The next Syria

Today’s headlines should be 2″ tall:   ISIL is gone from Iraq!   The  US efforts have paid off.  The war for Raqqa in Syria is underway.

Questions remain for both Iraq and its allies:  How to rebuild Iraq so militants will never again be able to seize a city?   More importantly, how the leaders in Iraq can build unity within the country, which overcomes cultural and religious differences.

When ISIL is defeated in Syria, the same questions will remain.   The human toll for both the civil war within Syria and the war with ISIL will be tragic.

No one believes that this will be the end of jhadists.    ISIL has shown to other extremists a new way to extend their extremist philosophy.    The mode of operation are:  (1)   Develop an army capable of surprise attacks and control of targeted cities (2) Profit in any way possible from the occupation and (3) Recruit others to join the movement.  In Syria, ISIL was operating oil fields and selling the oil.

Libya has the potential to be as bad as Syria.   The big prize is the oil.  We have already seen the violence in the Philippines due to extremists.  Indonesia and Malaysia are likely next targets.   In Africa, the Boko Haram in Nigeria and the al Shabaab  in Kenya and Somalia, are very much along the lines of ISIL.

Countries in central Africa, such as the Sudan and South Sudan have terrorist organization and a high potential to be the next Syria.   From extremists point of view, an ideal target is where they can obtain local support or minimal resistance,  control large regions of the country and profit from their occupation.   The last thing we need in the world, is a terrorist base located in central Africa.

In the next week, I will be posting information on South Sudan, one of the newest and poorest countries in central Africa.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

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Marawi and a bullet in the throat

What gets on the front pages of most newspapers are events which are the most bloody and closest to home.   A third element, at least for the US newspapers, is some American must be involved.

For this reason, Mosul and Raqqa may get some notice, but the conflicts in Tora Bora and Marawi are no where to be found.  By the way,  in case you are totally lost, this is about active fighting against ISIL involving the  US military in Iraq,  Syria,  Afghanistan, and the Philippines.  Yes, the US is involved in the ISIS attack in the Philippines.

Marawi City in the Philippines was a vibrant city of 200,000 residents, but now it is a ghost town, according to the New York Times.    The fighting has been going on since May 23, 2017.  The US Special Forces are providing “security assistance and training”  and not involved in combat.  They are stationed within Camp Ranao, near Marawi.   The brave Philippine  military is doing the fighting.

I suspect the bullet lodged in throat of the Adam Harvey, reporter from ABC, Australia, will spark a bit of attention to this fight.

One would think that the President Duterte would be  very appreciative that the US is using its technology, particularly the P3 Orion spy planes, to help pinpoint air strikes and minimize civilian casualties.   Instead, he said on Sunday, that he never approached America for help and was unaware of American military assistance in Marawi.

Marawi is a long distance from Manila, but Duterte seems even further away,  oblivious to anything but radical action against drug traffickers.  Donald Trump could help the situation by sending the Philippine president a copy of the New York Times.  Not likely.

ISIS, I’m afraid, is on the prowl for the next city to seize.  Everyone expects a major advance in Indonesia,  but towns in  Malaysia are also a hot spot for attacks.

ISIL is not a Middle East problem, at least not now.   The land grabs and control of cities have occurred in the Middle East, Asian and Africa.   The terrorist attacks are obviously worldwide.  I am in strong support of an increased role for the US, and as we step up our assistance, the leaders of these countries need to recognize and appreciate our assistance.  We used to think that the US could at least dominate the air war, in any conflict.  Recent reports from Raqqa indicate ISIL are using drone attacks against its attackers.  So, it is critical to step up the conflict with anti drone weapons.

Adam Harvey tweeted that he was lucky and will recover.  I hope his luck continues.   I hope Felipe Villamor and other NYT reporters such as Richard Paddock continue their invaluable services in Marawi.   Wikipedia is also to be commended for keeping a chronology of events (see links).

Stay tuned,

Dave

Adam Harvey shot in the neck

Wikipedia on Marawi 

NYT, In Indonesia and the Philippines, militants find a common bond, ISIS

NYT,   Destroying a city to save it from ISIS