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Subject IRAQ/MIDDLE EAST: NYPD On Alert After ISIS Blog Targets Times Square!!! p.523
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Original Message
Summary, June 29

ISIS' leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, today declared himself Caliph, that is, leader of the new Caliphate. ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is now known as IS, Islamic State (and I will refer to it as IS from now on).

For those who are unclear, a Caliphate is a religious-political Islamic state. The early history of the Islamic world was the history of successive caliphates ruled by caliphs, such as the Ummayad Caliphate, the Abbassid Caliphate, and so forth. The last caliphate was destroyed in 1918, when the Allied forces broke up the Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Caliphate). Allied colonial policy in the Middle East has since involved the policy of keeping the Muslim world broken by means of supporting local military leaders, and no caliphate has risen since the fall of the Ottomans.

The closest analogy to a caliphate is the medieval Christian notion of "Christendom", a global religious-political hybrid aiming to subordinate all of humanity to a single Law under a single Leader (Pope, Caliph). Equally, the Byzantine notion of the Holy Empire under the Emperor gives some sense of what a caliphate is.

ISIS' advance represents the first sustained effort to create a new caliphate. With the announcement of the birth of the Islamic State, we can expect the situation in the Middle East to take an even more serious turn. Consider the following:

1. Now that IS has declared itself, it represents a direct threat to every other Islamic nation. This is now a religious matter - as a caliphate, the caliph can claim the allegiance of every Muslim. Further, every Muslim is bound by his religion to defend the caliphate. Hence, unless other Islamic nations are willing to bow to IS, they must destroy it.

2. As an explicitly religious state, IS will likely galvanize popular support. Disenfranchised and oppressed Muslims, unimpressed by the results of the Arab Spring, may turn to IS' leadership. Islamic youth lacking jobs and meaning will perhaps turn to IS to give them a purpose, one supported by their holy texts.

3. Pro-IS imams will now dictate religious duties to Muslims. Rhetoric will change, and we can expect the growth of pro-caliphate literature unless IS is quickly destroyed. Al-Qaeda galvanized a religious literature through its assertion that it was defending Islamic land from crusaders; expect nothing less from IS.

This is big. HUGE, in fact. The entirety of Middle Eastern politics of the past 100 years just took a turn for the worse.

Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 4)
 Quoting: The_Original_Mind


A brief summary of the ISIS crisis in the context of geopolitical and historical factors, particularly the Arab Spring.

(Edited from a couple of posts I made on Luis' thread)

This all began before Syria. ISIS' predecessor, ISI, was the Iraqi front of Al Qaeda. As such, it was composed of jihadists from all over the world. The present crisis is just a step in a history going back to America's creation of Al Qaeda back in the 80s.

Basically, America wanted to create militant Sunni organizations to offset the new jihadist and pro-Communist regime in Iran, which overthrew the American-backed Shah-regime in '79. Back then, America was terrified of an Islamic anti-American revolution spreading throughout the Islamic world and of the prospect of losing a foothold in the oil-rich Middle East. This was, recall, just after the gas and inflation crises of the 70s.

Militant Sunni guerrilla forces were the answer. Al Qaeda spent much of its history fighting the Iranians (and even the Sauds). However, the great historical problem of these groups is that most of them "went native" and, by radicalizing the Islamic world's youth, were infused with a new generation of militants without concern for America's foreign policy interests. They rebelled against America, but the Clinton administration was happy to keep supporting them via the CIA. Simply put, even if they were no longer coordinating with the West, they were still a thorn in Russia and Iran's side. This changed, or so the story goes, with 9/11 (personally, I don't know whether that was an inside job or not - the evidence is compelling, but I take no stand).

With the invasion of Iraq, these Sunni militants suddenly found reason to openly attack American interests. Yes, isolated incidents had occurred before the invasion, but things really picked up after 2003.

The seeds of Sunni jihad that America had planted in the 80s coalesced into a broad anti-American faction of holy warriors, bent on preserving the sanctity of Islamic land in the face of foreign and infidel invaders.

Now, with the Arab Spring, these militants have built enough gravitas and become enough of a social force in the Sunni Islamic world to topple the majority of the West's puppet regimes. With their recent success in Iraq, they are undertaking the next logical step in this process: the creation of a Sunni caliphate and the corollary elimination of Shia power. Their advance has brought them money, armaments, and allies, and with the addition of popular support they are carving out a new Islamic State against all the norms and predictions governing international society. All-in-all, this is proceeding much how the Americans hoped back in the 80s under Reagan: Sunni forces are coalescing to oppose Iran. It simply took a few more decades to kick off, and the situation has gotten out of control. Rather than promoting American interests, the Sunni jihadist social movement has come to define itself as anti- American.

