Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Global SITREP D8-14: General Observations

Islamic State on the move in Syria and Iraq

UPDATED 15 October 2014: Here are some rather significant things I have been keeping an eye on lately.

Egyptian forces have located and destroyed a large rocket production facility in the Sinai that had been operated by the jihadist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis ("Supporters of the Holy House"). This group of approximately 2,000 jihadists rise to prominence occurred rapidly after the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian Army. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis' funding comes largely from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) in Egypt; it is allied with the jihadist groups in Gaza, and has declared is loyalty to the Islamic State.

In Syria and Iraq there is very strong evidence that Islamic State forces have used chemical weapons against Kurdish forces in their unrelenting assault on the Kurdish border town known as Kobani (a/k/a Ayn al-Arab) and against Iraqi Shi'a forces in ongoing battles in Anbar Province since this past July.  Within the past couple of days photographic evidence has emerged pointing to the use of mustard blister agent against the defenders in these battles. Where did Islamic State get this kind of chemical weapon? From the depot that formerly belonged to Saddam Hussein at the Muthanna CW bunk complex and that the Obama Administration has said would be of no use to the Islamic State. US forces controlled Muthanna prior to the unilateral Obama withdrawal from Iraq three years ago. Islamic State captured the Muthanna CW bunker complex in June 2014. Islamic State fighters are reported to be within 1 mile of Baghdad. Most Iraqi soldiers are not professionals, they are soldiers merely because they need money. At the first sight of IS soldiers inside Baghdad they will remove their uniforms and flee.

Also in the Middle East the headquarters of the 1st Infantry Division has deployed to Iraq for the fight there against Islamic State. Without much fanfare the US DoD has tasked the Marine Corps with deploying a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) unit to Kuwait as part of a regional Quick Reaction Force (QRF). The 14,500 Marines and sailors of the MEB will augment the 13,500 US troops already deployed to Kuwait, bringing the full complement of this force to 27,800 troops.The name of the less than successful thus far US-led anti-Islamic State military venture was announced by the Pentagon today: Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).

I am most curious to learn the answer to these questions:

1) Upon what warfighting doctrine will OIR be based?
2) What is the identified ideology of the enemy?

The Russian-instigated war in Ukraine continues irregardless of a supposed ceasefire being in place. The Ukrainian government claimed today that more Russian troops have been crossing into the eastern oblasts instead of withdrawing deeper into Russian territory. According to the Ukrainian military public affairs office reported today their forces in southeastern Ukraine have come under attack thirty times in the past 24 hours by Russian-led rebel forces.

Despite most appearances on the surface, the newly installed 13th Secretary General of NATO, Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg (he replaced Anders Fogh Rasmussen on October 1st) is good news for Russia's Vladimir Putin. Jens Stoltenberg has a life-long history of being far more flexible than Barack Obama has been toward Russian military ambition, so much so that in years past Stoltenberg was actively recruited by the Russian KGB to become one of their Western agents in the latter years of the so-called Cold War. In days past Stoltenberg was one of Europe's best known anti-war activists. Watch what he does more than what he says in the days to come.

Ebola, the deadly virus officially known as EBOV, continues to spread in pandemic fashion. The UN World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland reports 70% fatalities among all known human infections and predicts upwards of 10,000 new human infections per week being a distinct possibility in the near-term. There is also WHO data which strongly indicates that the incubation period of EBOV is not the widely reported 21 days, but a significantly longer period of 42 days. This makes the current quarantine regimen wholly inadequate in preventing the spread of EBOV. Also, two tests a minimum of 48 hours apart are necessary to determine if an individual is not infected within the 42-day incubation period. This is a catastrophe of Biblical proportions in the making. The US is deploying 3,000 to 4,000 hastily trained combat troops from the 101st Air Assault Division as our contribution in the global effort to contain EBOV in western Africa.

In strategic Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Iranian-backed Houthi tribesmen (i.e. Shi'a muslims) seized the country's main seaport and airport at Hodeidah (a/k/a al-Hudaydah) located on the center of Yemen's Red Sea coast. Hodeidah is Yemen's fourth largest city with a population of 400,000.

17 comments:

mark3210 said...

Sean,

Indeed, it's cold comfort to be proven right about Saddam's chemicals and seeing them used to deadly effect against the Kurds.

Even now the media wants to whitewash this.

Do you think the Ebola outbreak is just a random event? Or is this a bio terror attack?

Rhonda said...

Sean,
I have a situation. At the end of the month, I am scheduled to fly to New Mexico with a layover in Dallas with friends on our way to a christian conference. Sadly my round trip ticket was almost $500.00. I hate flying on a good day let alone with this Ebola scare.
If you were married and maybe you are, would you recommend your wife to go ahead with the plans or cancel due to the Ebola risk.
I want to go but do not want to test the Almighty God. As of today my friends are still going but I am less certain.

Sean Osborne said...

The EBOV pandemic is a sign of the times exactly as the Lord foretold in the Olivet Discourse.

Sean Osborne said...

Rhonda,

Take this to the Lord in prayer (as I am sure you already have).

He will let you know what to do because whatever it is, it is within His will for you.

Rhonda said...

You're right Sean, I have to listen for that still small voice even when I want God to shout His will for me concerning this trip.
Better get on my knees, huh?

Sean Osborne said...

On bent knees, hands folded is very reverent. A very Sunday School-like image of prayer. It works for some folks, but I'm more of a Biblical old-school kinda guy.

The way I pray is the way Jesus taught us to pray to Our Father in Heaven.

Through Christ we have a direct and very personal relationship with the Father and we should speak to him daily about anything and everything.

