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23 février 2015 1 23 /02 /février /2015 13:30
Irak: les Etats-Unis veulent une offensive sur Mossoul au printemps

 

21-02-2015 Par Jean-Louis Pourtet correspondant à Washington, RFI

 

Washington vient d’annoncer que l’armée irakienne allait tenter de reprendre Mossoul au groupe Etat islamique lors d’une offensive qui devrait être déclenchée au printemps. Cette annonce du Pentagone a fait froncer quelques sourcils aux Etats-Unis.

 

L’offensive devrait être lancée fin avril ou en mai, avant le Ramadan, avec la participation de 20 000 à 25 000 soldats irakiens. Si la reprise de Mossoul serait un revers pour l’organisation Etat islamique, nombreux sont ceux qui doutent que l’armée irakienne soit prête pour une telle opération. Personne n’a oublié la débandade des forces irakiennes lors de l’arrivée des combattants islamistes à Mossoul en juin dernier. Le Pentagone déclare que les Irakiens sont maintenant mieux entraînés et qu’ils bénéficieront de l’aide des peshmergas kurdes irakiens et des raids aériens de la coalition.

 

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23 février 2015 1 23 /02 /février /2015 07:30
Visite du CEMA en Irak dans le cadre de l’opération Chammal

 

17/02/2015 Sources : Etat-major des armées

 

Les 15 et 16 février 2015, le général d’armée Pierre de Villiers s’est rendu pour la première fois en visite officielle en Irak pour y rencontrer les plus hautes autorités politiques et militaires du pays, ainsi que les éléments français déployés dans le cadre de l’opération CHAMMAL.

 

A Bagdad, le CEMA s’est tout d’abord rendu en « zone verte » où il a été successivement reçu par le Premier ministre Irakien, M. Haïder al-Abadi, le ministre de la Défense, M. Khalid al-Obaidi et son homologue, le général d’armée Babaker Zebari. A chaque fois, il  s’est longuement entretenu sur la situation dans laquelle est plongée l’Irak depuis l’offensive lancée par Daech à l’été, ainsi que sur l’analyse des options stratégiques de résolution de cette crise. Ces rencontres ont également permis d’évoquer le rôle tenu par les forces françaises aux côtés de leur partenaire irakien.

 

La France, qui représente aujourd’hui le deuxième contributeur de la coalition, est tout d’abord engagée dans une logique d’appui aux combats, à travers sa participation aux différentes missions de frappes aériennes et de renseignement, mais aussi à travers le rôle tenu par les officiers insérés au sein des états-majors de la coalition. Elle est par ailleurs engagée dans un processus de formation et de conseil au bénéfice des forces irakiennes. Ce pilier de formation est en cours de développement et sera renforcé au cours des prochaines semaines.

 

Pour « prendre le pouls » du terrain, le général de Villiers a rencontré les officiers présents à Bagdad, qu’ils soient insérés dans les différents états-majors ou chargés de préparer le déploiement à venir des modules de formation. Il s’est en particulier rendu aux sorties ouest de la capitale, sur le camp de l’ICTS (Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service). Dans le cadre de sa remontée en puissance, cette unité d’élite de l’armée irakienne bénéficiera de la formation dispensée par deux détachements d’instruction opérationnelle de l’armée française (l’un lié aux techniques de combat d’infanterie ; l’autre aux techniques de lutte contre les engins explosifs improvisés). Sur place, il a pu mesurer l’excellente intégration des militaires français et la confiance placée par les autorités irakiennes dans la formation dispensée par la France.

 

Dans l’après-midi, après un vol tactique au-dessus du territoire irakien, le CEMA s’est posé à Erbil, au nord-est de l’Irak. Sur place, il a été reçu par M. Massoud Barzani, Président du Gouvernement régional kurde, avant de retrouver les éléments des détachements d’instruction opérationnelle (DIO) français qui participent à la formation des Peshmergas. Là encore, il a pu mesurer la qualité de la formation dispensée, de l’engagement des militaires français et, comme à Bagdad, leur proximité avec ceux dont ils assurent la formation et dont ils partagent la vie.

 

==========================

 

REPERES

 

Sur demande du gouvernement irakien et dans le cadre de la coalition, les armées françaises se sont engagées à assurer différentes actions de formation au profit des forces irakiennes pour les accompagner dans leur remontée en puissance.

 

Les détachements d’instruction opérationnelle (DIO)

 

Il s’agit de formations dispensées à des combattants par des équipes d’une quinzaine de spécialistes, chargés de leur faire acquérir des savoir-faire dans des domaines spécifiques :

- 2 DIO sont dispensés à Erbil : l’un concerne l’utilisation des canons de 20mm qui ont été livrés aux Peshmergas par la France au cours du mois d’août 2014 ; l’autre concerne la formation aux techniques du génie de combat (lutte contre les engins explosifs improvisés et savoir-faire liés à la valorisation du terrain en défensive, technique appelée de « contre mobilité »). Un troisième DIO, lié aux techniques élémentaires de prise en compte d’un blessé au combat, pourrait voir le jour dans les semaines à venir ;

- à Bagdad, à partir du mois de mars,  2 autres DIO seront conduits au profit de l’ICTS : l’un concerne la formation aux techniques du combat d’infanterie ; l’autre concerne la formation aux techniques du génie de combat.

 

Visite du CEMA en Irak dans le cadre de l’opération Chammal

Advise and Assit

 

Il s’agit d’une mission de conseil et d’assistance qui sera fournie par différents pays de la coalition au profit des forces de sécurité irakiennes.

Dans ce cadre, la France conduira une mission de conseil d’état-major au profit de l’état-major d’une division irakienne. L’objectif est d’aider les forces irakiennes à planifier et conduire leurs propres opérations, depuis les postes de commandement d’une unité d’un volume de 5 à 6000 combattants interarmes.

Cette formation sera dispensée à Bagad par une vingtaine d’officiers français d’état-major qui bénéficieront du soutien d’un détachement national d’une trentaine de militaires.

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14 février 2015 6 14 /02 /février /2015 12:30
Iraq: Another Defeat For Islamic Terrorism

 

February 12, 2015: Strategy Page

 

 While the Iraqi government talks about retaking Mosul Kurdish forces have managed to surround the city on three sides and taken control of several key roads and bridges. At the moment the Kurds say they do not intend to try and capture the city itself. There are two reasons for that attitude. First, fighting inside the city against fanatic ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) defenders would cost the Kurds a lot of casualties. The Kurds, more than the Arabs, are sensitive about their casualties. Second, while many Kurds believe Mosul (and its nearby oil fields) should be Kurdish. Mosul was long the capital of the Turkish Mosul province which was considered part of the Turkish homeland even though it was largely Kurdish. After World War I the victorious allies took Mosul province away from Turkey and used it to form Iraq (combining it with former Turkish possessions Baghdad, Anbar and largely Shia Basra provinces). Most Kurds and many Arabs are willing to let the Kurds keep nearby Kirkuk (and its many oil wells) as a reward for their aid in defeating ISIL. Kirkuk is a smaller city and always had more of a Kurdish majority.