This is one reason America got involved in the Arab Spring straight away - it wanted to steer events in its favor. It totally failed. Funding non-Shia regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Kuwait, and Pakistan prior to the revolution was all well-and-good, but none of them would bring the fight to Iran. (Iraq did in the 80s, but failed). Yet, these pro-US regimes in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have all been toppled by Sunnis since c. 2010. The anti-US conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan continue, the conflict in Pakistan was far more democratic, and the conflict in Libya was a shitstorm from the beginning.

The case of Egypt is particularly interesting, insofar as the American-backed Muslim Brotherhood co-opted the revolution in the beginning, only to be themselves toppled by anti-US Sunni sentiment. Egypt is the most conspicuous case of Western attempts to co-opt the Arab Spring. The West never had any chance of doing so, of course, because the Spring was fundamentally an anti-West revolution, not a pro-democracy revolution. Liberal intellectuals in the Islamic world liked to portray it as democratic, and they got on all the media stages and allowed America's liberals to feel very happy ("Look! Bush was wrong, we were right!"). But in truth the whole thing was a pro-Sunni, anti-America revolt from the outset.

You might ask: Why, then, did a democratic Egyptian people succeed in Egypt? Two points: first, the second Egyptian revolution was partially democratic because Egypt is the most enlightened Islamic country. That doesn't entail that it's pro-America though. Second, the second revolution was driven by the Army, not the people, which is powerful only because it is the indirect recipient of American money. Militarism, not popular solidarity, produced the conditions for democratic Egypt.

In Libya, Ghaddafi turned from the US orbit awhile ago (c. 2005 if I remember correctly), but was still originally a US creation. The same goes for Assad, who was originally a US-backed creation to prevent Syria going an anti-Israel alliance.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey remain the three stable pillars of the Islamic world. Jordan is the same, to a lesser degree. Each is independent of American control. The dialogue in Mesopotamia is now one between these three powers, with a radical Sunni force carving out their own piece of the pie in the middle. Events are complicated by the broader list of new factions subordinate to no power (Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon (AKA Hezbollah), and Palestine).

So, in short, ISIS is part of a broad Islamic movement initially organized by the US for the sake of marginalizing the Shia and safeguarding Israel and America's oil interests. The situation, however, has gotten out of America's control, and age-old religious sentiment has taken over and now threatens to birth a Caliphate. Whether such a state is born depends on the actions, first, of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran; second, of Israel; and third, of Egypt.
 Quoting: The_Original_Mind



LUIS - New summary for page one:

Islamic State: Geopolitical and Historical Summary

This all began before Syria and Iraq. ISIS' predecessor, ISI, was the Iraqi front of Al Qaeda. As such, it was composed of jihadists from all over the world. The present crisis is just a step in a history going back to America's creation of Al Qaeda back in the 80s.

Basically, America wanted to create militant Sunni organizations to offset the new jihadist and pro-Communist regime in Iran, which overthrew the American-backed Shah-regime in '79. Back then, America was terrified of an Islamic anti-American revolution spreading throughout the Islamic world and of the prospect of losing a foothold in the oil-rich Middle East. This was, recall, just after the gas and inflation crises of the 70s.

Militant Sunni guerrilla forces were the answer. Al Qaeda spent much of its history fighting the Iranians (and even the Sauds). However, the great historical problem of these groups is that most of them "went native" and, by radicalizing the Islamic world's youth, were infused with a new generation of militants without concern for America's foreign policy interests. They rebelled against America, but the Clinton administration was happy to keep supporting them via the CIA. Simply put, even if they were no longer coordinating with the West, they were still a thorn in Russia and Iran's side. This changed, or so the story goes, with 9/11 (personally, I don't know whether that was an inside job or not - the evidence is compelling, but I take no stand).

With the invasion of Iraq, these Sunni militants suddenly found reason to openly attack American interests. Yes, isolated incidents had occurred before the invasion, but things really picked up after 2003.

The seeds of Sunni jihad that America had planted in the 80s coalesced into a broad anti-American faction of holy warriors, bent on preserving the sanctity of Islamic land in the face of foreign and infidel invaders.