We should go to a place where one is alone and not likely to be disturbed, and just speak to Him as we would speak to our birth father.

What I do is begin by reciting the prayer Jesus taught, the Lord's prayer, and after that its just a conversation with the Father on what's going on (which He already knows), and concerns (which He already knows) or special prayer issues (which He already knows) and I ask for His guidance and help in Jesus name, amen. This could happen once, twice or a few times every day, as the Spirit moves me.

Try it.

mark3210 said...

Sean,

I just spent the last hour digesting the latest news on chemical weapons in Iraq.

It's incredible to see a coverup that lasted over 11 years all unraveling now!

Sean Osborne said...

There are two of Saddam's WMD bunkers at al-Muthanna, they measure approximately 100 yards long by 3 stories in depth.

The UN weapons inspectors sealed them both with steel reinforced (rebar) concrete a decade ago. The UN knows exactly what was sealed in these bunkers. So does the US which handed over control of them to the UN. The UN turned them over to Iraq when it regained full sovereignty.

Once Iraq signed onto to the Chem Weapons Convention it had to provide an accounting of the CW inside both bunkers to the UN and begin the destruction of them. A difficult task to be sure with all of the rebar in place.

There is also the bigger problem of an American UXO embedded in one of the bunkers. That UXO is a 2000lb laser-guided smart bomb left over from the war which was never dealt with for the obvious reasons.

Still Iraq had gotten inside via a small entrances they created and looked around with a remote controlled robotic camera... then ISIS arrived and took control.

The rest is history yet to be written.

mark3210 said...

Clearly today's massive NYT piece marks a turning point on the debate surrounding Saddam's chemicals.

After 11 long years, today was the day the left switched from saying Bush lied about the chemicals to saying Bush COVERED UP the chemicals!

Of course it is beyond them to say Bush was right about anything.

Sean Osborne said...

Why today? (i.e. exactly 20 days to election day)

Is this an "October surprise" of some sort?

I smell utterly rotten political purposes in a DoD thoroughly usurped by leftist politics.

What is apparent to me at this point is that this info was withheld by the DoD which is accountable to the civilian leadership -- the CInC and the SECDEF to be precise. Two administrations and several SECDEFs knew this over the past 11 years.

Below them are the uniformed Joint Chiefs of Staff who are required to obey all lawful orders.

And besides these there are at least two alphabet soup intelligence agencies that had to know as well -- the CIA and the DIA, and both are accountable to the DNI, who is accountable to the CInC.

That's where the buck is supposed to stop. Yet there is something more which is not known which prevents this from being fully assessed, it defies logic, morality and a whole lot of common sense.

mark3210 said...

Sean,

I did notice the report said 3 NYT reporters visited al-Muthanna in 2013 and they made a FOIA request in October 2013 which the government answered in January.

So a big lag time between those dates and the publishing of this information.

Maybe they think bringing Iraq back into the news helps Obama prior to the election and distracts from his other failures. Or maybe they are trying to put their own spin on this now that these chemicals have been used against the Kurds and gruesome pictures published.

I do know that the coverup still runs much deeper than what is revealed in this article. They still are pretending Saddam's entire WMD stockpile was pre-1991 which is an absolutely ludicrous claim. It doesn't talk at all about his biological and nuclear materials. And the article says absolutely zilch about WMDs being moved out of country. And it doesn't even name Obama once while it names Bush twice.

Sean Osborne said...

New York Times is rubbish.

I'm absolutely ignoring the NY Times article because it has incorrect information, made up stuff and has the primary designed purpose of being a political weapon.

The information I have was originally posted during June 2014 in SITREP C10-14 (when IS captured al-Muthanna). That SITREP is the basis of where this topic is and will remain. I will include a link to it later today.

Anyone who wants to know the same information I've known all along needs to read what former AFOSI Special Agent Paul "Dave" Gaubatz has written on this subject, look at how he was marginalized by virtually all media.

Google him and al-Muthanna for the details.

Maranatha_Mark said...

Sean, I heard that Obama is not only sending the 101st, but also going to send National Guard units to Ebola afflicted areas of Liberia!

Maranatha!!! Mark

mark3210 said...

Sean,

It feels surreal that Saddam's WMDs are being debated all over again by the media in the run up to the 6th election since we went to war there. Even as the Iran deadline is quickly nearing.

Hopefully this will be the last time Saddam's chemicals are in the spotlight because surely the stage is about to switch now!

Sean Osborne said...

Mark,

I'm thinking the info you're requesting is probably both classified and irrelevant at this point.

However, I do remember there were too many incidents of WMD in Iraq to shake a stick at in just the four years between 2003 and 2007.

Even so, officially Uncle Sam says there were none and no Iraqi or an Islamic terrorist has been brought to trial on charges of crimes against humanity.

mark3210 said...

Well I do remember the trial of Saddam Hussein and a few of his cohorts. I watched it on TV!

I thought going in that the trial of Saddam would be a powerful reminder to people of how he was one of the most bloodthirsty tyrants of our generation.

Yet it never seemed to move leftists one iota.

I'll never understand the leftist mindset that seeks to whitewash all the great threats we are facing in our time. Are they suicidal?

Sean Osborne said...

Leftists had nothing to do with it. Saddam and his Ba'athists were Arab Socialists, big-time pro-Soviet Arab Socialists at that.

Saddam was tried, convicted and sentenced to hang by the same Shi'a Muslims who destroyed any chance of a post war Iraq not being ruled by the Ayatollah and his fellow clerics in Tehran, and facilitated the rise of the Islamic State - with just a little assistance from the Marxist-Muslim Obama.