 

But Mosul is seen as a bit much, especially if the Arab government in Baghdad decides that the Kurds deserve nothing for their effort against ISIL and attempts are made to take Kirkuk back. The Kurds took control of Kirkuk in June 2014 after ISIL took Mosul and successfully defended Kirkuk against several major ISIL assaults. Meanwhile there was supposed to be a referendum in Kirkuk in 2007 to decide if it should become part of the Kurdish autonomous areas or remain “Arab”. Kirkuk is about 83 kilometers south of the current Kurdish capital Erbil and nearly 300 kilometers north of Baghdad. The Arab controlled national government kept delaying the referendum in Kirkuk because they thought they would lose. That’s because for over a decade Saddam Hussein had deliberately driven Kurds from Kirkuk and brought in poor Sunnis from the south the take the place (and homes) of the departed Kurds. After 2003 the displaced Kurds returned and there has been violence between Kurds and Arabs in Kirkuk ever since. Many of these recent Arab migrants left and Kirkuk is believed to be a majority Kurd city again. Most of the non-Kurds in Kirkuk would rather be ruled by the more efficient and less corrupt Kurdish government of the north than the Arab dominated national government. The Shia Arab government in Baghdad is not happy with the fact that it does not control the Kurdish north but despite the ISIL threat still stalls in giving the Kurds their share of oil revenue and foreign military aid. This has led more Western nations to send Kurds weapons directly (despite protests from the Iraqi Arabs) and are more sympathetic to allowing the Kurds to freely pump, ship and sell the oil on their territory (which, technically, the national government in Baghdad controls). In the past the Baghdad bureaucrats have used that legal status to block Kurdish attempts to sell their oil. Now more Western countries are willing to ignore the protests from Baghdad and do business with the Kurds in the north.

 

Meanwhile foreign military trainers and advisors are working hard to prepare the Iraqi security forces for the effort to liberate Mosul. This would be a major campaign and the current plan is to get it started around June. By then The Kurds will nearly have the city cut off from the surrounding countryside. The Arab Iraqi advance from the south would complete the siege and trigger a major response from ISIL. Iran, Western nations and Arab allies of Iraq have all agreed that the Battle of Mosul must be fought, at least on the ground, by Iraqi troops alone. So success depends on how well Iraq can shape up their ground forces in the next few months.

 

The Kurdish advance south has had other side effects. As Kurds and other minorities follow this advance to reclaim their homes they often seek revenge against Sunni Arab neighbors who collaborated with ISIL. Some of the neighbors had little choice (ISIL has a “collaborate or die” policy for fellow Sunnis) but still this has caused some ugly incidents and growing fear among Iraqi Sunnis that they will be made to pay for the ISIL atrocities. Another thing making Sunni Arabs uneasy is the growing number of incidents where some Shia militias slaughter Sunni Arab civilians when they recapture an area. Then there is the growing trend for minorities (especially Turks, Christians and Yazidis) to form armed self-defense militias. The government and its military advisors (at least the Western ones) believe some of these militias could be a problem after ISIL is defeated. Private armies have been a staple in this part of the world for thousands of years, but they are more of a problem when armed with modern weapons and Internet access.

 

While the Kurds have been moving towards Mosul ISIL keeps attacking targets around Kirkuk and trying to get suicide bombers into the three northern provinces the Kurds have ruled for over two decades. ISIL has not been very successful in that but has some more success using suicide bombers against Kurdish troops. Front line checkpoints are particularly vulnerable and drivers have learned to be very attentive and obedient when dealing the Kurdish troops manning these checkpoints. Shooting suicide vehicle bombers before they get too close is a matter of life or death and ISIL has been losing more and more of these suicide volunteers at checkpoints with nothing to show for it except more anger from Sunni Arab civilians because Sunni Arabs killed in these failed attacks on the Kurds. ISIL has had more success in using their suicide bombers against Sunni tribal leaders who have turned against them.

 

ISIL has, for the second time in a decade managed to turn the majority of Arabs against Sunni Islamic terrorists by committing an outrageous atrocity against Moslems. This time it was burning to death a Jordanian F-16 pilot, and then compounding that by keeping quiet about that for nearly a month as they lied to pro-Islamic terrorist Sunni Arab clerics negotiating with them for the release of a female al Qaeda suicide bomber captured in 2005 in Jordan and condemned to death (her suicide bomb failed to function and her husband, also wearing a bomb best, told he to flee while he set off his explosives and killed 35 Jordanians at a wedding). She was captured and confessed her guilt. When the Jordanians refused to do the deal without proof the Jordanian pilot was alive ISIL broke off negotiations, released the “burning alive” video and that was the final straw for most Arabs who were not happy with the growing number of Moslem civilians ISIL was murdering in outrageous ways (stoning, crucifixion, beheading and now burning alive). A decade ago the atrocity that did it was carried out at a wedding (and two other locations) in Jordan by al Qaeda in Iraq (what ISIL grew out of). After that bit of mass murder (over 60 dead) opinion polls showed Arab support for al Qaeda plunging everywhere. This was critical because then, as now, many if not most Arabs believe Al Qaeda and ISIL are Western inventions, created as an excuse for the West to attack Islam. This seems absurd to most Westerners, except for those that work in the Middle East and have to live with that attitude up close all the time. Conspiracy theories like this are much more popular in the Arab world than in the West and are a major, but little discussed problem encountered while trying to eliminate Islamic terrorism. This time Jordan, as it did in 2005, got really, really angry and make a much more vigorous effort against ISIL (including executing the female suicide bomber ISIL wanted set free). This was the same pattern seen in 2005 and will have the same end result (another defeat for Islamic terrorism but not the elimination of the attitudes that keep it coming back.)

 

Iraqi leaders keep pressing the United States and the other nations supplying air support to do more in the fight against ISIL. The Iraqis are particularly upset at the disproportionate number of air strikes provided to the Kurds defending the Syrian town of Kobane and are not pleased when they are told the reasons why. The Kurds get more air support because they are better and more dependable soldiers (despite the fact that most of them are part-time militia). Most of the Kurds at Kobane have been trained, often by American soldiers over the last two decades and that training stuck. Some of the Kurds at Kobane are recent volunteers with a few days or weeks of training but they have the same attitudes. The Kurds will follow orders and their officers, who were also trained, usually by Americans, are dependable and, unlike their Iraqi Arab counterparts, not corrupt and prone to run away when things get rough. Because of the greater effectiveness and reliability of the Kurds the U.S. trusts them to look after American air control teams sent to work with them, or to provide accurate and reliable information to warplanes overhead when there are no air controllers available. Thus the Kurds provide more verifiable and justified targets for air strikes.

 

All this is in contrast to most Iraqi troops, and especially Iraqi officers. The Iraqi government now admits that corrupt officers and corruption in general was the cause of the Iraqi Army collapse in June 2014 that led to the loss of Mosul (and much of northern Iraq) to ISIL. The Iraqi leadership even admits now that cleaning out all the corrupt and inept officers is still underway and training new, more reliable officers, will take time. But too many of the Iraqi leaders still fail to understand that the sorry state of their officers is a very real and practical reason why Iraqi troops cannot get more air support. Moreover these same leaders will protest loudly is some of their inept officers are the reason why a smart bomb hits Iraqi soldiers or civilians. That sort of protest is expected and there is still a belief that the Americans have some kind of magical power they can unleash if pressured or persuaded enough.

 

ISIL was seemingly invincible and unstoppable in mid-2014. In July 2014 ISIL had recently taken control of Mosul (the largest city in northern Iraq) and was advancing on Baghdad, the Kurdish north and the capital of western Iraq (Anbar province).  Similar gains were being made in Syria. All that has changed in the last few months. ISIL still holds the cities of Raqqa (the largest city in eastern Syria) and Mosul in Iraq. But both cities are increasingly rebellious and require a growing number of ISIL gunmen to maintain control.  ISIL has become increasingly paranoid and vicious in their treatment of real or suspected “traitors.” Public executions are more common and these subjects of ISIL (including most Sunni Arabs) are not happy at all with ISIL rule. The paranoia even extends to ISIL leadership with the growing use of spies and informants to track daily activities of ISIL leaders and report any suspicious moves. This is driven by the growing fear that their enemies (especially anti-ISIL countries) have contacted some ISIL leaders (or other key people) and turned them into spies. This would account for the increasingly frequent air attacks against ISIL leaders and key facilities.