Now, with the Arab Spring, these militants have built enough gravitas and become enough of a social force in the Sunni Islamic world to topple the majority of the West's puppet regimes. With their recent success in Iraq, they are undertaking the next logical step in this process: the creation of a Sunni caliphate and the corollary elimination of Shia power. Their advance has brought them money, armaments, and allies, and with the addition of popular support they are carving out a new Islamic State against all the norms and predictions governing international society. All-in-all, this is proceeding much how the Americans hoped back in the 80s under Reagan: Sunni forces are coalescing to oppose Iran. It simply took a few more decades to kick off, and the situation has gotten out of control. Rather than promoting American interests, the Sunni jihadist social movement has come to define itself as anti- American.

This is one reason America got involved in the Arab Spring straight away - it wanted to steer events in its favor. It totally failed. Funding non-Shia regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Kuwait, and Pakistan prior to the revolution was all well-and-good, but none of them would bring the fight to Iran. (Iraq did in the 80s, but failed). Yet, these pro-US regimes in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have all been toppled by Sunnis since c. 2010. The anti-US conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan continue, the conflict in Pakistan was far more democratic, and the conflict in Libya was a shitstorm from the beginning.

The case of Egypt is particularly interesting, insofar as the American-backed Muslim Brotherhood co-opted the revolution in the beginning, only to be themselves toppled by anti-US Sunni sentiment. Egypt is the most conspicuous case of Western attempts to co-opt the Arab Spring. The West never had any chance of doing so, of course, because the Spring was fundamentally an anti-West revolution, not a pro-democracy revolution. Liberal intellectuals in the Islamic world liked to portray it as democratic, and they got on all the media stages and allowed America's liberals to feel very happy ("Look! Bush was wrong, we were right!"). But in truth the whole thing was a pro-Sunni, anti-America revolt from the outset.

You might ask: Why, then, did a democratic Egyptian people succeed in Egypt? Two points: first, the second Egyptian revolution was partially democratic because Egypt is the most enlightened Islamic country. That doesn't entail that it's pro-America though. Second, the second revolution was driven by the Army, not the people, which is powerful only because it is the indirect recipient of American money. Militarism, not popular solidarity, produced the conditions for democratic Egypt.

In Libya, Ghaddafi turned from the US orbit awhile ago (c. 2005 if I remember correctly), but was still originally a US creation. The same goes for Assad, who was originally a US-backed creation to prevent Syria going an anti-Israel alliance.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey remain the three stable pillars of the Islamic world. Jordan is the same, to a lesser degree. Each is independent of American control. The dialogue in Mesopotamia is now one between these three powers, with a radical Sunni force carving out their own piece of the pie in the middle. Events are complicated by the broader list of new factions subordinate to no power (Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon (AKA Hezbollah), and Palestine).

So, in short, ISIS is part of a broad Islamic movement initially organized by the US for the sake of marginalizing the Shia and safeguarding Israel and America's oil interests. The situation, however, has gotten out of America's control, and age-old religious sentiment has taken over and now threatens to birth a Caliphate. Whether such a state is born depends on the actions, first, of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran; second, of Israel; and third, of Egypt.

Update (6/29): The Caliphate has been born.

History of ISIS

The present conflict in Iraq emerges from the confluence of two factors in Iraq: the cultural divide between Sunni and Shia, on the one hand, and the jihadist insurgency during the American occupation, on the other. Both factors have converged in ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham).

ISIS is a radical jihadist Sunni group formed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shortly after the US invasion of Iraq. The group swore allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2004 and were dubbed "al-Qaeda in Iraq" by the US. They quickly rose to become the chief umbrella organization of the Iraqi insurgency, and took the name "Islamic State of Iraq" (ISI) in October 2006. ISI's power was centered in the Sunni western half of Iraq, with Baqubah as its capital. At present, it is incorrect to call ISIS “al-Qaeda” (as MSM do): ISIS has surpassed al-Qaeda and has absorbed many of al-Qaeda’s operatives.

In a July 2005 letter to al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Zarqawi outlined a four-stage plan for the establishment of an Islamic State: (1) expelling U.S. forces from Iraq, (2) establishing an Islamic authority (caliphate), (3) spreading the conflict to Iraq's secular neighbors, and (4) engaging in the Arab–Israeli conflict. At present, (1) has been achieved and (2), (3) and (4) partially achieved.

