Skip to comments.Kurdish Peshmerga Fight Endless Stream of ISIS Militants in Iraq
Posted on 06/21/2014 1:18:33 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Delta Force-trained commander Polad Talabani has few illusions about the scale of the task facing his elite team which has been ordered to halt the march of militants aiming to seize Baghdad.
Talabani, who is in charge of the Kurdish Regional Government's counter-terrorism unit, says his troops have inflicted heavy casualties on the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
The biggest battles are being fought in the smallest villages in this showdown between Talabani's 160 men and a seemingly endless stream of al Qaeda-inspired insurgents. And as soon as any Sunni fighters are killed, Talabani says "dozens more will appear from nowhere to flood the battlefield."
Kurdish paramilitary forces known as the Peshmerga are standing in the way of the heavily armed extremists who have taken control of cities including Mosul and Tikrit and who are inching closer to the Iraqi capital.
The Peshmerga are engaged in small running battles with ISIS fighters along a 600-mile stretch of border between the Kurdish region and the area were ISIS has footholds in villages and towns used as staging areas. The Kurdish Regional Government -- which runs a semi-autonomous region in Iraq dating back to an agreement with Saddam Hussein's government in 1970 -- has mobilized 40,000 fighters to the front line. The Kurds also seized Kirkuk and its nearby oilfields on June 12 under the justification that the city of 900,000 needed protection from ISIS.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcnews.com ...
Trying to buck the stream of ISIS combatants is like trying to turn aside the Red Chinese pouring into North Korea. There are so many that should one fall, there is another immediately behind to pick up the weapons of the fallen ones and continue to advance.
Like a swarm of locusts.
I believe that is exactly wrong. There at most 5000 ISIS fighters. They will struggle to hold what they win and Bagdad will most likely be too much for them.
It would seem that a better ISIS strategy would be to avoid the Kurds and concentrate on taking Baghdad. The Kurds will defend their future country and actually have an army that will stand and fight.
forget the Shia , the KURDS should be assigned the benefit of our air cover assets right away . Delta trained ? give them radios ....
From the start, the only truly dependable allies we had in Iraq were the Kurds... they’re the only fighting group worth its salt. Give them air cover and arm them to the teeth, and they’ll do the rest.
And piss on Turkey if they take offense to it.
“The Kurds also seized Kirkuk and its nearby oilfields on June 12 under the justification that the city of 900,000 needed protection from ISIS.”
And this time, they should keep it as the capital of the new Kurdistan.
I read an article earlier that divisions are beginning to appear in Arab sunni groups fighting alongside ISIS in Iraq. Very likely ISIS won’t make it alone. However, so far they all seem united in overthrowing Maliki’s gov’t. But not all wanting an Islamic caliphate per ISIS’s ultimate goal. I see parallels with Khomeinist revolution in Iran in 1978-79. Different groups joined Khomeini’s supporters to overthrow the Shah. But once that objective was met & Khomeini got control, he executed many who had supported him but weren’t directly part of his Islamic circle. They just have to make sure ISIS doesn’t achieve what Khomeini did.
It’s interesting that the American media always tries to portray the Country’s enemies as “invincible.”
Good thing Kurds are on our side.....
Nobody noticed? We can't even type an email without the gov reading it, yet they missed a rogue terrorist group we were financing? They could be stopped if the civilized world would drop other animosities, worry about a replacement to Maliki and Assad another day (or better yet work with them), and obliterate this threat to humanity, far worse than the Nazi threat of WW2, because it can easily go global.
This is the time to encircle ISIS, bring in the drones and wipe this cancer off the face of the earth.
I’m not sure Turkey will be too happy with an independent Kurdistan. While the Kurds are fighting ISIS they should also watch their backs.
I agree, considering the large Kurdish population in Turkey. I still think the Iraqi Kurds should have their own autonomous state. I expect Iran will absorb much of the Shi’a region down south. Iraq is essentially no more.
I though the Coalition and especially US troops and contractors trained 100,000+ security and military forces...where are those cowards at!
I would say the ones that were Sunni are in the ranks of ISI and the other ones that are Shia beat feet to Basrah!
I’m glad we wasted 10 yrs+ over to have the Great Uniter and Supreme Comrade spoil and destroy everything...I wonder what that alcoholic Clinton will when she gets in...
Turkey may becoming more receptive to the concept of having a Kurdish buffer zone between it and the Jihadi extremists.
The Baathists who worked for Saddam are conspirators par excellence. I doubt they're in any danger of being surprised by ISIS.
They're still pretty half-assed. Note that the soldiers photographed in combat weren't wearing their helmets. I believe it was Michael Yon who said that Iraqis thought GI's had space age compact air conditioning units installed somewhere inside their uniforms because they wore their helmets all the time and carried so much gear while on patrol during sweltering weather conditions. Iraqi soldiers generally shirked at every opportunity, in terms of wearing protective gear and carrying the full complement of combat gear, despite, in theory, being acclimated from an early age to the local weather.
