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Islamic State Crisis Megathread (ISIS/ISIL/IS)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:55 am
by Romalae
Mod edit: This is now the official Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS) thread. Any new threads will be rolled up into this one.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/jihadists-kill-14 ... 54691.html

Arbil (Iraq) (AFP) - Islamic State jihadist fighters seized two small oilfields in northern Iraq on Saturday after a fierce battle with Kurdish peshmerga forces, Kurdish officials said.

The jihadist attack launched late Friday on the Zumar area, northwest of Mosul, Iraq's second city, drew Kurdish forces deeper into a conflict which has raged for close to two months.

The jihadists "attacked a peshmerga post in Zumar and a fierce battle erupted," said an official in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of Iraq's two main Kurdish parties.

He told AFP that 14 peshmerga fighters were killed, a toll confirmed by a senior officer in the Kurdish force.

Another two peshmerga died in fighting around a nearby border crossing with Syria.

The PUK official said the peshmerga killed "around 100" IS fighters and captured 38.

The officials said the peshmerga fought off the jihadists, only to withdraw later on Saturday, allowing IS fighters to take control of the area, which includes the Ain Zalah and Batma fields.

"The two oilfields are now under IS control," an official with the North Oil Co told AFP, adding the fields have a combined capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.

He said the site also includes a small power plant.

"Zumar and the surrounding region fell to Daash, after they pulled out today," Gayath Surchi, another PUK official, told reporters, using the former Arabic acronym for the jihadists.

IS fighters, who run large swathes of neighbouring Syria, launched a blistering offensive on June 9 that saw them capture Mosul and move into much of Iraq's Sunni heartland.

Government forces retreated in the face of the onslaught, with peshmerga troops filling the vacuum and seizing long-coveted areas disputed by the Kurds and Baghdad, including the oilfields.

The peshmerga are widely perceived as Iraq's best organised and most efficient military force but the autonomous Kurdish region in the north has been cash-strapped and its troops stretched.

- US-Kurdish deal? -

According to a senior official, a Kurdish delegation is currently in the United States to demand military support.

"There is US pressure on the Kurdish administration encouraging them to fight the terrorists," Kurdish commentator Aref Qarbani said.

"In return, the US administration would give them guarantees to equip peshmerga forces and acknowledge the new Kurdish reality on the ground," he said.

Iraq's Kurdistan region has expanded by around 40 percent on the back of the chaos caused by the IS offensive.

In equally intense overnight fighting on the main front south of Baghdad, at least 23 pro-government forces were killed by relentless mortar shelling of their positions in Jurf al-Sakhr.

IS militants began attacking the town late Friday, killing 11 soldiers and 12 members of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, an officer and army medic said.

Another seven soldiers were wounded during a subsequent government operation against jihadist fighters in Jurf al-Sakhr, Al-Hamya and Latifiya, the sources said, reporting 37 IS fighters killed.

Using the western city of Fallujah as a rear base, jihadists have repeatedly attacked Jurf al-Sakhr, where pro-government forces want to prevent a foray that would expose the nearby holy Shiite city of Karbala and further encircle Baghdad.

In other attacks on Saturday, five would-be volunteer fighters were killed and 16 wounded in a suicide car bomb attack on a Shiite militia recruitment centre in Balad, north of Baghdad, police said.

Further north in Samarra, a Sunni-dominated city with a heavy militia presence protecting one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam, two policemen were killed in a roadside bomb blast, police and medical sources said.

And further up the same main northbound road, in the town of Daquq, an air raid designed to head off an IS attack resulted in the deaths of six civilians, a top health official said.

The UN envoy in Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, expressed concern on Friday over the high number of civilians being killed in Iraq's conflict.

According to the United Nations, 1,186 civilians were among 1,737 people who died in violence across the country in July.


Bad news; it looks like for the first time in the past couple of months, the fighters of the Islamic State have inflicted their first major defeat upon the robust Kurdish Peshmerga forces by taking these two oilfields northwest of Mosul. According to the source, 14 Peshmerga members died, but it should also be noted that it states that about 100 IS fighters died too.

Personally, I am a supporter of the Kurds and the Peshmerga. I believe that the Kurds have the right to defend themselves, their land (inclusive of Kirkuk), and their autonomy from the central Iraqi government. If the US is to bestow any kind of military/financial support upon anyone in the region, I do believe it ought to be the Kurds. Respective or irrespective of your opinion of the Kurds, does NSG believe that this is a turning point in the conflict between IS and the Kurds, or a fluke that will eventually be swiftly dealt with by the Kurds or other groups? Furthermore, is this also the point where the US government and/or other international governments will render military/financial aid to the Kurds? Thoughts?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:09 am
by Quintium
Romalae wrote:Respective or irrespective of your opinion of the Kurds, does NSG believe that this is a turning point in the conflict between IS and the Kurds, or a fluke that will eventually be swiftly dealt with by the Kurds or other groups?