In 2006, al-Zarqawi was killed and leadership passed to the Egyptian militant Abu Ayyub al-Masri. Under al-Masri's leadership, ISI conducted indiscriminate attacks on Iraqi civilians, leading to a loss of popularity and the group’s near-destruction by US forces in 2010.

The group went underground, and emerged as the power behind al-Nusra in the Syrian civil war. The groups new leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was committed to the original goals set out by al-Zarqawi, and renamed the group ISIS to signify its involvement in both Syria and Iraq. Al-Baghdadi’s identity is unknown, and some sources allege that he is actually several people.

ISIS' power in Syria was centered in Raqqah, extending to Idlib and Aleppo. In 2013, al-Nusra broke with ISIS, leaving the leadership of the Syrian insurgency broken. ISIS, nevertheless, maintains strength in Syria; starting in April 2013, the group made rapid military gains in controlling large parts of Northern Syria. In May 2013, ISIS carried out a car bombing in Turkey that killed 51 people; in July 2013, it raided Abu Ghraib prison, freeing 500 jihadists.

During the latter half of 2013, Sunni resistance to the Shi'ite Maliki government in Iraq grew as claims of Shi'ite oppression of Sunnis spread. In Ramadi, a Sunni protest camp emerged, demanding elections and greater Sunni representation in parliament. The leading figure of this movement was the parliamentarian Ahmed al-Awlani. ISIS successfully infiltrated this group, spreading itself from its new base in Syria back into Iraq, along the Qaim-Ramadi-Fallujah corridor.

In late December, 2013, Maliki ordered the arrest of al-Awlani. ISIS took charge of the Sunni protest, demanding that al-Awlani be released. Maliki refused; in response, ISIS form a military alliance with the western Sunni tribes and launched a rapid military offensive. Within days, Fallujah had fallen and repeated ISF attacks were driven back. Between January-June 2014, ISIS consolidated its position in Anbar and Ninevah provinces in western Iraq and integrated their operations there with their Syrian organization. In June, ISIS launched a sudden offensive against an unprepared ISF, capturing many of their old strongholds (as ISI) in Mosul (Ninevah), Salahuddin province, Diyala province, and Anbar province. At present, ISIS is the richest and most powerful jihadist group on Earth, has extended its operations to Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, and Palestine, and threatens Baghdad.

(Information taken from Wikipedia and sources cited in Luis' thread)

---

Summary, June 29

Statement: [link to myreader.toile-libre.org]

ISIS' leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, today declared himself Caliph, that is, leader of the new Caliphate. ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is now known as IS, Islamic State (and I will refer to it as IS from now on).

For those who are unclear, a Caliphate is a religious-political Islamic state. The early history of the Islamic world was the history of successive caliphates ruled by caliphs, such as the Ummayad Caliphate, the Abbassid Caliphate, and so forth. The last caliphate was destroyed in 1918, when the Allied forces broke up the Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Caliphate). Allied colonial policy in the Middle East has since involved the policy of keeping the Muslim world broken by means of supporting local military leaders, and no caliphate has risen since the fall of the Ottomans.

The closest analogy to a caliphate is the medieval Christian notion of "Christendom", a global religious-political hybrid aiming to subordinate all of humanity to a single Law under a single Leader (Pope, Caliph). Equally, the Byzantine notion of the Holy Empire under the Emperor gives some sense of what a caliphate is.

ISIS' advance represents the first sustained effort to create a new caliphate. With the announcement of the birth of the Islamic State, we can expect the situation in the Middle East to take an even more serious turn. Consider the following:

1. Now that IS has declared itself, it represents a direct threat to every other Islamic nation. This is now a religious matter - as a caliphate, the caliph can claim the allegiance of every Muslim. Further, every Muslim is bound by his religion to defend the caliphate. Hence, unless other Islamic nations are willing to bow to IS, they must destroy it.

2. As an explicitly religious state, IS will likely galvanize popular support. Disenfranchised and oppressed Muslims, unimpressed by the results of the Arab Spring, may turn to IS' leadership. Islamic youth lacking jobs and meaning will perhaps turn to IS to give them a purpose, one supported by their holy texts.

3. Pro-IS imams will now dictate religious duties to Muslims. Rhetoric will change, and we can expect the growth of pro-caliphate literature unless IS is quickly destroyed. Al-Qaeda galvanized a religious literature through its assertion that it was defending Islamic land from crusaders; expect nothing less from IS.

4. Expect IS to come for Israel, which occupies the holy land and cannot continue to exist after the birth of a caliphate.

