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Major ISIS offensive breaks through Syrian rebel lines watch

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    A major ISIS offensive has crashed through Syrian rebel lines near the Turkish border. The Syrian rebels have mounted a counter-offensive and pushed them back but they still hold a swathe of extra territory. During this offensive ISIS also attacked two refugee camps; how low do you have to be to attack refugee camps?

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2016/15...han-coinciding

    (To see the map of this offensive and update, click on the link below. Click the close "X" button to get rid of the little notification and you will be able to see the battle map. You can zoom out from there).

    ISIS has also reportedly just destroyed part of the old walls of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh

    https://twitter.com/IraqiSecurity/st...08237763473410

    There is some irony here as the Assyrians were basically the ISIS of the ancient world. In ancient Mesopotamia, the Sumerians lived in the southern areas of Iraq in the lands of Babylonia while the Assyrians lived in the northern areas. They were in many ways part of the same civilisation, though they were always the uncouth younger brother of the Babylonian/Sumerians.

    The Assyrians dominated Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Syria, Scythia and Parthia in the 3rd millennia BC due to their talent at siege warfare and their policy of using extreme terror against subjugated peoples. Their culture celebrated violence, this is an inscription from the time of King Ashurbanipal II

    I have made a pillar facing the city gate, and have flayed all the rebel leaders; I have clad the pillar in the flayed skins. I let the leaders of the conquered cities be flayed, and clad the city walls with their skins. The captives I have dispatched by the sword and flung on the dung heap, the boys and girls were burnt.

    (Assyrians flaying their captives)

    Even though they were the ISIS of the ancient world, it's still sad to see these historical artifacts and monuments being destroyed.

    Finally, the Combined Joint Task Force office released an extremely interesting video of an airstrike. In this video, an ISIS BMP-1 armoured fighting vehicle which had been turned into a kind of armoured suicide truck bomb is hit by a gun run from an A-10 with its 30mm cannon

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    Isis probably heard there were some extra pretty toddlers in the camps.
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    At the same time, ISIS has also captured ground from the Syrian government south of Aleppo, near the government's land supply route to the city, including a base and quite a bit of equipment. I won't post the pictures in case it's against the rules, but I can see artillery pieces, a self propelled artillery and a T72 tank, as well as lots of small arms, ammunition and a few mortars. They've attacked the Aleppo supply route several times this year.

    When ISIS have been losing ground somewhere, they often seem to launch attacks somewhere else to try and gain territory. And they are losing ground in most places.

    Also worth noting that the north Aleppo rebels fighting against ISIS seem to be US backed. Videos of the fighting show rebel groups using American machine guns mounted on trucks, all with the same setup (so it's been done properly and organised, not improvised by lots of different people).
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    Don't you know folks? The moderate rebels can fill the vacuum and create a viable transitional government.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    It's a little like the Battle of the Bulge, isn't it?
    I have to google this
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    A major ISIS offensive has crashed through Syrian rebel lines near the Turkish border. The Syrian rebels have mounted a counter-offensive and pushed them back but they still hold a swathe of extra territory. During this offensive ISIS also attacked two refugee camps; how low do you have to be to attack refugee camps?

    http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2016/15...han-coinciding

    (To see the map of this offensive and update, click on the link below. Click the close "X" button to get rid of the little notification and you will be able to see the battle map. You can zoom out from there).

    ISIS has also reportedly just destroyed part of the old walls of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh

    https://twitter.com/IraqiSecurity/st...08237763473410

    There is some irony here as the Assyrians were basically the ISIS of the ancient world. In ancient Mesopotamia, the Sumerians lived in the southern areas of Iraq in the lands of Babylonia while the Assyrians lived in the northern areas. They were in many ways part of the same civilisation, though they were always the uncouth younger brother of the Babylonian/Sumerians.

    The Assyrians dominated Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Syria, Scythia and Parthia in the 3rd millennia BC due to their talent at siege warfare and their policy of using extreme terror against subjugated peoples. Their culture celebrated violence, this is an inscription from the time of King Ashurbanipal II




    (Assyrians flaying their captives)

    Even though they were the ISIS of the ancient world, it's still sad to see these historical artifacts and monuments being destroyed.

    Finally, the Combined Joint Task Force office released an extremely interesting video of an airstrike. In this video, an ISIS BMP-1 armoured fighting vehicle which had been turned into a kind of armoured suicide truck bomb is hit by a gun run from an A-10 with its 30mm cannon

    ISIS are winning again Maybe we have no choice but to negotiate with them and give them what they want. We are doomed otherwise.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    ISIS are winning again Maybe we have no choice but to negotiate with them and give them what they want. We are doomed otherwise.
    Bizarre comment. ISIS is not winning, they're losing badly. They're probably about six months away from total collapse.

    This short offensive is the best they could mount (and this offensive has now been turned back, and ISIS suffered heavy losses), after countless losses in the last 18 months. They haven't mounted any major offensives since May 2015, and they are incapable of doing so.

