Irak

Saattavat halutakin, mistä sen tietää, mutta uutinen AMV-ostoksista on TÄYDELLINEN UUTISANKKA; Irakiin ei saa vientilupaa, eikä kukaan ole edes yrittänyt ottaa yhteyttä Suomeen asiassa.
 

Sardaukar

Ylipäällikkö
Lahjoittaja
Olisikohan Bushin klaania jäänyt vähän harmittamaan Persianlahden sodan jälkinäytös jossa Saddamia ei kaadettukaan vaan tämä murskasi nousseet kapinat julmasti? Tämähän herätti runsaasti arvostelua etenkin kotimaassa ja ehkä osaltaan vaikutti Bushin vaalitappioonkin (Bush Sr:n kannatuksen putoaminen n. vuodessa on sarjassaan legendaarinen). Ehkä poika halusi pistää tämänkin asian järjestykseen?
Olihan tuossa mukana vielä ilmeisesti Saddamin masinoima murhasuunnitelma Bush Sr:ia vastaan...joten on vaikea olla ajattelematta, että 2003 invaasiossa oli mukana myös hieman henkilökohtaista kaunaa.
 
Saattavat halutakin, mistä sen tietää, mutta uutinen AMV-ostoksista on TÄYDELLINEN UUTISANKKA; Irakiin ei saa vientilupaa, eikä kukaan ole edes yrittänyt ottaa yhteyttä Suomeen asiassa.
Entäs Etelä-Afrikan Badgerit? Heltiäiskö niille vientilupa?

http://www.military-today.com/apc/badger.htm
Badgers will be licensed-produced in South Africa. Production is expected to begin in 2015. First production vehicles are planned to be delivered to South African National Defense Forces (SANDF) in 2015-2016. Deliveries are planned to be completed in 2022. These new armored vehicles will partially replace the ageing Ratels that are now more than 30-year old and. The Badger will become a mainstay of South African mechanized infantry force for many years to come. It is likely that the Badger will be also proposed for export customers.
 
Military reinforcements in western Mosul as PMU prepare fresh operations.

by Mohamed Mostafa

Jan 12, 2017, 10:20 am

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Large troop reinforcements arrived on early Thursday in western Mosul preparing for a new phase of operations by pro-Iraqi government militias against Islamic State militants.

A statement by the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said the reinforcements arrived late Wednesday preparing for the “sixth phase” of operations in western Mosul.

Last November, al-Hashd al-Shaabi ended a fifth phase of their operations by retaking a military airbase and besieging the strategic IS stronghold town of Tal Afar. But news concerning the militias’ intention to invade the town were conflicting. Fears have been voiced by regional Sunni powers, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, that the involvement of the Shia-predominated al-Hashd in Tal Afar’s liberation could result into sectarian consequences with the Sunni residents of the town.

Since operations to retake Mosul launched in October, Iraqi forces, backed by an aerial cover from a US-led military coalition, have become in control over nearly 50 out of 84 districts in eastern Mosul, and commanders declared earlier this week they had reached the eastern bank of the Tigris River, which bisects the city. IS still maintains strongholds in the west.

Iraqi military media have put the number of IS militants killed since the launch of operations in October at at least 1757.

The conflict in Mosul has forced more than 173.000 civilians to flee homes in the city.

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/m...n-western-mosul-pmu-prepare-fresh-operations/
 
Iraqi special forces have stormed the Mosul University complex in the city's north-east and pushed forward to reach another bridge across the Tigris river, beating Islamic State (IS) militants further back, the military says.


Key points:
•Special forces say university is most important Islamic State base in the east
•Witnesses reported bulldozers smashing through a campus wall with rocket launchers
•Western Mosul assault is expected to restart after the eastern bank is secured

The militants were fighting back at the university, which they seized when they took over the city in 2014, and there were heavy clashes inside the campus, witnesses said.

Iraqi forces have recaptured most districts in eastern Mosul in nearly three months of a US-backed offensive.

Senior Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) officer Sami al-Aridhi said the university was the most important IS base in the eastern half of the city.

Iraqi forces aim to take full control of the eastern bank of the Tigris river, which bisects Mosul from north to south, before they can launch attacks on the west, which IS still fully holds.

Driving the ultra-hardline group out of its Mosul stronghold will probably spell the end for the Iraqi side of its self-styled caliphate that stretches across areas of Iraq and Syria.


"The operation today which took the terrorist elements by surprise was the storming of the University of Mosul," Mr al-Aridhi said.

He said the CTS had taken over a hill overlooking parts of the campus, including the technical college.

"Forces are heading into the depths of the university," he said.

Earlier in the day, bulldozers smashed through a wall surrounding the campus and dozens of CTS troops sprinted through carrying rocket-propelled grenade launchers, according to witnesses.