This is big. HUGE, in fact. The entirety of Middle Eastern politics of the past 100 years just took a turn for the worse.

Summary, June 21st-28rd

ISIS and ISF forces have entered into a prolonged ground war centered on the Syria crossing, the Baiji refinery, and the northern and western flanks of Baghdad. Reports suggest that the Baiji refinery has been captured by ISIS forces and that Iraq has instituted gas rationing (!).

Externally, developments are proceeding quickly. ISIS is waging a successful propaganda campaign and is seizing Iraq's borders, Israel is becoming embroiled in an operation spanning Syria and Palestine, and NATO is backing off any action or stance on the conflict.

Recommendation: At this point, no development in the ground war is likely to be forthcoming in the immediate future. Now would be a good time to investigate events behind the scene before the situation on the ground picks up again.

Summary, June 20th

Zerohedge summary of the geopolitical situation: [link to www.zerohedge.com]

Northern Front (Kurdistan): ISIS has consolidated its position in the north. Tikrit has been recaptured; Christian have fled Mosul in the face of executions; and the ISIS siege of the Baiji refinery continues. Reports indicate that Maliki forces shelled the refinery, causing at least one tank to explode.

Western Front (Syria Border): ISIS continues to combat ISF forces for control of border crossing. Reports indicate that ISIS has expanded this operation to the borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Eastern Front (North Baghdad): Maliki's force stormed houses throughout the Green Zone and disarmed the inhabitants. Skirmishing continues near Taji.

Eastern Front (South Baghdad): News remains uncertain in this district.

External: Pro-ISIS rallies in Jordan and Palestine. ISIS vows attacks on England. Shi'ite Ayatollah Ali Sistani holds Shi'ite Iraqi PM Maliki personally responsible for the crisis.

Summary, June 19th

Map 6/19: [link to pbs.twimg.com (secure)]

- Fighting continues around the Baiji refinery.
- The US commits to sending military advisers to the ISF, but nothing more.
- ISIS reportedly seized chemical weapons.

Summary, June 16-18th

Map of the status quo (via BBC): [link to i1.wp.com]

Zerohedge summary: [link to www.zerohedge.com]

A day without significant developments. Fighting continues in Salahuddin and Diyala in the northeast, around Tal Afar in northwest Ninevah, and around Abu Ghraib/Fallujah in eastern Anbar. Significant fighting exists around the Baiji refinery in Salahuddin (6/17). The Iraqi political situation is weak at present due to Maliki's need to form a coalition government following the recent election. The Kurdish front remains quiet.

Analysis: The lack of significant developments is revealing. It entails that the ISIS advance has been halted on Baghdad's doorstep. Further, ISF forces have been unable to make any notable advances against ISIS gains. At this point, we are waiting for something to break the deadlock.

Summary, June 15th

Map: [link to static2.businessinsider.com]

Northern Front (Kurdistan): Kurdistan's local parliament ordered Peshmerga forces to remain in Kurdistan. ISIS commander Abu Omar al-Esseily killed in Mosul. Confused reports that ISF planes are bombing Peshmerga sites in Kurdistan.

Western Front (Syria Border): ISIS seize Turkoman Tal Afar west of Mosul (pop. 200,000).

Eastern Front (Baghdad North): CBS reports that Quds leader Qasem Soleimani is in Baghdad to personally advise the Iraqi government, later followed by news that Quds have taken operational command of Baghdad's defense [Ed. if true, this might explain the ISF's successful defense of the Marduk Line]. ISIS attacks and bypasses ISF military base at Taji, breaking through the Marduk Line in the north. Intense fighting breaks out at Taji itself. Meanwhile, car bombs explode throughout the day in Baghdad as ISIS finally launch their awaited attack on the city, entering Aamariya in the west and shelling Baghdad International Airport. The Iraqi government cuts internet to the US Embassy shortly before the Examiner reports a text message from within the Embassy reading "All lost Alamo." Within an hour news breaks that the US is partially evacuating the Embassy. ISF forces retreat from Diyala governate in wake of attack on Baghdad.

Eastern Front (Baghdad South): Iraqi military claims 200,000 civilians have heeded the call to defend Baghdad, mostly from Shia regions south of the city.

External: ISIS vows to topple to Middle East monarchies (looking at you Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE). US preparing to evacuate Green Zone. Australia added to the list of countries evacuating all its citizens from Iraq. Israel has launched a military and police operation in Gaza/West Bank to find the kidnapped Israelis.

