"It's déjà vu all over again"
- An army of 500,000 Americans and 700,000 South Vietnamese could not root out terrorist guerrillas in Vietnam, but somehow our politicians and generals think can can beat determined guerrilla forces in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants have an army of about 200,000 fighters, over six times larger than previous CIA estimates, a senior Iraqi Kurdish leader has claimed.
"I am talking about hundreds of thousands of fighters because they are able to mobilize young Arab men in the territory they have taken," Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, told the UK Independent in an exclusive interview.
Controlling roughly one third of Iraq and Syria, Hussein says the 250,000 square kilometer territory has provided IS a 10 to 12 million-large population from which to attract potential fighters.
He said this sizeable force explains how the Islamic State had been able to wage successful campaigns on multiple fronts in Iraq and Syria.
"They are fighting in Kobani," he said. “In Kurdistan last month they were attacking in seven different places as well as in Ramadi [capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad] and Jalawla [an Arab-Kurdish town close to Iranian border]."
|Abdirahmaan Muhumed, pictured here in Syria, had special access |
to planes and the tarmac at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
before he joined the brutal terrorist group ISIS
Read more: Daily Mail.
‘They will fight to the death’Hussein believes previous US intelligence estimates, with an upward range of 31,500 militants, may have been referring strictly to a “core” force of fighters. But with a sophisticated propaganda effort, coupled with a strong military and ideological core, IS has developed into a sophisticated fighting force that has caught Western governments off guard.
"We are talking about a state that has a military and ideological basis," said Mr Hussein, "so that means they want everyone to learn how to use a rifle, but they also want everybody to have training in their ideology, in other words brainwashing."
Hussein told the daily his Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are impressed by the militants level of competence, grit and discipline.
"They will fight until death, and are dangerous because they are so well-trained," said Mr Hussein. "For instance, they have the best snipers, but to be a good sniper you need not only training on how to shoot, but discipline in staying put for up to five hours so you can hit your target."
That the war-torn and impoverished region leaves few opportunities for young men, the group’s $400-a-month salary also provides a strong incentive for locals to take up arms.
Read the full article RT News.
ISIS slaughters Muslim clerics
"I think we've turned into a society of craven cowards. I hope that doesn't offend. Actually, I hope it does offend … because, you see, I can still remember the shock of the Rushdie Affair 25 years ago. The very idea that anybody could be killed for writing a book was surreal and horrific. Now we take it for granted that if you say the wrong thing about the religion of peace you'll get death threats and you might actually be killed, so you keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you. All for the sake of tolerance and diversity, of course."