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Major Kurdish offensive in Sinjar begins - heavy fighting watch

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    (Original post by RFowler)
    It's a biased and exaggerated judgement but still fairly accurate. Many of ISIS' successes have been against weak enemies. They took Mosul from an Iraqi army that was/is riddled with corruption and incompetence. They took Palmyra from the Syrian government that is overstretched, and was at the time defending (ultimately unsuccessfully) against a major rebel offensive in Idlib province (some army units had actually been moved from Palmyra to Idlib).
    It's easy to chalk those victories up to faults within the armies that IS are fighting but IS are perhaps a little more competent enough than people realise.

    They enjoy widespread support among the Sunni's and with Russia pummelling the "moderate forces", this will drive recruits, experienced recruits, into IS.

    Put ISIS up against a better trained and equipped fighting force (the Iraqi Kurds have had help from western countries with training and supply of weapons, not just air support), and things turn out very different.
    You can have the best training all you want but unless you have battlefield experience, you are not going to last very long.

    Every recruit of IS is blooded. These guys want to die because they see it as a "honourable death". The majority of them are loners, people with no ties, not even caring about material things making them probably one of the most effective fighting forces in the world.

    They are lightly armoured, incredibly flexible and they hold the trump card, they want death.


    Sure, you may hold wave after wave of them but eventually they will get through and they will destroy you. Combine that fanaticism with the shrewd intelligence of Saddam's loyalists and you have one of the most effective guerilla forces in the world, comparable to the Taliban and the Vietcong, in recent times.
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    (Original post by woIfie)
    Highly unlikely at this point. There are 7500 Kurdish troops involved in this offensive, there is no way ISIS has to muster a similar number of soldiers. Their most effective tactic in 2014 was mustering large convoys and simply driving into a town after sending in a dozen suicide car bombs.
    IS don't need to muster even half of the forces that the opposition has. Provided how effectively well drilled they are, and they have plenty of battlefield experience, I would be surprised if they attacked with even 2000 fighters.

    It's not a numbers game, it's a tactical game.

    With US and British airpower overhead, there is effectively a "No Drive Zone" and any coalescing of large ISIS convoys are immediately attacked. Furthermore, we've been hammering them with airstrikes for a year now and that has led to a "hollowing out" of their forces, hence why the taking of Sinjar has proceeded so smoothly.
    Airstrikes haven't hollowed out their forces. Their forces are extremely mobile and it's more of a shock and awe.

    Do you think you'll stick around if 7500 forces are descending on your doorstep when you've been holding it with a couple hundred fighters?

    Of course one shouldn't underestimate them, but equally one's estimates need to be based on the real facts on the ground. Any ISIS forces trying to mount a counterattack will find themselves facing over 7000 Kurdish soldiers, British and American special forces, US A-10 Warthogs and B-1 bombers. It would be a turkey shoot
    That's you assuming that IS will use the same tactic. They will but it'll be a diversion.

    It doesn't matter how large the body is. Take out the head and the body will fall.
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    It's easy to chalk those victories up to faults within the armies that IS are fighting but IS are perhaps a little more competent enough than people realise.

    They enjoy widespread support among the Sunni's and with Russia pummelling the "moderate forces", this will drive recruits, experienced recruits, into IS.



    You can have the best training all you want but unless you have battlefield experience, you are not going to last very long.

    Every recruit of IS is blooded. These guys want to die because they see it as a "honourable death". The majority of them are loners, people with no ties, not even caring about material things making them probably one of the most effective fighting forces in the world.

    They are lightly armoured, incredibly flexible and they hold the trump card, they want death.


    Sure, you may hold wave after wave of them but eventually they will get through and they will destroy you. Combine that fanaticism with the shrewd intelligence of Saddam's loyalists and you have one of the most effective guerilla forces in the world, comparable to the Taliban and the Vietcong, in recent times.
    I strongly dislike I.S. and I have a lot of sympathy for Kurds and Yazidis whom I see as the natural friends of the liberal West, but deep down I feel that the Kurdish forces are farmers and people whose only other option is oppression, whereas I.S. fighters even if they're not as well equipped as the Western forces, seem like the kinda guys who will do absolutely anything to win.
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    I was thinking about this, apparently Daesh have only left around 600 fighters in the city vs the Peshmerga's 7,500, but you know the place will be totally rigged with landmines which could kill off a bunch of the Kurdish fighters with few Islamic States losses, ready for an I.S. counter attack.
    That would be the classic manner in which to strike but time is running out for IS to strike.

    As the Kurds start to clear the area, they will start to clear the mines and booby traps. The plan, if I were IS, would be to allow the forces to enter and occupy Sinjar and a mere hours later (at night probably) circle back and approach from the West, the same direction that the Kurds came from.

    This will force the Peshmerga to become entrenched in the town and the more they venture on, the greater the possibility of them being killed due to booby traps and landmines.

