MOSCOU, 6 octobre - RIA Novosti
L'organisation terroriste Mouvement islamique d'Ouzbékistan a rejoint le groupe Etat islamique qui agit en Irak et en Syrie, a annoncé lundi un représentant de la police ouzbèke.
"Nous avons reçu des données vidéo et audio confirmant la participation du Mouvement islamique d'Ouzbékistan aux opérations militaires menées par l'Etat islamique", a indiqué le responsable.
Selon lui, le Mouvement islamique d'Ouzbékistan, basé en Afghanistan, recrute activement des combattants et organise des camps d'entraînement dans les régions pakistanaises et afghanes proches de la frontière avec l'Ouzbékistan, obligeant les services secrets ouzbeks à prendre des mesures antiterroristes renforcées.
Les médias ont annoncé fin septembre la mort en Syrie de 17 ressortissants ouzbeks qui avaient combattu dans les rangs des combattants de l'Etat islamique.
Les forces de l'ordre ouzbèkes interpellent régulièrement des membres présumés du Mouvement islamique d'Ouzbékistan mis en place en 1996 par les activistes des partis politiques interdits en Ouzbékistan, qui s'étaient installés en Afghanistan. Cette organisation est étroitement liée avec le mouvement des talibans et Al-Qaïda. La Russie, les pays d'Asie centrale et les Etats-Unis ont reconnu le Mouvement islamique d'Ouzbékistan comme une organisation terroriste.
L'Etat islamique (EI), appelé autrefois l'Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant (EIIL), sévissait auparavant principalement en Syrie où il combattait les troupes gouvernementales, acquérant la réputation de l'une des organisations terroristes les plus cruelles. Il y a quelques mois, l'EI s'est soudainement activé en Irak en s'emparant d'importants territoires. Fin juillet, l'EI a proclamé un califat islamique sur les territoires irakiens et syriens sous son contrôle.
Depuis le 8 août, l'armée américaine porte des frappes aériennes contre les positions des djihadistes de l'EI en Irak.
Le dessein de l'organisation "Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant", auto-rebaptisé "Etat islamique", est d'établir un califat. Son projet est bien politico-religieux. Celui-ci se présente comme une structure eschatologique dans l’islamisme : les sujets du calife seront les annonciateurs du Jugement.
Prétendre ainsi comme John Kerry que l'organisation "État islamique" n’a rien de religieux n’a aucun sens. Ou, comme Manuel Valls, que "Daech est une insulte à l'islam".
Quelles sont donc les explications historiques et religieuses de ce projet, qui tente de se construire dans d'innommables atrocités ? Pourquoi les chrétiens sont-ils un obstacle à cette guerre entre musulmans ? Comment le combattre ? Les musulmans ennemis de l'EI peuvent-ils être des alliés ? Si le califat est un rêve puissamment ancré dans les mentalités, même manipulées, ce ne sont pas des bombes qui le neutraliseront...
AVEC LES ANALYSES DE :
Henri de Saint-Bon,
ancien officier de l'Armée de terre,
spécialiste de l'islam,
auteur de Catholique/musulman, je te connais, moi non plus (FX. de Guibert, 2006),
et de L'Islam à la lumière de la foi chrétienne (L'Oeuvre, 2012).
Thomas Flichy de La Neuville,
professeur de géopolitique à l'Ecole spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr,
auteur de L'Iran au-delà de l'islamisme (Ed. de l'Aube) et de L'Etat islamique, anatomie du nouveau califat (BG Editions, à paraître),
ET LE TEMOIGNAGE DE :
L'équipe de SOS Chrétiens d'Orient,
Charles de Meyer et Charlotte d'Ornellas,
de retour d'Irak.
HMS Defender and US aircraft carrier USS George H W Bush [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Dan Rosenbaum, Crown copyright]
3 October 2014 Ministry of Defence
During a visit to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus the Prime Minister thanked RAF air and ground crew for their efforts in tackling ISIL in Iraq.
The Prime Minister announced the deployment of a further 2 RAF Tornado GR4 jets to Akrotiri to increase the resilience of the force, which now numbers 8 aircraft.
He also announced a decision to maintain 3 Tornado squadrons in service until March 2016. No 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadron was due to stand down from service in March 2015 but will now continue to offer precision firepower together with vital intelligence and surveillance.
An RAF spokesperson said:
RAF Tornado GR4s deployed to RAF Akrotiri in mid-August in a purely intelligence and surveillance role.
Since then we have been looking at ensuring the resilience of this deployment and, with this in mind, an additional 2 aircraft have been deployed to ensure that we are able to maintain support to the Iraqi government by ensuring operational patrols over Iraq alongside our international allies.
The Royal Navy has also been participating in a support role in the Middle East with warship HMS Defender having been in the Gulf since June.
The ship recently joined the international operation and is providing protection for US Navy aircraft carrier USS George H W Bush and her aircraft as they launch air strikes against ISIL targets, supporting Iraqi and Kurdish forces on the ground.
A Tornado GR4 at RAF Akrotiri [Picture: Corporal Neil Bryden RAF]
6 October 2014 Ministry of Defence
Tornado GR4s, flying from RAF Akrotiri, have continued their patrols over Iraq as part of the international coalition against ISIL.
Last night, 2 of our aircraft, flying in support of Iraqi security forces, successfully used Paveway IV precision-guided bombs to attack ISIL terrorists, fortified in a building near Ramadi, who were firing on Iraqi soldiers.
Oct. 3, 2014 – Defense News
Soldiers and their families should be warned the Islamic State is calling on its followers in the United States to use social media sites to “find the addresses of service members, show up [at their homes] and slaughter them,” according to the Army Threat Integration Center.
“ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] has called on lone offenders in the U.S. to use the “yellow pages,” social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to find the addresses,” states the ARTIC special assessment published Sept. 25.
The warning is “based on a law enforcement bulletin citing a jihadist tweet,” ARTIC states.
After U.S. began air strikes in Iraq in August and Syria in late September, IS supporters launched a Twitter campaign threatening to retaliate with violence in the U.S., according to the report.
“A recent audio message from an ISIL spokesman called, for the first time, for lone offender attacks in the Homeland in retaliation for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria,” the ARTIC report states. “According to the U.S. Government as many as 300 Americans are fighting with ISIL. ... There is concern that these Americans could return to the U.S. and commit attacks using the skills they learned overseas.”
Even before the U.S. airstrikes began, ARTIC said, Twitter posts showed Islamic State supporters in front of the White House and other spots in the U.S. states with the message “We are in your state, We are in your cities, We are in your streets” and “we are here #america near our #target…sooooooooooooon.”
