3,000 Islamic State Infiltrators May Enter Turkey, Plan To Attack Diplomatic Targets; USCENTCOM Announces Plan To Retake Mosul,Iraq As Early As April
The Russia Times is reporting this evening (February 19, 2015) that “3,000 trained jihadists are seeking to cross into Turkey from Syria and Iraq, with intentions of striking diplomatic targets belonging to the anti-Islamic State coalition partners,” the Turkish intelligence service told the police in an internal memo. “The jihadist militants could be working on an armed or bombing attacks in Ankara, and Istanbul, against the diplomatic missions of the countries involved in the U.S. led, anti-ISIS coalition,” said The Hurriyet newspaper, citing the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT). The agency, which refused to provide additional information, when contacted by Reuters News Service, warned the police that the Islamic State jihadists repelled from the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani in Syria, are now looking for ways to cross the border. Hurriyet said that MIT sent a warning as far back as February 3, 2015, to local police departments, in an attempt to intercept the flow of terrorists.”
The Russia Times added that “it is unclear how many of the jihadists have already penetrated the Turkish border, but MIT said that some [jihadists] had already been sheltered in safe houses in the south of the country. MIT added that some of the Islamic State terrorists — a group of 17 to 25 from Palestine and Syria — intend to cross into Bulgaria, and from there into the rest of the European Union.” Jihadists also reportedly control many points along the Turkish-Syrian border; and, there could also be as many as 700 – 1,000 Turkish fighters who have joined the Islamic State,” and could obviously attempt to slip back into the country, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Turkey has deported over 1,000 people; and, have imposed a re-entry ban on 7,800 others, the Ministry added.
USCENTCOM Announces Plans To Re-Take Mosul, Iraq From The Islamic State — As Early As April
According to a report on Fox News this evening, “a senior USCENTCOM Official said the “shaping” for the battle is currently underway. The CENTCOM official added that “the Iraqi military hopes to begin operations in the “April, May time-frame, and retake the city before Ramadan begins on June 17, 2015.” “The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said five Iraqi Army brigades, adding up to a total force of up to 25,000 Iraqi troops.” Three brigades of Turkish Peshmerga fighters will also participate.”
The USCENTCOM official said the U.S. will provide military support for the operation, including training, air support, intelligence, and surveillance. The official said there has been no decision made yet on whether to send in some U.S. ground troops to help call in the airstrikes.’
Lots of questions are being asked this evening as to why USCENTCOM, and the Obama Administration would leak such plans — which essentially defeats any element of surprise. Yes, announcing ahead of time will put emotional stress on the Islamic State — maybe — but, it seems releasing this information can be much more detrimental to us, than to the adversary. One line of thought is that this is a round about way to “push” the Iraqi Army to move quicker and with the force needed to confront the Islamic State in a major battle — something that could have high propaganda value — assuming the Islamic State is defeated. But, this seems an odd way of prompting the Iraqi Army to do what it should have already been doing — and, doesn’t say a whole lot about the confidence and capability of their armed forces. V/R, RCP