The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Update for Sunday, June 5, 2016


I haven't posted for a few days because the situation in Iraq has been essentially static, with the advance on Fallujah stalled due to fears for the 50,000 or so civilians still trapped there, and the extensive booby traps and other preparations made by the IS defenders of the city.

A few civilians continue to manage to escape, though they report they would be killed if they were caught trying to flee. Eighteen people drowned in the Euphrates trying to escape.

Suadad al-Saly in Middle East Eye gives an update on the battle.

Muntadhar, commander of a group of fighters with the Iraqi paramilitary forces, told the Middle East Eye: "The land is totally planted [with roadside bombs]. Even the grass is linked to wires."
He added: "Most of our casualties have come from booby-traps; we stopped defusing them and our new orders are to blast them."
- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iraqi-forces-battle-booby-traps-car-bombs-battle-fallujah-1290884422#sthash.aEID2olG.dpuf
Muntadhar, commander of a group of fighters with the Iraqi paramilitary forces, told the Middle East Eye: "The land is totally planted [with roadside bombs]. Even the grass is linked to wires."
He added: "Most of our casualties have come from booby-traps; we stopped defusing them and our new orders are to blast them."
- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iraqi-forces-battle-booby-traps-car-bombs-battle-fallujah-1290884422#sthash.aEID2olG.dpuf
Muntadhar, commander of a group of fighters with the Iraqi paramilitary forces, told the Middle East Eye: "The land is totally planted [with roadside bombs]. Even the grass is linked to wires."
He added: "Most of our casualties have come from booby-traps; we stopped defusing them and our new orders are to blast them."
- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iraqi-forces-battle-booby-traps-car-bombs-battle-fallujah-1290884422#sthash.aEID2olG.dpuf


Muntadhar, commander of a group of fighters with the Iraqi paramilitary forces, told the Middle East Eye: "The land is totally planted [with roadside bombs]. Even the grass is linked to wires."
He added: "Most of our casualties have come from booby-traps; we stopped defusing them and our new orders are to blast them."
NYT's Schmidt and Schmitt report that the Iraqi army is still in a sorry state  despite the huge and continuing infusion of U.S. equipment, training, and advice. They note the dependence on Iran-backed Shiite militias for the assault on Fallujah and the dangers this poses.

I have not been paying much attention to the Turkish air campaign against the PKK as it is somewhat peripheral, but I should note that the Turks bomb PKK positions pretty much daily. Note that the Kurdistan Regional Government is trying to maintain good relations with Turkey and does not support the PKK, nor have I seen any objections to the Turkish campaign from KRG officials.

Meanwhile, the IS bombing campaign in and around Baghdad continues to kill civilians almost daily. A major reason the Iraqi government chose to attack Fallujah now, against U.S. objections, is because they believe the bombing campaign is based there.





Muntadhar, commander of a group of fighters with the Iraqi paramilitary forces, told the Middle East Eye: "The land is totally planted [with roadside bombs]. Even the grass is linked to wires."
He added: "Most of our casualties have come from booby-traps; we stopped defusing them and our new orders are to blast them."
- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iraqi-forces-battle-booby-traps-car-bombs-battle-fallujah-1290884422#sthash.aEID2olG.dpuf

Muntadhar, commander of a group of fighters with the Iraqi paramilitary forces, told the Middle East Eye: "The land is totally planted [with roadside bombs]. Even the grass is linked to wires."
He added: "Most of our casualties have come from booby-traps; we stopped defusing them and our new orders are to blast them."
- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iraqi-forces-battle-booby-traps-car-bombs-battle-fallujah-1290884422#sthash.aEID2olG.dpuf
Muntadhar, commander of a group of fighters with the Iraqi paramilitary forces, told the Middle East Eye: "The land is totally planted [with roadside bombs]. Even the grass is linked to wires."
He added: "Most of our casualties have come from booby-traps; we stopped defusing them and our new orders are to blast them."
- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iraqi-forces-battle-booby-traps-car-bombs-battle-fallujah-1290884422#sthash.aEID2olG.dpuf


0 comments: