Iraq

Got him…again

Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli is seen in an undated picture from the U.S. Department of State. Al-Qaduli, the second-in-command of the Islamic State, was killed in a raid in Syria on Thursday, a U.S. official told Reuters. REUTERS/U.S. Department of State/Handout via Reuters THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - RTSC8AX

Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli is seen in an undated picture from the U.S. Department of State. Al-Qaduli, the second-in-command of the Islamic State, was killed in a raid in Syria on Thursday, a U.S. official told Reuters. REUTERS/U.S. Department of State/Handout via Reuters

A top Daesh leader has been killed according to Pentagon sources…which is strange because they already killed him previously.

American Special Operations forces in eastern Syria killed a top Islamic State commander this week, Pentagon officials said Friday, part of a months long campaign the Obama administration boasts is eviscerating the Islamic State even as the group continues to demonstrate the power to sow violence in Western Europe.

The American forces originally hoped to capture the commander, Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, and were following his vehicle in at least two helicopters, according to a senior military official who requested anonymity. But their plan to land Special Operations fighters, seize Mr. Qaduli and return him to the helicopter changed for unknown reasons, and they fired on the vehicle instead, killing him.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

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Baghdad Country Club

It takes Real Balls to Play here

 The Who’s Who of Baghdad’s Green Zone Ate Steak and Drank Fine Wine at a Bar that Billed It’self as “An Oasis of Calm.”

So, many Western visitors to Iraq in the past decade have thrown their heads back after a near-miss with a roadside bomb and thought, I need a drink right now. That was where the Baghdad Country Club came in.

“The management is happy to secure any firearms, grenades, flash bangs or knives in the club armory.”

Saturday night in Baghdad, and Heidi, the barmaid at the Baghdad Country Club, is worried about the beer. On a busy night, she might serve 800 cold ones to the diplomats, security guards, and construction workers who frequent the Country Club, a white cinder-block house with blue trim on a residential street in the Green Zone.

The BCC, as its known, gets its alcohol from suppliers outside the walls, but insurgents are targeting the crossings on either side of the Tigris River. On this Saturday, a truck bomb on a bridge has locked up traffic on the west bank of the Tigris, delaying the delivery of the night’s beer supply. Heidi, a recent college graduate from Florida, wonders whether the war will eventually collapse on the Green Zone, the way it did on the U.S. embassy in Saigon. But she doesn’t let that occupy her for long. Looking down at the empty glass in her hand, she smiles and says, “Let’s do a shot…

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See John, this is what the SAS can do in Syria and Iraq

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Dan .338 Lapua sniper rifle

John Key couldn’t think what the NZSAS could do in Iraq and Syria, rejecting a request from the US for special forces teams.

If he was confused about what it is they could do, perhaps he should have called David Cameron from some advice, since Cameron knows very well what they can do.

A SAS sniper has beheaded an ISIS executioner with a single shot while the militant was teaching jihadis how to decapitate prisoners, it has been reported.

Some 20 Islamic fighters were taking part in the executioner’s outdoor lesson when he was killed by the elite British soldier – hiding 4,000ft away and using specially-designed ‘wounding’ bullets.

A witness said the entire group of student jihadis then fled, deserting their cause after the ill fated training session at a small village in northern Syria.

A witness told The Daily Express the SAS sniper was using a Dan .338 rifle with a suppressor to prevent any noise and flash giving away his position.    Read more »

NZSAS to officially remain underutilised in Iraq

Looks like the Maori party still has John Key by the short and curlies.

Sending New Zealand special forces to Iraq at the request of the US has been “pretty much categorically ruled out”, the Prime Minister says.

The Government received a generic letter from US Defence Secretary Ash Carter in December asking for help, including elite troops, air strikes, provision of ammunition and training.

But in his post-Cabinet news conference today, John Key said New Zealand wouldn’t be taking up the request.

“I think we can pretty much categorically rule out special forces at this time, in terms of that Ash Carter letter we received.”

Read more »

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Classier than Tony Abbott but as effective

Seems the dodgy wogs don’t like a cold hard winter.

Thousands of Iraqis who arrived in Finland last year have decided to cancel their asylum applications and return home, with some saying they dislike the frosty weather and find the locals unfriendly.

More than 4,100 applications for asylum have been cancelled, officials say, with Finland chartering flights to take the refugees back to Baghdad from next week.

Though the majority say they yearn to be reunited with their families, others are simply disillusioned with the Nordic way of life, according to a local travel agent in Helsinki.

Muhiadin Hassan, who is selling up to twenty tickets to Baghdad each day, told Reuters: “Some say they don’t like the food here, it’s too cold or they don’t feel welcome in Finland. There are many reasons.”
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Knock, knock…

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Brimstone

Brimstone who?

