ISIS Shock and Awe tactics open doors for East and West arms
… from Russia Today, Moscow
[ Editor’s Note: There is something not right in Iraq on this Ramadi story. Troops usually break and run when the officers take off — and take off they do in most third world fighting, where leadership medals are given out for everything but actual fighting, where dying in combat is considered a display of poor judgment.
The news in the last paragraph below, that ISIL used 30 suicide car bombers in their takeover of Ramadi was the shock and awe. Manning a checkpoint is no fun when it is raining suicide bombers.
Add to this is the US, after its Wednesday announcement of 1000 anti-tank missiles being sent to combat these attacks, doubled the number on Thursday to 2000. I assume this was to not let the Russians help scoop the US’ “good help press” the day before.
But the wild card for me is that the last time I looked, 50 cals and twin 20mm cannon tore a car bomber up in short order. They have the range and punch. All I can think of is that the gunners can’t hit anything, as they have been used to mainly put spray-patter fire on a position.
When mounted on a Toyota, the suspension is bouncing around like a circus ride, quite detrimental to one’s aim. But for a head on attack with decreasing range, I would rather be the gunner than the bomber.
But the Baghdad Bob award for the week goes to Marine Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley for his comment about ISIS losing and on the run. If this were true, they never could have taken Ramadi… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … May 21, 2015 –
Moscow and Baghdad have been expanding military cooperation, President Vladimir Putin said, and Russia is ready to supply weapons to Iraq to aid the fight against Islamic State militants’ advance in the region, said Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov.
“We will make all efforts to meet [Iraq’s] possible requests, to ensure it has the defense capability and the ability to drive out of its territories Islamic State [formerly ISIS, or ISIL] and other terrorists,” Lavrov told reporters, speaking ahead of talks in Moscow between Putin and Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Thursday.
“We have very close and tight military-technical cooperation [with Iraq],” he said.
“Unlike some other countries, we are ready to supply weapons to Iraq without preconditions, based on the fact that Iraq, Syria and Egypt are on the forefront of the struggle against terrorism.”
Iraq has been Russia’s longtime partner and over the past two years bilateral trade turnover has grown 10-fold, Putin said at the meeting with Iraq’s PM on Thursday.
“Iraq has been our longtime and reliable partner in the region. Despite all the hardships in the world economy and difficulties in the region, our relations have been developing successfully,” Putin said.
Putin said that Russia has been implementing major projects in Iraq and Russian investments there are estimated at billions of dollars. He added that Moscow will continue civilian, military and technical cooperation with Iraq.
Meanwhile, in a major setback, Iraqi forces have retreated from a compound they used as a command center in Ramadi, losing control of Anbar’s provincial capital to Islamic State militants. Local security officials said that the militants carried out mass killings of Iraqi security forces and civilians, AP reported Monday. The two days of fighting in Ramadi this weekend had displaced around 8,000 people according to the International Organization for Migration.
On Wednesday, IS militants captured Syria’s historic city of Palmyra, a UNESCO landmark, after gaining full control over the city. The group already controls wide areas in Syria’s north and east. This was the first time the jihadists have taken a large population center directly from Syrian pro-government forces.
Despite the IS advance in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon has until recently continued to insist that the US-led air campaign is working.
“We believe across Iraq and Syria that Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the militant group] is losing and remains on the defensive,” said Marine Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, chief of staff for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve on Friday.
The US began its bombing campaign in Iraq in August 2014 and in Syria the following month. Syrian President Bashar Assad repeatedly pointed out that the bombardments are an illegal intervention unauthorized by a UN Security Council resolution, and so violate the sovereignty of Syria. He also said that the Syrian army has been conducting ground operations as well as airstrikes against terrorists which are larger than that those launched by the alliance.
In a separate development, the Pentagon said Thursday that the US will deliver 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to Iraq as soon as next week. This is double the number announced on Wednesday and is intended to help the beleaguered Iraqi army combat suicide car bombings used by Islamic State.
The Islamic State carried out about 30 suicide car bombings in taking the Iraqi city of Ramadi last weekend. Spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said that the anti-tank rockets would help the Iraqi army stop approaching suicide bombers, driving vehicles packed with explosives, from a distance. Relying on small arms fire to accomplish the same task requires killing the driver or taking out the engine.