The attacks may be “small scale” and targeting individuals with little advance planning or advance warning, rather than large-scale terrorist events, the report cautioned.
That means it’s important to watch out for any signs of surveillance or planned attack, and to take precautions online and particularly on social media, according to ARTIC, which advises taking these steps:
Social media precautions
■Think before you post and assume everyone in the world will be able to see what you are posting, or tweeting, even if the site limits your posts to your friends and family.
■Limit who can view your social media sites; but do not trust these settings as absolute.
■Avoid posting your home or work address and phone numbers; and any government or military affiliation.
■Avoid providing detailed accounts of your day (e.g., when you leave for or return from work).
■Never allow applications to geolocate your location.
■Always lock doors, windows and garages.
■Make sure home entrances are well-lighted, and minimize bushes where intruders can hide before their ambush.
■Use the peephole before opening the door to anyone. Don’t use the chain latch to open the door part-way. Don’t open the door to solicitors or strangers.
■Install solid-core doors, heavy-duty locks and window security systems.
■Establish a safe haven.
■Hold a family meeting to work out home security plans.
What to watch for
■Unusual interest in sensitive information about security measures, personnel, entry points, peak days/hours of operation, and access controls such as alarms or locks.
■Someone engaging in overtly suspicious actions to provoke and observe responses by public safety personnel.
■Discreet use of cameras or video recorders, sketching, or note-taking consistent with surveillance.
■Observation of, or questions about facility air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems.
■Repeated visits by the same subjects, including attempts to disguise appearance from visit to visit.
■Attempted or unauthorized access to rooftops or other sensitive areas.
■Observation of or unusual questions about security measures, such as staffing, barriers, restricted areas, cameras, and intrusion detection systems.
■Multiple false alarms or fictitious emergency calls to the same locations or similar venues.
■Unusual interest in speaking with building maintenance personnel.
■Observation of security reaction drills or procedures.
■Attention to or avoidance of surveillance cameras.
■Garments not appropriate for weather/seasons.
If you notice suspicious activity, report it to the appropriate authorities, ARTIC says. Report criminal threat information and suspicious activity to local law enforcement authorities and your chain of command.
According to ARTIC, its special assessment was a collaborative effort with Army CID Command Intelligence Operation Center (CIOC), and the Army CI Center (ACIC), and “does not represent the coordinated views of the U.S. Army.”
A US Navy F-18E Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Iraq after conducting air strikes in Syria. (Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel/US Air Force)
Oct. 4, 2014 - By AWAD MUSTAFA – Defense News
DUBAI — As the international coalition’s military operations against Islamic State (IS) militants have ramped up, Arab leaders also have begun waging an intellectual war while providing intelligence to guide airstrikes.
According to retired Maj. Gen. Anwar Eshki, an adviser to the joint military council of Saudi Arabia, the coalition operations will continue for some time because it is being structured as a NATO-style force.
“It will either be an extension of NATO or a NATO-style coalition because the US wants this coalition to include the Middle East joining Eastern Europe,” he said. “It will continue for many years to destabilize terrorism in the region and weaken it,” he added.
In addition, Saudi Arabia will be training Syrian rebel forces and has received its first 5,000 recruits, he said, with an expectation to train a total of 15,000 soldiers.
Intelligence operations, according to military officials, are heavily dependent on satellites, drones and surveillance flights to pinpoint targets and assess damage.
Intelligence networks developed by coalition governments inside Syria and the Iraqi government’s intelligence corps also are providing aid.
“Jordan has significant human intelligence assets in Syria,” a Jordanian security official said.
The official said the airstrikes carried out by the Arab coalition and the US were based partly on the intelligence collected on the ground by Jordanians.
Jordanian armed forces have also used a network of surveillance and monitoring radar systems placed in the Ajloun mountain in the north to collect intel and track movements, he said.
In Iraq, coalition forces rely on the Iraqi military and intelligence services, although insight into Islamic State-controlled territory is limited. However, according to Eshki, efforts by the Iraqi government to collect support from Sunni groups formerly backing the IS militants have been successful.
Leaders of the gulf states increased their information warfare operations against IS. In his first-ever interview as the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism and pledged support to fight IS for the long haul.
“We don’t fund extremists,” the emir told CNN during the United Nations General Assembly. “If you talk about certain movements, especially in Syria and Iraq, we all consider them terrorist movement.
“I know that in America and some countries they look at some movements as terrorist movements. ... But there are differences. Some countries and some people [believe] that any group which comes from Islamic background are terrorists. And we don’t accept that.”
Despite the Qatari government long being criticized for hosting and financing Islamic extremists, the rich gulf nation has become a key opponent of the Islamic State in Syria, contributing two Mirage 2000 jet fighters during the first raids in Syria, according to a Pentagon official’s statements to US press.
The country also hosts one of the largest American military bases in the Middle East, al-Udeid airbase, where operations are being coordinated.
Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, UAE vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, released an op-ed to major newspapers around the world stating that an intellectual fight has to be fought against Islamic extremists.
“We must acknowledge that we cannot extinguish the fires of fanaticism by force alone. The world must unite behind a holistic drive to discredit the ideology that gives extremists their power, and to restore hope and dignity to those whom they would recruit,” he wrote.
But military containment is only a partial solution.
“Lasting peace requires three other ingredients: winning the battle of ideas, upgrading weak governance and supporting grassroots human development,” he wrote.
Former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US, Prince Turki al-Faisal, appearing on US television, stated that Saudi Arabia would commit ground troops in Syria to defeat the Islamic State and even remove President Bashar al-Assad. He told CBS that he hopes the airstrikes, which include Saudi planes, are the first step in ultimately removing Assad.
“You can’t simply deal with ISIS and not deal with Assad,” Faisal said. “We do not consider ISIS to be Muslim because they brought more harm to Islam,” he added.
Adding weight to the operations, 120 Muslim scholars, including the Grand Mufti of Egypt, the dean of Sharia and Law at al-Azhar University, director of the Fiqh Council in the US, and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem published an open letter to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi decrying his state’s un-Islamic behavior in three languages: Arabic, English and German.
“This work is a savvy counterpunch that demonstrates an intellectual call to arms from the Sunni world is now underway,” said Dubai-based information warfare operations analyst Stephen Fallon. “In the accompanying 24-point analyses using recent sermons given by Baghdadi, the writers critique him on numerous errors in a paper that is theologically detailed.