 

What is not imaginary is the fact that ISIL is in retreat in Iraq and Syria. Sunni tribes in Anbar and western Syria are in open revolt and subject to increasingly savage reprisals by ISIL gunmen (often foreigners, which makes the tribesmen angrier). Half the ISIL leadership has been killed by coalition (Arab, NATO and allied) warplanes since August 2014. This air support and Iraqi soldiers, Kurdish troops, Shia militias and armed Sunni tribesmen have taken back much of the territory ISIL overran in early 2014. American and other Western troops are rebuilding the Iraqi Army and arming anti-ISIL Sunni tribesmen. Iran is training and sometimes leading Shia militias. In Syria ISIL is getting beaten by Kurds, Syrian soldiers and more Iranian trained Shia militias.

 

February 11, 2015: Iran announced it would begin training Iraqi Army officers, a task the United States and NATO previously had a monopoly on.

 

February 9, 2015:  The United States is building a new base in the Kurdish north to house logistical, maintenance and other support activities for NATO troops and aircraft operating out of the Kurdish controlled north. This new base was not given any publicity but it was difficult not to note all the construction and the men working on the base knew what it was for.

 

February 8, 2015: The government has lifted the midnight to 5 AM curfew that has been in force in Baghdad since 2003.

 

The UAE (United Arab Emirates) resumed air attacks against ISIL after halting them until the United States increased its SAR (Search And Rescue) forces in the area (especially basing a unit in northern Iraq). The UAE saw the December 24th capture of a Jordanian pilot as largely due to insufficient SAR forces being available to rescue him. The American SAR units contain commando type rescue personnel and support specialists who can quickly direct combat aircraft to where the downed pilot is in order to keep hostile troops away. It is still unclear if a more vigorous SAR response would have prevented the capture of the Jordanian pilot, but the UAE believed it would and the U.S. had to respond to get UAE warplanes back in the air over Iraq and Syria.

 

February 7, 2015: Five ISIL bombs went off in Baghdad leaving 37 dead. This was apparently the ISIL response to government plans to life the curfew. Most of the bombing victims were Shia.

 

February 5, 2015: Jordanian media gave lots of coverage to a larger and more vigorous bombing campaign against ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq.

 

February 4, 2015: Jordan executed two Islamic terrorists who had been convicted and condemned to death. This was part of the response to ISIL murdering a captured Jordanian F-16 pilot. Jordan says it will execute more convicted and condemned Islamic terrorists (who were not killed because many Arabs still saw these killers as heroes).

 

February 3, 2015: ISIL released a video (via the Internet) of the killing of a captured Jordanian pilot by burning him alive. This killing apparently took place on January 3rd. The pilot was captured on December 24th after his F-16 crashed because of equipment failure. The pilot parachuted to the ground safely but he was in ISIL territory and was soon captured. Jordan immediately opened negotiations with ISIL to get the pilot back and it was believed that these talks would succeed. But ISIL leadership was under tremendous internal pressure to “strike back” against the nations that were killing so many (apparently thousands) of ISIL members with these air attacks. The pilot was beaten a lot and paraded around in the week after his capture but at least one unsuccessful commando raid to rescue him apparently persuaded ISIL to kill the pilot in a spectacular way and video the act. The video was not released right away because it appeared Jordan was willing to release some convicted Islamic terrorists that ISIL wanted in return for the now dead pilot. ISIL was unable to scam the Jordanians and thus released the burning alive video.

 

In Mosul ISIL blew up a historic al-Tahra church in the center of the city. There are several ancient (over 1,500 years old) Christian churches in Mosul that are apparently on a list of “un-Islamic” things to be destroyed. This includes taking all non-Arabic books from libraries and burning them. 

 

February 1, 2015: Japan vowed revenge against ISIL after the release of the video showing ISIL beheading the second of two Japanese ISIL held. ISIL had demanded $200 million ransom for the two men.

 

January 29, 2015: In the north the head of a Yazidi militia has called on Israel to provide weapons and training so the Yazidi and Israel can better fight their common enemy ISIL. Many Moslems, and some Christians, consider the Yazidi pagans and devil worshipers. The Yazidi are Kurds who practice a pre-Christian religion related to the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian religion common in Iran (and now only found in India). The Yazidis are considered pagans by ISIL and to Moslems pagans must either renounce their beliefs or die. Israel is always willing to work with persecuted religious minorities, who can often provide useful information and other services in return. This puts these minorities in more danger in the Middle East, but that has always been the case because Islam is one of the most violently intolerant religions on the planet and has been that way from the beginning. Israel has worked with the Kurds for decades, but keeps this cooperation quiet in order to placate the Arab Moslems (Kurds are mostly Sunni Moslem). Israel has also quietly sent aid to other persecuted minorities in Iraq. Some believe this is in memory of past help these minorities provided to get Jews out of Iraq (where their families had lived for thousands of years) in the 1940s and 50s. Whatever the case, if Israel arms the Yazidis they won’t issue press releases or leave any evidence that they did it.

 

January 26, 2015: The government announced that after months of hard fighting they had finally expelled all ISIL forces from Diyala province. Located north of Baghdad Diyala has long been home to a lot of Sunni Arabs, including many who supported Saddam Hussein and Islamic terrorism. But the locals there quickly became disenchanted with ISIL and aided the largely Shia soldiers and militiamen who came in to drive ISIL out.

 

January 24, 2015: Near Mosul an American UAV used missiles to kill several key ISIL personnel travelling together in a vehicle. One of the victims was the much-wanted Saddam era chemical weapons expert who had joined ISIL. The death of this man is expected to derail or delay ISIL efforts to build some chemical weapons.

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 08:30
How Iraqi Hezbollah Acquired an American M1A1 tanks?


28.01.2015 defense-update.com
 

A video recently aired on YouTube shows an alarming situation happening in Iraq, where heavy equipment delivered by the U.S. To the Iraqi Army reaches extremist groups in the country – some are jihadists fighting against the government (ISIS and its supporters) and others are Iranian backed extremist groups presently supporting the Iraqi Forces.

 

The convo shown in this video shows a long group of vehicles, comprising mainly pickup trucks, but also various vehicles provided by the USA to the Iraqi Forces, including M1A1 main battle tanks, transported on standard US Army Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET), M113 Armored Personnel Carriers and M151, military trucks hacked with rocket launchers to become mobile rocket launchers. Unlike tanks shown by ISIS, that were damaged in battle, this equipment seems intact, and may have been taken by the Hezbollah from Iraqi storage of abandoned by military units.

According to The Long War Journal, Kata’ib Hezbollah, receives funding, training, logistics, guidance, and material support from the Iranian Qods Force, the external operations wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The radical militia has joined the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq. In addition, other Iranian-supported Shia militias, such as Asaib al Haq, Badr Organization, and Muqtada al Sadr’s Promised Day Brigades have played a prominent role on the battlefield.

Despite this, the group was unofficially assisted by US airstrikes when Iraqi and Kurdish forces broke the siege of Amerli in Salahaddin province, although, according to US announcements, the call for fires were at “the request of the Government of Iraq” and “in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to address the humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amerli.

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 06:30
Ain al-Asad base source libertynews

Ain al-Asad base source libertynews

 

13 February 2015 BBC Middle East

 

Islamic State (IS) militants have launched an attack on a town in Iraq's Anbar province, close to an airbase that is home to some 300 US marines.

 

The militants attacked the town of al-Baghdadi, 5km (three miles) from the Ain al-Asad base, where the US forces are training Iraqi troops.