West Mosul assaults to begin after east bank secured

An Iraqi officer said army units backed by air strikes had also taken control of the Hadba district, north of the university, and would aid the assault on the complex.

The recapture of the university would be an important gain because it would enable further advances as it overlooks areas closer to the river, another commander said this week.

In a separate advance further south in the city, other elite CTS units reached the second bridge, also called Freedom Bridge, one of five across the Tigris, a military statement reported by state TV said.

Iraqi forces have now reached Mosul's two southern-most bridges, having battled their way to the fourth bridge several days ago.

Assaults on the western half of Mosul are expected to begin once Iraqi forces have secured the east bank.

All the bridges have been hit by US coalition air strikes in an effort to hamper IS militants' movement across the city.

US and Iraqi military officials say IS has caused further damage to at least two of them to try to hamper any Iraqi advance across the river.

The US-backed campaign to drive IS out of Mosul, involving a 100,000-strong force of Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters and Shiite militias, began in October.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-...idge-and-storm-university/8181930?pfmredir=sm

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-18/reclaiming-mosul---photo-gallery/7941190
 
Isis valmisti kemiallisia aseita Mosulin yliopistolla – nyt Irakin erikoisjoukot valtaavat laboratorioita
http://www.hs.fi/ulkomaat/art-2000005045598.html
IRAKIN erikoisjoukot kävivät lauantaina kiivaita taisteluita vallatakseen Mosulin yliopiston, jota terroristijärjestö Isis on käyttänyt kemiallisten pommien valmistamiseen.

Erikoisjoukot ovat saaneet haltuunsa monia osia laajasta yliopistoalueesta, esimerkiksi teknillisen instituutin ja hammaslääketieteen tiedekunnan, kertoi Irakin terrorisminvastainen erikoisjoukko uutistoimisto Reutersin mukaan.

Joukot ovat löytäneet yliopistolta kemikaaleja, joita oli yritetty käyttää aseiden valmistukseen, sanoi joukon komentaja Sami al-Aridhi tiedotteessaan.

Komentajan mukaan erikoisjoukot varautuvat siihen, että Isis pyrkii käyttämään kemiallisia aineita vastaiskuissaan.

IRAKIN joukkojen hyökkäys Mosuliin, maan toiseksi suurimpaan kaupunkiin, on kestänyt kolmisen kuukautta. Jihadistiliike Isis on ajettu karkuun suurimmasta osasta kaupungin itäosia. Mosulia halkovan Tigrisjoen länsipuoli on yhä Isisin hallussa.

Irakin ja Yhdysvaltain sotilaslähteet kertoivat jo viime vuonna, että Isis on käyttänyt Mosulin yliopiston laboratorioita ja välineitä valmistaakseen myrkyllisiä kemikaaleja sisältäviä pommeja.

Viime maaliskuussa Yhdysvaltain johtama liittouma teki ilma-iskun yliopistoalueelle pyrkien tuhoamaan laboratorioita.

MOSUL on on ollut kemiallisten aseiden valmistamisen keskus Isisin julistaman ”islamilaisen kalifaatin” alueella, kertoi yksityinen tutkimuslaitos IHS Conflict Monitor raportissaan marraskuun lopulla.

Viime vuoden aikana Isis käytti kemikaaleja, kuten klooria ja rikkihappoa, ainakin 52 iskussa Irakissa ja Syyriassa, kertoi IHS Conflict Monitor.

Suurin osa hyökkäyksistä tehtiin Mosulin lähellä.

Isisin kemialliset aseet ovat olleet kotikutoisia viritelmiä, joissa melko pieniä määriä aineita on laitettu esimerkiksi kranaattien tai kotitalouksissa käytettävien kaasusäiliöiden sisään. Tällaiset aseet aiheuttavat yleensä vahinkoa vain melko lähellä räjähdyspaikkaansa.

Esimerkiksi rikkisinappikaasu on syövyttävä aine, joka voi aiheuttaa palovammoja tai sisäisiä verenvuotoja ihokosketuksessa tai hengitettynä.

Asiantuntijat ovat pitäneet epätodennäköisenä, että Isisin taistelijoilla olisi kykyä valmistaa kehittyneempiä kemiallisia aseita.

Isisin epäillään myös siirtäneen asiantuntijoitaan ja laitteistoa Syyriaan ennen lokakuussa alkanutta Irakin asevoimien ja sen liittolaisten hyökkäystä Mosuliin.

KEMIALLISET aseet on luokiteltu joukkotuhoaseiksi ja niiden käyttö on kielletty kansainvälisillä sopimuksilla.