“Charges leveled against Baghdadi as caliph include: purposeful de-contextualizing of Koranic exegesis and legal theory; misunderstanding/misappropriation of nuanced theological Arabic terms; over-simplification and cherry picking of religious texts; killing of innocents; killing of emissaries, in this case journalists; illegitimate jihad; mistreating people of the Book,” he said.
“Non-Muslim states should share this document and distribute it widely letting it speak for itself,” he said.
4 oct. 2014 US Navy
ARABIAN GULF (Oct. 3, 2014) Aircraft aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) are launched to conduct or support strikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. strikes were conducted as part of the President's comprehensive strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL. The destruction and degradation of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to lead, control, project power and conduct operations. (U.S. Navy video/Released)
David Cameron announces that No 2 squadron, comprising 16 Tornados, will no longer be disbanded in March as it will help with airstrikes in Iraq
AN RAF Tornado squadron that was due to be disbanded has been reprieved for a year in order to bomb Isil, David Cameron announced on Thursday night as he thanked British pilots for their bravery and sacrifice.
In a surprise visit to RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, Mr Cameron said the public must "never forget" the risks taken British aircrews whose actions in Iraq "make Britain safer".
Two more Tornado GR4 jets have been dispatched to join six British planes taking part in bombing raids and reconnaissance missions over Iraq under Operation Shader, Mr Cameron said.
RAF Tornado GR4's on return to RAF Akrotiri Cyprus after armed mission in support of OP SHADER. photo Cpl Neil Bryden
02 October 2014 Royal Air Force
Tornados have been assisting Kurdish forces engaged in combat with ISIL.
This afternoon, 2 Royal Air Force Tornados on patrol over north-west Iraq, as part of a coalition force, were tasked to assist Kurdish ground forces engaged in combat with ISIL.
The aircraft pin-pointed the location from which ISIL fighters were directing heavy fire on the Kurdish troops, and conducted a precision strike with Paveway IV guided bombs. Initial reports indicates that the strike was successful.
2 oct. 2014 Quelle: Redaktion der Bundeswehr 10/2014 14Z27501
Im Kampf gegen die ISIS unterstützt Deutschland die Peschmerga unter anderem mit 30 Panzerabwehrwaffensystemen vom Typ MILAN. Die kurdischen Soldaten werden in einer einwöchigen Einweisung an die treffsichere Bedienung der MILAN herangeführt.
October 1, 2014: Strategy Page
So far over 70 percent of the air strikes against ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in Iraq and half of those in Syria have been carried out by American warplanes. The rest have been flown by NATO and Arab countries. There have been about 300 air strikes against ISIL so far but only about a quarter of them have been in Syria. That’s largely because the strikes in Iraq began in early August while those in Syria did not begin until late on September 22nd. Moreover most NATO nations prefer to restrict their operations to Iraq, so only the U.S. and five Arab nations are bombing in Syria. Britain and France have expressed willingness to operate in Syria. But will have to wait until more targets are identified. The strikes in Syria are limited by the lack of reliable people on the ground to confirm targets. This is less of a problem in Iraq where there are Iraqi air controllers and some Iraqi army units that are reliable enough to assign American controller teams to. Then there are the Kurds (in Iraq and Syria) where Special Forces controllers can operate with Kurdish militia groups they know (and often trained over the years). The trained Kurdish fighters are spread thin, trying to protect long borders and widespread Kurdish civilian populations. As more American controller terms get into Iraq and Syria, the air attacks against ISIL combat forces will become more common and effective. Many of the older ISIL fighters, with experience fighting American air power in Iraq (and, for a few ISIL men, Afghanistan) know that with enough controllers on the ground and enough bombers in the air, ISIL will no longer be able to take and hold ground. This explains the ISIL offensives going on now, because ISIL leaders know that in a month or so they will not be able to travel easily by road or even cross country on foot. Syrian civilians have also gotten the word and air reconnaissance shows civilians fleeing residential areas where ISIL has sought sanctuary from the air strikes. ISIL will be forced to follow the Taliban practice of forcing (at gunpoint) civilians to stick around to discourage the warplanes above.
The first few dozen air strikes in Syria hit the obvious targets like buildings taken over by ISIL (especially in the eastern city of Raqqa which has become the ISIL capital) as well as large storage areas for captured vehicles, weapons and housing for ISIL fighters. Also hit were large ISIL checkpoints that controlled traffic on the few major roads in eastern Syria. As expected ISIL, under the direction of Iraqi ISIL men who had experienced American air power in Iraq from 2003-2008, quickly began to disperse. Headquarters were moved to residential areas, large permanent checkpoints were abandoned (replaced by temporary ones set up by ISIL fighters travelling in vehicles equipped with baggage on the roof, to look like civilians) and all vehicles and equipment was also dispersed to residential areas. Schools, hospitals and mosques now have to provide some space for ISIL men and equipment. ISIL personnel have been warned to use cell phones and radio communications carefully because the Americans are probably listening. The Americans are listening and they have proven tactics to defeat the dispersal tactics ISIL is using to avoid air attack. Dispersal will not make ISIL safe from attack bur it will slow down the rate of loss to air attack. The attacks in Syria have killed about 240 people so far, that’s about three deaths (and over a dozen wounded) per strike. The attacks so far have concentrated on things like command and control (headquarters and communications) and logistics (fuel, vehicles and stockpiles of food and equipment). This causes ISIL long term problems right away and killed or wounded several senior people. Soon the attacks will concentrate on combat forces. This is already happening in Iraq where Kurdish forces, long comfortable working with American troops and air power) are pushing back ISIL in the north and inflicting (with the help of air strikes) lots of ISIL casualties. Because of the threat of air strikes ISIL has to be careful concentrating forces to push back the Kurdish advance.
In response ISIL is, as expected, claiming massive civilian casualties from the air strikes. Again, as expected, the U.S. is ready with video and eyewitness evidence that the ISIL claims are false. Since the wide use of smart bombs in the 1990s civilian casualties have plummeted over 80 percent compared to the pre-smart bomb era. This sort of thing does not make good headlines, but false accusations from Islamic terrorists, who regularly use civilians as human shields, do. Another non-news event is the large number of smart bomb strikes that are called off to avoid civilian casualties.