Heavy fighting was reported around the town, west of Anbar's capital, Ramadi.

The US is spearheading an air campaign against the militants, who seized large parts of Iraq and Syria last year.

The US military says its aircraft carried out several strikes on IS positions in Iraq on Thursday, mostly concentrated around the Iraqi towns of Mosul and Kirkuk.

IS militants advanced upon al-Baghdadi early on Thursday, according to Reuters news agency, sparking fierce clashes with Iraqi government forces.

A Pentagon spokeswoman, quoted by Reuters, said there had not been any direct attack on the nearby air base.

It is unclear if the militants are in control of al-Baghdadi.

The London-based Al-Sharqiyah News channel reports that IS militants were repelled in the area by Iraqi security and tribal forces, backed by US jets.

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11 février 2015 3 11 /02 /février /2015 12:30
Syrie : un afflux « sans précédent » de combattants étrangers

 

11.02.2015 Le Monde.fr (AFP)

 

Jamais un conflit n'avait attiré autant de combattants étrangers. D'après un rapport établi pour l'administration américaine, vingt mille non-Syriens participeraient actuellement à la guerre dans le pays, un afflux  « sans précédent », notamment par rapport à ce qui s'est passé en Afghanistan et au Pakistan, en Irak, au Yémen ou en Somalie, selon Nicolas Rasmussen, directeur du Centre national antiterroriste américain (NCTC), dans un document écrit préparé pour le Congrès.

M. Rasmussen doit être entendu mercredi par la commission de la sécurité intérieure de la Chambre des représentants, mais la partie écrite de son témoignage a filtré dès mardi soir.

 

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10 février 2015 2 10 /02 /février /2015 13:30
Air strikes in Iraq (updated 9 February 2015)

 

9 February 2015 Ministry of Defence

 

British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

 

Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft operating in support of the Iraqi government have conducted further successful attacks on ISIL terrorists.

On the morning of Friday 6 February, an RAF Tornado GR4 patrol worked closely with a coalition surveillance platform to provide overwatch for Kurdish peshmerga, who were engaged in close combat with ISIL – also known as Da’ish – terrorists near Mosul. When an ISIL mortar position opened fire on the pehsmerga, the GR4s were able to respond with a Brimstone missile which scored a direct hit.

Early on Saturday morning, another Tornado pair patrolled western Iraq, near Al Qa’im, close to the Syrian border. Two heavily armed ISIL trucks were identified and attacked with Brimstone missiles. The GR4s also located an ISIL armoured personnel carrier and conducted a further Brimstone attack; initial analysis indicates that all three vehicles were destroyed.

An armed reconnaissance patrol by a Reaper on Monday morning over western Iraq spotted a checkpoint manned by ISIL, denying the local population any freedom of movement. Having checked the area for any risk to civilians, the Reaper’s crew attacked the checkpoint with a Hellfire missile.

 

Previous air strikes

2 February: Early on Monday, Tornado GR4s provided close air support to Iraqi army operations approximately 70 kilometres north west of Baghdad, and dropped 2 Paveway IVs on ISIL positions engaged in a firefight with the Iraqi troops.

4 February: In the afternoon, a pair of RAF Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol to assist the Iraqi armed forces in their offensive operations against ISIL around Bayji. Two ISIL armoured vehicles were identified in a building and were attacked with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs, scoring direct hits.

Military support is just one part of the UK Government’s contribution to the global coalition strategy to defeat ISIL – we are also taking action to counter the terrorist network’s finances, are restricting the flow of foreign fighters and have provided vital humanitarian relief to help those affected by ISIL’s brutality. The RAF contribution includes Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, which, like the Tornados, provide reconnaissance and close air support to the Iraqi ground forces; a Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker; a Sentry airborne surveillance and command aircraft; and air transport aircraft as necessary. British military training teams continue to teach infantry and first aid skills to the Kurdish peshmerga, and liaison teams are embedded within Iraqi and coalition headquarters. Having previously provided military equipment to the Iraqi forces, Britain plans to gift Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detectors to help the Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers protect themselves against the numerous improvised explosive devices on which ISIL are increasingly relying as they are forced back by successful offensives. In the Gulf, the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless is operating in direct support of the US Navy’s aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, which provides a significant part of the coalition’s air effort.

Details of previous airstrikes can be found here.

For more information see ISIL: UK government response page on GOV.UK

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10 février 2015 2 10 /02 /février /2015 12:30
Comment l'Etat islamique enrôle et radicalise ses nouvelles recrues

 

09/02/2015 Par Edouard de Mareschal - LeFigaro.fr

 

Un livre à paraître détaille comment l'organisation terroriste entraîne ses aspirants djihadistes et les conditionne à accepter l'extrême violence des actes qu'ils vont commettre.

 

Les exactions commises par l'Etat islamique (EI) horrifient le monde entier... Mais parfois aussi les nouvelles recrues de l'organisation terroriste, qui doivent suivre un long processus d'endoctrinement, avant d'être opérationnelles. Cette procédure commence dès le recrutement, puis se poursuit pendant leur entraînement dans des camps militaires situés dans les zones contrôlées par l'Etat islamique en Irak et en Syrie. Le processus mis en oeuvre pour que les nouveaux arrivants deviennent de parfaits fanatiques est désormais mieux connu grâce à plusieurs témoignages inédits recueillis dans un livre* à paraître en anglais, écrit par Hassan Hassan et Michael Weiss, respectivement chercheur à l'institut Delma et journaliste au Daily Beast. «Dans ces camps d'entraînement, les nouvelles recrues reçoivent une formation politique, militaire avec une part de contre-espionnage, mais surtout un enseignement sur la Charia, explique au Figaro Hassan Hassan. L'enseignement religieux est l'un des aspects les plus sous-estimés de leur endoctrinement pour expliquer la résilience et la loyauté des djihadistes de l'EI.»

 

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10 février 2015 2 10 /02 /février /2015 07:30
La Défense Belge envoie une équipe de planification en Irak

 

02/02/2015 Stijn Verboven – MIL.be

 

La Défense envoie une équipe de planification de trois hommes en Irak. Ils y prépareront le déploiement d'un détachement de militaires belges qui doivent former et conseiller les soldats irakiens dans la lutte contre l'État Islamique (EI).

 

La Défense déploie en ce moment son équipe de planification à deux endroits. Deux militaires travailleront au quartier-général des opérations spéciales de la coalition à Bagdad. Un troisième officier rejoindra le quartier-général de la coalition au Koweït.

 

L'équipe de planification analysera, préparera et coordonnera le déploiement éventuel d'un détachement d'une cinquantaine de militaires belges. Garantir la sécurité du détachement ainsi qu'accroître la valeur potentielle de l'engagement belge pour la coalition sont des objectifs primordiaux.

 

Le Conseil des ministres a pris cette décision le 30 janvier dernier sur proposition du ministre de la Défense Steven Vandeput. La décision de déployer une équipe de planification vient en réponse à une demande officielle de la coalition internationale contre l'EI. En décembre 2014, celle-ci demandait d'envoyer des instructeurs belges en Irak.

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10 février 2015 2 10 /02 /février /2015 07:30
Irak : les combattants kurdes font reculer l'Etat islamique près de Mossoul

 

10.02.2015 Le Monde.fr (AFP)

 

L'organisation Etat islamique (EI) a perdu plusieurs positions autour de la ville clé de Mossoul, en Irak, aux mains des djihadistes depuis le 10 juin 2014, a indiqué l'armée américaine, lundi 9 février.