This Islamic State will eventually fall, because even with birth rates that will cause the population in the area to double within one generation there won't be enough manpower at some point in the not too distant future. But in that same future, it'll be tried over and over again, in the Middle East and elsewhere (similar groups exist in South Asia, South-East Asia and Europe but don't have the 'critical mass' yet). This is just one of many - it will be defeated militarily, but it will live on in the hearts and minds of millions and millions of people the world over, and that is the real threat.

Romalae wrote:Furthermore, is this also the point where the US government and/or other international governments will render military/financial aid to the Kurds? Thoughts?


I doubt it. America is hesitant because Obama is hesitant, European governments are afraid of setting off their own Muslim populations (or the Saudi government) and will take on a very quiet role in decades to come, and other parts of the world - China, India and Russia, primarily - don't really feel the need to get involved in this conflict as their foreign policies are based on interests and not on morality.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:56 am
by Czechanada
ISIL will not be able to hold the oilfields; Victories like these are often lost in counter-attacks.

Regardless, I doubt that ISIL will make anymore incursions into Kurdish territories.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:02 am
by Silent Majority
He told AFP that 14 peshmerga fighters were killed, a toll confirmed by a senior officer in the Kurdish force.

Another two peshmerga died in fighting around a nearby border crossing with Syria.

The PUK official said the peshmerga killed "around 100" IS fighters and captured 38.


Assuming the PUK officially isn't just completely bullshitting his numbers, something tells me ISIS won't be able to hold on to these oil fields for very long

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:02 am
by Novia Soviet Socialist Republic
100 casualties is fairly big. I've no doubt that the ISIL will sustain more casualties like that if they persist on pushing for an offensive against Kurdish forces.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:11 am
by Mefpan
The Kurds have been offering the fiercest resistance against ISIL, as far as I can tell. This was a pretty damn expensive victory for ISIL when you compare the ratios.

Every war has its setbacks - this is one of them. Not one that will be final, I'm sure, but if anyone in the damn area deserves support, it's the Kurds.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:12 am
by Aredshan
Silent Majority wrote:
He told AFP that 14 peshmerga fighters were killed, a toll confirmed by a senior officer in the Kurdish force.

Another two peshmerga died in fighting around a nearby border crossing with Syria.

The PUK official said the peshmerga killed "around 100" IS fighters and captured 38.


Assuming the PUK officially isn't just completely bullshitting his numbers, something tells me ISIS won't be able to hold on to these oil fields for very long

No doubt. From what I read on Rudaw (a relatively credible Kurdistani news site) a few days ago, the main reason for the Peshmerga's limited abilities apparently is its lack of "large" weapons and ammo.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:14 am
by Rio Cana
Reading that article the OP posted, it says the Kurds seemed to have held on to that oil area but later decided to make a strategic withdrawal. So they seem to be playing it smart. I think the US has to arm them with much better weapons. After all, ISIS ended up capturing US equipment. If those Shite holy sites are destroyed by ISIS chances are there will be a major religious war in that area. Iranian even Iranian Shite might get involved.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:15 am
by Murkwood
I'm surprised the Kurds have hung on for so long. Good on them.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:15 am
by Gauthier
ISIS is trying to piss off every significant power in the Middle East it seems.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:15 am
by Seaxeland
Meanwhile, nobody is doing shit to stop them.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:16 am
by Neo Rome Republic
How unfortunate. Hopefully these savages will be stopped soon.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:17 am
by Murkwood
Seaxeland wrote:Meanwhile, nobody is doing shit to stop them.

I still can't believe we (the US) haven't bombed them yet. The want a society that's more fitting for the stone age, so let's bomb them back into it.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:20 am
by Salus Maior
First of all, I get the feeling that the Kurds are exaggerating on how much damage they inflicted on the ISIS. Secondly, this seems kinda bad, the Peshmerga seemed to be the only force that could stand up to the ISIS, hopefully this isn't indicative of impending destruction of their entire force.

Turkey or the Saudis should start getting involved.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:24 am
by Viritica
Iraq: "Hey, America, are you seeing this?"

USA: *crickets*

Iraq: "America? HELLOOOOO!"

USA: *crickets*

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:47 am
by Romalae
Quintium wrote:I doubt it. America is hesitant because Obama is hesitant, European governments are afraid of setting off their own Muslim populations (or the Saudi government) and will take on a very quiet role in decades to come, and other parts of the world - China, India and Russia, primarily - don't really feel the need to get involved in this conflict as their foreign policies are based on interests and not on morality.


That's a rather negative prognosis for the region, in terms of the extent of international involvement. So then is your belief that the Kurds are going to have to go at this alone until IS is eliminated? I'm having trouble believing that Europe and the US would stand idly by if IS were to roll over more significant swathes of Iraqi Kurdistan and Shi'ite southeast Iraq, much less Turkey and Iran for that matter. At some point the threshold would be crossed for external intervention.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:49 am
by Blakk Metal
So much for Kurdistan.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:51 am
by Salus Maior
Romalae wrote:
Quintium wrote:I doubt it. America is hesitant because Obama is hesitant, European governments are afraid of setting off their own Muslim populations (or the Saudi government) and will take on a very quiet role in decades to come, and other parts of the world - China, India and Russia, primarily - don't really feel the need to get involved in this conflict as their foreign policies are based on interests and not on morality.


That's a rather negative prognosis for the region, in terms of the extent of international involvement. So then is your belief that the Kurds are going to have to go at this alone until IS is eliminated? I'm having trouble believing that Europe and the US would stand idly by if IS were to roll over more significant swathes of Iraqi Kurdistan and Shi'ite southeast Iraq, much less Turkey and Iran for that matter. At some point the threshold would be crossed for external intervention.


The ISIS won't be getting as far as Iran or Turkey, because either of those nations would flatten them pretty quickly. ISIS does fine against disorganized militaries and the Kurdish militia, but if it came across a properly organized national army, it'd get flattened pretty quick.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:53 am
by Blakk Metal
Romalae wrote:
Quintium wrote:I doubt it. America is hesitant because Obama is hesitant, European governments are afraid of setting off their own Muslim populations (or the Saudi government) and will take on a very quiet role in decades to come, and other parts of the world - China, India and Russia, primarily - don't really feel the need to get involved in this conflict as their foreign policies are based on interests and not on morality.


That's a rather negative prognosis for the region, in terms of the extent of international involvement. So then is your belief that the Kurds are going to have to go at this alone until IS is eliminated? I'm having trouble believing that Europe and the US would stand idly by if IS were to roll over more significant swathes of Iraqi Kurdistan and Shi'ite southeast Iraq, much less Turkey and Iran for that matter.

I'm not.
Czechanada wrote:ISIL will not be able to hold the oilfields; Victories like these are often lost in counter-attacks.

Regardless, I doubt that ISIL will make anymore incursions into Kurdish territories.

Agreed, if they're smart they'll go down to Saudi Arabia.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:01 am
by Romalae
Salus Maior wrote:
Romalae wrote:
That's a rather negative prognosis for the region, in terms of the extent of international involvement. So then is your belief that the Kurds are going to have to go at this alone until IS is eliminated? I'm having trouble believing that Europe and the US would stand idly by if IS were to roll over more significant swathes of Iraqi Kurdistan and Shi'ite southeast Iraq, much less Turkey and Iran for that matter. At some point the threshold would be crossed for external intervention.


The ISIS won't be getting as far as Iran or Turkey, because either of those nations would flatten them pretty quickly. ISIS does fine against disorganized militaries and the Kurdish militia, but if it came across a properly organized national army, it'd get flattened pretty quick.

Certainly; there's no question that IS wouldn't stand a chance against Turkey or Iran. But it was mentioned earlier in this conflict that one of the tenets of the sudden, unprecedented Turkish semi-support for the Iraqi Kurds' autonomy was that they would act as a buffer zone between Turkey and IS territorial holdings. My point was that if IS encroaches further into Iraqi Kurdish territory, Turkey might find it apropos to aid the Iraqi Kurds in seeing to it that IS is stopped. Turkey would have little problem quashing the IS threat if it reached its borders, but of course it would rather avoid such a confrontation altogether.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:04 am
by Cyrisnia
I hope the Kurds retake the oilfields.
The Pershmerga have been able to defend themselves from ISIS, and thats good.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:10 am
by The Volkstaat Republic
While this is a pretty big hot to the Kurds I'm sure ISIL lost a lot of fighters because it's not like they out fought the Peshmerga they had to just out number them to some degree. I'm sure the Kurds will retake the area in awhile plus it isn't like ISIL is striking deep into Kurdish territory this is when you look at the larger picture a pretty insignificant loss for the Kurds and the retreat was probably more tactical in nature rather then they actually could no longer fight that battle.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:29 am
by The Serbian Empire
Silent Majority wrote:
He told AFP that 14 peshmerga fighters were killed, a toll confirmed by a senior officer in the Kurdish force.

Another two peshmerga died in fighting around a nearby border crossing with Syria.

The PUK official said the peshmerga killed "around 100" IS fighters and captured 38.


Assuming the PUK officially isn't just completely bullshitting his numbers, something tells me ISIS won't be able to hold on to these oil fields for very long

ISIS isn't skilled enough to hold on even with regional paramilitaries like the Peshmerga.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:31 am
by Blakk Metal
The Serbian Empire wrote:
Silent Majority wrote:
Assuming the PUK officially isn't just completely bullshitting his numbers, something tells me ISIS won't be able to hold on to these oil fields for very long

ISIS isn't skilled enough to hold on even with regional paramilitaries like the Peshmerga.

Wait, you're Serbian right? Why can't you handle Crazy Abe?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:33 am
by Wind in the Willows
They won't be able to hold the oilfields for very long.