Syyrian sodassa kemiallisia aseita ovat käyttäneet myös presidentti Bashar al-Assadin asevoimat. YK:n tutkintaryhmä todensi ainakin kaksi hyökkäystä, joissa Syyrian asevoimat pudotti klooria sisältäviä pommeja helikopterista siviilialueille.

Vuonna 2013 Yhdysvallat uhkasi Syyriaa hyökkäyksellä kemiallisten aseiden käytön vuoksi. Yhdysvallat kuitenkin perui aikeet, kun Syyria suostui luopumaan kemiallisista aseistaan YK:n valvonnassa.

On epäselvää, onko Isis valmistanut kemiallisiin räjähteisiin tarvittavia aineita itse vai saanut niitä esimerkiksi Syyrian varastoista korruption tai väkivallan avulla.

Irakilla oli diktaattori Saddam Husseinin aikaan kemiallisten aseiden ohjelma. YK:n asetarkastajat sanoivat kuitenkin tuhonneensa varastot 1990-luvulla.

Yhdysvallat miehitti Irakin vuonna 2003 sillä perusteella, että se epäili Saddamilla olleen yhä joukkotuhoaseita. Niitä ei kuitenkaan löytynyt.

NYT taisteluiden kohteena oleva Mosulin yliopisto oli yksi Lähi-idän suurimpia korkeakouluja ennen kuin Isis valtasi kaupungin kesällä 2004.

Isisin uskotaan tuhonneen muun muassa yliopiston laajaa kirjastoa, johon kuului yli satatuhatta vanhaa käsikirjoitusta, karttaa muuta asiakirjaa.

Irakin hallituksen tavoite oli vallata Mosul Isisiltä viime vuoden loppuun mennessä. Jihadistiliikkeen viimeisen tukiaseman valtaaminen Irakissa on kuitenkin sujunut vaihtelevasti.

Mosulin taistelun lopputuloksessa on suoria vaikutuksia myös Suomessa olevien turvapaikanhakijoiden tilanteeseen. Suomeen tulleiden joukossa on paljon Mosulista paenneita ihmisiä.
 
Useita kymmeniä siviilejä oli lähdössä karkuun kylästä. Terroristit käskivät siviilejä pysähtymään.

Kun nämä kieltäytyivät, terroristit suuntasivat konekiväärin kohti siviilejä viereisen rakennuksen kolmannen kerroksen ikkunasta ja valmistautuivat ampumaan.

SAS:n ryhmä päätti, että heidän on puututtava tilanteeseen pelastaakseen siviilit.

Tarkka-ampujalla oli L115A-kivääri, jossa oli .338 Lapua Magnum patruunoita. Aseessa oli äänenvaimennin, jotta ryhmän sijainti ei olisi paljastunut. Ampumaetäisyyttä ei ole kerrottu.

Luoti osui konekiväärin ampujaa päähän tappaen tämän välittömästi. Pään läpäissyt luoti osui toista terroristia rintaan, myös hän kuoli välittömästi.

Luoti kimposi seinästä osuen kolmannen kaulaan. Hän kuoli myöhemmin verenhukkaan. Kaikki kolme olivat samassa huoneessa.

http://www.iltalehti.fi/ulkomaat/201701232200058184_ul.shtml

Lapuan .338 Magnum-patruunalla on tehty pisimmältä matkalta ammuttu tarkka-ampujatappo sotilaskäytössä.

Kersantti Craig Harrison ampui vuonna 2009 kaksi taliban-liikkeen jäsentä. Hänellä oli käytössään L115A3-kivääri ja Lapuan patruunat.

GPS-mittauksen mukaan laukaukset ammuttiin 2 474 metrin etäisyydeltä.


 

DM

Luutnantti
En tiedä tästä nimenomaisesta tapahtumasta, mutta jostain syystä tasaisin väliajoin tulee Brittiarmeijalta uusi uskomaton sankaritarina. Pysyypä ainakin kotikentän mieliala ylhäällä. Outoa sinänsä, että muiden armejoiden sotilaat eivät yllä vastaanvanlaisiin suorituksiin/otsikoihin.
 
En tiedä tästä nimenomaisesta tapahtumasta, mutta jostain syystä tasaisin väliajoin tulee Brittiarmeijalta uusi uskomaton sankaritarina. Pysyypä ainakin kotikentän mieliala ylhäällä. Outoa sinänsä, että muiden armejoiden sotilaat eivät yllä vastaanvanlaisiin suorituksiin/otsikoihin.
Varsinkin noita erikoisjoukkojen sankaritekoja usein "vuotaa" julkisuuteen, vaikka virallisesti briteissä on sellainen politiikka ettei erikoisjoukkojen tekemisiä kommentoida hallinnon puolesta millään tavoin - varsinkaan silloin kun tulee turpaan, vaika enpä väitä että SAS saisi usein turpiinsa. Uskoisin että nuo SAS:aa koskevat jutut keräävät ihan kiitettävästi klikkauksia brittiläisillä uutissivustoilla ja miksei muuallakin, onhan tuo SAS aika tunnettu yksikkö maailmanlaajuisestikin.
 