 

Les combattants kurdes soutenus par la coalition internationale conduite par les Etats-Unis ont repris du terrain aux djihadistes et « se sont emparés de trois postes avancés sur la rive gauche du Tigre au nord de Mossoul », précise le commandement américain interarmées qui dirige les raids contre l'EI (CJTF-OIR). L'assaut kurde a été soutenu par quatre raids de la coalition entre vendredi et dimanche, a-t-il ajouté. Des conseillers militaires de la coalition ont aussi fourni aux Kurdes « une aide en matière de renseignements ».

 

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9 février 2015 1 09 /02 /février /2015 21:30
L’ONU veut tarir les sources de financement du groupe Etat islamique

 

7 février 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

Le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU devrait adopter la semaine prochaine une résolution visant à tarir toutes les sources de financement du groupe Etat islamique (EI), qu’elles proviennent du pétrole, du trafic d’antiquités ou de rançons, selon un diplomate.

 

La première mouture de ce texte, élaborée par la Russie, a été complétée après des discussions avec Américains et Européens avant d’être distribuée aux 15 pays membres.

 

Ceux-ci en ont discuté pour la première fois à huis clos vendredi et leur réaction a été « très positive », selon l’ambassadeur russe Vitali Tchourkine. Il table sur une adoption dès mardi prochain.

 

Son homologue britannique Mark Lyall Grant a indiqué qu’aucun pays n’avait élevé d’objection formelle et que le texte devrait être adopté avant jeudi. « Cette résolution, a-t-il expliqué, n’apporte pas de changement fondamental mais elle montre une nouvelle fois que le Conseil est uni dans la lutte anti-terroriste et est prêt à prendre des mesures pour resserrer l’étau autour de l’EI ».

 

Le texte s’inspire largement d’une série de décisions déjà prises par l’ONU dans le cadre de sanctions (gel d’avoirs, embargo sur les armes notamment) imposées aux organisations et individus affiliés à al-Qaïda.

 

Le Conseil avait aussi adopté en août 2014 une résolution visant à couper les fonds aux djihadistes en menaçant de sanctionner les pays qui leur achèteraient du pétrole. La résolution devait également endiguer le flux de combattants étrangers partant rejoindre l’EI en Irak et en Syrie.

 

Ces obligations imposées aux Etats membres et reprises dans le nouveau texte « sont déjà solides et contraignantes mais l’objectif de la nouvelle résolution est de les étendre et de clarifier ce qu’elles impliquent, en particulier dans le domaine de la contrebande de produits pétroliers », explique un responsable américain impliqué dans les discussions. S’exprimant sous couvert d’anonymat, il prévoit lui aussi l’adoption du texte la semaine prochaine.

 

Il reconnait que faire appliquer dans les faits cette résolution juridiquement contraignante « sera un défi » étant donné la multitude d’intermédiaires qui font affaire avec les djihadistes. « Nous espérons que ces normes et dispositions auront un véritable impact ».

 

L’une des principales nouveautés de la résolution, souligne-t-il, est une interdiction spécifique du trafic d’œuvres d’art et d’antiquités dérobées en Syrie, dont l’EI contrôle une partie du territoire. Une telle interdiction s’applique déjà à l’Irak.

 

« Tous les Etats membres, indique le projet de résolution, devront prendre les mesures nécessaires pour prévenir le commerce de biens culturels irakiens et syriens » qui auraient été sortis illégalement d’Irak depuis août 1990 et de Syrie depuis mars 2011 (début de la crise syrienne) et pour assurer leur retour éventuel dans leur pays d’origine.

 

En ce qui concerne le pétrole, le texte rappelle que les Etats membres sont tenus de ne pas commercer directement ou indirectement avec l’EI. Le Conseil leur demande de signaler à l’ONU lorsqu’ils saisissent du pétrole brut ou raffiné venu de zones tenues par les djihadistes.

 

La résolution souligne que le trafic routier en provenance de zones tenues par l’EI permet également aux djihadistes de faire commerce d’autres richesses comme l’or, les produits agricoles ou de marchandises pillées (produits électroniques, cigarettes). Elle recommande aux Etats voisins des contrôler ce trafic, une disposition qui vise en particulier la Turquie, important point de transit pour ces livraisons pétrolières.

 

Un rapport de l’ONU publié en novembre dernier recommandait, de manière plus radicale, de bloquer les camions citernes en provenance des territoires contrôlés par l’EI. Selon ce rapport, les djihadistes gagneraient de 850.000 à 1,65 million de dollars par jour en vendant du pétrole à des intermédiaires privés.

 

Ces revenus ont toutefois nettement diminué récemment, à la suite des bombardements menés par la coalition et surtout de la baisse du prix du brut sur les marchés.

 

Dans sa résolution, le Conseil recommande par ailleurs aux Etats membres de ne pas verser de rançon en cas d’enlèvement ou de prise d’otages, comme il l’avait fait en janvier 2014.

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9 février 2015 1 09 /02 /février /2015 20:30
Irak: une offensive terrestre majeure se prépare pour contrer l'EI

 

09.02.2015 Romandie.com (ats)

 

Une offensive terrestre d'envergure des forces irakiennes se prépare en Irak pour déloger le groupe Etat islamique (EI) des régions qu'il occupe au nord et à l'ouest de Bagdad. Deux attentats suicide ont fait près de 40 tués en trois jours dans cette région.

La capitale irakienne est à l'abri d'une attaque majeure des djihadistes mais des attaques suicide, souvent le fait d'extrémistes sunnites tels les djihadistes de l'EI, continuent de la secouer, comme celle qui a tué 14 personnes lundi dans un quartier chiite.

Trois jours plus tôt, samedi, un attentat semblable avait tué 23 personnes à Bagdad sans qu'il ne remette en cause la levée le soir même du couvre-feu nocturne en vigueur pendant des années dans la capitale, mesure que les habitants avaient fêté comme une "libération".

Après six mois de pilonnage aérien en Irak, d'abord en août par les Etats-Unis puis par d'autres membres de la coalition internationale, et quelques succès sur le terrain, significatifs bien que géographiquement limités, l'armée irakienne s'apprête à lancer une nouvelle offensive terrestre contre les djihadistes.

"Il y aura une contre-offensive terrestre majeure en Irak", a souligné le coordinateur américain de la coalition, John Allen, à une agence jordanienne.

"Dans les prochaines semaines, quand les forces irakiennes commenceront la campagne terrestre pour reprendre l'Irak, la coalition fournira une puissance de feu importante en soutien", a-t-il dit en balayant les accusations de retard dans la livraison d'armes et l'entraînement de l'armée irakienne.

 

La Jordanie très engagée

L'EI a profité de la guerre en Syrie et de l'instabilité en Irak pour s'emparer de pans entiers de territoire dans ces deux pays, où il commet des atrocités dénoncées comme des crimes contre l'Humanité par l'ONU.

Selon le secrétaire d'Etat John Kerry, la coalition mise en place par Washington avec l'objectif de "détruire" ce groupe ultra-radical, a mené depuis août plus de 2000 frappes en Irak et en Syrie et a permis de reprendre "un cinquième du territoire" à l'EI.

Membre de la coalition, la Jordanie a intensifié ses raids depuis l'annonce le 3 février de l'exécution par l'EI d'un de ses pilotes, capturé en décembre après une frappe en Syrie.

 

Damas est contre

En Syrie voisine, le chef de la diplomatie Walid Mouallem a affirmé que son pays s'opposerait à toute éventuelle offensive terrestre de troupes étrangères contre l'EI. "Nous ne permettrons aucune violation de la souveraineté syrienne", a-t-il dit.