RAF fighter pilots have been filmed destroying an ISIS held building in Iraq with two laser guided Brimstone missiles.

The footage shows precision rockets, which are said to cost £175,000 a piece, flying through the window before exploding.

The terror group’s machine gunners were firing on Iraqi troops in Ramadi, just 60 miles from Baghdad, when the British jets flew over and levelled the structure.

Typhoon jets used a Paveway rocket to destroy an excavator which was converted into a giant booby trap and hidden amongst the trees in Ramadi later that day.

Footage of that strike, which also took place on February 3, showed the large vehicle being torn apart by the laser guided weapon.   Read more »

Buchanan says NZSAS must join the fight

Lefty academic Paul Buchanan says that the NZSAS must join the fight in Iraq against Daesh.

The United States has asked New Zealand to provide special operations troops to the coalition against Isis (Islamic State). The Government has said it will consider the request but the Prime Minister has qualified the response, stating that he does not think New Zealand will increase its contribution beyond the company-sized training complement currently deployed at Camp Taji outside Baghdad.

The PM’s caution has more to do with domestic political concerns than the practical or diplomatic necessities of the conflict. With a thin majority thanks to Winston Peter’s by-election victory in Northland, National cannot risk parliamentary defeat on the issue. But Opposition leader Andrew Little has signalled that Labour is willing to consider sending SAS troops to the fight, so the ground is clearing for authorisation of a new phase of the New Zealand mission.

This was predictable from the moment the NZ Defence Force first deployed to Iraq last May.

Predictable but stymied by intransigence from the Maori party. That may have changed now with Andrew Little’s flip-flop and the Iraqi army showing some resolve after Ron Mark called them cowards.

It was clear then, and it is now, that training Iraqi soldiers is not enough to turn the tide. The training is good and the troops that graduate have improved professional skills, but according to a report prepared by the US Defence Department immediately before Mr Key travelled to Taji in October, they are no better in battle than they were before the training mission began.

The problem lies with the Iraqi Army leadership. Iraqi field rank officers are not included in the training programme and are by and large unwilling or unable to demonstrate the type of leadership skills under fire that are required to make best use of the training received by their soldiers from the NZDF and its allies.

That is where special operations troops like New Zealand’s SAS are useful. Among many other roles they serve as leadership advisers on the battlefield. Because of their exceptional skills and hardened discipline, SAS teams serve as force multipliers in the field by adding tactical acumen, physical resilience and steadfastness of purpose to the fight. They lead by example.

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1000m, three dead wogs, the SAS and a 50cal sniper rifle

Pretty impressive shooting from an SAS sniper and his .50cal sniper rifle:

An expert SAS sniper took out three ISIS bombers by shooting through a 10inch wall, from a kilometre away with the world’s most powerful rifle.

The marksman, considered one of the best in the special forces, fired 30 armour-piercing rounds from his Barrett Light .50 calibre rifle into a two-storey command post in the city of Ramadi in Iraq.

The daring and skillfully executed mission which was called a ‘classic SAS operation’ saved the lives of around 20 people according to military sources.

Holding the rank of staff-sergeant, the sniper was part of an elite team of military advisers embedded in the Iraqi army.

After discovering that the bombers were in the building, a number of offensive options were considered including an air strike and a rocket launch.

However, both were deemed too dangerous to civilians as a number of innocent people were being used as human shields around the property.

A source told the Daily Star Sunday: ‘The SAS always like to think out of the box.    Read more »

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Kiwis support our troops in Iraq

The NZ Herald has a new poll showing support for our mission in Iraq has grown.

Support in New Zealand for the deployment of Kiwi trainers to Iraq to help in the fight against Isis has increased, according to the latest Herald DigiPoll survey, and opposition to it has declined.

Just over 63 per cent support the deployment, up by 3.9 points since the same question was asked at the beginning of the deployment in April.

Opposition has reduced by 4.4 points to 30.1 per cent.

The New Zealand Defence Force is running a joint training mission with the Australian Defence Force at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad.

About 105 New Zealand personnel are based at the camp and a further 40 are deployed in support roles in the region.   Read more »

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Kiwi-trained troops helped liberate Ramadi from Daesh

Gerry Brownlee is chuffed  – our troops helped to train the Iraqi soldiers who took Ramadi off Daesh.

Iraqi troops trained by New Zealand soldiers were among those who took the city of Ramadi from Islamic State, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

Victory in Ramadi, which was seized by IS in May, is the first major triumph for Iraq’s mainly US-trained army since it collapsed in the face of an assault by the hardline Sunni militants 18 months ago.

The city, 130km west of Baghdad, was taken earlier this week.

“The success of these troops results from their commitment to the training programme they have been involved in. New Zealand and Australian trainers can take some pride over the successful action by the recruits,” Mr Brownlee said on Thursday.   Read more »

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