Iraq

Bizarre rant from Armstrong on Iraq deployment

I’m getting a bit sick of John Armstrong and his prognostications on defence matters.

New Zealand’s 100-plus contingent of military training specialists plus support personnel have barely arrived in Iraq. Yet the folly of this military (mis)adventure is already rapidly becoming apparent.

Last week’s fall of the city of Ramadi after Iraqi forces capitulated to Islamic State fighters, despite heavily outnumbering their enemy, has shifted the front-line in this sectarian struggle worryingly close to Taji, the huge military camp within which the New Zealanders are based alongside Australian counterparts.

Unless the Isis (Islamic State) advance is halted, the New Zealand Government is going to be faced with a major dilemma at some point in the not-too-distant future: pull the training team out of Iraq and lose face, plus earn black marks from the Americans and the Australians; or stick it out for the sake of good form and loyalty to allies and gamble on things not deteriorating with the risks this brings, including the possibility of casualties.

National’s predicament was neatly summed up by New Zealand First MP and former Army officer Ron Mark in an entry on his Facebook page last Friday.

“Latest update from the US on Isis. Taji is only 91km from Ramadi. The same distance I drive from Carterton to Wellington to attend Parliament. Isis could be in artillery range of our troops in 30 minutes.” He added a question for Mr Key: “What’s our plan, John?”

I’m not sure listening to a former truck mechanic on military matters is wise.  Read more »

Defence force trainers settled into Taji

Photo/ Supplied

Photo/ Supplied NZDF

The NZ Defence Forces have confirmed the troops are in Camp Taji and commenced their training operations.

New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) trainers and supporting Force elements are now established in their base in Taji and have begun the task of training Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in a range of military skills to help in the fight against ISIS.

This week, the combined New Zealand-Australia Building Partner Capacity mission officially took over the training of ISF personnel rotating through the Taji Military Complex, previously carried out by a US Army unit.

The training focuses on basic operational skills such as planning, weapons training, basic manoeuvres and the profession of arms.    Read more »

Another bad day for a bad wog

The Americans are starting to make in-roads into the leadership of ISIS, killing another top scumbag with a Special Forces operation.

America claimed a “significant blow” against Isil on Saturday when Special Forces soldiers launched a rare strike inside eastern Syria, killing a senior commander.

Elite troops based in Iraq carried out the cross-border raid, which killed a terrorist leader going by the nom de guerre Abu Sayyaf.

His wife was also captured and a female slave from the Yazidi minority rescued. About a dozen Isil fighters were killed, but no American soldiers were hurt, said a US official.

“The operation represents another significant blow to Isil [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant],” said Ash Carter, the US defence secretary. “It is another reminder that the United States will never waver in denying safe haven to terrorists who threaten our citizens and those of our friends and allies.”

Raiding with Special Forces will have hurt ISIS mentally. They think they are impregnable within the areas controlled by them.

US Special Forces have struck inside Syria before, but only on hostage rescue missions. Last year, they tried to save James Foley, an American journalist, by raiding a location in Raqqa, the unofficial capital of Isil. But all of the hostages had been moved and Foley was murdered a month later.

The latest operation appeared to be the first in Syria where the aim was to kill or capture an Isil commander.

[…]    Read more »

I know girls, let’s go be ISIS brides, what could go wrong? …oh wait

It appears that the three girls who had a rush of shit to the brains and thought it would be a good idea to abscond to Syria to become jihadist brides for ISIS soldiers have discovered that life under the burqa servicing animals that wear uniforms of sorts isn’t the life for them.

Problem is they will now probably be killed.

Three British teenage girls were reported to be on the run from Isis (Islamic State) raising fears it might be the London schoolgirls who fled there earlier this year.

An unofficial monitor in Iraq claimed the terror group was hunting for three British jihadi brides who had fled after being married off to Isis militants.

They were said to be aged around 16 and that Isis was “thoroughly searching for them” in Mosul.

The report, from the Mosul Eye Facebook page, said the identity of the girls was not known, raising fears the girls could be Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, who left Bethnal Green in February to follow a friend to Syria.   Read more »

Opposition on wrong side of public opinion again

Andrew Little came out against our troop deployment to Iraq, the Greens attacked it, Winston opposed as well. The left wing blogs claimed that we were re-invading Iraq despite the fact we were invited by the Iraqi government.