Le régime syrien, dont une partie du territoire échappe à son contrôle, lutte depuis près de quatre ans contre une rébellion qui veut sa chute. Mais le conflit a été éclipsé par la montée en puissance de l'EI. Lundi encore, au moins 15 personnes ont péri dans des raids du régime à Douma, bastion des rebelles près de Damas, selon l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'Homme (OSDH), proche des opposants au régime de Bachar al-Assad.

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8 février 2015 7 08 /02 /février /2015 08:30
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

 

5 Feb 2015 By: Beth Stevenson - FG

 

The UK Defence Select Committee has criticised the government for conducting a mere 6% of the air strikes that are being carried out against Islamic State militants in Iraq. The Royal Air Force has been contributing aircraft and personnel to the effort since parliament authorised British air strikes in September, but the committee has claimed in a new report that with consideration of the expertise and resources at its disposal, the UK could and should play a much larger role. Although this is one of the “most extreme threats” facing civilisation in some 20 years, Rory Stewart, chairman of the committee, says that the UK’s role in combating it is “strikingly modest".

 

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5 février 2015 4 05 /02 /février /2015 17:30
Air strikes in Iraq (updated 5 February 2015)

 

5 February 2015 Ministry of Defence

 

British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

 

British forces have again struck at ISIL, as part of the international coalition’s efforts to support the Iraqi government in its fight against the terrorist organisation.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 4 February, a pair of Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol to assist the Iraqi armed forces in their offensive operations against ISIL around Bayji. Two ISIL armoured vehicles were identified in a building and were attacked with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs, scoring direct hits.

Military support is just one part of the UK Government’s contribution to the global coalition strategy to defeat ISIL – we are also taking action to counter the terrorist network’s finances, are restricting the flow of foreign fighters and have provided vital humanitarian relief to help those affected by ISIL’s brutality. The RAF contribution includes Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, which, like the Tornados, provide reconnaissance and close air support to the Iraqi ground forces; a Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker; a Sentry airborne surveillance and command aircraft; and air transport aircraft as necessary. British military training teams continue to teach infantry and first aid skills to the Kurdish peshmerga, and liaison teams are embedded within Iraqi and coalition headquarters. Having previously provided military equipment to the Iraqi forces, Britain plans to gift Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detectors to help the Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers protect themselves against the numerous improvised explosive devices on which ISIL are increasingly relying as they are forced back by successful offensives. In the Gulf, the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless is operating in direct support of the US Navy’s aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, which provides a significant part of the coalition’s air effort.

 

Previous air strikes

2 February: Early on Monday, Tornado GR4s provided close air support to Iraqi army operations approximately 70 kilometres north west of Baghdad, and dropped 2 Paveway IVs on ISIL positions engaged in a firefight with the Iraqi troops.

 

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4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 12:30
Armor: Iraq Asks For More M-1s, Please

 

January 6, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Iraq is buying another 170 American M-1A1 tanks. In 2008 Iraq had ordered and received (by 2010) 140 M-1A1 tanks, 21 M88A1 armored recovery vehicles and 60 M1070 tank transporters (which can also carry supplies or other vehicles.) Iraq was not be the first Arab country to operate the M1 tank. Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia already operate over 1,600 of them, and Egypt has built hundreds of them (mainly using components imported from the U.S., but with some locally made parts). Iraq receives the M-1A1 version. All the other Arab users have at least some of the latest model (M1A2 SEP).

 

The Arab users of the M1 have been very happy with their American tanks. This satisfaction increased when they saw how the M-1 performed in Iraq. While most Arabs deplored U.S. operations in Iraq, Arab tank officers and M-1 crewmen were quietly pleased that their tanks appeared invulnerable, and able to assist the infantry in any kind of fight. Iraqi army officers have spoken to fellow Arab officers who have used the M-1, and were told this was the way to go.

 

Corruption in the Iraqi Army led to Iraqi M-1 crews being poorly trained and led. So far Iraqi troops have lost (or abandoned) at least 40 M-1s to enemy action or panic. At least one Iraqi Mi1 was destroyed by a Russian ATBM (anti-tank guided missile). The Iraqis promise they will do better with their new batch of M-1s.

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4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 07:30
(Archives - photo USAF)

(Archives - photo USAF)

 

February 2, 2015 David Pugliese

 

The Canadian Forces/DND has updated what is going on in Iraq as far as its operations.

On January 30, while taking part in coalition missions in support of Iraqi security forces ground northwest of Baghdad, CF-18 Hornets bombed an ISIL mortar, according to the Canadian Forces.

The day before CF-18s bombed two ISIL fighting positions and two vehicles.

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30 janvier 2015 5 30 /01 /janvier /2015 12:30
Security Assistance Enterprise Delivers Vehicles to Iraq

 

 

Jan 30, 2015 ASDNews Source : US Army

 

The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, also known as USASAC, has implemented and completed a case for delivery of 250 Mine Resistant Armor Protected, or MRAP, vehicles to the Iraqi government.

This complicated and monumental task was achieved in less than 90 days by USASAC and its security assistance enterprise partners, Dec. 23.

 

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30 janvier 2015 5 30 /01 /janvier /2015 12:30
Update: air strikes in Iraq (UK MoD)

 

29 January 2015 Ministry of Defence

 

British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

 

Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft continue to take action against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in Iraq.

As part of the international coalition’s efforts to support the Iraqi government in its fight against ISlL, RAF Tornado GR4s last night conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol over north-west Iraq, where the Kurdish peshmerga continue to press ISIL hard with a series of successful offensives.

Near Baa’j, the Tornados investigated a reported ISIL checkpoint, which was being used to prevent the local civilian population from being able to move freely.

The checkpoint, which included a guard room and an equipment storage area, was destroyed with Paveway IV precision guided bombs.

Nearby, the GR4 patrol also located an ISIL armoured personnel carrier, and successfully attacked it with a Brimstone missile.

The Tornados, based at RAF Akrotiri, were as usual supported by a Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker, and continue to operate alongside Reaper remotely piloted aircraft.

The RAF contribution to the coalition air campaign has also now been strengthened by a Sentry surveillance and command aircraft, while a British military training team continues to work in northern Iraq, teaching infantry and first aid skills to the peshmerga volunteers.

 
Previous air strikes

 

25 January: a Reaper was once again on patrol over northern Iraq on Sunday, providing top cover to the peshmerga as they consolidated their latest successful offensive against ISIL. One Hellfire was used to attack an armoured personnel carrier, then a further 2 missiles were used against 2 ISIL positions near by.

23 January: another Reaper flew on Friday morning to support the Iraqi army in the west of the country and observed ISIL fighters loading rockets into a truck. The vehicle was kept under close observation and then was successfully attacked with a Hellfire. A further attack was then conducted as the terrorists attempted to salvage equipment from the damaged truck.

22 January: an RAF Reaper, patrolling over northern Iraq, assisted Kurdish peshmerga who were under fire from a group of terrorists with a heavily armed pick-up truck. The vehicle was destroyed by a Hellfire missile.

21 January: early on Wednesday, a pair of Tornado GR4s flew in support of Kurdish troops, a Brimstone missile struck a heavily-armed ISIL truck and a Paveway IV guided bomb was used to target a terrorist observation post. Initial reports indicate both attacks were a success. On Wednesday evening, a Reaper provided further surveillance for the peshmerga, and in a series of engagements used Hellfires to attack a number terrorist vehicles and a fighting position.

20 January: RAF aircraft have been on hand to assist the latest Kurdish offensive operation; a Reaper was able to conduct a successful precision attack with a Hellfire missile on a terrorist group.