Sardaukar

Ylipäällikkö
Lahjoittaja
En tiedä tästä nimenomaisesta tapahtumasta, mutta jostain syystä tasaisin väliajoin tulee Brittiarmeijalta uusi uskomaton sankaritarina. Pysyypä ainakin kotikentän mieliala ylhäällä. Outoa sinänsä, että muiden armejoiden sotilaat eivät yllä vastaanvanlaisiin suorituksiin/otsikoihin.
Et ole sitten tietoinen hauskasta vittuilusta: "Who Cares Who Wins: Final Cash-in, foreword by Sir Peter de la la Billionaire" ;) "Written by Sandy McGrab" :D

Tosin tykkään Andy McNabin tyylistä ja itseironiasta. Ehken hieman parempi kirjoittaja etenkin fiktion tasalla kuin Chris Ryan. Tai parempi haamukirjoittaja. Ja muutenkin mukava jätkä, olen tavannut. Andy McNab on Steven Billy Mitchell. Chris Ryan on Colin Amstrong.

Alkaa tuntua, että olen tavannut melko jokaisen ns. "controversial"-tyypin joka on nostettu esiin tällä foorumilla.

Edit: Mutta epäilemättä eliittisotilaita sovimmasta päästä.
 
Ranskalaisten erikoisjoukkojen mukana Mosulin tienoilla.

 
ISIL on Run in Eastern Mosul, Pentagon Spokesman Says

By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity




10

PRINT | E-MAIL | CONTACT AUTHOR


WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2017 — Iraqi security forces are finishing clearing operations in eastern Mosul while Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters have ceased fighting and are on the run, Pentagon Press Operations Director Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said today.

Speaking with reporters, Davis said ISIL fighters are moving to Mosul’s north bank of the Tigris River to cross the waterway by boat to reach western Mosul.

“I can tell you it’s a great day not to be a member of the ISIL navy,” the spokesman said. “We destroyed another 10 boats on the Tigris River today for 143 boats total. Our message to ISIL is: ‘We will not allow you to get away to the other side of the river and set up shop there.’”

Operation Desert Leopard

Another significant Iraqi security force operation underway in the region is Operation Desert Leopard, Davis said, where the Iraqis are working very methodically by starting in Ramadi and going up the Euphrates River Valley to Haditha, while clearing the area.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Articl...-run-in-eastern-mosul-pentagon-spokesman-says
 

aj77

Ylipäällikkö
Trumpin ihmeellinen ja äkillinen takinkäännös Irania vastaan luulisi vaikuttavan myös Irakiin. Eikös Iran ollut yksi toimija liittoumassa.Shiataistelijat olivat Iranin komentajan alaisuudessakin. Joten jos Trump tekee Iranista taas vihollista, niin mitä tapahtuu Irakissa?
 
ISIL taistelijat motissa Länsi-Mosulissa USA:n puolustusministeriön mukaan.

ISIL Fighters Trapped in Western Mosul, Pentagon Spokesman Says
By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2017 — As Iraqi security forces continue the push to liberate Mosul, terrorists with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant find themselves trapped in the city's west, a Pentagon spokesman said today.




As seen through a night vision device, Air Force Tech Sgt. Brady Mueller guards the perimeter of a C-130H Hercules aircraft in Iraq, Dec. 15, 2016. Muller is a security team member assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordan Castelan
"At this point, ISIL fighters are stuck in Mosul," the Defense Department's director of press operations, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, told reporters.

With Iraqi forces closing in and bridge access to eastern Mosul severed, the terrorists in the western quadrant are unable to resupply and reinforce, he said.

"The fighters who remain in west Mosul face a choice between surrendering or annihilation, as there's not a place to retreat," Davis said.

It is nearly impossible to cross the Tigris River, which separates east and west Mosul, since access to the five bridges that spanned the river is closed off, Davis pointed out.

"Without the ability to resupply or reinforce, [ISIL] is in a situation there where their loss is certain," Davis said.

The coalition continues its strikes in support of the shift to western Mosul operations, he said, noting since the push for Mosul began in mid-October, the coalition has conducted 10,850 strikes in support of operations to liberate the city.

"We know going into western Mosul that they are more dug in there; they have had more time to place encampments and firing positions [and] fighting positions," Davis said, adding ISIL used its best fighters in eastern Mosul.

