All posts by Chris Carter

Human rights group: Islamic State executed 600 prisoners

CBS reports that in June, Islamic State militants killed several around 600 inmates from a prison near Mosul, in northern Iraq. The jihadists separated Shiite males, along with several Kurds and Yazidis, from the rest of the population, where they were driven to a ravine, lined up, and shot with machine guns. Only between 30 and 40 individuals survived the massacre, and conducted interviews with Human Rights Watch. Sunni Muslims and a small number of Christians were reportedly released.

IS is reported to have conducted numerous mass executions as they conquered territory in northern Iraq. Also in June, the jihadist group announced that they had reportedly executed 1,700 Iraqi military and security personnel.

Lebanese military launches offensive against jihadists

lebThe Lebanese military launched an assault on Sunni jihadists in Tripoli and has experienced heavy fighting. The fighters are linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, according to AsiaNews.

The fighting forced militants to retreat from Tripoli and the neighboring suburb of Bab al-Tabbaneh. The (Al Qaeda-linked) Al Nusra Front has threatened to kill the Lebanese soldiers they claim to have captured if the government doesn’t put an end to the assault.

Operation Inherent Resolve Roundup: Tuesday

U.S. and partner nation aircraft hit several Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria on Monday and Tuesday, according to U.S. Central Command.

In Iraq, two airstrikes near Fallujah destroyed a small IS unit and a tank.  Four airstrikes in the vicinity of Mosul Dam destroyed a small IS unit, a fighting position, an IS vehicle, and a logistics base. One airstrike west of Baghdad destroyed an IS-occupied building and a small unit.  One airstrike in the vicinity of Sinjar struck an IS fighting emplacement and destroyed six vehicles.  One airstrike northwest of Haditha destroyed an IS-occupied building used as a staging area.

In Syria, four airstrikes near Kobani destroyed four IS fighting positions and a small unit.

Drone strike in Pakistan kills Haqqani Network commander

Reuters reports that a CIA drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal region of South Waziristan killed at least five foreign fighters including a Haqqani Network commander and a senior Arab commander. The strike occurred in the Birmil area, which is a known Taliban stronghold. Abdullah Haqqani sent suicide bombers into Afghanistan. Pakistan’s Dawn news agency says that the strike also destroyed a vehicle loaded with arms and ammunition.

Long War Journal reports that the U.S. has conducted 17 drone strikes in Pakistan this year, and eight this month, making October the busiest month for drone strikes since January 2013.

Both Canadian jihadists were suspected of extremism prior to attacks

The UK Guardian reports that Martin Couture Rouleau, a recent convert to Islam was under surveillance by Canadian authorities before killing one Canadian soldier and wounding another in a hit-and-run attack on Oct. 21. Rouleau was shot and killed after a brief vehicle chase with police. Canadian officials state Rouleau was “clearly linked to terrorist ideology” and was one of 90 suspected extremists being monitored for intending to travel abroad for terrorist purposes or having recently returned to the country, and authorities had revoked his passport.

Michael (aka Abdullah) Zehaf-Bibeau, who carried out another deadly attack on a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial was not one of the 90 individuals under surveillance, according to Sky News, but did have his passport application delayed due to concerns of his extremism.

The Islamic State recently asked supporters to carry out attacks against countries that are part of the campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria. Canada already has special operations forces serving alongside the Iraqi military and has committed six CF-18 Hornet fighters, two reconnaissance aircraft, and a mid-air refueling tanker to the theater for six months.

Boeing delivers new special operations helicopter

The MH-47G Chinook (Boeing photo)
The MH-47G Chinook (Boeing photo)

The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment received it’s first new aircraft since the unit was formed in 1981. The Boeing MH-47G Chinook is built specifically for use in special operations and has numerous state-of-the art improvements over their predecessor, such as increased fuel capacity, tougher airframe, and laser-based countermeasures. Once the aircraft finishes testing, it is scheduled to enter service in September, 2015. The new Chinooks will replace helicopters with airframes that have an average of 46 years of service.

Green Berets: Afghan army incompetent

Following an incident that killed five U.S. Special Forces soldiers in June, Green Berets report that the Afghan army hide during battles and shirks responsibilities.

The Pentagon publicly portrays the Afghan military as steadily improving and handling their own security operations since June, 2013. But according to the Washington Times, the a report from the troops charged with training and advising Afghan forces in the field reveal that Afghans remain incapable of fighting and maneuvering at night, cannot perform complex operations like close air support, refuse to take the lead on combat and clearing operations, and simply stop fighting during battles, further endangering U.S. advisors who have to take up the fight. The report is part of an investigation from a battle where a U.S. bomber accidentally killed five Special Forces soldiers in Zabul Province’s Gaza Valley in June, 2014.
U.S. forces are set to depart Afghanistan in 2016.

Monday’s Inherent Resolve roundup

On Monday, U.S. and partner nation aircraft conducted four airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and nine in Iraq.

Kobani, Syria
Kobani, Syria

According to Central Command, four IS fighting positions and a small IS unit were destroyed near Kobani, Syria.

Strikes in the area of the Mosul Dam destroyed a small IS unit and a tank near Fallujah, Iraq. Near the Mosul Dam, planes hit a small IS unit, a fighting position, a vehicle, and a logistics base. An airstrike west of Baghdad destroyed an IS-occupied building and a small unit.

Monday's airstrikes
Monday’s airstrikes

One airstrike in the vicinity of Sinjar struck a fighting emplacement and destroyed six vehicles. Another airstrike northwest of Haditha destroyed an IS-occupied building used for staging.

Last week, French warplanes hit an IS training compound in Hawija.

Kurds retake Zumar with help of airstrikes

On Saturday, U.S. and partner nation aircraft conducted 12 strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and five in Syria, according to U.S. Central Command.

iraqmapIn Iraq, aircraft hit several IS vehicles, buildings, and artillery piece, and one large and three small units. and an artillery piece near the Mosul Dam. Strikes southeast of Fallujah hit two large units, one small unit, and a building. The air support helped Kurdish forces retake control of Zumar and several nearby villages. The Iraqi military and Iranian-backed Shiite militias also claim to have forced IS out of Jurf al Sahkar (south of Baghdad).

syriamapStrikes in Syria destroyed seven IS vehicles and a building near Kobani. The UK’s Daily Star reports that soldiers from the British Special Air Service called in the airstrikes.

The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden

From Mark Bowden, the preeminent chronicler of our military and special forces, comes The Finish, a gripping account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. With access to key sources, Bowden takes us inside the rooms where decisions were made and on the ground where the action unfolded. After masterminding the attacks of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden managed to vanish. Over the next ten years, as Bowden shows, America found that its war with al Qaeda—a scattered group of individuals who were almost impossible to track—demanded an innovative approach. Step by step, Bowden describes the development of a new tactical strategy to fight this war—the fusion of intel from various agencies and on-the-ground special ops. After thousands of special forces missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the right weapon to go after bin Laden had finally evolved. By Spring 2011, intelligence pointed to a compound in Abbottabad; it was estimated that there was a 50/50 chance that Osama was there. Bowden shows how three strategies were mooted: a drone strike, a precision bombing, or an assault by Navy SEALs. In the end, the President had to make the final decision. It was time for the finish.

By: Mark Bowden

Hardcover, First Edition (2012)

Atlantic Monthly Press