web analytics
March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


ISIS in Iraq: the Pause IS the Assault on Baghdad

The entire country is a battleground for ISIS – even if the U.S. media can’t see that yet – but we are actually moving Americans out of the relatively protected Green Zone in Baghdad, and into less-fortified facilities in the hinterland.
Map of ISIS in Iraq

Map of ISIS in Iraq
Photo Credit: Courtesy

The media refrain from the last 24 hours has been that ISIS is pausing in its sweep to the south toward Baghdad.  At least some of the mobile forces that entered Mosul the weekend of 7-8 June took off again at a trot, heading south through the Tigris River corridor and seizing Tikrit by Tuesday, scattering terrified Iraqis and foreign workers in their path.  But since then, ISIS hasn’t made further southerly progress through the Tigris corridor toward Baghdad.

The media have half-heartedly attributed this slowdown to force deployments by the Iraqi government, which have been accompanied by a few attacks on ISIS from the air.  But I think the journalists know this doesn’t really explain the slowdown, even if they can’t articulate why.

For one thing, ISIS doesn’t have to fight anywhere it doesn’t want to.  It’s waging a sort of guerrilla blitzkrieg right now, but unlike a massive armor and mechanized infantry force, it leaves no deployed men and equipment around, grouped in large formations that make attractive military targets.  Indeed, worse than not presenting a conventional military profile, ISIS seizes control of urban enclaves and forces the opponent to attack the people’s homes and businesses, if he wants to attack ISIS.

But I believe the important thing about the “pause” we’re seeing on the path to Baghdad is that it’s what we would expect ISIS to do, because it is the inauguration of the assault on Baghdad.  Some observers have already noted that ISIS is now consolidating positions outside of Baghdad.  That matters, but the more significant point is that ISIS was never going to attack Baghdad by entering it in force:  rolling through the streets in Humvees for a photo op.  When we see “random” explosions and assassinations proliferating inside Baghdad, that’s how we’ll know the assault is peaking.

ISIS has to soften Baghdad up first, because it is a much bigger objective than any city ISIS has taken up to now.  The map progression shows its geographic size relative to other key cities like Ramadi, Falluja, and Mosul.  Mosul has a substantially larger population than the Anbar Province cities, but it’s still smaller than Baghdad by an order of magnitude, at least in terms of military planning.

Relative size of cities taken by ISIS

Relative size of cities taken by ISIS

Baghdad’s population is about 3.8 million.  And its geo-ethnic conditions are particularly challenging, with the city’s big majority of Shias, and the Shias’ stronghold to the south, which will be – in my estimate – too tough a nut for ISIS to crack simultaneously with a campaign in Baghdad itself.

ISIS has no intention of “marching on” Baghdad.  The Sunni affiliates of ISIS are going to disrupt life in the city – government security, police, public services – so that Baghdad will be pinned down and tortured, unable to restore order or impose a unified political will.  This will take some time; the point is that the campaign will be underway, even though the ISIS shock troops we saw in Mosul are not careering through the city in a visible and identifiable manner.

ISIS modus operandi

Consider just two pieces of information (although there is a much more extensive narrative to pick from).  One is the backstory on today’s bit of news that ISIS has “captured” two villages in Diyala Province – between Baghdad and the border of Iran – and is menacing the key Diyala city of Baquba.

ISIS hasn’t just now moved into Diyala Province.  This territorial maneuver has been underway for some time, as recounted in a report published in April by the Institute for the Study of War.  Diyala Province has been a favorite haunt of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) for nearly a decade, but the last two years (2012-13) saw a significant increase in attacks there on Iraqi national forces, alongside the establishment of a permanent presence by ISIS and affiliated groups.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

8 Responses to “ISIS in Iraq: the Pause IS the Assault on Baghdad”

  1. They want Baghdad! El Maliki needs to go, quickly. Not the man for the job.

  2. Full Hope says:

    All of you are lair

  3. JoAnn Morris says:

    Pray for the civilian’s in Baghdad!!

  4. Donna Hambright Glatt says:

    I say just drone them, game over..

  5. I think a civil war between ISIS and the Shiites is a very good idea because no matter who dies…is one Moslem less in the world!!!

  6. ISIS has taken over territories that has been liberated with American Blood . thank you.

  7. We are getting sucked in fighting for Iran vis a vis their archennemy -the Sunnies -Unnacceptable- thank you.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Some 1,500 teens from around the world at the Chabad CTeen convention hear a personal greeting from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 1, 2015.
Ban Ki-moon Greets 1,500 Jewish Teens at Chabad CTeen Convention
Latest Indepth Stories
Middle-East-map

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu carried his message to Americans through the media after meeting with President Obama and castigating Iran at the UN. (September 30, 2013)

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

israel-day-parade-bds

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

More Articles from J. E. Dyer
Steven Joel Sotloff as a hostage of ISIS, before his beheading.

In his travels as a journalist in the Islamic world, Sotloff never referred to his Jewishness.

ZIM Piraeus in happier days. (Image: ShipSpotting.com user b47b56)

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

Obama is transparent, if you read his oracular signs with the right key.

ISIS has no intention of “marching on” Baghdad. The Sunni affiliates of ISIS are going to disrupt life there.

Oslo’s moment of unchallenged American supremacy and the illusion of unforced global stasis, passed.

Could the Obamas be any more “let ‘em eat cake”?

The Obama administration wants to take over the short-term financial services industry.

The topics are “The Reagan Strategy,” and the “Iran Time Bomb.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/isis-in-iraq-the-pause-is-the-assault-on-baghdad/2014/06/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: