President won’t commit to helping Iraq for a few days
Media and civilian reports throughout northern and central Iraq on Friday suggest that the situation on the ground has become increasingly violent and unstable to the point that the Iraqi government is crumbling:
Heavily armed Islamist militants flush with $450 million in stolen cash pushed toward Baghdad on Friday, sending thousands fleeing in fear from the Iraqi capital.
Al Qaeda-linked insurgents who overran large parts of the north of the country earlier this week also seized about $450 million during a bank heist, Mosul Mayor Athier Nujaifi told NBC News. That makes the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) the world’s richest terrorist group.
The ISIS troops are led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (or Abu Dua) was once held by the US in Camp Bucca Iraq. al-Baghdadi was captured by U.S. forces in Iraq, but released by the Obama Administration in 2009.
On his way to a visit to North Dakota, President Barack Obama held a brief statement and exchange with reporters on The White House lawn.
Unfortunately for the President, events are deteriorating so fast around Baghdad, it may be too late for the United States to do anything before the ISIS/Sunni insurgents take the Iraqi capital.
Reporters didn’t ask specific questions about the failure of Obama to leave U.S. combat troops in Iraq after 2011 or his failure to complete a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government.
Obama also didn’t address the incredible military and tactical success that the ISIS Islamic terror group has demonstrated — including the amount of land they control from Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad, the capture of U.S. military assets in northern Iraq, and the seizure of the $450 million from a bank in Mosul, Iraq.
The Institute for the Study of War has laid out some disturbing scenarios for the situation in Baghdad moving forward which suggest that the destabilization of Iraq has yet to see its worst moments. ISIS forces appear to be organizing for an attempt to take Baghdad as early as Saturday.
ISIS will seek to target the seat of Iraq’s government in the Green Zone. This may be a symbolic target rather than an operational target. Strategically, ISIS does not need to overrun the Green Zone. They only need to demonstrate the ability to maneuver ground forces into the city center, past the best that the ISF [Iraqi Security Force] can muster, and touch the flagpole. If ISIS is able to assault the Green Zone with a ground attack force, they will realize the full defeat of the Iraqi Security Forces. The command and control of Shi’a militias, police forces, and Iraqi civilians in the wake of such an attack would overwhelm the Baghdad Operations Command. The core functions of the Iraqi state would break down. Baghdad would become a ward of the Iranian government to protect the Khadimiya shrine, and Baghdad would become a buffer zone for low-level attacks across an Iranian-ISIS demarcation line.
ISIS may also activate sleeper cells to gather at internal rally points within Baghdad. Particularly during the Anbar campaign, new sleeper cells may have had the opportunity to emplace within the Baghdad city center from previously held positions in the Baghdad Belts. In this case, ISIS would need rally points that are proximate to existing infrastructure inside the city. ISIS would also likely leverage existing infrastructure associated with the longstanding VBIED operation to receive, gather, and deploy vehicle convoys. ISIS may also use VBIEDS to buffer the rallying stage of the assault force. Last week, ISIS executed two large VBIED waves, both entirely complete within one hour. This suggests that ISIS has also been testing its own ability to deliver VBIEDS at the same time across Baghdad. A blitzkrieg of VBIEDS might mask a force consolidating and staging inside Baghdad in order to advance upon the Green Zone.
The battle for Baghdad would likely involve several attack vectors – a main assault force by ground, but also supporting efforts to shock and dismantle likely Iraqi Security Force response. The best way for the ISF to mitigate this outcome is to designate fixed defenses that must hold and rehearse battle drills, because ISIS will seek to overwhelm them.
Many Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have blasted the President for allowing ten years of sacrifice by United States servicemen and women in the war in Iraq to collapse within less than two weeks.
This will be a very long weekend for Iraqis struggling to save their country from collapse and U.S. veterans and military families who lost so much over the past ten years in liberating Iraq watch it all go up in smoke.
(Featured Image source: ABC News)DONATE
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