    I wouldn't be surprised if in the time there, IS dug tunnels and use these to turn them into firing holes to sow confusion into the Kurdish ranks.
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    As the Kurds start to clear the area, they will start to clear the mines and booby traps. The plan, if I were IS, would be to allow the forces to enter and occupy Sinjar and a mere hours later (at night probably) circle back and approach from the West, the same direction that the Kurds came from.
    This is not a video game. If you're going to make claims about what might happen, then it would help if you actually understood the terrain. There is a giant mountain on the northern side of the town, which has tall cliffs and is currently teeming with Kurdish auxiliaries. That mountain overlooks Highway 47, and has Kurdish observation posts and artillery.

    Precisely how would ISIS get north of Highway 47 and around the back of Mount Sinjar? How are they going to outflank the Kurds when they have lost control of the road the road to Al-Baaj leading south from Highway 47 and the road junction halfway between Shingal and Ibrat Ash?

    It is unfortunate when Monday morning quarterbacks start commenting about what they'd do in a particular situation, assuming that we will actually accept that as a serious tactical analysis.
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    That's you assuming that IS will use the same tactic. They will but it'll be a diversion.
    They will, will they? I'll come back to this thread in a week or so and @ comment at you to point out that none of what you predicted happened.
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    RAF Tornado hitting ISIS positions near Sinjar

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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    It lulls the Kurds into euphoria and into a feeling of invincibility but IS are snakes and they will strike. I wouldn't be surprised if they circle back and take Sinjar again within a matter of weeks.
    Not likely at all. The Kurds in both Iraq and Syria have made a lot of gains that ISIS have not managed to reverse. Both Syrian and Iraqi Kurds have had consistent successes against ISIS, even if the Sinjar front line has been bogged down for much of the last year.

    ISIS massacred a load of people at Kobane over the summer, after the YPG made gains elsewhere. ISIS fighters operating in secret well behind the front lines, a hit and run attack rather than an attempt to retake the town. The YPG have had occasional bomb attacks on their forces well behind front lines, but haven't had their gains reversed by ISIS. We may see something similar if Sinjar falls, but if it does fall then I doubt ISIS will be able to actually retake it.
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    (Original post by woIfie)
    This is not a video game. If you're going to make claims about what might happen, then it would help if you actually understood the terrain. There is a giant mountain on the northern side of the town, which has tall cliffs and is currently teeming with Kurdish auxiliaries. That mountain overlooks Highway 47, and has Kurdish observation posts and artillery.

    Precisely how would ISIS get north of Highway 47 and around the back of Mount Sinjar? How are they going to outflank the Kurds when they have lost control of the road the road to Al-Baaj leading south from Highway 47 and the road junction halfway between Shingal and Ibrat Ash?
    They'll be coming 'round the mountain when they come.
    They'll be coming 'round the mountain when they come
    They'll be coming 'round the mountain, they'll be coming 'round the mountain,
    They'll be coming 'round the mountain when they come.

    :rolleyes:

    It is unfortunate when Monday morning quarterbacks start commenting about what they'd do in a particular situation, assuming that we will actually accept that as a serious tactical analysis.
    Is Singar more strategic to IS or the Kurdish/Iraqi army?
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    I strongly dislike I.S. and I have a lot of sympathy for Kurds and Yazidis whom I see as the natural friends of the liberal West, but deep down I feel that the Kurdish forces are farmers and people whose only other option is oppression, whereas I.S. fighters even if they're not as well equipped as the Western forces, seem like the kinda guys who will do absolutely anything to win.
    The Kurds have gotten a rough ride from literally everyone, the Turks, Iranians, Iraqi's and the Syrians.

    But what they are doing, is principally no different to IS. They are breaking borders, operating armies within territories that are sovereign.

    Tell me, do you think the Kurds will leave the borders of Iraq and Syria intact when IS are vanquished?
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    Haha go on the Kurds Wipe these murderous immature pointless scum from the earth! About time ISIS were made to cower...not like the biggest military might on the planet, the USA, was going to do it...wonder why that is.
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    Not likely at all. The Kurds in both Iraq and Syria have made a lot of gains that ISIS have not managed to reverse. Both Syrian and Iraqi Kurds have had consistent successes against ISIS, even if the Sinjar front line has been bogged down for much of the last year.

    ISIS massacred a load of people at Kobane over the summer, after the YPG made gains elsewhere. ISIS fighters operating in secret well behind the front lines, a hit and run attack rather than an attempt to retake the town. The YPG have had occasional bomb attacks on their forces well behind front lines, but haven't had their gains reversed by ISIS. We may see something similar if Sinjar falls, but if it does fall then I doubt ISIS will be able to actually retake it.
    Look at a map and tell me if Sinjar or Kobane is more strategic to IS.
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    That would be the classic manner in which to strike but time is running out for IS to strike.

    As the Kurds start to clear the area, they will start to clear the mines and booby traps. The plan, if I were IS, would be to allow the forces to enter and occupy Sinjar and a mere hours later (at night probably) circle back and approach from the West, the same direction that the Kurds came from.

    This will force the Peshmerga to become entrenched in the town and the more they venture on, the greater the possibility of them being killed due to booby traps and landmines.

    I wouldn't be surprised if in the time there, IS dug tunnels and use these to turn them into firing holes to sow confusion into the Kurdish ranks.
    Will they venture on and if so how far?