Analysis: ISIS has made a significant advance in the northwest by seizing Tal Afar, securing an additional route to Syria. Pressure is on Baghdad following ISF withdrawal from Anbar and Diyala; ISIS is now in position to attack Taji in the north and the western suburbs. This pressure comes as sleeper cells awake in the city and attack key sites, including Shia gatherings.

Summary, June 14th

Map: [link to pbs.twimg.com (secure)]

Northern Front (Kurdistan): Report that 99% of Christians have fled Mosul. Reports that ISIS has seized over 2000 pieces of US-made military hardware (tanks, trucks, aircraft, etc.). Churches being destroyed in Mosul. ISIS seized Tel Keppe (Tal Kaif), a Christian town NW of Mosul. Peshmerga report that ISIS are no longer killing randomly - they want to rule. Reports that ISIS has retaken Tikrit.

Western Front (Syria Border): Internet cut in Anbar and Ninevah.

Eastern Front (Baghdad North): Maliki in Samarra to oversee ISF operations along HW 1. ISF forces supported by Iran pushed into the Balad area from Khanaqan. Moqtada al-Sadr returned from Iran to lead Shia defense efforts. ISIS recapture Jalula, Sadiyah, and Samarra. A bus of Shia in Baghdad east was destroyed by ISIS insurgents. Most of Diyala governate in ISIS hands.

Eastern Front (Baghdad South): ISIS forces capture Saqlawiyah NW of Fallujah after ISF forces flee. Iranian Quds forces confirmed to have landed at Baghdad airport.

External: Iran offers military support to Iraq. Reports of hundreds if not thousands of civilians joining ISIS from Europe. Iran has sent 2000 soldiers to Iraq since June 12. Israel launches bombing campaign and police action in Gaza/West Bank and arrested Hamas co-founder Hassan Yousef in response to ISIS' kidnapping of three Israelis.

Analysis: The general stalemate continues throughout Iraq between ISIS/tribal forces and the ISF. ISIS and its allies have reclaimed some of the territory lost on June 13th, particularly in Salahuddin and Diyala governates. ISIS' position west of Baghdad seems to have strengthened. Kurdish activities have slowed, suggesting the truth of their claim that they will focus on defending Kurdistan. Rumors circulated of an ISF counter-offensive for June 15th. At present, evidence suggests the ISIS blitzkrieg has been halted and a protracted battle around Baghdad will emerge.

Summary, June 13th

Maps: [link to pbs.twimg.com (secure)] [link to pbs.twimg.com (secure)]

Northern Front (Kurdistan): Kurdish Peshmerga launched attacks on ISIS forces along a wide front from Kirkuk to Tikrit to Jalula. Though announcing they would not fight to free Sunni Iraq, reports suggest they seized Kirkuk and Tikrit with the intent of integrating them into Kurdistan. ISIS has admitted to the execution of 1700 ISF soldiers. UN figures put the northern evacuation at 800,000.

Western Front (Syria Border): With border crossing seized by ISIS on June 12, captured Iraqi armor and weapons began to move into Syria to bolster ISIS efforts against Assad. ISF forces launched a variety of attacks in Anbar and Ninevah, but were utterly crushed by ISIS. Reports suggest that ISF relief forces in these governates have been crushed and that both regions have been abandoned.

Eastern Front (Baghdad North): The biggest news of the day came out of the Eastern Front North. ISIS gains in Samarra and Balad on the 12th were lost as bolstered ISF forces moved north from Taji and Baghdad. Reports suggested that PM Maliki visiting a military base in Samarra. As the day closed, ISIS forces launched a sudden attack in the north, striking Samarra, Balad, and Tarmiya. In Samarra, coordinated bombing and airstrikes raised fears that Maliki had been killed. In Balad, ISIS forces surrounded the town and forced the evacuation of 400 US contractors. In Tarmiya, ISIS forces crushed the defensive line and moved toward the military post at Taji in the early hours of the 14th. If Taji falls, the "Marduk Line" - the defensive perimeter around Baghdad - will be broken and the gates to Baghdad will be open. Reports in the early hours of the 14th suggest that this may have happened. In Baghdad, the Iraqi government shut down access to twitter and facebook, reducing public access to information (since the 12th, the MSM has started to report on Iraq, and without decentralized sources of news from Iraq the central MSM control of news has increased). Reports suggest that 30,000 Baghdadi civilians are armed and ready to fight for the city. ISIS infiltration forces carried out a series of bombings in Sadr City, NE Baghdad.