    Why are you so pathetically passive and begging that we surrender? Are you a coward, or a terrorist sympathiser? Either way you disgust me
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    ISIS are winning again Maybe we have no choice but to negotiate with them and give them what they want. We are doomed otherwise.
    Maybe you'd like to negotiate with terrorists, human traffickers, mass murderers and child sex rings but those with spines would prefer not to.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    ISIS are winning again Maybe we have no choice but to negotiate with them and give them what they want. We are doomed otherwise.
    I knew someone would turn up with this sort of argument.

    ISIS are losing ground across Syria and Iraq. It's quite common for them to make gains like this somewhere when they're losing somewhere else - to offset those losses a bit, and get some propaganda victories that distract from those losses. These gains are bad for the small pocket of rebels in north Aleppo, but all it amounts to is a few small villages - ISIS still haven't had any major victories in nearly a year. Some of these villages have been recaptured already.

    ISIS are very good at capturing territory in quick offensives, helped in no small part by the suicide bombs they use where they drive trucks with improvised armour through no man's land to blow up enemy front line positions. They are good at finding weak spots to exploit. They are not very good at holding that territory in the face of a determined assault by a strong enemy backed by air power (the strength of these north Aleppo rebels is questionable).
    Spoiler:
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    Last summer, around the time ISIS was losing ground near Tall Abyad (and then lost the town itself) to the YPG, this north Aleppo front became very active with a major ISIS offensive that captured a load of villages but then stalled outside Mare.

    When ISIS lost Tall Abyad, they also launched an insurgency style attack at YPG held Kobane, and they recently launched a similar attack at Tall Abyad, around the same time the YPG pushed ISIS out of most of Hassakeh province.

    When ISIS lost Palmyra and Qaryatayn, they launched an offensive near Damascus against the government (and rebels).

    In fact, the rebels had been advancing against ISIS in this very area in north Aleppo, and this was an ISIS counterattack.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    Bizarre comment. ISIS is not winning, they're losing badly. They're probably about six months away from total collapse.

    This short offensive is the best they could mount (and this offensive has now been turned back, and ISIS suffered heavy losses), after countless losses in the last 18 months. They haven't mounted any major offensives since May 2015, and they are incapable of doing so.

    Why are you so pathetically passive and begging that we surrender? Are you a coward, or a terrorist sympathiser? Either way you disgust me
    I don't support ISIS at all and think they are a disgusting evil organisation. But Jeremy Corbyn has already suggested that negotiations are the only way forward. NATO has been bombing them for nearly 3 years with little effect other than to anger them like a wasps or hornets nest leading to the atrocities we saw in Paris, Tunisia and Brussels.
    I'd be happy with the bombing if it was having an effect, but at best its a stalemate. Very little has changed with ISIS front lines in 3 years. The Kurds have gained some land but that's at the expense of upsetting Turkey.
    How negotiations would work and how we could get a deal that would stop them attacking us is difficult short of recognising their so-called caliphate, which is out of question. Maybe requiring that they pay more respect to human rights and abolishing torture.

    Stopping the bombing of the IS has been suggested but that could pacify them into a ceasefire allowing them to give up their arms and build infrastructure such as schools and hospitals in the areas they control.

    Any peace in the Middle East may require that the IS plays a part. It's too difficult to speculate and understand what could be negotiated without such an evil organisation gaining any brownie points. It's like being between a rock and a hard place.
    I'm no expert and just don't know where to start. How can anyone negotiate with IS?
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    Bizarre comment. ISIS is not winning, they're losing badly. They're probably about six months away from total collapse.
    The problem with ISIS is that even if ever single member was killed, the ideology will still live on. So I don't think a total collapse is possible, at least, no any time soon.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    I don't support ISIS at all and think they are a disgusting evil organisation. But Jeremy Corbyn has already suggested that negotiations are the only way forward. NATO has been bombing them for nearly 3 years with little effect other than to anger them like a wasps or hornets nest leading to the atrocities we saw in Paris, Tunisia and Brussels.
    I'd be happy with the bombing if it was having an effect, but at best its a stalemate. Very little has changed with ISIS front lines in 3 years. The Kurds have gained some land but that's at the expense of upsetting Turkey.
    How negotiations would work and how we could get a deal that would stop them attacking us is difficult short of recognising their so-called caliphate, which is out of question. Maybe requiring that they pay more respect to human rights and abolishing torture.

    Stopping the bombing of the IS has been suggested but that could pacify them into a ceasefire allowing them to give up their arms and build infrastructure such as schools and hospitals in the areas they control.
    That thing about frontlines not changing is blatantly not true. ISIS hasn't had any major victories in nearly a year, and they have lost a lot of territory in offensives backed by US and coalition air power, as well as Russian air power more recently. It's also worth noting that ISIS have lost all of their major 2015 gains (Palmyra, Qaryatayn and Ramadi).