19 January: RAF Tornado GR4s were active in the early hours of Monday morning, flying armed reconnaissance in western Iraq, close to the Syrian border. An armoured personnel carrier was identified near Al Qaim and hit by a Brimstone missile. Continuing their patrol to the north east, the GR4s caught another group of ISIL vehicles attacked with a Paveway IV bomb. Meanwhile, British Army advisers continue to provide training and mentoring to the Iraqi security forces, particularly the Kurdish peshmerga in northern Iraq.

18 January: Reapers continued to provide support to the Iraqi army on Sunday – in the afternoon a Hellfire was used to strike a heavy machine-gun position that threatened Iraqi soldiers nearby, then during the night a further 3 missiles were used to target a large terrorist group as they began an attack on an Iraqi position.

16 January: Friday saw another Tornado patrol supporting the Iraqi army in its operations near Bayji. Three positions were identified and were struck simultaneously with Paveways. A fourth Paveway was used shortly afterwards against a further ISIL position near by. That evening, an RAF Reaper, operating elsewhere in Iraq, identified another group of terrorists who had just attacked an Iraqi unit and conducted 2 successful attacks with Hellfire missiles.

13 January: a pair of Tornado GR4s flew a reconnaissance mission ahead of Kurdish forces as they continued to strengthen security in the area east of Mount Sinjar, from which ISIL – or Da’ish as they are known to the Iraqi and Syrian people they abuse – was driven out in December. The aircraft spotted the terrorists constructing a fortified position; a Paveway IV precision guided bomb successfully destroyed the vehicle they were using.

9 January: late at night, 2 RAF Tornado GR4s, on an armed reconnaissance mission in northern Iraq, were summoned to assist the Kurdish peshmerga. Da’ish terrorists, who have lost a significant amount of territory to the peshmerga recently, were attempting to mount a local attack on a Kurdish unit. The GR4s delivered 4 precision strikes using Paveway IV guided bombs to disrupt the attack.

8 January: in the evening a Reaper remotely piloted air system (RPAS) worked in close conjunction with other coalition aircraft to provide air support to Iraqi troops in Anbar province, western Iraq. The RAF Reaper provided targeting assistance to the fast jets in strikes against ISIL positions, and conducted a successful attack using its own Hellfire missiles.

6 January: At the request of the Iraqi government, British forces took further action against ISIL terrorist targets.

5 January: Reaper and Tornado missions were also flown in the morning. Tornados again patrolled the Al Qaim area, where they destroyed an ISIL excavator vehicle, used to construct fortified positions, with a Brimstone, while a Reaper, scouting ahead of Iraqi troops, spotted an armoured vehicle being moved by ISIL on a heavy equipment transporter. A Hellfire missile scored a direct hit on the armoured vehicle, another Hellfire destroyed the transporter itself, and a third missile struck an ISIL position nearby.

4 January: an RAF Reaper, working in support of Iraqi army units, identified an ISIL vehicle and engaged it with a Hellfire missile. Shortly afterwards, the Reaper discovered an ISIL position close by, and attacked this with another Hellfire.

2 January: in the early hours a RAF Tornado GR4 armed reconnaissance patrol located an ISIL armoured personnel carrier to the east of Al Qaim, and conducted a successful strike with a Brimstone missile. Later in the day, a coalition surveillance aircraft observed ISIL positions concealed within woods north-west of Ramadi and another Tornado mounted an attack with 2 Paveway IV precision guided bombs.

Details of previous airstrikes can be found here.

For more information see ISIL: UK government response page on GOV.UK

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27 janvier 2015 2 27 /01 /janvier /2015 17:30
Electronic Weapons: Prowler Returns To Iraq

 

January 27, 2015:  Strategy Page

 

In 2014 American EA-6B (“Prowler”) electronic warfare aircraft returned to Iraq after a three year absence. The EA-6B were needed to jam the communications of Islamic terrorists (ISIL) who began overrunning Iraq in 2014. These EA-6Bs operate from a land base. EA-6Bs were to be withdrawn from U.S. Navy service in 2015 but the marines are keeping theirs until 2019 and these are now based in Kuwait to help deal with ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Marine Corps has long had its own air force that operates mostly from land bases, as well as carriers. Marine aviation always included some EA-6Bs.

 

It was back in 2006 the U.S. Navy and Marines began stationing some of its EA-6B in Iraq, in order to use the extensive jamming and signal monitoring gear on these planes to track enemy activity and help defeat roadside bombs. Depending on how many carriers were in the area there could be up to half dozen EA-6Bs in the air over Iraq at one time. The EA-6B jammers could be used to jam cell phones and other wireless devices, thus their usefulness in neutralizing roadside bombs.

 

 After September 11, 2001 EA-6Bs proved useful for all sorts of electronic warfare against the Islamic terrorists. For example, the aircraft use their USQ-113 communications jammers to take control of terrorist communications. Department of Defense electronics warfare geeks found ways to use the jammer to do all sorts of things with radio, TV and cell phone signals. Working with psychological warfare and intelligence experts, the EA-6Bs have become key players in counter-terror operations. There was also a version of the USQ-113 that can be plugged into communications and sensor networks, making it easier to use the EA-6Bs in support of ground combat. Another useful feature of the ALQ-219 pod allowed the EA-6B to jam a small area (a single building or block). That was useful because sometimes the barrage (wide area) jamming also interfered with friendly communications. Although the EA-6B is being replaced, many of its electronic tools (hardware and software) will continue serving in the new EA-18G and other electronic warfare aircraft.

 

EA-18G Growler photo US Navy

EA-18G Growler photo US Navy

The 27 ton EA-6Bs has long been scheduled to finally retire in 2015 (they entered service in 1971) and have been replaced by the 29 ton EA-18G. The EA-6B carries a crew of four, the highly automated EA-18G will have only two people on board. The marines are not buying the EA-18G but are instead equipping F-35s or UAVs for electronic warfare work.

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21 janvier 2015 3 21 /01 /janvier /2015 08:30
Des soldats canadiens ont combattu l'EI au sol en Irak

 

20.01.2015 by JDD

 

Les forces spéciales canadiennes se trouvaient sur le front, dans le nord de l'Irak, pour préparer de futurs bombardements contre le groupe Etat islamique (EI). Un accrochage a alors opposé ces soldats aux djihadistes, dont au moins deux ont été abattus lors de ce tout premier engagement au sol révélé depuis le début de l'offensive aérienne contre l'organisation.

 

"Tirs de mortier" et de mitrailleuses. L'incident s'est produit au cours des sept derniers jours. L'état-major canadien a plaidé le droit à "l'autodéfense" et rappelé que le Canada avait, comme la France, déployé des avions de chasse en Irak, ainsi que des forces spéciales, destinées à la formation des troupes irakiennes et des milices kurdes.

Le général Michael Rouleau, commandant des forces d'opération spéciales du Canada, a donné des précisions sur les circonstances de l'accrochage. Les forces spéciales se trouvaient dans le nord de l'Irak pour y rencontrer de haut-gradés de l'armée irakienne quand ils ont été pris à partie. Ils ont déterminé ensemble les prochaines cibles des raids aériens, avant d'avancer vers la ligne de front "pour confirmer les plans et visualiser ce dont ils avaient discuté sur une carte".

Une fois arrivés sur place, "ils ont immédiatement essuyé des tirs de mortier et le feu de mitrailleuses". Les tireurs d'élites canadiens ont aussitôt été autorisés à répliquer par leur commandement et ont "neutralisé les deux menaces". Aucun Canadien n'a été blessé.

 

>> LIRE AUSSI - Des frappes ont visé des dirigeants de l'EI en Irak

 

"Pas une escalade". Pour le chef des forces spéciales, "le fait que nous ayons eu un échange de coups de feu avec l'EI ne signifie pas que cela soit devenu une mission de combat". Même son de cloche du côté de Jonathan Vance, commandant interarmées du Canada, qui ne "considère pas cela comme une escalade".

