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Major Kurdish offensive in Sinjar begins - heavy fighting watch

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    7500 Kurdish/Yezidi troops launched an offensive yesterday to retake Sinjar, which is on the main road from Mosul to Raqqa. They are being supported by American airstrikes and RAF Reaper drones.

    Apparently they have made excellent progress and the town is now surrounded. The ISIS Emir of Sinjar has apprently been killed, and Kurdish forces are hearing on the radio ISIS commanders threatening their own troops with death if they retreat

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...njar-from-isis

    You can see live updates on a battle map as it progresses here (to see the map, click the close button. You can then click the various events around the map to see what's happening)

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2015/12...ar-sinjar-iraq
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    It's been reported about ten minutes ago that the Kurds have taken the main ISIS compound in the town

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2015/12...ighting-inside
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    (Original post by woIfie)
    7500 Kurdish/Yezidi troops launched an offensive yesterday to retake Sinjar, which is on the main road from Mosul to Raqqa. They are being supported by American airstrikes and RAF Reaper drones.

    Apparently they have made excellent progress and the town is now surrounded. The ISIS Emir of Sinjar has apprently been killed, and Kurdish forces are hearing on the radio ISIS commanders threatening their own troops with death if they retreat

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...njar-from-isis

    You can see live updates on a battle map as it progresses here (to see the map, click the close button. You can then click the various events around the map to see what's happening)

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2015/12...ar-sinjar-iraq

    Many thanks for this update

    Wish them well

    'ISIS commanders threatening their own troops with death if they retreat' we'll see how strong their commitment is now
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    (Original post by BaconandSauce)
    Many thanks for this update

    Wish them well

    'ISIS commanders threatening their own troops with death if they retreat' we'll see how strong their commitment is now
    Wow IS have commanders... Didn't know they were that organized!
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    (Original post by IAMADAM27)
    Wow IS have commanders... Didn't know they were that organized!
    Thing is they are quite well organised

    But not used to fighting people who will fight back
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    (Original post by BaconandSauce)
    Thing is they are quite well organised

    But not used to fighting people who will fight back
    Learn something new everyday! More reasons to stop reading the Daily Mail...
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    (Original post by IAMADAM27)
    Learn something new everyday! More reasons to stop reading the Daily Mail...
    still read the mail as it has some good pictures (and can be skimmed without much thought)

    But I do recommend the link Wolfie posted

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2015/12...ar-sinjar-iraq
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    (Original post by BaconandSauce)
    Thing is they are quite well organised

    But not used to fighting people who will fight back
    Your rash comments exposes your lack of understanding about IS and how they operate.

    I would go as far as to say that your comments simply portray the same stance taken by the Americans over Vietnam.
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    There's a vice documentary from a few months ago about the Peshmerga on the frontline near Sinjar, when the frontline had hardly moved in ages. They were just dug in, firing shots at each other all the time, but never really advancing. It has some stuff in it about the Yazidis as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbsesrAMjTw
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    Your rash comments exposes your lack of understanding about IS and how they operate.

    I would go as far as to say that your comments simply portray the same stance taken by the Americans over Vietnam.
    I know how they operate they like fighting women and children like the brave Jihad's they are

    As soon as they meet a fighting force (and one that doesn't simply throw down it's weapons and piss itself) they get their butts kicked and have to be told to day and fight (did you not read the OP?)

    which is why so many 'supporters' don't want western countries to get involved on the ground.
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    Your rash comments exposes your lack of understanding about IS and how they operate.

    I would go as far as to say that your comments simply portray the same stance taken by the Americans over Vietnam.
    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).

    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.
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    It's a biased and exaggerated judgement but still fairly accurate.
    Thanks you I may lack the nuance but he point still stands A coordinated effort from those who want to fight will make a massive difference. Only question of course is what happens when the Kurds declare an independent state (one I'd support) in the area.
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    Reports that British special forces are on the ground in Sinjar assisting Peshmerga forces, in addition to the overwatch provided by RAF Reaper drones.