    The Kurds will never push to al-Raqqah because their goal is not to defeat I.S. but rather calve out a Kurdish homeland.



    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    The Kurds have gotten a rough ride from literally everyone, the Turks, Iranians, Iraqi's and the Syrians.But what they are doing, is principally no different to IS. They are breaking borders, operating armies within territories that are sovereign.Tell me, do you think the Kurds will leave the borders of Iraq and Syria intact when IS are vanquished?
    This quote matches what I was about to say to you, the Kurds will take cities they feel should be within a Kurdish State and stop fight I.S. once this has happened. I don't blame them though, they deserve their own homeland, if other countries cannot stop persecuting them, why shouldn't they take a piece of land? It's like South Sudan or Tibet or Ireland before they broke off.
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    Will they venture on and if so how far?


    The Kurds will never push to al-Raqqah because their goal is not to defeat I.S. but rather calve out a Kurdish homeland.
    I agree. The Kurds will most likely try and secure much land as possible without pressing IS.

    Do the Kurds want IS destroyed? Probably not.

    This quote matches what I was about to say to you, the Kurds will take cities they feel should be within a Kurdish State and stop fight I.S. once this has happened. I don't blame them though, they deserve their own homeland, if other countries cannot stop persecuting them, why shouldn't they take a piece of land? It's like South Sudan or Tibet or Ireland before they broke off.
    Then what's different about why we are fighting IS?

    The principal goal of IS is to tear down borders which they feel divided a group of people, exactly the same sentiment that the Kurds feel, being scattered over 4 countries.

    The only difference is the means by which they are accomplishing it. IS by committing atrocities and the Kurds by being backed by heavy firepower.
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    I agree. The Kurds will most likely try and secure much land as possible without pressing IS.

    Do the Kurds want IS destroyed? Probably not.



    Then what's different about why we are fighting IS?

    The principal goal of IS is to tear down borders which they feel divided a group of people, exactly the same sentiment that the Kurds feel, being scattered over 4 countries.

    The only difference is the means by which they are accomplishing it. IS by committing atrocities and the Kurds by being backed by heavy firepower.
    The Kurds have a historical claim to the land of Kurdistan.

    I.S. has no historical or cultural ties to their land; their leader is an Iraqi ex-Ba'athist who lives in a city taken from the Syrians fought for by troops from many different countries.
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    Go the Peshmerga! Get some! Get some IS rats!
    Photos already of Peshmerga with some dead IS vermin but warning - content graphic. https://www.facebook.com/ezidensindk...22018014778945
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    The Kurdish question is the next issue if the flames ever go down in the region, they have shed a lot of blood for the land they live in and take the fight to ISIL like no other. With Turkey making unequivocal statements about the emergence of a Kurdish state anywhere near their borders we can expect friction in the area for many years to come but it will be impossible to argue they are not deserving of it once the map is redrawn.
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    I don't necessarily disagree with you but I'll play devil's advocate.

    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    The Kurds have a historical claim to the land of Kurdistan.
    The Palestinians have a historical claim to the land of Palestine.
    The Italians have a historical claim to the land of Britain.
    Even the Danes have a historical claim to the land of Britian.

    The issue is, how or where do we draw the lines?

    I.S. has no historical or cultural ties to their land; their leader is an Iraqi ex-Ba'athist who lives in a city taken from the Syrians fought for by troops from many different countries.
    If historical or cultural ties define borders, then there would be no Scotland, no Wales and certainly no England.

    Switzerland would be divided between France and Germany. The Turks would be entitled to the land of the Middle East.
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    (Original post by zhog)
    The Kurdish question is the next issue if the flames ever go down in the region, they have shed a lot of blood for the land they live in and take the fight to ISIL like no other. With Turkey making unequivocal statements about the emergence of a Kurdish state anywhere near their borders we can expect friction in the area for many years to come but it will be impossible to argue they are not deserving of it once the map is redrawn.
    So we should reward people who tear down borders and try to redraw maps?

    Wouldn't IS be covered in medals right about now?
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    I don't necessarily disagree with you but I'll play devil's advocate.



    The Palestinians have a historical claim to the land of Palestine.
    The Italians have a historical claim to the land of Britain.
    Even the Danes have a historical claim to the land of Britian.

    The issue is, how or where do we draw the lines?



    If historical or cultural ties define borders, then there would be no Scotland, no Wales and certainly no England.

    Switzerland would be divided between France and Germany. The Turks would be entitled to the land of the Middle East.
    The Palestinians have a claim to part of the land because there are Arabs living there who can trace their family back to this land. There are few Latin speaking Italians in Britain who can trace their lineage back to the Roman Empire and a similar thing applies to Danes in Britain. The Scottish, English and Welsh cultures have developed organically much like the Kurdish culture, there is no I.S. culture because I.S. rejects culture. The Turkish claim to land in the middle east is weak given how hard the Arabs fought to throw the Ottoman invaders out.

    This all said, if you want to go down the route of nobody having a claim to land, you will turn into one of these people who think land belongs to whoever can win wars which is pretty dangerous thinking.
 
 
 
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