Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Real Story On How Ramadi Was Retaken From The Islamic State

Nancy A. Youssef & Shane Harris, Daily Beast: How ISIS Actually Lost Ramadi

Iraqi commandos and U.S. airstrikes drove the terror army from much of the city. But that war plan could backfire the next time around.

Pentagon officials hailed the U.S.-trained Iraqi army this week for retaking much of the western Iraq city of Ramadi from the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

But privately, Defense Department officials tell The Daily Beast the fight for Ramadi was a long slog led not by the army, known as the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), but by an elite counterterrorism force, which itself was only able to beat ISIS with U.S.-led coalition airstrikes. The ISF, which have been the beneficiaries of years of U.S. training and funding, didn’t lead the battle, but served in a support role, pointing out ISIS positions for air attacks and holding the roads that led to the city center where troops Monday flew the Iraqi flag.

WNU Editor: This analysis makes sense. This blog on numerous occasions could not understand how a few hundred ISIS fighters could hold-out (for months) against 10,000 Iraqi soldiers backed by Western air-strikes .... now we know why. This campaign took a long time (5 months) because the men who were actually doing the fighting were Iraqi Special Forces .... and all they did was order in air-strikes to destroy ISIS positions. It is also telling that after the battle there are not many ISSI bodies to show to the media .... nor prisoners. So where did they go? Or were they there in the first place?


Don Bacon said...

The fighters were actually Shia militia.
Ramadi has been liberated and that is good. Does the liberation portend a new era for Iraqi or foreshadow a sectarian rift. The Iraqi government maintained during the fight that only the Iraqi army was involved, without the help of Iranian backed Shia militias. This has now turned out not to be true, even Vice President Maliki congratulated the militias in a speech giving thanks for the victory.

Jay Farquharson said...

WNU Editor,

Take the Pentagon's statements with a large amount of salt, they are better known these days for pushing propaganda narratives rather than facts.

In the Second Battle of Ramadi, (2006), took 7,500 Marines, Army, Seals and ISF forces 6 months to take and clear the city.

Don Bacon said...

It took the US forces under General Casey years to secure Baghdad. I once wrote a poem about it. Okay you talked me into it---

The outlook isn't bright for the coalition forces this year.
For a long three years Iraqis have held Baghdad with seemingly nothing to fear.

Shock and Awe was mission accomplished, the sign behind the President read.
Iraqi resistance? "My answer is bring 'em on" our fearless leader said.

Baghdad is an ancient and storied place, with many centers of antiquity.
Its suburbs include Abu Ghurayb, Adhamiya, Kadhimain, Karradah Sharqiyah, Mamoon and Sadr City.

The Iraqi army was defeated there, April ninth in oh-three,
But then regular Iraqis took control, and now people must fight or flee.

In June Operation Together Forward was announced by the new Iraqi Prime Minister,
as if he could really command, or had the freedom to administer.

The operation was a failure, with more and more GIs and Iraqis dying,
As the Islamic militias strengthened their hold, there was no more use in trying.

But wait! There's hope for us yet, perhaps the situation's not so bad,
General Casey, mighty Casey, will he be taking control of Baghdad?

There was ease in Casey's manner, as he moved to his rightful place,
There was pride in Casey's bearing and confidence on his face.

Casey said that the next six months will be decisive, and will determine Iraq's fate.
What a man! What a call!
Inspirational and moving, and none other could speak as great.

Except maybe Casey himself, in his last bogus pre-election prediction.
"We'll have the majority of the country pacified by New Year's" was that years fiction.

Oh someday in Iraq there will be freedom, when people can do as they please.
Their oil and water will be theirs,
and they won't be brought to their knees.

But 'til then there will be airstrikes,
cluster bombs and depleted uranium,
Kidnapping, shooting and torture,
and other forms of military mayhem.

Until men like General Casey learn
what to the rest of us is plain,
You can't militarily pacify a foreign land--
it's Vietnam all over again.