The strikes, he said, have destroyed vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, buildings and facilities, tunnels, boats, barges, vehicles, bunkers, anti-aircraft artillery, and artillery mortar systems.

Eastern Mosul Update

Iraqi security forces are back clearing eastern Mosul, Davis said, pointing out they have disrupted raids, uncovered sleeper cells, and found terrorists in "spider holes."

In addition, approximately once a day, Iraqi security forces are encountering small unmanned aerial vehicles that are dropping hand grenades, he said.

Davis pointed out tests have confirmed the presence of the skin irritant sulfur mustard from samples recovered from Mosul University, a central location in ISIL's chemical weapons program.

ISIL is surrounded in the Syrian city of Al Abab on multiple axes, Davis said.

"We continue to conduct strikes, in fact there were just some strikes earlier today in Al Bab by the United States and the coalition in support of the Turkish operations," he said.

Meanwhile, the fight to liberate the key city of Raqqa continues and a third axes, an eastern axis, kicked off in the last day, Davis said. The new axis adds to the northwest and northeast efforts where isolation is either in progress or complete.

The coalition has conducted bridge strikes south of Raqqa along the Euphrates to restrict ISIL's ability to move fighters and equipment, he said.

"It further isolates [ISIL] fighters so that they'll have to take their chances with either fighting or dying or surrendering to the SDF or using what narrow window they have of escape they have right now, which is really only in this direction [to the southeast], toward Deir ez-Zur," he said.

In addition, the Syrian Democratic Forces have cleared an additional 48 square kilometers along two axes Feb. 6.

The coalition is taking steps to further limit ISIL's ability to maneuver across Syria, and will continue to degrade, dismantle and militarily defeat the terrorists, Davis said.

The coalition has delivered 2,310 munitions since Nov. 5 in support of the SDF, he said.

"In the past 24 hours, we conducted an additional six strikes with a total of eight engagements using 18 munitions in support of SDF operations to isolate Raqqa," he said.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Articl...ul-pentagon-spokesman-says?source=GovDelivery
 

Norsu

Alikersantti
Irakin armeijan yksikkö avasi Mosulissa tulen terrorismin vastaista erikoisjoukkoa kohti. Taustalla ovat todennäköisesti kiistat armeijan ja erikoisjoukon välillä...

http://www.iltalehti.fi/ulkomaat/201702102200068821_ul.shtml

IRAK-ISIS 10-0
Ei käy kateeksi tavallista tallaajaa Irakissa. Parhaimmat tulevaisuuden toivot kuolevat jonkinlaisen järjestyksen puolesta Mosulissa ja saavat palkaksi omien selkäänpuukotuksen. Tuon kuolleen kapteenin olen nähnyt muidenkin medioiden katsauksissa - RIP.
 
ISIS:n päämaja saa videolla täysosuman, brittihävittäjät kylvivät tuhoa
Arno Rydman
13 tuntia ja 16 minuuttia sitten
Britannian ilmavoimien Typhoon-hävittäjät tuhosivat Isisin päämajan Irakin Mosulissa tarkkailuoperaation päätteeksi.


  • Täsmäpommit tuhosivat Isisin päämajan Mosulissa.

    (Ministry of Defence/YouTube)
Brittihävittäjät laukaisivat kaksi laserohjattua Paveway IV -pommia, jotka tuhosivat Luoteis-Mosulissa sijaitsevan jihadistien päämajan kokonaan.

Britannian ilmavoimat julkaisi videon ilmaiskusta.


Mosulin takaisinvaltausoperaatio alkoi viime lokakuun puolivälissä. Irakin hallituksen joukot ovat vallanneet Itä-Mosulin kokonaan takaisin Isisiltä.

Seuraavaksi kansainvälisen koalition tukemien irakilaisjoukkojen pitää vallata Mosulin länsipuoli.

Mosul on viimeinen suuri kaupunki, jota Isis pitää Irakissa hallussaan.

Isisiä ajetaan ahtaalle myös Syyriassa. kansainvälisen koalition tukemat Syyrian kurdijoukot ovat avainroolissa Isisin pääkaupungikseen julistaman Rakkan kaupungin ja maakunnan vapautusoperaatiossa. Operaatio alkoi marraskuun alussa.

http://www.verkkouutiset.fi/ulkomaat/ISIS paamaja tasmaisku-61667
 
Hyvä juttu A-10 Groupista:

Incirlik Airmen Feel Sense of Accomplishment in Counter-ISIS Battle
By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey, Feb. 17, 2017 — Airmen at this crucial base in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are feeling a sense of accomplishment after Iraqi ground forces cleared eastern Mosul of the enemy, Air Force Col. David Trucksa, commander of the 447th Air Expeditionary Group, said here.