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2015/12...isting-pesh-in

    Also, airstrikes are ongoing

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2015/12...engal-captured

    (Original post by BaconandSauce)
    Many thanks for this update

    Wish them well
    My pleasure, and agreed. My best wishes are with the men and women of the Peshmerga (there's some videos on the livemap of women Kurdish warriors... truly they are modern day Amazons).
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    (Original post by woIfie)
    Reports that British special forces are on the ground in Sinjar assisting Peshmerga forces, in addition to the overwatch provided by RAF Reaper drones.

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2015/12...isting-pesh-in

    Also, airstrikes are ongoing

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2015/12...engal-captured



    My pleasure, and agreed. My best wishes are with the men and women of the Peshmerga (there's some videos on the livemap of women Kurdish warriors... truly they are modern day Amazons).
    This map makes me want to play battlefield

    thanks
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    There's a vice documentary from a few months ago about the Peshmerga on the frontline near Sinjar, when the frontline had hardly moved in ages. They were just dug in, firing shots at each other all the time, but never really advancing. It has some stuff in it about the Yazidis as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbsesrAMjTw
    Just watched it (have skipped a few parts) but as they say give them the support and weapons and they will take the fight to ISIS

    and it seems they have been given their wish
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    (Original post by BaconandSauce)
    I know how they operate they like fighting women and children like the brave Jihad's they are

    As soon as they meet a fighting force (and one that doesn't simply throw down it's weapons and piss itself) they get their butts kicked and have to be told to day and fight (did you not read the OP?)
    Again, you betray a lack of understanding about IS strategy and indeed modern strategies.

    IS, and indeed warfare, is not conducted via large armies but through asymmetrical warfare.

    That means greater flexibility and fewer fighting forces with greater presence.

    which is why so many 'supporters' don't want western countries to get involved on the ground.
    The West only want to put boots on the ground because air strikes are not working and will not work.

    For a force that can vanish or melt away, like the Vietnamese, you need to start clearing inch by inch, mile by mile and even then, but you then leave yourself open to booby traps.

    What IS do when they enter a place, they booby trap the entire area meaning that once you start to clear an area, the likelihood of you suffering casualties mounts.

    IS will have put the bare minimum of fighters on the ground and most of their strategic forces will have already cleared out of the town weeks or days before hand.

    If Sinjar was really strategic, then IS would have thrown fighters at it but in all likelihood, they probably abandoned it meaning an easy victory for the Kurds.

    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.
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)

    Again, you betray a lack of understanding about IS strategy and indeed modern strategies.

    IS, and indeed warfare, is not conducted via large armies but through asymmetrical warfare.

    That means greater flexibility and fewer fighting forces with greater presence.



    The West only want to put boots on the ground because air strikes are not working and will not work.

    For a force that can vanish or melt away, like the Vietnamese, you need to start clearing inch by inch, mile by mile and even then, but you then leave yourself open to booby traps.

    What IS do when they enter a place, they booby trap the entire area meaning that once you start to clear an area, the likelihood of you suffering casualties mounts.

    IS will have put the bare minimum of fighters on the ground and most of their strategic forces will have already cleared out of the town weeks or days before hand.

    If Sinjar was really strategic, then IS would have thrown fighters at it but in all likelihood, they probably abandoned it meaning an easy victory for the Kurds.

    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.
    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.
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    Yazidi soldier on the front: "I remember the women and children screaming. Those images came back to me while we were taking Sinjar today."
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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.
    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.

    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.

    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
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    Again, you betray a lack of understanding about IS strategy and indeed modern strategies.

    IS, and indeed warfare, is not conducted via large armies but through asymmetrical warfare.
    I don't mean to provoke but you are betraying something of your own misunderstanding. The defining character of ISIS is that it is not just a terrorist group. It is part terrorist group, part insurgency, part state.

    Their offensives are usually carried out with a mix of assymetric and conventional tactics (i.e. VBIEDS to break open the frontline, followed by wave attacks). They tended to use something of a blitzkrieg style earlier on, though that is much more difficult now as they simply cannot muster convoys anymore.

    I am confident that ISIS will not be capable of mounting an effective counteroffensive. The Kurds are being very careful and are prepared for it, and they are also moving very slowly through the town clearing it of IEDs. They are experienced when it comes to ISIS, they know what to expecft
 
 
 
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