By Theodore Shoebat
“They’re lacking purpose motivation and direction,” Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin said in a phone interview from Baghdad. “I’ve never seen them so disorganized.” “You’re watching ISIS be annihilated,” Martin said of the terrorist group. ISIS is getting annihilated as Iraqi troops are surrounding them in Mosul. The terrorists are in disarray as they are being beaten down by Iraqi troops.
The Iraqi military was able to penetrate roadside bombs and concrete barriers that ISIS had placed in order to slow them down. ISIS is having real difficulty conducting their strikes as Iraqi forces quickly drain them.”They’re taking longer to react to initiatives on the battlefield,” Martin said of the militants.
When ISIS first began expanding into Iraq, the Iraqi forces put up a very pathetic fight; but now with American training, they have been able to beat ISIS back, taking both Fallujah and Ramadi from the jihadist thugs. With repeated airstrikes, alongside continuous incursions on the part of Iraqi, American and other forces, ISIS has been greatly devastated and heavily impeded from carrying out its operations.
Moreover, ISIS is immensely outnumbered. 100,000 Iraqi troops and Kurdish militia are fighting against ISIS, which only has — according to the Pentagon — 2,000 or fewer fighters remaining in the city of Mosul. This week ISIS attempted to do a counterattack but were immediately repulsed by Iraqi forces and coalition strikes. “The counterattack was destroyed,” Martin said. “Their morale has to be pretty low,” he said. Iraqi forces have also been able to stop drone attacks from ISIS, but Martin declined to explain how. Since Feb. 19, Iraqi forces have been able to retake 30% of west Mosul, and are continuing to purge neighborhoods of the terrorist agents. According to Iraqi officials, the entire eastern part of Mosul has been liberated.
“ISIS is trapped,” Brett McGurk, a U.S. envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, told reporters during a visit to Iraq this week. “Very few, if any, of the enemy are going to escape,” added Col. John Dorrian, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad.
On top of all of this, the US plans on sending a thousand more troops into Syria to combat ISIS. As one report reads:
The deployment, if approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and President Trump, would potentially double the number of U.S. forces in Syria and increase the potential for direct U.S. combat involvement in a conflict that has been characterized by confusion and competing priorities among disparate forces.
Trump, who charged former president Barack Obama with being weak on Syria, gave the Pentagon 30 days to prepare a new plan to counter the Islamic State, and Mattis submitted a broad outline to the White House at the end of February. Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, has been filling in more details for that outline, including by how much to increase the U.S. ground presence in Syria. Votel is set to forward his recommendations to Mattis by the end of the month, and the Pentagon secretary is likely to sign off on them, according to a defense official familiar with the deliberations.
While the new contingent of U.S. troops would initially not play a combat role, they would be entering an increasingly complex and dangerous battlefield. In recent weeks, U.S. Army Rangers have been sent to the city of Manbij west of Raqqa to deter Russian, Turkish and Syrian opposition forces all operating in the area, while a Marine artillery battery recently deployed near Raqqa has already come under fire, according to a defense official with direct knowledge of their operations.
The moves would also mark a departure from the Obama administration, which resisted committing more ground troops to Syria.
The implementation of the proposed plan, however, relies on a number of variables that have yet to be determined, including how much to arm Kurdish and Arab troops on the ground, and what part regional actors, such as Turkey, might have in the Raqqa campaign.
The new troops, if sent, would be focused on supporting Kurdish and Arab fighters in northern Syria battling the Islamic State. Under the plan, the added American forces would act primarily as advisers, offering expertise on bomb disposal and coordinating air support for the coalition of Kurds and Arabs, also known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.
About 500 U.S. Special Operations forces are already in Syria operating alongside the SDF, in addition to about 250 Rangers and 200 Marines. The new U.S. troops, if approved, would probably come from parts of both the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit — a flotilla of ships loaded with 2,200 Marines that is now steaming toward the region — and the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, from which 2,500 troops are headed to Kuwait. These conventional troops would supplement the Special Operations forces already on the ground and operate much like their counterparts fighting in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
It is obvious that ISIS is soon going down. But lies in the future after ISIS is gone? Most likely, remaining members of ISIS will simply be absorbed into the next dominating force in the Near East. Turkey is already expanding into the region, under the diplomacy of course. When ISIS first appeared with its videos of carnage and decapitations, the whole world watched with horror. But now, the general care about ISIS has gone down; the waves of fear have subsided. ISIS’ influence over people — with its videos, propaganda and headline news threats — has pretty much ended. Now, ISIS is in last stage of life. Turkey has been using ISIS to justify its expansion into Syria, and it will in the future be the dominating force in the Middle East. While we thought ISIS was the worst of the worst (with Trump describing ISIS violence as barbarity not “heard of since Medieval times”, which is a completely ahistorical statement), what is coming in the future is going to be far more sanguinary and bloodthirsty than ISIS — a revived Ottoman Empire.
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