The group provides air support for Iraqi forces battling ISIS and for Syrian forces confronting the group around Raqqa. “At the height of the East Mosul operation, we were dropping a bomb on an ISIS target every eight minutes, 24 hours a day,” Trucksa said in an interview.




An Air Force airman, assigned to the 447th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, prepares the tail section of a GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition bomb at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Oct. 29, 2016. The bombs built and delivered by the airmen are primarily used by the A-10 Thunderbolt II, an aircraft designed for close air support of ground forces. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devin M. Rumbaugh
The colonel spoke to the press today during a visit by Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Base Plays Key Role in Counter-ISIS Campaign

A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft supported by tankers and intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance assets from the base are a key part of the success of the campaign.

It has been a challenge. Last year, the threat of possible terror attacks against the base meant family members were evacuated. In July, the coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shuttered the base and stopped operations for a short while.

After a period of uncertainty, operations again ramped up and A-10s, supported by KC-135 tankers and ISR assets, took the fight to the enemy.

And then in October the Iraqi offensive to liberate Mosul from ISIS ratcheted up the tempo.

The Air Force deployment schedule causes its own churn. There are only four people on operations that were here in December, Trucksa said.

Well-Trained Units

Yet the training that squadrons receive before coming to Incirlik prepares them well, the colonel said. “We had back-to-back A-10 [deployments] from the Air National Guard, and now have an active duty squadron from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona,” he said. “They arrived just over a month ago, so they have been getting their spin up, getting used to flying here.”

The obvious difference between Guard and active units is the experience levels. Guard units typically have much more experience flying the aircraft -- thousands of hours versus hundreds. In the current fighter squadron only four of their pilots had ever deployed before, so this operation is their first combat time.

“It’s a testament to the training process eight to ten months prior … to get ready for this, so Day 1, they roll in ready to do the mission,” Trucksa said.

And the deployments are demanding. “In my previous experience, you could go weeks before you actually employ weapons,” the colonel said. “These guys, the first time across the line, they are actually employing weapons and doing it well.”

There is also churn on the tanker side as well. The tankers are centered around a unit from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, but it is scheduled to finish in a couple of weeks and a new unit is coming in, Trucksa said. Again, he added, training and the deliberate deployment process will mean they are ready to do their jobs on arrival.

‘We Are Doing More’

As all these changes occur, the mission grows. “We are doing more,” he said. The operation to liberate Mosul began in October and took 100 days to liberate the eastern half of the second-largest city in Iraq.

“January was the highest number of weapons released in Operation Inherent Resolve since the beginning,” he said. He noted that airmen dropped 227 bombs on ISIS targets just during President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration on January 20.

Even with all the changes and the uncertainty caused by the attempted coup, morale on base remains high. The airmen had a real uplift at Christmas when Americans sent care packages to airmen on the base. “I think our postal center was overrun with folks sending stuff for the troops overseas,” Trucksa said. “It was pretty cool and … a visible show of American pride and patriotism.”

But even the holidays didn’t slow the work at the base. The missions continued. Morale stayed high because of the progress being made on the ground. “A lot of people didn’t want to leave, I got a lot of people who wanted to stay to see this through,” Trucksa said. “They felt this was the most rewarding deployment they have been on. I had no problems getting people to work because they believe they are helping.”

Moving forward there are many questions -- mostly hinging on what ISIS does. “Will they stand in western Mosul and fight to the death? Will they try to reconstitute back in Syria?” he said. “We just don’t know, but we have to be prepared for it all.”

Trucksa added, “With our precision munitions we limit as much collateral damage as we can. We’re not carpet bombing-the city. We pinpoint the target and kill them as required per the ground commander’s request. Right now, we haven’t changed the weapons types we’ve been loading because we think it may be the same as the East.”

In Raqqa, the shaping phase of the campaign continues and counter-ISIS forces are surrounding the city. “Once they push into the city, we will see how effective [ISIS’s] resistance is,” he said. “It’s their so-called capital and they have had years to fortify it. We expect them to put up a fight for it.”

https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/10869
 
ISIS huutaa siviiliuhreista, mutta...

Coalition Forces Strike Five-Story Facility in Mosul
From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb. 18, 2017 — With the approval of the government of Iraq, Coalition forces struck an ISIS command and control headquarters and propaganda facility yesterday in western Mosul, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported.

In a release issued today, officials said the five-story Bab Sinjar administration facility was located in the Jumhuri medical community complex.

The ISIS terrorists continue to ignore the Law of Armed Conflict and use protected sites such as hospitals, schools and mosques to try and shield themselves from Coalition airstrikes, the release said. In this instance, coalition forces were able to determine through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts that ISIS did not use the building for any medical purposes and that civilians were no longer accessing the site, the release said.