And they were all on the wrong side of public opinion…again.

A strong majority of New Zealanders support the Government’s decision to deploy 143 troops to Iraq to train the Iraqi Army in its fight against Islamic State.

Many of the Kiwi troops have now reached Iraq, where they will work alongside Australian forces at a United States base in Taji.

In a Herald-DigiPoll survey 57 per cent of those polled agreed with the decision to deploy the troops; 34 per cent did not. Support for the deployment was particularly strong among men. Two-thirds of the men polled supported it compared to 47 per cent of women. Support levels were similar across all age brackets.    Read more »

Rape cultures. Time for perspective.

Caution, this is a tough topic.

A Chechen ISIL militant ‘cleaned’ 19-year-old Dalia with petrol before raping her…

They were kidnapped, sold as sex slaves and raped for months at the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

Hundreds of them managed to reach safety in the territory of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), either by escaping from ISIL by themselves or by the help of their relatives who paid a ransom.

Let’s meet some of these young women.   Read more »

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Cunning Winston

Winston Peters is rat cunning.

There is plenty of mileage in his latest attack against a so-called refugee who fled a war torn country only to go back there for a fight and winding up dead, leaving us with 12 children’s hungry mouths to feed.

A New Zealand refugee with 24 children who was killed in Iraq has been accused of disrespecting his adopted country by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

Mr Peters also questioned the refugee status of Kadhem Chilab Abbas, from Napier, who died at the hands of Islamic State (Isis) forces on April 17 while fighting for a civilian army.

Mr Abbas left behind 24 children, 12 of them in New Zealand.

Mr Peters told reporters at Parliament this afternoon that the Iraqi-New Zealander was one out of tens of thousands of immigrants who had failed to respect New Zealand’s “way of life” after settling here.    Read more »

So what? Are we supposed to give in to the head hacking bullies?

Radio NZ and Fairfax are making much of the fact that government documents say that if we went into Iraq to combat ISIS then we would become a target.

They don’t overtly say it, but they are implying that we shouldn’t.

The Government was warned sending troops to Iraq could make New Zealand a target of Islamic State but on Tuesday a 100-plus contingent slipped away with little fanfare.

A Cabinet Paper revealed by Radio NZ said the risk of doing nothing was even greater than the risk for troops deployed and if Islamic State became stronger the threat to New Zealand would increase.    Read more »

With all the bickering, we forget the human dimension

Arwa Damon and Hamdi Alkhshali from CNN reports

The call from Faleh Essawi, the deputy chief of the provincial council, who we were supposed to be meeting up with, came just as we were about to hit the bridge — the only safe route from Baghdad to neighboring Anbar province.

“ISIS has taken the east of the city, it’s not accessible,” he says, sounding frantic, rapidly rattling off the neighborhoods and areas ISIS fighters had just stormed into.

Moments later, we see the impact: An endless stream of humanity, shell shocked, and exhausted. Parents cradle babies in blankets, some struggle under the weight of their belongings, some carry small plastic bags, while others nothing but the children clutching at their hands.

Cars are not permitted to cross this bridge across the Euphrates. The government feels that restricting vehicles will decrease the likelihood of explosives making their way into Iraq’s capital. Read more »

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So what, bad wogs have hard names

The media and the left-wing are in a frenzy because John Key can’t the remember the name of the bag wog that leads ISIS.

So what.

Prime Minister John Key was unable to name the head of the Islamist terrorist group Isis – but nor could the Australian Defence Minister.

Mr Key anticipated he would “get it wrong” when asked by a reporter in Auckland today to name the head of Isis – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

But he attempted it anyway and duly met his expectations by saying something like “al-Jaberi or something – whatever.”

The questions was prompted by an appearance of Australian Defence Minister Kevin on ABC’s 730 programme on Tuesday night, on the eve of a new deployment of 70 Australian Defence Force personnel to train Iraqi troops to fight Isis.

He tried to avoid it by saying that Isis was a combination of group. There Is not just one individual involved in this.”

That’s right, loads of them…kill them all.    Read more »