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Monday, June 23, 2014

ISIS attacks Free Syrian Army with US weapons

In my blog post yesterday I predicted:
Because Obama has refused weapons for the Free Syrian Army and the other moderate forces in Syria and because ISIS has now gotten its hands on stockpiles of the latest US weaponry in Mosul and other Iraq arsenals they have captured, there is the distinct possibility that in future battles between ISIS and the Free Syrian Army, ISIS will have the best US weapons. Now that would be a real embarrassment to President Obama.
Obama's embarrassment didn't take long to develop. Today Reuters is reporting:
Equipped with Humvees, ISIL clashes with rivals in Syria

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Gareth Jones)
BEIRUT - The Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL) battled with rival opposition fighters in northern Syria on Sunday, using U.S.-made military vehicles captured from neighboring Iraq for the first time, a monitoring group said.
For the first time, ISIL combatants have been using U.S-made Humvees - four-wheel drive military vehicles - in fighting in northern areas of Syria's Aleppo province, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The vehicles, which appear to have been seized during ISIL's recent Iraqi offensive, were used to gain control of villages outside the town of Azaz, close to the Turkish border, it said. More...
Azaz was liberated from Assad regime forces on 19 July 2012. One year later ISIS attempted to set up a headquarters in Azaz, but this provoked protests from local activists. At that time ISIS didn't have a military presence in Azaz. It was under the control of the FSA's Northern Storm Bridage. In September ISIS started bringing in military forces, including rooftop snipers, attacking the FSA and terrorizing the people. In early October a peaceful anti-ISIS protest in Azaz was fired upon by them. Throughout September ISIS had been increasing it military presence in Azaz. By the middle of October 2013, ISIS had removed any remaining FSA elements, until a spring counter-offensive drove them out.

It would appear that the Syrian opposition forces are the only military forces in Syria or Iraq actually fighting ISIS on the ground, and they are winning ground from them. Taking advantage of ISIS's diversion of forces to Iraq, the Free Syrian Army, Islamic Front and other Syrian opposition force were able liberated some areas, as this Al Jazeera report tells us:
Sigh of relief after ISIL retreat
Withdrawal of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters from northern Syrian town gives residents hope.
09 Mar 2014
by Emma Beals
Azaz, Syria - Residents of parts of northern Syria say they are breathing easy again after living under the rule of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant(ISIL) fighters, who hastily retreated from the area after the threat of attack from other rebel groups.
"It feels like the town is smiling, laughing, happy," Azaz resident Abu Bilal told Al Jazeera. More...
Now it looks like ISIS is trying to retake Azaz and the surrounding areas from the democratic opposition in Syria and now they are fortified with the type of US weapons the FSA has been denied. How embarrassing for President Obama and all who have supported his refusal to arm Assad's moderate opposition.

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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