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1000 and one day of the battle with the "Caliphate": shaken, not crushed

In the struggle against the most powerful terrorist organization in the world, a symbolic date is approaching. 4 May, a thousand days pass since the United States launched the first strikes against the ISP (Islamic State, IG, IGIL). Since 8 August 2014, it is necessary to count systemic efforts in confronting the grouping that the "caliphate" imagined. That day, American aviation opened a new chapter in its Middle East military campaign, attacking the position of terrorists in Iraq. A month and a half later, 23 September, the US Air Force struck the first objects of Igilovites in Syria for the first time.

1000 days and nights - huge by the standards of the current term, "ot hardened" to limit geopolitical chronometer. Especially in the Middle East, where in the last three years there have been unprecedented shifts in the balance of power and interests of the two world powers.

The US opened a military campaign against the AAA. Let and it is rather incoherent, even reluctantly, frankly speaking, without much enthusiasm, but opened. Washington has also built a semblance of an "international coalition" in the fight against a common evil. But outside the framework of this counter-terrorist alliance, there remained forces on which the main burden lay in the defeat of the Daiesh in Syria and continues to do so. If August 2014-th was the starting point for the beginning of the war with the "Caliphate", then from 30 September 2015, when Russia was directly involved in the struggle, it is necessary to count the time when the most effective actor appeared in this war. It's absolutely not about who and how many bombed and missile strikes on the IG in the Middle East region. It is important for Moscow to bring about a qualitative shift in the entire anti-terrorist campaign, giving it the kind of strategy that the international community has not received from the previous US administration.

What was possible for 1000 days of the ongoing battle with the ASD? Much and at the same time is unacceptably small, given the expired impressive period of time. There are no reliable data on the part of the territorial and combat (human) losses of the "caliphate" until now. The fact that the terrorist organization "number one" is in crisis, in the face of the already existing and approaching serious defeats on the Iraqi and Syrian fronts, is obvious. Meanwhile, the IG has not exhausted the potential for conducting offensive actions in certain areas, preserves the operational capacity of the bodies of "military control". The mere absence of mass cases of the surrender of terrorists to captivity, even in such points of military operations that are disastrous for the Dash, as Western Mosul, says a lot.

Signs of system disorganization of the upper and middle levels of the command staff of the IG, demoralization in the ranks of field commanders and "jihadist infantry" are not fixed. There were and are many conversations in the camp of the opponents of the "Caliphate" about the territories lost to them in Iraq and Syria. Also pointed out is the acute shortage in the human resources of the DAIS, a significant reduction in the influx of fresh forces in the face of foreign militants. However, we repeat, all such statements are strictly evaluative. And, as you can understand, the intelligence services of world and regional powers do not really have a clear idea of ​​what the IG has lost and that has preserved in a combat-ready state.

so far as there is a shortage in the understanding that terrorizing the entire Middle East organization for a long time has been fighting not for territory and resources. That is accumulated and periodically replenished resource base (military weapons and equipment, ammunition, fuel for armored vehicles, food, cash, etc.) Enables grouping to stay afloat. It's time to finally understand that Daishev captures the territory not to retain them at any cost.

Most estimates of the surface, on the verge of outright demagoguery can be observed by the US military on the part of the announcement of the territorial losses of the enemy.

In January 2016, the official representative of the US-led coalition command ColonelStiv Uorrensaid the loss of control over the terrorists about 40% of the territory they previously held in Iraq, and about 5% in Syria.

A year later, in the first month of 2017, the assessments of the US command in the region carrying out Operation Inherent Resolve were substantially adjusted, especially in Iraq. It was now alleged that the Danish government had lost control over about a quarter of the previously occupied territories in the two Arab countries. The figures were voiced by the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the US Armed Forces, not directly, but with the help of "independent analytical structures", including, for example, the British company IHS Markit. Obviously, such an intricate move was required to "save face" and not to sign publicly in their past gross miscalculations. In addition, the new Supreme Commander-in-Chief came to the White House, which made it necessary to give the current results of the "Unshakable Determination" a more realistic look.

Judging from the whole of January this year has remained without major changes. According to IHS Markit, during the past year jihadists left almost 18 thousand sq. Km, and the territory they controlled the area decreased from 78 thousand. Up to 60,4 thousand sq. M. km. In the 2016 23, the IG has lost% previously occupied territories, and the year before - 14%, noted in the report of the British analysts. "Daishev suffered unprecedented losses in territorial 2016 year. This also applies to areas that played a key role in the plans of groups ", - said a senior analyst at IHS MarkitColumbus Strek.

This assessment was made without taking into account the subsequent "caliphate" defeats in eastern Mosul and tangible advance of government troops in the western Iraqi city. British experts calculations fell also less tangible territorial losses IG in Syria Raqqa province, the eponymous administrative center which today is taken in a fairly tight semicircle supported by the United States forces of the Arab-Kurdish coalition "Wrath of the Euphrates" ( "Syrian Democratic Forces", DSS).