The anti-ISIL rebels are complaining that many Syrians are blaming the rebels for the damage and disruption caused by the coalition (of NATO and Arab states) air strikes. Given how few strikes there have been so far and the fact that most of them were very precise and often in remote areas, these complaints are seen as an attempt to pry more aid out of NATO and Arab counties. The Arabs are rethinking their support for Islamic terrorist rebels groups and NATO is again trying to find non-terrorist rebels to train and support. The main problem with the rebels has always been lack of unity and a sharp division between the secular (or non-fanatic Moslem) groups and the radicals. Unfortunately the Islamic terrorist groups have the widest appeal to the young Moslem men most likely to join the armed rebel groups. This is made worse by the religious divisions in Syria. The ruling Assad family are Shia, a minority in Syria and the Moslem world in general. The Shia and other minorities (Christians and other small Islamic sects) are a quarter of the population and they have dominated the Sunni majority for decades. So it’s not just a rebellion against a dictatorship but part of the centuries old hostility between Sunni and Shia. It doesn’t help that the Assads have been financed and armed by Shia Iran since the 1980s. Religious radicalism has been a problem in the Islamic world for over a thousand years. While most other religions have found ways to tame the fanatic fringe problem, Islam has not. This fanaticism is a key component in the Syrian civil war and cannot be ignored or avoided.
ISIL controls (or contests control) of a third of Iraq (mostly in the west) and a third of neighboring Syria (mostly in the east). There are more aircraft and UAVs over Syria and Iraq seeking out new ISIL targets than there are bombers hitting targets. ISIL forces are dispersing now that they have to deal with a sustained air offensive. This is not a major problem because ISIL forces are not as concerned with controlling large areas, if only because most of eastern Syria and western Iraq is desert and uninhabited. What ISIL is concentrating on is attacking Kurdish and government forces wherever it can. The Kurdish and Iraqi forces are largely tied down keeping ISIL raiders out of more densely populated areas the government and Kurds control. Thus there are clashes with these ISIL raiders every day.
What the international coalition must do is establish a system where air support can quickly be provided for all anti-ISIL forces on the ground. This is difficult because having trained troops (air controllers) on the ground is the preferred method. But there are hundreds of specific locations anti-ISIL forces are guarding or based in and all are potential targets. This is not a new problem, but how it is handled in Iraq and Syria will determine how quickly ISIL can be reduced from major threat to dangerous nuisance status. The United States has declared that it will seek to destroy ISIL without putting any troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria. That means no American regular troops will be sent in for offensive combat. That does not apply to Special Forces advisors and ground controller teams. Some Americans will be there to help with security around the massive U.S. embassy compound, and perhaps other American facilities as well. There will also be a lot of security contractors. While these are civilians, many are veterans of the U.S. Army, Marines, Special Forces and so on. Given their civilian status, there may be a temptation to use the contractors if a lot of offensive muscle is needed. By the end of the year there will be at least 5,000 American military personnel in Iraq and even more contractors. That number is expected to grow in 2015 is needed. Hundreds of these will end up in Syria, but the United States will not be saying much about that officially.
Many Western politicians are uneasy with the fact that they are now de-facto allies with Iran and the Syrian Assad dictatorship as well as rebel groups that are openly Islamic terrorists and hostile to the West. Iran wants to destroy the West but at the moment it’s a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my ally whether I like it or not.” Despite official bans on cooperation there is some informal military coordination with Iran and the Assads. Meanwhile the Iranian government is encouraging the rumor that ISIL is part of an American plot to hurt Iran. This sort of thing is believed by most Iranians and many Arabs as well, who see the Western operations against ISIL as another form of the Western “war on Islam”. This conspiracy theory is so popular that many Arab states are reluctant to get too involved with the mainly Western coalition formed to stop ISIL. This is despite the fact that ISIL is a very immediate threat to Iran and all Arab states in the region. Iran backs the “ISIL is an American plot” in part to show their anger at the growing sanctions and Iranian efforts to formally coordinate anti-ISIL operations. The Syrian government is claiming to be part of the international anti-ISIL coalition but only Russia supports that claim and at the moment both Russia and Syria are considered outlaw states by the international community.
The UN admitted that it had basically withdrawn its peacekeeping force on the Israeli/Syrian border. The 1,200 man peacekeeping force has been on the border since 1974 and Israel has long criticized the UN for allowing their troops to be used as human shields anti-Israel terrorists could hide behind. Now those peacekeepers are fleeing to Israel for protection.
September 30, 2014: On the Iraqi border Kurdish forces, allied with an Iraqi Sunni tribe that had turned against ISIL, attacked and captured a border crossing controlled by ISIL. Many Sunni tribes in Syria and Iraq have turned against ISIL, at great risk to themselves. ISIL has retaliated savagely against rebellion Sunni tribes in Syria. Defections like these were a prelude to the al Qaeda in Iraq collapse in 2007. But before this can seriously weaken ISIL the Americans have to convince the Shia dominated Iraqi government to make peace with their Sunni minority on terms acceptable to most Sunnis. That is difficult given the bitter memories the Shia and Kurds (who together comprise over 80 percent of the population) have of decades of brutal Sunni rule. The Syrian situation is more complicated, with the Sunni majority (nearly 80 percent of the population) also angry at decades of brutal Shia minority rule. The Sunni majority in Syria is more religiously conservative than the Shia Arabs (largely Shia) and Kurds (largely Sunni) of Iraq. This means that most rebels are Islamic conservatives and more sympathetic to Islamic terrorist groups. But in both Syria and Iraq most Sunni Arabs do not want to live according to the strict rules enforced by ISIL.
Outside Damascus al Nusra rebels repulsed an attack by soldiers and Hezbollah gunmen. The rebels have been close to the center of the city since 2012 and can still get close enough to launch rockets (with a range up to ten kilometers) or fire mortar shells (up to a few kilometers.) This fire is not accurate, but by firing into the city center it is difficult not to cause damage or casualties. Al Nusra may be losing to ISIL in the north and east, but in central and southern Syria they are still the main foe of the government forces.
Today American and British warplanes carried out 24 airstrikes in Iraq (14 attacks) and Syria (ten). Arab warplanes did not participate as they are undergoing maintenance and should be available tomorrow. The Arab coalition members have not contributed as many warplanes to the anti-ISIL air operations as the U.S. and Britain and are not as efficient at turning their aircraft around for more sorties. For most of the Arab pilots and ground crews this is their first combat experience.