 

>> LIRE AUSSI - Irak : avec les forces spéciales françaises qui forment les peshmergas

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20 janvier 2015 2 20 /01 /janvier /2015 22:30
U.S. A-10 reportedly shot at by ISIS militants with Strela MANPADS in Iraq

 

Jan 19 2015 - By David Cenciotti- theaviationist.com

 

U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft face the threat of Man Portable Air Defense Systems in Iraq.

 

According to a report by Iraqi News, American A-10 were shot at with four Strela missiles during the recent air strikes carried out by the Warthogs (as the Thunderbolts are referred to by the pilot community) on ISIS positions near Mosul, in Iraq. Based on reports by unnamed sources who witnessed the attack, the A-10s killed and wounded several terrorists but were also targeted by the ISIS militants who allegedly attempted to shoot down the U.S. planes fling at low altitude using 9K32 Strela-2 (NATO reporting name SA-7 Grail) man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude, IR (infra-red) guided, surface-to-air missile systems.

 

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17 janvier 2015 6 17 /01 /janvier /2015 11:30
Opération Impact: les forces armées canadiennes ont frappé à Haditha et Baïji en Irak

Un CF-18 Hornet attend sa prochaine mission au Koweït, pendant l’opération IMPACT, le 2 décembre 2014 (Op IMPACT/MDN)

 

13 janvier 2015 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca


L’opération IMPACT, la contribution canadienne à la coalition multinationale menée par les États-Unis contre l’organisation État islamique en Irak, se poursuit et, depuis la dernière mise à jour des opérations, les Forces armées canadiennes ont effectué des frappes à Baïji et Haditha.

 

Le 10 janvier 2015, alors qu’ils participaient à des missions de la coalition à l’appui d’opérations terrestres menées par les forces de sécurité irakiennes (FSI) au sud de Haditha, deux CF-18 ont frappé avec succès un point fort du groupe l’État islamique, comprenant des aires de rassemblement et de stockage.

Le 11 janvier, aussi sur le terrain sud de Baïji, deux CF-18 ont exécuté avec succès des frappes sur une position de combat du groupe État islamique.

Le 12 janvier, au sud de Baïji, deux CF-18 Hornet ont exécuté avec succès des frappes sur une position de combat du groupe État islamique à l’aide de munitions à guidage de précision.

En date du 12 janvier 2015, à 15h, la Force opérationnelle aérienne en Irak a effectué 333 sorties aériennes:

  • Les chasseurs CF-18 ont effectué 214 sorties;
  • L’aéronef de ravitaillement CC-150T Polaris a effectué 56 sorties et a acheminé environ 3.029.000 livres de carburant; et
  • Les aéronefs de patrouille CP-140 Aurora ont mené 63 missions de reconnaissance.

«Attaquer les positions de combat et l’équipement militaire [du groupe l’État islamique] permet de réduire la capacité de combat du groupe armé, de le priver de zones sûres à partir desquelles il peut mener ses opérations et de faciliter les déplacements des FSI dans la région», rappelle la Défense canadienne.

Les pays de la coalition qui effectuent des frappes aériennes en Irak comprennent, outre les États-Unis et le Canada, l’Australie, la Belgique, le Danemark, la France, les Pays-Bas et le Royaume-Uni.

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13 janvier 2015 2 13 /01 /janvier /2015 16:30
RAF Reaper and Tornados have provided further air support to the Iraqi military against ISIL in Iraq

13 January 2015 Ministry of Defence

British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

The terrorist organisation ISIL, known to its Iraqi and Syrian victims as Da’ish, has suffered further losses thanks to Royal Air Force (RAF) air strikes conducted in recent days.

On the evening of Thursday 8 January, a Reaper remotely piloted air system (RPAS) worked in close conjunction with other coalition aircraft to provide air support to Iraqi troops in Anbar province, western Iraq.

The RAF Reaper provided targeting assistance to the fast jets in strikes against ISIL positions, and conducted a successful attack using its own Hellfire missiles.

Late on Friday night, 2 RAF Tornado GR4s, on an armed reconnaissance mission in northern Iraq, were summoned to assist the Kurdish peshmerga.

Da’ish terrorists, who have lost a significant amount of territory to the peshmerga recently, were attempting to mount a local attack on a Kurdish unit.

The GR4s delivered 4 precision strikes using Paveway IV guided bombs to disrupt the attack.

In the early hours of Tuesday 13 January, an RAF Reaper was once again providing air support to the peshmerga in the north of Iraq when an ISIL vehicle was identified being used to reopen a terrorist communications route previously damaged by an attack.

The RPAS hit the vehicle with Hellfire missiles and initial analysis suggests that the vehicle was successfully destroyed.

6 January: At the request of the Iraqi government, British forces took further action against ISIL terrorist targets.

5 January: Reaper and Tornado missions were also flown in the morning. Tornados again patrolled the Al Qaim area, where they destroyed an ISIL excavator vehicle, used to construct fortified positions, with a Brimstone, while a Reaper, scouting ahead of Iraqi troops, spotted an armoured vehicle being moved by ISIL on a heavy equipment transporter. A Hellfire missile scored a direct hit on the armoured vehicle, another Hellfire destroyed the transporter itself, and a third missile struck an ISIL position nearby.

4 January: an RAF Reaper, working in support of Iraqi army units, identified an ISIL vehicle and engaged it with a Hellfire missile. Shortly afterwards, the Reaper discovered an ISIL position close by, and attacked this with another Hellfire.

2 January: in the early hours a RAF Tornado GR4 armed reconnaissance patrol located an ISIL armoured personnel carrier to the east of Al Qaim, and conducted a successful strike with a Brimstone missile. Later in the day, a coalition surveillance aircraft observed ISIL positions concealed within woods north-west of Ramadi and another Tornado mounted an attack with 2 Paveway IV precision guided bombs.

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12 janvier 2015 1 12 /01 /janvier /2015 17:30
U.S., Coalition Continue Airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

 

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 12, 2015 – From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

 

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

 

Airstrikes in Syria

Attack, fighter and bomber aircraft conducted 11 airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Kobani, nine airstrikes struck two large ISIL units and an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions, five ISIL buildings and two ISIL staging positions.

-- Near Abu Kamal, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL excavator.

-- Near Dawr az Zawr, an airstrike struck an ISIL oil refinery.

 

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq:

-- Near Beiji, four airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Taji, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Qaim, two airstrikes destroyed two ISIL armored vehicles and 10 ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Ramadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL artillery system and an ISIL checkpoint.

-- Near Asad, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL rocket launcher and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck a large ISIL unit and destroyed two ISIL buildings.

-- Near Mosul, five airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and two large ISIL units and destroyed four ISIL vehicles, an ISIL VBIED, two ISIL armored vehicles, an ISIL semi-truck, an ISIL mortar system, three ISIL buildings, three ISIL boats and an ISIL tank.

 

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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8 janvier 2015 4 08 /01 /janvier /2015 17:30
U.S., Partner Nations Continue Airstrikes Against ISIL

 

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 8, 2015 – From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

 

U.S. and partner-nation military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials provided details on the following strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports:

 

Airstrikes in Syria

Fighter and bomber aircraft conducted six airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Kobani, five airstrikes struck two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL staging area and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Hasakah, an airstrike struck four ISIL crude oil pumps and five ISIL crude oil well heads.

 

Airstrikes in Iraq

Bomber and fighter aircraft conducted seven airstrikes in Iraq:

-- Near Rutbah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Tal Afar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.

-- Near Fallujah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Asad, an airstrike struck a large ISIL unit.

-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

 

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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