The intelligence showed that the building's sole function was as a military command and control facility for ISIS to oversee its operations against the people of Iraq.

Coalition forces comply with the Law of Armed Conflict, work diligently to be precise in airstrikes and take all feasible precautions during the planning and execution of air strikes to reduce the risk of harm to civilians, the release said.

The strikes conducted against legitimate ISIS military targets are just one of the ways the Coalition continues to work by, with, and through its Iraqi partners to defeat ISIS in Iraq, the release said.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Articl...ve-story-facility-in-mosul?source=GovDelivery
 
Ex-Guantanamo detainee carried out suicide attack near Mosul, Iraq
By Thomas Joscelyn | February 22, 2017 | tjoscelyn@gmail.com | @thomasjoscelyn


The British press buzzed yesterday with news that a former Guantanamo detainee known as Jamal al Harith (formerly Ronald Fiddler) had blown himself up in a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) in Iraq. Al Harith reportedly took part in the Islamic State’s defensive suicide attacks around Mosul, which is one of the organization’s de facto capitals. The so-called caliphate claims to have launched scores of suicide VBIEDs in defense of the city.

On the same day al Harith executed his attack (Feb. 20), the Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency released a short video of three SUVs being deployed as bombs. All three vehicles had armor added to the front. One of the three was presumably driven by al Harith. The Islamic State released a photo al Harith (seen above), identifying him by the alias Abu Zakariya al Britani. The group also issued a claim of responsibility for his bombing.

Al Harith’s death brings to an end one of the strangest stories in the history of the detention facility at Guantanamo. Along with four others, Al Harith was transferred to American custody in early 2002 after being found in the Taliban-controlled Sarposa prison.

According to leaked Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessments, jihadis in Afghanistan accused all five men of being spies for foreign powers looking to infiltrate the Taliban’s and al Qaeda’s ranks. Sarposa (spelled “Sarpooza” and “Sarpuza” in JTF-GTMO’s files) was overrun by the Northern Alliance in late 2001 and the men (subsequently dubbed the Sarposa Five) were handed over to the Americans and then transferred to Guantanamo.



One of the other four men detained at Sarposa alongside al Harith was Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov, a Russian citizen. A photo of Vakhitov from his JTF-GTMO file can be seen on the right.

The US State Department designated Vakhitov as a terrorist in July 2016, saying he “is associated with Jaysh al-Muhajirin Wal Ansar” (JMWA, or “the Army of the Emigrants and Helpers”). The JMWA is a foreign fighter organization in Syria. One powerful faction in the group merged with the Islamic State, while the rest of the organization continued to operate independently before eventually swearing allegiance to Al Nusrah Front in Sept. 2015. Al Nusrah was the name of al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria until mid-2016. Its members are fierce rivals of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s Islamic State.

Vakhitov was arrested by Turkish authorities shortly before his designation. According to Voice of America, Vakhitov was “among 30 people Turkish authorities say they have arrested in connection with” the terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in June 2016. The assault on the airport is widely suspected of being the work of the Islamic State. The State Department’s designation page does not mention Vakhitov’s reported arrest in Turkey, but does say he has “used the internet to recruit militants to travel to Syria.”

State also didn’t mention that Vakhitov was a former Guantanamo detainee, but FDD’s Long War Journal confirmed last year that he is the same individual. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report: Ex-Gitmo detainee, Islamic State’s leader in Chechnya designated by State Department.]

A murky past

In some cases, Guantanamo recidivists were well-known to authorities before they were transferred and rejoined the jihad. That was not the case with al Harith. Just two pages of JTF-GTMO’s intelligence on him have been made available to the public via a leak. It is possible that the US government has more information on his past. But the details offered in the JTF-GTMO memo are incredibly murky. The opening paragraph even notes that al Harith was “accused of being a British or American spy,” which is why he was held at Sarposa.

A senior US military commander recommended that al Harith be considered for transfer or release as of Sept. 2002, finding that he was “not affiliated” with al Qaeda and was not a Taliban leader.

Less than one year later, in July 2003, Joint Task Force – Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) reversed this recommendation. Military intelligence officials concluded that al Harith should remain in US custody, as he was “assessed as being affiliated with” al Qaeda. JTF-GTMO concluded that he was “still of intelligence value” and posed a “high threat to the US, its interests and allies.”

However, the intelligence included in JTF-GTMO’s leaked threat assessment is thin and dubious.

For example, JTF-GTMO cited “sensitive information” indicating that al Harith “was probably involved in [a] terrorist attack against the” US. There is no indication which attack he was supposedly involved in.