September 29, 2014: Turkey moved a company of about a dozen tanks to the area (across the border from the northeastern Syrian town of Kobane) where over 100,000 Syrian Kurds have been allowed to enter Turkey to get away from a major ISIL offensive. The tanks were accompanied by about two dozen other armored vehicles and several hundred combat troops. This border crisis began on September 18th when a large ISIL force, including some tanks and other armored vehicles and supported by artillery, advanced and have occupied over 70 of Kurdish villages. This forced over 200,000 Kurdish civilians to flee, with Kurdish militiamen delaying the ISIL fighters so the civilians could get away. About half of these civilians got into Turkey before the Turks closed the border. This ISIL victory was achieved in part because of an August agreement by Kurds from Iraq, Syria and Turkey to join forces against ISIL in northern Iraq. This was in response to continued ISIL attacks on Kurdish territory in Iraq. The organized Kurdish military forces consist of the Iraqi Peshmerga (about 100,000 full time and over 300,000 part time fighters, many with formal training and years of experience), the Turkish PKK (several thousand based in northern Iraq) and the Syrian PYD (a smaller version of the PKK and largely tied down defending northeastern Syria.) The Peshmerga and PKK have been increasingly active helping the PYD defend traditional Syrian Kurdish territory against ISIL. The fighting in northeastern Syria has been going on for over two years and ISIL has largely been held back. But as the Kurds shifted forces back to Iraq in early September to defend Kurdish northern Iraq ISIL sensed an opportunity. Because of growing American air strikes in Iraq it seemed safer to concentrate forces against the Syrian Kurds. ISIL really has it in for the Kurds, mainly because of the decades of violence between Sunni Arabs and Kurds in northern Iraq. The Sunni Arabs have been getting the worst of it since the 1990s and want revenge. Because of the need for fighters in Iraq, ISIL only encountered local militia when they advanced and the use of armored vehicles and artillery was more than the militiamen could handle. Despite Kurdish reinforcements being shifted to northeastern Syria the ISIL advance continued, despite a few coalition air strikes in support of the Kurds. Turkish Kurds tell the Turkish government that refusal to support the Syrian Kurds is causing anger among Turkish Kurds and may interfere with the current peace negotiations to end the three decade old Kurdish rebellion in Turkey.
Some Kurdish reinforcements were blocked or delayed at the Turkish border as the Turks enforced their ban on armed men crossing in either direction. Many Turks objected to this and now pressure is building in the Turkish parliament to have Turkey actively join the anti-ISIL coalition and allow Turkish air and ground forces to go after ISIL in the border areas. The senior Turkish leadership is against this, feeling that the Turks will be criticized by the Arabs (who endured centuries of harsh Turkish rule until 1918 and have not forgotten).
In the east (Deir Ezzor province) ISIL executed two of its own men. One was accused of looting and the other of spying for the Americans. The air attacks have caused some morale problems with many ISIL fighters, and paranoia among ISIL leaders.
September 28, 2014: Because many al Nusra rebels have allied themselves with ISIL in the last month or so, some of the recent coalition air strikes hit al Nusra units. As a result some al Nusra leaders have threatened to make attacks in the West and Arabia (especially the oil-rich Gulf States.) The al Nusra threats have more import than similar ones made by ISIL. That’s because ISIL is basically a local (most ISIL leaders are Iraqi Sunnis) while al Nusra is still on good terms with al Qaeda (which still has active franchises in Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Africa and Yemen and all of these have been trying to carry out attacks against the West).
September 27, 2014: The Arab Gulf states agree with the United States that the fight against ISIL could take years and are making more of an effort to stop those wealthy citizens of theirs who are still contributing lots of cash to Islamic terrorist groups, including ISIL. Many Arabs in Arabia have long been very conservative and sympathetic to Islamic terrorist organizations. This has provided most of the manpower and cash to keep al Qaeda, ISIL and other Islamic terrorist groups going. The West has been pressuring Arabian (especially Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait) to do more to stem the flow of volunteers and cash. With these government facing a very real threat from ISIL, there is more cooperation to curb terrorist recruiting and find raising.
In Syria al Nusra revealed that the leader of an al Qaeda faction (Khorasan) that was actively planning attacks on the West, was killed by a recent air strike. Khorasan is based in Afghanistan and Pakistan but moved some key people to Syria in the last year to set up an operation for carrying out terror attacks in Europe and North America. Khorasan allied itself with al Nusra. The dead Khorasan leader, Muhsin al Fadhli was known to Western intelligence agencies and there was a $7 million reward for killing or capturing him.
September 26, 2014: American military leaders revealed that their planners had determined that it would require over 12,000 reliable (trained and well led) rebels to retake eastern Syria. This is the heartland of ISIL and would be heavily defended. The American officials also believed that it would take six months to train rebel fighters and their leaders to the point where they could carry out the liberation of eastern Syria. In other words, the current plan is for at least six months of air strikes on Syria while the coalition tries to find 12,000 or more Syrian rebels that can be trained, armed and equipped. These trainees must be men who are unlikely to run off and join ISIL or some other Islamic terrorist group. This plan will cost at least $500 million in its first year and rebel training camps in Jordan are being expanded. The U.S. would like the Turks to get more involved and also host training camps.
September 24, 2014: Sources inside Turkey claim that the Turkish government secretly agreed to release fifty ISIL men held prisoner by secular Syrian rebels in return for the freedom of 46 Turkish diplomats and family members captured when ISIL took Mosul in early June. The Turkish government denies that any such deal was made. It is claimed that the Turks made promises to the Syrian rebels in order to get the Turkish captives released. Turkey so far refuses to provide a lot of support for the campaign against ISIL and is accused of secretly allowing support for ISIL from Turks to continue. The Turkish captives were released in Iraq on September 20th.
September 23, 2014: On the Israeli border Israel used a Patriot missile to shoot down a Syrian Su-24 that had entered Israeli air space while it was bombing rebel positions on the Syrian side of the border. The Su-24 only got about 700 meters into Israel before turning around. Israeli air defense forces have orders to shoot down any Syrian warplanes that enter Israeli air space and Syria was informed of that policy. The last time Israel shot down Syrian aircraft was in 1985 when two Syrian MiG-23s attempted to interfere with an Israeli reconnaissance mission over Lebanon. At the time Syrian forces occupied parts of Lebanon because the 1975-90 civil war there was still going on.