Eastern Front (Baghdad South): The Eastern Front South was relatively quiet. Reports of movement in the area from the 12th didn't materialize into an invasion. Fighting continued around Abu Ghraib. Reports came in late on the 13th that ISIS was moving in the south again.

External: In Palestine, ISIS connected forces seized three Israeli teenagers. In Iran, Sunni terrorist groups swore allegiance to ISIS. Iranian Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani called for Shia to rise in defense of Iraqi Shia shrines. Syria's two most prominent Shia brigades, Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas and Zulfiqar, are entering Iraq to protect Shia shrines. Estimates put ISIS at 6000-10000 (West), 50000 (Israel).

Analysis: Up to June 13, ISIS' rapid advance has been stalled in the north by Peshmerga and in the east by reinforced ISF forces. The so-called "Marduk Line" held from Abu Ghraib to Taji, but ISIS continued to press in the north around Samarra and Tarmiya. The good: Baghdad seems to have held in the short term and ISF counter-offense is preparing for the reconquest of Salahuddin and Ninevah. The bad: ISIS is now rich, well-equipped, expanding beyond Syria/Iraq (Iran, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel), and is increasingly becoming a proto-state rather than a merely decentralized terrorist network. We may have seen the end of their rapid advance in the short term, but they will continue to pose a threat to the region. The immediate future remains unclear.

Summary, June 12th

Map: [link to i.dailymail.co.uk]

Northern Front (Kurdistan): Kurdish Peshmerga have formed a defensive line from the Mosul dam to east around Kirkuk and south to Tikrit and Julala. The situation in Kirkuk and Tikrit is uncertain: some sources claim they have been seized by the Kurds and annexed to Kurdistan; others claim they remain in ISIS hands. Approx. 500,000 have fled into Kurdistan from Mosul. Reports from within Mosul claim ISIS are beheading thousands and lining the streets. Christians and Shia are most at risk.

Western Front (Syria Border): ISIS forces seem to have secured the Iraqi side of the border by destroying ISF forces. A large battle was fought at al-Qa'im which seems to have resulted in the surrender of Iraqi brigades. ISIS would seem to have the capacity to move freely between their western and eastern fronts now (viz. Syria and Iraq). It should be noted that ISIS in engaged in a synchronous battle for Aleppo in Syria with Assad's forces.

Eastern Front (Baghdad North): ISIS was engaged by ISF forces at Samarra, who attempted to halt the advance on Baghdad down HW 1. Although reports are unclear, ISIS seems to have flanked the ISF perimeter and seized Balad military airport, south of Samarra. Balad town may also have fallen. This seems to have prompted ISF forces to withdraw, and the Samarra line to collapse. If true, ISIS now has a more-or-less uninterrupted march into northern Baghdad. Reports suggest that fighting broke out in Tarmiya in the Baghdad outskirts. Reports suggest thousands are fleeing Baghdad. Governments and corporations are withdrawing their personnel from the city.

Eastern Front (Baghdad South): ISIS forces engaged ISF troops at Ramadi; reports suggest a complete ISF collapse in the region. ISIS launched a synchronous attack on Karma and Abu Ghraib on the Fallujah HW, with reports suggesting ISF retreat after intense fighting. As in the north, ISIS forces launched a flanking maneuver, entering the southern reaches of Baghdad in Bilal.

Summary June 7-11, 2014

Institute for the Study of War report: [link to www.understandingwar.org]

Zerohedge summary: [link to www.zerohedge.com]

ISIS has now taken control of Fallujah, Mosul, Kirkuk, and Tikrit, and with them about 70-80% of Sunni Iraq. Free from ISIS control are: Kurdistan, the Sunni center (Baghdad), and the Shia east (Karbala, Najaf, Basra). ISIS gains since June 8th have been rapid and surprising; as such, expect further rapid gains in coming days/weeks unless the Kurds, the Army (ISF), the Shia Brigades, or Turkey put a stop to it [Ed. the ISF halted the advance at the "Marduk Line" surrounding Baghdad]. Areas of conflict center around the Kurdish border in the north and northeast (Kirkuk, Tikrit, Jalula); the NW-SE highway running into Baghdad (HW 1); and the W-E highway running into Baghdad from Syria (HW 12).