Moreover, JTF-GTMO noted that he was not “questioned on his ties with those involved in this attack, nor has he been questioned on his own involvement.” It should be noted that other British detainees who were suspected of being tied to specific al Qaeda plots were held at Guantanamo for years after al Harith was transferred in Mar. 2004. If he was really suspected of involvement in a terror plot against America, it is likely that US officials would have fought to keep him in detention.

US military and intelligence officials were uncertain about al Harith’s past. The “timeline” for his “extensive travels in the Middle East” between 1992 and 1996 had “not been fully established” when JTF-GTMO’s assessment was written in 2003. He was “accompanied by Abu Bakr, a well-known al Qaeda operative,” on a trip “to Sudan in 1992 during the same time that Osama bin Laden and his network were” based in the country. However, US officials did not cite any specific intelligence linking al Harith to bin Laden. Instead, they found that the school al Harith claimed he attended in Sudan “did not exist” and that “foreigners” who traveled to Khartoum for “Islamic studies” were often “recruited for training in sabotage, kidnapping, improvised explosive devices, and commando training.” The file does not indicate that al Harith himself attended such training.

Then there was the issue of al Harith’s suspected travels to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the early 1990s. US military intelligence could draw no firm conclusions about his travels, at least according to the JTF-GTMO memo.

US officials did conduct a “PSYOP/JDOG” [Psychological Operation/Joint Detention Operations Group] “experiment” in Guantanamo’s Camp Delta. It was called “Dining Out,” because “ethnic food was prepared for a select group of detainees.” Al Harith “was noticed calling out to other detainees in other blocks that the food tasted just like that from a restaurant in Jedda, Saudi Arabia.” But al Harith told authorities he had never been to Saudi Arabia. He also claimed to have visited “Pakistan in the early 1990’s,” but “this information” had “not been exploited.”

It is clear from JTF-GTMO’s file that US officials thought al Harith was lying, but they didn’t really know what to make of his story. On Apr. 4, 2003, he was “administered a polygraph exam and was found to be deceptive.” He was specifically asked if he had “contact with any persons connected with extremist groups prior to going to Afghanistan and if he went to Afghanistan for Jihad.” Al Harith “answered ‘no’ to both questions,” but was found to be “deceptive each time.”

Still other purported details about al Harith’s past can be found on the old website for Cageprisoners, a detainee advocate group that has been renamed CAGE. The group is affiliated with Moazzam Begg, another former Guantanamo detainee. American officials alleged that Begg was affiliated with al Qaeda prior to his own detention. The British press, including the Daily Mail, have posted a photo of al Harith and Begg standing next to each other at an event.

Some of the details in Cageprisoners’s short biography match those found in JTF-GTMO’s file, but with an especially benign-sounding twist. The group described al Harith as “a gentle, quiet man who rarely spoke of his faith unless asked, and after four years learning Arabic and teaching English at Khartoum University in Sudan, he seemed happy enough to return home where he started to study nursing.” (The JTF-GTMO file indicates that US officials thought al Harith’s explanation of his time in Sudan was not truthful.) Al Harith returned to the UK but then, “at the end of September 2001,” decided to travel to Pakistan, “retracing a journey he had made to Iran in 1993.” Al Harith “paid a lorry driver to take him from northern Pakistan to Iran as part of a backpacking trip, but they were stopped near the Afghan border by Taliban soldiers who saw his British passport and jailed him, in October, fearing he was a spy.” He was allegedly “interrogated by the CIA” before being transferred to Guantanamo.

After his transfer from Guantanamo, Al Harith stayed in the UK until early 2014, when he fled to Syria and joined the Islamic State. His decision to leave Britain caused a minor uproar in the press, as the British government had paid him £1 million after he claimed that he was abused during his time in custody.

Al Harith was also a plaintiff in a lawsuit claiming that US officials had tortured and abused detainees, among other allegations. The case was ultimately dismissed. Al Harith’s co-plaintiffs are known as the “Tipton Three,” as they are from the town in England of that name. According to an account on the Guardian’s website, two of the three appeared on a television show, “Lie Lab,” in 2007. “Campaigners for the men have always maintained they were innocent tourists-cum-aid workers, caught up in the invasion of Afghanistan,” the Guardian’s account noted. But one of the men, Rhuhel Ahmed, was confronted with evidence suggesting “he was less than forthcoming with the truth” and subsequently “confessed” to “visiting an Islamist training camp” and “also handling weapons and learning how to use an AK47.” This caused some mild embarrassment for their advocates in the UK, as the “Tipton Three” were widely portrayed as “blameless heroes.”
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archi...arried-out-suicide-attack-near-mosul-iraq.php