Overnight the U.S. and Arab nations began large scale (over 200 bombs on nearly 30 targets) air strikes against ISIL targets in Syria. Most of the attacks were carried out by American aircraft, as well as 47 cruise missiles fired from U.S. ships. Some warplanes and other support was provided by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Bahrain. It was estimated that 120 Islamic terrorists were killed. Some 70 of the dead were ISIL while the other fifty belonged to a faction of al Nusra that was planning attacks on the United States. Phone calls to Syrians living near the targets indicated that there was little damage to nearby structures or injuries to civilians. But the Islamic terrorists were keeping locals away from the buildings hit while the wreckage was searched. Meanwhile the U.S. has carried out nearly 200 attacks against ISIL targets in Iraq since August 7th. The U.S. also announced that over fifty countries had agreed to join a coalition to destroy ISIL. Most of these nations would not be contributing military forces but would assist in intelligence and police operations against ISIL. Some countries will provide support for coalition military forces and this is what many Arab states are doing. Western intelligence agencies now believe that there are at least 3,000 Moslems from the West fighting for ISIL. The Saudis reluctantly admit that Saudi citizens comprise the largest national faction of ISIL, including many senior positions. Most ISIL members are Iraqi or Syrian Sunnis.
September 20, 2014: On the Lebanese border a suicide bomber attacked a Hezbollah controlled checkpoint and killed at least three Hezbollah gunmen and one civilian. Earlier in the day al Nusra announced that it had killed a Lebanese soldier it had captured. Al Nusra wants Hezbollah gunmen to withdraw from Syria.
September 19, 2014: Just across the Lebanese border a roadside bomb, apparently planted by Syrian Islamic terrorist rebels, killed two Lebanese soldiers.
Israeli intelligence believes that Syria has held onto some of its chemical weapons despite a 2013 deal that had them surrender those weapons in order to avoid NATO air attacks. The Israelis also believe Syria has stockpiled component chemicals for some chemical weapons and has the ability to quickly resume production. Earlier this year Israel announced that it believed that Syria again used chemical weapons on March 27th during two operations on the outskirts of Damascus.
1 oct. 2014 Royal Air Force
As announced by the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft were in action over Iraq this afternoon, 30 September 2014, as part of the international coalition’s operations to support the democratic Iraqi Government in the fight against ISIL.
In the course of an armed reconnaissance mission from RAF Akrotiri, two Tornados were tasked to assist Kurdish troops in north-west Iraq who were under attack from ISIL terrorists.
This footage shows a Brimstone missile strike on an ISIL armed pick-up truck in Iraq.
RED SEA (Sept. 23, 2014) U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II/Released
The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) launches Tomahawk cruise missiles to conduct strikes against ISIL targets. Arleigh Burke is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II/Released) 140923-N-WD757-267
26 sept. 2014 US Navy
ARABIAN GULF (Sept. 25, 2014) F/A-18 Hornets and EA-6B Prowlers launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) supporting strike, surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Iraq. These missions help increase U.S. capacity to target ISIL, and coordinate the activities of the U.S. military across Iraq and into Syria. (U.S. Navy video/Released)
9/25/2014 Strategy Page
Two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft fly over northern Iraq Sept. 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria. The aircraft were part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as ISIL. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch, U.S. Air Force)
23 sept. 2014 US Navy
ARABIAN GULF (Sept. 23, 2014) The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) launches Tomahawk Land-Attack Missiles (TLAM) against ISIL targets. U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles. Philippine Sea is deployed as part of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin Kelly/RELEASED)
24 septembre 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)
Ankara - Ni l'espace aérien de la Turquie ni sa base aérienne d'Incirlik (sud-est) n'ont été utilisés pour les frappes de la coalition dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi contre le groupe Etat Islamique (EI) en Syrie, ont affirmé des sources officielles turques à l'AFP.
Notre espace aérien et notre base n'ont pas été utilisés, a précisé l'une de ces sources sous couvert de l'anonymat. L'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'Homme (OSDH) a pour sa part affirmé que des avions venus de Turquie avaient mené ces raids.
Il n'est pas question que la Turquie, son espace aérien ou sa base d'Incirlik aient été utilisés pour des raisons opérationnelles lors des raids de la coalition, a souligné un responsable de l'entourage du Premier ministre Ahmet Davutoglu
Ces frappes aériennes ont visé les positions des jihadistes dans les environs de la ville kurde d'Aïn al-Arab (Kobané en kurde), complètement encerclée par le groupe extrémiste, selon l'ODSH.
La poussée de l'EI dans cette zone a provoqué un afflux massif de quelque 140.000 civils vers la Turquie depuis la semaine dernière.
Le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan a déclaré mardi que la Turquie pourrait apporter un soutien militaire aux opérations contre l'EI.
Nous apporterons le soutien nécessaire à cette opération. Ce soutien pourrait être militaire et politique, a dit le président turc à New York, où il assiste à l'Assemblée générale des Nations unies.
Membre de l'Otan, la Turquie, que Washington souhaite rallier à la coalition mise en place contre les djihadistes présents en Irak et en Syrie, était pour l'heure plutôt réticente à s'engager.
23 septembre 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)
Ryad - L'Arabie saoudite, chef de file des monarchies du Golfe, a confirmé avoir participé mardi aux frappes menées par les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés arabes contre les jihadistes du groupe Etat islamique (EI) en Syrie.
Les forces aériennes royales saoudiennes ont pris part aux opérations militaires contre l'EI en Syrie, en soutien à l'opposition syrienne modérée, et cela dans le cadre de la coalition internationale conduite par Washington, a déclaré un porte-parole officiel, cité par l'agence officielle SPA.
Cette coalition, a-t-il ajouté, est destinée à éradiquer le terrorisme, une maladie mortelle, et à soutenir le peuple syrien frère afin de rétablir la sécurité, l'unité et le développement dans ce pays sinistré.
La Jordanie, puis Bahreïn et les Emirats arabes unis ont tour à tour annoncé avoir mené des frappes contre les jihadistes de l'EI, les premières lancées par les Etats-Unis en Syrie.
Le Qatar est le seul des cinq pays arabes, dont la participation a été annoncée par le Pentagone, à ne pas encore s'être exprimé dans la soirée.
PARIS, 24 septembre - RIA Novosti
Les avions de combat français poursuivront, dans les jours qui viennent, leurs frappes contre le groupe Etat islamique (EI) en Irak, a annoncé le ministre français de la Défense Jean-Yves Le Drian, cité par les médias locaux.
"Nous sommes dans la coalition, nous avons été appelés par les autorités irakiennes, en appui aérien à leurs actions militaires au sol menées par les forces irakiennes et du Kurdistan, et donc nous accomplirons notre devoir", a indiqué le ministre, ajoutant que "nous continuerons les frappes dans les jours qui viennent, bien évidemment."
Selon le ministre, les avions de combat français poursuivent leurs "missions de surveillance et d'identification" pour "repérer des cibles de nature à empêcher, enrayer, les forces de l'État islamique, et permettre aux forces au sol de reconquérir du terrain".