Summary, December 28, 2013 - January 1, 2014

The rebellion was prompted by the central government's arrest of Iraqi Sunni MP Ahmed al-Awlani in Ramadi on Saturday, Dec. 28. During the arrest several members of his family and several of his bodyguards were killed. This prompted Sunni tribesmen in al-Anbar province to issue an immediate 12-hour deadline for al-Awlani's release. This expired on Sunday, Dec. 29, and the tribesmen announced the immediate commencement of military action against the central government and the formation a new Sunni military alliance for the protection of al-Anbar and Sunni interests generally (the Jaysh al-Izz wa al-Karama).

Shortly thereafter, over Sunday-Monday (Dec. 29-30), Sunni uprisings broke out across Anbar, Nineveh, and Salahauddin governates. Fighting broke out in Fallujah, Ramadi, Haditha, and Mosul in particular. Sunni clerics across Anbar called for an uprising and jihad against the central government. ISIS, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria and Iraq, joined the Sunni tribes and began attempting to assert their dominance over the rebellion. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki deployed the Iraqi army in Anbar province to combat the uprising. Several military units began to fly sectarian Shi'ite flags, further antagonizing Sunni locals.
On Monday, Dec. 30, the Iraqi army initiated a violent crackdown of a large protest in Ramadi, killing at least 11.

Since Monday, Dec. 30, Sunni militants captured various government buildings in Fallujah, Haditha, Hiit, Ramadi, and Baghdad. Control of the Anbar cities - Fallujah, Haditha, Hiit, and Ramadi - has cycled between the rebels and the Iraqi army. The Iraqi army was told to withdraw from Anbar on Tuesday. Whether this was due to losses or an attempt to defuse the situation is not clear. In either case, the central government reversed this on Wednesday and the army has returned. Additional rebellious military councils began to emerge in Nineveh province, centered around Mosul. Since December, skirmishes between ISIS and the ISF have continued in Anbar, although Fallujah has remained firmly under ISIS' control.

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Encyclopedia

Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 3)

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!!

Abu Ghraib Prison Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 3)

Anbar Governorate Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Map: [link to en.wikipedia.org]

Baghdad Governorate Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 4) (Map: [link to en.wikipedia.org]

Diyala Governorate Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 4) (Map: [link to en.wikipedia.org]

Dulaim tribe Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!!

Fallujah Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!!

Haditha Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!!

ISIS/ISIL (General) Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!!

ISIS/ISIL (Territory as of June 10) [link to en.wikipedia.org]

ISIS/ISIL (Events, January 1 - June 11) Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 3)

ISIS/ISIL (Conquest of Mosul) Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 3)

Kurdistan Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 2)

Mosul Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!!

Muqtada al-Sadr
Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 2)

Nineveh Governorate Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Map: [link to en.wikipedia.org]

Nouri al-Maliki Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 2)

Peshmerga Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 2)

Ramadi Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!!

Sahwa/Sons of Iraq
Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 2)

Salahuddin Governorate Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 4) (Map: [link to en.wikipedia.org]

Taji Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 3)

Zulfiqar Brigade Thread: 'THE END IS HERE': ISIS/ISLAMIC STATE - Summary of events, maps, encyclopedia - Sept 16: ISIS deploys chlorine gas!! (Page 3)

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Misc Links:

Map of the Sunni/Shia split in Iraq [link to thesinosaudiblog.files.wordpress.com]

Map of the governates [states] of Iraq [link to upload.wikimedia.org]

Letter announcing the formation of the Jaysh al-Izz wa al-Karama, the ISIS/tribal alliance in Anbar/Ninevah [link to www.facebook.com (secure)]
(AC 26782986 translates it as: "In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Today, we the righteous people of the blessed land, announce the formation of a new jihad army, Jaysh al-Izz wa al-Karama [the Army of the Dignified al Izz, a Muslim scholar and judge in the 14th century] who will defend our homeland against the infidels of that criminal al Maliki. We will wage jihad over this blessed country until we have established an Ummah (Ination), not only in Anbar but in all of Iraq. God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest.")

Kurdish defensive line in northern Iraq 6/12
[link to twitter.com (secure)]

Map of ISIS in Baghdad [link to pbs.twimg.com (secure)]

ISIS funded by Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia [link to www.thedailybeast.com]

Map - Baghdad sectarian divide: [link to pbs.twimg.com (secure)]

Map - ISIS' advance to Baghdad: [link to pbs.twimg.com (secure)]

Map of military disposition around Baghdad: [link to www.syrianperspective.com]

Birth of the Islamic State: Statement: [link to myreader.toile-libre.org]
 Quoting: The_Original_Mind
Pictures (click to insert)
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