And piss on Turkey if they take offense to it.
What he said ^^^^^.
I hear what your saying, but I wouldn’t lump the Peshmerga in with the average Iraqi “soldier.” Everyone I knew who interacted with them lauded their toughness.
Surely there are plenty of tribes and citizens who will be looking for revenge against ISIS’ butcherings and mass murders. All it takes is ISIS butchering someone from the wrong tribe or family and they make a lot of enemies - perhaps entire provinces. This I believe was part of the strategy Petraeus successfully used to build local support for coalition operations against al Qaeda.
Watching ISIS break apart will be kind of like putting scorpions in a bottle and watching them fight it out. We need not and should not choose sides but leave it up to the Iraqis to sort out which scorpions they are willing to be ruled by.
"In the face of the ISIS sweep, the [Syrian Kurdish] PYD and the KRG, which [like the PYD and Turkey have] antagonistic relations, [but] appear to be cooperating on defensive measures against ISIS." This new situation may even lessen the antagonism between the PYD and Turkey.
I believe that Washington supported these ISIS things against Assad. And so did Turkey. Turkey has financial interest in the KRG. Below is how Turkey like us must now oppose ISIS.
The KRG is NOT the Kurdish PKK terrorist that's been fighting Turkey since the 1980s and trying to stir revolution in eastern Turkey.
". . . Ankara has entered into energy deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), something which has infuriated the central Iraqi government in Baghdad but which has helped the Kurds further build a foundation for their independence [yes true that] Ankara has been so alarmed by the growing Kurdish autonomy [in Syria and tolerated by Syria, I believe] that it reportedly has provided support for [ISIS] in their fight against the Kurdish militia that controls the region [of Syria],which is affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)." [my emphasis]
". . . the takeover by ISIS in recent days of Mosul and other cities . . . Ankara will likely not only have to deepen its relationship with the KRG . . . but also alter its approach to the Kurds in Syria [I ask: but demand that the Kurds in Syria reject the PKK?]"
"Explains Lehigh University professor and Turkey expert Henri Barkey in an analysis piece on Al-Monitor website: The crisis may force the Turks to rethink some of their policies in Syria. To date, Ankaras friendship with the Kurds stopped in Iraq; Erdogan and his government have taken an uncompromising position against Syrian Kurds led by the Democratic Union Party of Kurdistan (PYD), an offshoot of the Turkish Kurdish insurgent group the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PYD has emerged as the strongest Kurdish group in Syria and has put together an impressive fighting force to defend its territory from both ISIS and the regime. The idea of another autonomous Kurdish region on its borders after the KRG has been anathema to Ankara. Paradoxically, the PYDs armed elements are some of the only ones that have scored blows against the jihadists. In the face of the ISIS sweep, the PYD and the KRG, which have also had antagonistic relations, appear to be cooperating on defensive measures against ISIS. Turkey may have to reconsider its boycott of the Syrian Kurds to enlarge the anti-ISIS coalition." [my emphasis]
The Turks already said it’s fine with them. Astounding.
Dittos ... and am in agreement with those thinking Turkey might prefer the Kurds over isis.
Perhaps Turkey is about to become bright spot of sanity in the region. Is doubtful Washington will wake up though ... and you are correct ... obama and his crowd are invested heavily in isis.
ISIS achieving the impossible: Turks and Kurds uniting?
ISIS is saying they will next shift north and kill the Kurds (and sizeable Christian minority) in al-Qamishli in extreme NE Syria, the largest city there It is right on the Syrian/Turk border (and very close to Iraq as well). Could be interesting.
oh forgot to add ... the saudi royals and qatar are invested heavily in isis also. obama is a sunni. No doubt at this local.
Well they were a bright spot throughout the Cold War while others nearby were Soviet "republics".
Unless the tens of millions of Turks who oppose Islamist Erdoğan and the AK Party can fully restore the secular Republic of Turkey founded in 1924 the bright spot could be a lot brighter.
May sanity prevail because there certainly is enough insanity taking place throughout the region. If the reports are true about isis going after the Kurds in Syria we maybe will see a defining moment .... then we (all of us) on this planet may see either sanity prevail or insanity prevail. Is going to be a summer for the History Books. May those that need killing (isis) be the ones that will die.
I like your ‘scorpions’ analogy.
Currently, there are also other 'Sunni Islamic groups' operating in tandem with ISIS; that's in addition to several Iraqi-sunni tribes. According to Peshmerga, some Arab-sunni tribes are being paid to side with ISIS or at least not interfere. Which group will ultimately have the upperhand will depend on a number of factors & is anyone's guess at present.