Thursday, July 9, 2015
Ain Issa is an IS held town 30 miles north of the Islamic State Capital of Raqqa. It dominates the roads that connect the Caliphate Capital to the Aleppo province in the west and the Hassakeh province in the east.
Or it was until last month when the Kurdish militia, the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG), seized it. Given its importance, IS took it back on July 6th but the resilient Kurds took it back AGAIN on July 8th. It seems like they’ll hold it this time.
The Kurds control a swath of territory across Northern Iraq and Syria that stretches from Kirkuk and Irbil along the Iran/Iraq border in the east to Kobane along the Syria/Turkey border in the north to the outskirts of Aleppo in the west. The notional Kurdistan looks more impressive on the map than the IS Caliphate and it imperils the Islamic State’s two most important cities; Raqqa and Mosul.
It’s interesting that the Islamic State’s most determined and effective foe turned out to be the stateless Kurdish militia rather than the Iraqi or Syrian State Armies. They’re definitely more motivated; just compare the headlong flight from Mosul, Ramadi, and numerous Syrian towns to the Kurdish dogged determination to hold onto Kobane and Ain Issa.
Maybe the Kurdish dream of reestablishing their ancestral homeland, lost in the 17th Century, is a better motivator than fighting for Khamenei’s boys; Assad and Abadi. Maybe the Kurds figure that if they prove they can seize, hold and administer territory; they can keep it when the war is over.
Maybe this war will produce an autonomous Kurdistan while destroying the self-declared Caliphate.
NOTE: One of Islam’s most celebrated military leaders was Saladin who fought Richard the Lionheart to a stalemate during the Crusades. Saladin was a Kurd.
“iGuerilla should be the first book packed in the duffel bag for those carrying the fight to the enemy.”
–Peter J. Schifferle PhD, Lt Colonel.(ret) Professor, School of Advanced Military Studies U.S. Army.
IS Strikes France (Friday, November 13, 2015)
Remember Me! (Tuesday, October 27, 2015)
American Amigos (Monday, October 19, 2015)
Ho Hum... (Tuesday, October 13, 2015)
Nuclear Terror (Friday, October 9, 2015)
1979 Redux (Sunday, October 4, 2015)
Watch Oregon (Thursday, October 1, 2015)
Dispatches (Tuesday, September 29, 2015)
Repeat (Monday, September 28, 2015)
Schism and Colonization (Wednesday, September 23, 2015)
Invasion (Sunday, September 20, 2015)
NOTICE (Saturday, September 12, 2015)
Back to the Future (Wednesday, September 9, 2015)
Hijrah (Sunday, September 6, 2015)
Wolves in Sheeps Clothing (Thursday, September 3, 2015)
IS and the ‘Angel of Death’ (Tuesday, September 1, 2015)
Sitzkrieg (Monday, August 31, 2015)
Hack Attack (Thursday, August 27, 2015)
Blatant Disregard (Monday, August 24, 2015)
Iran names its Enemies (Sunday, August 23, 2015)