PARIS, 24 septembre - RIA Novosti
Le nombre de jihadistes européens partis combattre en Syrie et en Irak a progressé ces derniers mois pour atteindre 3.000 personnes, a annoncé le coordinateur de l'UE pour la lutte contre le terrorisme Gilles de Kerchove cité par les médias occidentaux.
Selon le responsable, cette augmentation serait due à l'avancée sur le terrain du groupe extrémiste Etat islamique (EI) et à la proclamation en juin d'un "califat" sur les territoires irakiens et syriens passés sous son contrôle.
Ces combattants arrivent pour la plupart de France, de Grande-Bretagne, d'Allemagne, de Belgique, des Pays-Bas, de Suède et du Danemark, mais aussi d'Espagne, d'Italie, d'Irlande et désormais d'Autriche, a fait savoir M.de Kerchove.
L'EI, appelé autrefois l'Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant (EIIL), sévissait au départ principalement en Syrie où il combattait les troupes gouvernementales, s'imposant comme l'une des organisations terroristes les plus cruelles. Il y a quelques mois, l'EI s'est soudainement activé en Irak, s'emparant d'importants territoires. Depuis le 8 août, l'armée américaine porte des frappes aériennes contre les positions des djihadistes de l'EI en Irak.
Mardi matin, les Etats-Unis ont lancé des raids contre les combattants de l'Etat islamique, du Front Al-Nosra et de Khorasan en Syrie depuis des navires déployés en mer Rouge et dans le nord du golfe Persique.
24-09-2014 Par Dominique Desaunay - RFI
Les Français résidents ou étant amenés à se déplacer dans certains pays ont été appelés à « la plus grande prudence » par le ministère des Affaires étrangères en raison des menaces proférées par les groupes terroristes de l’Etat islamique sur la toile et l’enlèvement d'Hervé Gourdel en Alégérie alors qu’il effectuait une randonnée dans des montagnes de Kabylie.
23 September 2014 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP
Michael Fallon meets Middle East partners to discuss international response to ISIL.
Mr Fallon met with allies in Saudi Arabia yesterday and Bahrain today to discuss regional security and international co-ordination to counter ISIL ahead of this week’s United Nations General Assembly.
At the Jeddah and Paris conferences there was strong agreement on the need for a co-ordinated response to the ISIL threat. In taking action to degrade and destroy ISIL terrorists it is important that key regional partners continue to play a leading role.
The UK supports the air strikes launched by the US and regional allies last night which run alongside the action the UK has already taken in the form of reconnaissance flights, military equipment and humanitarian aid.
The UK government continues to discuss what further contribution the UK may make to international efforts to tackle the threat we all face from ISIL.
The UK has a long-standing defence relationship with both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. In Saudi Arabia the UK assists with the delivery and support of Typhoon and Tornado aircraft. Bahrain is also a key location for the UK, with onshore basing and ships located at Mina Salman Port.
While meeting serving Royal Navy personnel in Bahrain Mr Fallon witnessed the structural work being carried out to improve the navy’s facilities.
The UK already has a long-established presence in the region and in my discussions I have re-emphasised the UK’s continuing commitment and opportunities to strengthen co-operation.
Ne pouvant contrer la puissance américaine, les djihadistes vont se replier en ville pour mener des actions de guérilla et pousser la coalition à la faute.
Face à l'arsenal déployé par les États-Unis, les djihadistes du groupe État islamique (EI) vont se replier sur les zones urbaines et mener des actions de guérilla pour défendre leurs fiefs. Pour éviter d'être la cible de l'aviation américaine, cette organisation extrémiste, qui a proclamé un "califat" sur un territoire à cheval sur l'Irak et la Syrie aussi grand que le Royaume-Uni, va réduire sa mobilité dans les importantes régions désertiques où ses combattants et matériel sont facilement repérables. L'EI va "se mettre en position défensive en se dissimulant dans les zones urbaines d'où il peut combattre" en cas d'attaque, explique le général britannique à la retraite Ben Barry, expert militaire à l'Institut international d'études stratégiques (IISS).
Depuis ses succès en Irak, l'EI contrôle plusieurs villes importantes notamment Mossoul, Tikrit, Tell Afar dans le nord de l'Irak, Fallouja et partiellement Ramadi dans l'Ouest. En Syrie, il dirige d'une main de fer Raqa, son fief dans le Nord, la moitié de Deir Ezzor (Est) et de nombreuses localités de moindre importance.
"Se mêler à la population"
Autre raison de se déployer dans les villes : pousser les forces américaines ou irakiennes à la faute. "Elles infligeront des pertes parmi les civils en voulant frapper les djihadistes", note le général. "Et ces derniers utiliseront leurs outils de propagande pour monter les sunnites contre le gouvernement irakien (dirigé par les chiites, ndlr) et éroder la légitimité de la coalition internationale", prévoit-il.
Ce mouvement a déjà commencé, selon Ahmed al-Sherifi, un expert irakien en matière de sécurité. "Daesh (acronyme de l'EI) a commencé à retirer certains combattants, notamment les étrangers, pour les diriger vers la Syrie. Ils n'ont gardé que les Irakiens, car ils peuvent aisément se mêler à la population en cas d'attaque", dit-il. L'expert ajoute qu'à Mossoul, les djihadistes ont abandonné leurs centres de commandement installés après la conquête de la ville le 10 juin, pour des maisons privées dans des quartiers populeux où ils font profil bas.
Même tactique en Syrie après l'annonce du secrétaire américain à la Défense Chuck Hagel que la campagne aérienne viserait en Syrie "les sanctuaires" de l'EI. À Deir Ezzor, un militant, Abou Ossama, a constaté qu'ils avaient vidé le principal dépôt d'armes de la région situé dans l'ancien siège du gouvernorat, et fermé à Mayadine, plus à l'est, la quasi-totalité de leurs positions. Même les champs pétroliers ont été désertés et les familles des combattants étrangers, qui vivaient dans des bâtiments résidentiels, ont été évacuées. "Ils disparaissent mais laissent des espions pour les informer", assure-il. Dans la province d'Alep (Nord), le groupe s'est retiré de ses sièges d'al-Bab, un de ses principaux fiefs dans cette région.
