Sunday, 17 May 2015

Ramadi: Iraqi forces run off - again

From the BBC: "Most Iraqi troops have abandoned their positions in Ramadi as Islamic State (IS) militants advances further into the city, officials have told the BBC.

IS has taken control of a key compound used as the provincial military command centre, they said.

The prime minister called on troops not to desert their positions, while telling Shia militias to prepare to deploy to the heavily Sunni area.

IS claimed to hold the entire city in a message posted online.

The message, which has not been independently verified, said militants had captured the 8th Brigade army base as well as tanks and missile launchers.

Muhannad Haimour, a spokesman for the provincial governor, also said "Ramadi has fallen" to IS, AP news agency reported."

I don't know what's going on on the ground in Ramadi but these Iraqi forces are getting a bad reputation for running away and leaving all the fairly decent equipment they have behind for ISIS or local militias to pick up.

The military leadership must be awful.

The ISIS battle lines will no doubt ebb and flow until the Iraqis get organised and Syria sorts itself out. Until then I suspect only the Kurds in Iraq will hold their ground and we shall hear every so often of US coalition air strikes or ground raids taking out various people and places but not controlling the ground.

What a mess. Just part of an increasingly huge Middle East mess which is even spreading to North Africa.



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