    And to be honest, Turkey is the one in the wrong with their opposition to the YPG taking land from ISIS. I really couldn't care less about what the Turks think of the YPG, given that the YPG have had consistent success against ISIS while Turkish backed rebel groups in north Aleppo have not.

    Spoiler:
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    (Original post by The Epicurean)
    The problem with ISIS is that even if ever single member was killed, the ideology will still live on. So I don't think a total collapse is possible, at least, no any time soon.
    I'm somewhat more skeptical of that. It's almost considered a truism that you can't destroy an idea with bombs. But that's precisely what we did with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

    We militarily overpowered them and forced them to bend to our will; we then reshaped their society in our own image and today both are exceptionally responsible and peaceable members of the international order.

    There are two elements to destroying ISIS as an organisation. The first is militarily defeating them, hunting down every last ISIS member and killing or imprisoning them; we assist the Iraqis and Kurds to reoccupy their lands. The second element which the US has strongly pushed is political reform within Iraq to give the Anbari Sunnis a form of internal autonomy similar to the Kurds such that they will be far less inclined to support Islamist rebellions for reasons relating to internal Iraqi politics.

    The senior sheikhs and tribal leaders of the Anbar Sunnis have realised how much destruction supporting an Al-Qaeda type organisation brings, and we have substantial support there; Sunni militias are now fighting with the Iraqi Army to retake sunni areas and so I don't think we'll face the sort of long-term insurgency that some predict. In any case, such an insurgency would have to be waged against their Sunni brethren which they would find difficult to undertake while maintaining the flow of weapons and cash.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    I don't support ISIS at all and think they are a disgusting evil organisation. But Jeremy Corbyn has already suggested that negotiations are the only way forward.
    I'm unsure how that's supposed to be a recommendation in their favour. I don't personally find the judgment of a man who praises as "dedicated to peace and social justice" an organisation that calls for all Jews worldwide to be exterminated.

    And Corbyn has been proved wrong on pretty much every prediction he made in 2014 when we started the bombing programme. He claimed thousands upon thousands of innocents would be killed, he was wrong. He claimed it would help ISIS recruit even more people, it hasn't. He claimed that any ISIS member killed would lead to more being recruited, he was wrong. Everything he said turned out to be wrong

    NATO has been bombing them for nearly 3 years with little effect other than to anger them like a wasps or hornets nest leading to the atrocities we saw in Paris, Tunisia and Brussels.
    Untrue. We've been bombing then for about 18 months, not two years. And we have had a substantial effect; around 25,000 ISIS terrorists have been killed. Many of their top leadership has been taken out. Their organisation has been hollowed out with their most battle-hardened veterans killed and most of their cadres being made up of forcible conscripts.

    ISIS has lost 40% of the territory they held at their peak in 2014. They have been pushed out of Tikrit, Baiji, Hit, Ramadi and Sinjar. Our assistance rendered to the Kurds in just one instance, the Battle of Kobane, prevented that city from being conquered by ISIS and instead it was turned into a Da'esh graveyard. 2000 of their fighters were killed trying to take it, they failed; they suffered withering losses and subsequently withdrew dozens of miles.

    They are now on the run, they are incapable of any major stand-up battle against the Iraqis or Kurds when they are being supported by US or coalition aircraft.

    The strategy we have been following has seen all of these achievements, and all for the loss of only one American soldier. Killing 25,000 of theirs and dealing them grievous blows while only losing one soldier of our own is an amazing achievement. The reason the progress is slow (but methodical) is because the political support isn't there to deploy tens of thousands of ground troops (and it would be a questionable strategy anyway to have more Western boots on the ground). But the strategy has achieved a lot with very little losses to ourselves.

    If we follow your proposed strategy, tens of thousands more people will die; they will simply die at ISIS' hands and be innocents and those standing up against them rather than the dead being mostly filthy Da'esh terrorists. I'd rather the latter than the former. And as a matter of humanity, we cannot allow ISIS to complete their programme of ethnic and religious genocide in northern Iraq, wiping out races like the Yezidis, the Assyrians and the Mandaeans of Northern Iraq who are the only remaining ethnic/religious remnants of the ancient world that existed at the time of Alexander the Great. That is worthy of protecting
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    (Original post by RF_PineMarten)
    That thing about frontlines not changing is blatantly not true. ISIS hasn't had any major victories in nearly a year, and they have lost a lot of territory in offensives backed by US and coalition air power, as well as Russian air power more recently. It's also worth noting that ISIS have lost all of their major 2015 gains (Palmyra, Qaryatayn and Ramadi).

    And to be honest, Turkey is the one in the wrong with their opposition to the YPG taking land from ISIS. I really couldn't care less about what the Turks think of the YPG, given that the YPG have had consistent success against ISIS while Turkish backed rebel groups in north Aleppo have not.
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