Retour à un modèle insurrectionnel
Pour Thomas Pierret, expert de l'islam en Syrie, "le seul cas où les bombardements lourds pourraient vraiment faire la différence, c'est sur les fronts où l'EI concentre des troupes comme à Marea, au nord d'Alep, tenu par les rebelles". "Si les Américains frappaient, l'EI n'aurait d'autre choix que de vider les lieux et de laisser avancer les rebelles", qui luttent à la fois contre l'EI et le régime de Bachar el-Assad.
Avec 35 000 hommes sur 215 000 km2, l'EI va devoir faire des choix. "L'EI possède des unités organisées, un commandement capable de diriger plusieurs opérations simultanément et la capacité d'utiliser des armes lourdes prises aux armées syrienne et irakienne", relève Christopher Harmer, un analyste de l'Institut pour l'étude de la guerre, un think-tank américain. "Comme les frappes américaines vont endommager les éléments visibles de la structure militaire de l'EI, cette organisation va revenir à un modèle insurrectionnel en se mêlant à la population civile, ce qui rendra plus difficile d'atteindre ses combattants", souligne-t-il.
"L'EI utilisera ses cellules dormantes, les tireurs embusqués, les voitures piégées ou les assassinats ciblés. Pour le moment, l'engagement américain ne représente pas une menace conséquente pour l'EI", assure Christopher Harmer. Richard Barret, spécialiste en contre-terrorisme, va dans le même sens : "L'EI ne peut pas contrer les raids américains et il va donc inverser son processus de développement. D'un mouvement clandestin terroriste, il avait progressé vers un 'État' et il va devoir redevenir ce qu'il était avant".
September 11, 2014 by Kris Osborn - defensetech.org
A key architect of the air bombardment strategy in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom said the U.S. military must have significant success with its efforts to destroy the Islamic State from the air.
On Wednesday night, President Obama’s announced that the U.S. will lead a coalition to step up targeted airstrikes against ISIL. As the mission shifts from humanitarian support and protecting U.S. personnel to more aggressive strikes aimed at a much wider set of targets, some analysts have questioned if the U.S. will need ground combat troops or if air power will suffice.
The U.S. has utilized air bombing strategies to support friendly forces, such as the Iraqi Security Forces, hoping to advance on the ground.
Attacking ISIL is not similar to dismantling a country’s military such as the initial bombing campaigns in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. It’s more similar to the airstrikes the U.S. and allied forces have executed against insurgent and Taliban leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade.
A dispersed group of fighters deliberately blending in with the civilian population and travelling in small groups in vehicles like pick-up trucks and armored vehicles has proven difficult or high-risk to pinpoint from the air with even the best precision-guided weaponry.
Even so, one of the authors of the air-power strategy called “effects-based” warfare, said using some of those same concepts may still apply when attacking a mobile insurgent terrorist group such as ISIL.
Retired Air Force Col. John Warden, known for his strategic involvement in creating and implementing effects based warfare, helped the George H.W. Bush administration prepare for the use of precision air-power in the Gulf War.
Effects based warfare is based on the premise that precision air power can achieve a particular strategic effect without necessarily attacking large numbers of fielded forces or the infrastructure of the attacked area. Success is achieved by attacking and disabling the enemy’s centers of gravity, referred to by Warden as the five rings – leadership, system essentials, infrastructure, population, fielded military forces.
“The concept of the five rings says that anytime you have more than one person operating against you, such as a group, you have the formation of a system,” Warden told Military.com in an interview.
Warden explained that this means any group, such as ISIL, would have the elements of the five rings such as leadership, supply lines or system essentials and places to store things such as infrastructure, fielded forces and potentially support from the elements of the local population.
“ISIL looks pretty straightforward,” he said, suggesting that some elements of effects-based warfare could potentially prove useful against ISIL should attacks continue, despite the fact that they are largely a guerilla force on the move and not a country or area with a fixed infrastructure.
The idea of effects-based warfare is to achieve what’s called strategic paralysis and render an enemy force unable to fight by targeting leadership headquarters, command and control and supply lines, Warden explained.
Avoiding civilian casualties through the use of strategy and precision technology from the air – all while preserving much of the infrastructure of the attacked area – is fundamental to effects-based warfare. The advent of precision weaponry such as GPS and laser-guided bombs has, to a large degree, made this possible.
This approach proved quite successful during the Gulf War and opening attack or “shock and awe” conducted at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom. However, ISIL poses a much different challenge.
“Where we have had success it is not because we have killed every guy that has a bomb. It is because we have succeeded in destroying the ability of the opposition group to function in an organized and coherent way by attacking the leadership, attacking their communications, and attacking their supply lines —for the most part — without doing any significant damage to general infrastructure and little or no damage to the population that they are operating in,” Warden said.
The USS Bush carries as many as 44 F/A-18s, including both Hornets and the more technically advanced Super Hornets. Navy Hornet and Super Hornet pilots have been flying surveillance missions over Iraq for weeks, in part to use their on-board electro-optical cameras and infrared sensors to identify potential ISIL targets. These missions were done in anticipation of a potential order to conduct strikes, defense officials said.
F/A-18s are configured with a host of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons such as GBU-54 500-pound laser-guided bombs, some of which were dropped near Irbil, Iraq, against ISIL mobile artillery targets. Laser-guided bombs can be guided by a laser-designation from the air or nearby ground forces.
Many of the bombs, such as the GBU 54s dropped in Iraq are known as Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions or LJDAMS. Many JDAMS also rely on GPS guidance to pinpoint their targets.
The GBU 54 is a 581-pound glide bomb with a range of up to 15 nautical miles, service officials said. The weapon uses semi-active laser guidance as well as GPS and inertial navigation systems.
Navy officials said standard laser guidance packages on bombs prove exceptionally accurate in clear conditions against stationary targets. However, with significant amounts of environmental factors such as airborne dust, smoke, fog, or cloud cover, the guidance packages can have difficulty maintaining “lock” on the laser designation while pursuing moving or maneuvering targets, Navy officials said.
This is the reason the GBU-54 was engineered; it is a dual-mode precision-guided bomb designed to destroy fixed and re-locatable or moving targets, service officials said.
The Super Hornet is also configured to fire AIM-9X sidewinder air-to-air missile, the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, the Joint Standoff Weapon, the Small Diameter Bomb and the Mk-84 general purpose bomb, Navy officials said.
On the deck of the USS Bush, the F/A-18s are joined by five EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft, four E-2 Hawkeye surveillance planes, two C-2 cargo aircraft and as many as 12 MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters, Navy officials said.
In the Arabian Gulf, the USS Bush is joined by the USS Philippine Sea, a cruiser and two destroyers, the USS Roosevelt and USS O’Kane.