkish customers, and an additional delivery point at the Ipsala border crossing between Turkey and Greece for European customers.

 

NATO Forces Swarming All Over Georgia, Prepared To Correct 2008 Fiasco?

Multinational NATO military exercise begins in Georgia

Military officials from all over the world are in Georgia to participate in a multinational military exercise run by the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO).

For the next 14 days soldiers from the United States, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia are rubbing shoulders with Georgian servicemen within the Agile Spirit 2015 military exercise.

A special opening ceremony was held today to mark the official beginning of the military drills. The ceremony was held at the Vaziani Military Base and attended by Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF), Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze.

The NATO military training is being held under the NATO-Georgia substantial package, which outlined NATO trainings on Georgian soil as one of the deal’s top priorities. The training involved representatives from NATO partner countries including the United States, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia. Armenia and Moldova will participate as observers.

Major-General Kapanadze addressed the multinational servicemen and congratulated them for participating in the joint training.

“Georgian soldiers took part in many international operations and are continuing to contribute to global peace alongside our partners. Our cooperation is more than just a partnership – it is brotherhood of arms,” he said.

I am confident that a lot of hard work will be needed but there will also be a joy of success. Professionalism and bravery has no nationality. I want to thank everyone, each military and political figure, who made the Agile Spirit 2015 a multinational training,” Kapanadze noted.

The joint military training involved command post and field training and will continue until July 22.

Representing the Georgian side in the exercise is the IV Mechanised Brigade of the 42nd battalion, the US is being represented by 220 Marine Corps and other countries’ platoon-level units will participate in the drills.

Chinese Market Crashes, NYSE Shuts-Down For Four Hours, During Massive Sell-Off

NYSE 7 8 15 7/8/2015

[SEE:  Dow Jones Industrial Average Plunges 200 Points On Greece, China, Trading At NYSE Halted ; Computer glitch shuts down trading on New York Stock Exchange‘Bank holiday’: Greece expands bank and capital limits till end of week ]

Chinese stock ex

China’s plunging stock markets have virtually shut down

QUARTZ

As China’s steepest market drop in decades continues, almost half (link in Chinese) of all listed companies in China voluntarily suspended trading of their shares on July 8, and over 800 others had their stocks automatically halted after reaching their daily drop limit. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed down 5.9%. The CSI 300 was also down, by 6.8%.

That left only a handful—just 22%, according to our calculations, of all listed stocks on the Chinese stock market trading on Wednesday. Dozens of stocks in Hong Kong also voluntarily suspended trading, as the spill-over from China’s market dragged down Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, which tumbled as much as 8.6%, its biggest intraday fall since the financial crisis, to close 5.8% lower.