But the narrowing of the territorial limits of the DAIS simultaneously on the fronts in the Iraqi province of Ninewa and the Syrian province of Rakka has not yet led to a qualitative change in the war with the "Caliphate." Even under the favorite Americans, the territorial angle of calculating the intermediate results of the military campaign. One glance at the schematic maps of Middle Eastern publications is enough to understand the following. Terrorists retain an impressive, and, most importantly, integral, not fragmented into enclaves, a territorial piece between Iraq and Syria. This is a large part of the Syrian province of Deir ez Zor, the eastern regions of the province of Homs and as yet controlled territories on the outskirts of Rakka. In Iraq, the "caliphate" remains the largest part of the western province of Anbar.

In the case of evaluation Daishev losses in manpower, which is an order of magnitude more important in terms of determining the degree of resistance groups with its "jihadist infantry," the situation is not better. Early last month, it was possible to hear from the 12 000 to 15 000 IG militants now fighting in Iraq and Syria. These data led the commander of "Operation Enduring determination" Lieutenant General US Armed ForcesStiven Taunsend.

Despite the heavy losses in manpower, to the last time the IG managed to replenish personnel due to the constant influx of foreign fighters. However, with the strengthening of the control on the Turkish-Syrian border "caliphate" gradually lost this human resource, say the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs.

It is noteworthy that during the period of 2015-2016's US Armed Forces assessed the number of combat formations Daishev approximately two times higher - up to 30 thousand jihadists. Simple arithmetic gives the result of a two-fold reduction of the personnel of the "army" of the IG. So whether it is in fact with all metering casualties from the enemy not only as a rule of thumb, the big question. The answer is not long in coming, and came from the same Americans. This time not from the fighting generals with their bravura speeches and the people in Washington, who, due to their current positions are required to be much more cautious in the estimates.

US intelligence agencies do not have accurate information about the number remaining in Iraq and Syria Daishev militants. This 5 April speech at the Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), admitted the director of strategic operational planning at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) US GeneralMaykl Nagata.

About 40 thousand foreign fighters from more than 120 countries joined the group in Iraq and Syria to 2013 years, said the American general. "We know that destroyed several thousand foreign fighters Daishev in Iraq and Syria - Nagata said. - But we are not able to provide an exact figure. This is a significant amount. "

Estimates of representatives of the two camps in the American contingent Vashingone directly in the Middle East, respectively, "analysts" and "warriors" agree on one thing. This is a statement incurred tip Daishev most serious losses from the time of her stay in 2014 year at its peak. "Caliphate" has not yet beheaded alive remains its leaderAbu Bakr al Baghdadi. But, as reported in the March general Townshend, in the last months of the US Armed Forces' specific campaign "to detect and eliminate the leaders Daishev destroyed" unprecedented number "of the closest associates of al-Baghdadi.

Simultaneously, the US allies "unwavering in our determination to" coalition soberly point to the fact that "the scars of war remain long after the battle." This was in February, said the deputy commander of coalition forces British GeneralRupert Dzhons(1).

So, the result of the "thousand days" of the military campaign in Iraq and Syria, shown by the Americans, is not impressive. They were the main burden within the "international coalition". The US Air Force inflicts 68% of all strikes by the coalition forces in Iraq and 95% in Syria (2). The US special forces began to operate practically in the open on the counter-terrorist theater of military operations, increasingly entering into direct military contact with the "jihadist infantry". The Americans are actively installing new forward-based points, synchronously expanding the capabilities of the existing support points in the region (Tabba, Rmeilan and Kobani air bases in Syria, Takaddum and Kayyara in Iraq). This is the new algorithm for conducting a comprehensive military campaign against the AAAH, presented by the Pentagon in the form of a strategy to the presidentDonald Trumpat the end of February.

"The Caliphate" tries to counteract this with its fresh ideas, with the same application for a comprehensive approach. So, with the loss of control over Western Mosul and the approaching evacuation of militants with families from Rakki, the top of the DIASH, according to Iraqi intelligence, entered into negotiations with Al-Qaeda about an alliance. At one time (by February 2014), IGIL severed all ties with the "mother structure". Now, sensing the impending catastrophe, it is trying to restore them. Confirm the intelligence data of Iraq (although, in this issue, it may be a deliberate misinformation), the return of the DIES will only happen on the terms of Al-Qaeda. Such a turn will complicate the situation, first of all, in Syria, where, under the influence of the organizationAyman al-Zawahiriare groups that traditionally gravitate to join one alliance with Daishev.

Perhaps it is the threat of creating a single Jihadist fronts will force Americans to reassess their previous policy setting. For example, in terms of categorical rejection of any coordination with Russia in Syria. If it took the Americans 1000 days and nights agonizing quest recipe killing "Caliphate", which originally was obvious - the union of the United States and Russia's efforts, then there is a chance that since August 2014-33 months of limited time, missed opportunities.

(1) ISIS Losing Fighters, Leaders, Resources, Inherent Resolve Spokesman Says, defense.gov, February 15, 2017.

(2) At the end of February 2017 the US costs "unshakable determination" are very close to $ 12 billion. Each day of operation facilitates the pockets of American taxpayers an average of an additional $ 12,8 million. Thus, to 4 May, 1000-day-turn of the operation, its official price is already close to 13-billion mark. For reference, in 2014, all humanitarian assistance of the United Nations program on a global scale were estimated at $ 13 billion However, for America -. It is not the most money. For example, the construction of one of the newest aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford has cost the US at the same $ 13 billion.

A source: EADaily

Tags: IG, war in the Middle East, Syria, the Middle East, West, Army, USA, Analytics, Politics

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