Thursday, February 26, 2015

US and Arab Warplanes Respond To ISIL Hostage-taking;Iraq's New F-16s

The US-led air campaign against ISIL militants targeted an area of Hasakeh Province in Northeast Syria where the Islamist jihadists have terrorised 10 Assyrian Christian villages.ISIL abducted at least 220 women,children and elderly Christians from two of the villages,the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported today.In response,US and Arab ally warplanes attacked ISIL positions near the town of Tal Tamir.A total of four sorties were carried out there.The US has confirmed ISIL's ravaging of the villages,saying the militants had burned homes and churches,as well as kidnapping a large number of helpless Assyrian Christians.Thousands of other Assyrian Christians from the villages took refuge in the provincial capital Qumlishi and Hasakeh city. *
Northeast Syria has seen heavy fighting in recent days between ISIL and the YPG Kurds/Christian militia alliance.
The YPG Kurds also cut the ISIL supply line between Northeast Syria and neighbouring Iraq.ISIL in Syria is reportedly running out of cash because of a loss of oil revenue caused by coalition bombing,as well as the difficulty in crossing the Syrian-Iraqi border posed by the YPG Kurds.ISIL has consequently been salvaging and selling scrap metal generated by the war in Syria.
At the same time,ISIL have opened a new front in Southern Syria along the Lebanese border,where they claim to have engaged their anti-Assad rivals,the US-allied Free Syrian Army.The Lebanese army has reportedly responded to the fracas in the area by shelling jihadist militants who were crossing back and forth across the Syria-Lebanese border.*
The Iraqi Air Force has received the first of 36 Block 52 F-16 Fighting Falcons.The fighter bombers are straight off the Lockheed Martin assembly line.They will be armed with the most up to date weaponry.The aircraft were delivered to a base in Arizona,where 14 Iraqi pilots are receiving combat training from US Air National Guard trainers.When the training is completed and suitable bases have been built and secured in Iraq,the aircraft will be flown there and put into service.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

U-2 Dragon Lady Aircraft Preparation&Takeoff-SW Asia

U-2 Spy Plane - Prep & Takeoff-SW Asia

Suffering Defeats,ISIL Takes Assyrian Christians Hostage

When Kurdish forces pushed ISIL out of some 30 villages in Northeast Syria recently,sweeping in from their retaking of Kobani,the Islamist jihadists responded by entering a lightly guarded village in al-Hasakeh Province at 4 am local time,invaded homes and dragged their Assyrian Christian hostages,including women,children and the elderly,away to an uncertain fate.According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,about 90 of the indigenous Assyrian Christians were seized,mostly from the village of Tal Shamirzm 85 km southwest of the provincial capital Qamishli.The Assyrians predate the arrival of Islam in the region,tracing their heritage back to the ancient Mesopotamians.Their traditional language is the Syriac dialect of Aramaic,a language spoken by Jesus Christ.The Assyrian Network for Human Rights believes they were taken to the village of Umm al-Masamir on Mt.Abdulaziz,around 25 km south of their home village.
At the same time,about 700 Assyrian Christian families,or 3,000 people,fled to al-Hasakeh city and took refuge in a church.Later reports say another 150 families found refuge in Qamishli,and that several of the Assyrian Christians were moved to the ISIL headquarters of Raqqa,Syria.
This comes after last week's massacre of 21 Coptic Orthodox Christian men from Egypt by ISIL in Libya.*
It was reported by the Iranian FARS news agency on Monday 22 February that Iraqi troops had killed more than seven ISIL Takfiri group militants in fighting south of Tikrit,Salahuddin Province.Then FARS reported on 23 February that Iraqi warplanes and artillery pounded the ISIL Takfiri group extremists in Tikrit itself,killing dozens and destroying two houses they were using as headquarters.
The Iraqi Air Force has several Russian ground attack aircraft,such as the Su-25,as well as a number of helicopter gunships.*
Ideal for surveillance and reconnaissance of ISIL,as well as the Taliban and al-Qaida militants in Afghanistan,are the US Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft stationed at an undisclosed Southwest Asia base.According to industry sources,however,it is al-Dhafra Air Base,UAE.Gathering intelligence is one of the main roles the US performs for the anti-ISIL coalition it leads in Operation Inherent Resolve.