Map Of The Day: The Jihadist Resurgence Across Iraq

Tyler Durden's picture

"Is it Al Qaeda? Is it not Al Qaeda?" When it comes to the most recent fighting in Iraq, nobody is quite sure how and what to brand the ISIS/ISIL spin off of Al Qaeda. Here are some thoughts from Stratfor on this issue, as part of their map of the day.

Battles continue to rage across northern Iraq, pitting jihadist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant against Iraqi security forces and their allies. Using hit-and-run tactics, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL, has sought to keep Iraqi security forces dispersed and under pressure. ISIL has achieved this by striking at areas where security forces are weak and withdrawing from areas where Baghdad has concentrated its combat power. The jihadists have been working hard to improve their tradecraft by developing skill sets ranging from staging complex ambushes to using Iraqi army equipment effectively in surprise raids. ISIL has also sought to better develop its ties with local Sunni communities.

As far back as the days of al Qaeda in Iraq and its predecessor, Jamaat al-Tawhid and Jihad, founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, militancy has had a presence in Anbar province -- and indeed in Mosul. During the Iraq War, the U.S. military considered Mosul one of the key gateways for foreign al Qaeda in Iraq fighters to enter the country. ISIL is striving to maintain a line of pressure from the north of Mosul through Tikrit to the south and toward Baghdad along the Tigris River Valley. The Tigris River Valley contains a number of key strategic energy areas, including the oil refinery near Baiji. Although the refinery is still under state control at this time, the areas where ISIL is operating largely match areas where al Qaeda in Iraq was active during the height of the Sunni insurrection in Iraq from 2004-2006. As opposed to a first-time assault or new offensive, ISIL's actions speak more of a resurgence into historical areas of operations.

ISIL operations in Mosul and the wider Nineveh province are unsurprising. What is surprising is the degree of success that ISIL has managed to achieve in its latest offensive in the region. This success undoubtedly has much to do with local forces and tribes who have either facilitated ISIL or elected not to fight the group's incursion into Mosul. In a city of almost 2 million, had ISIL received no local sympathy, it would have been unable to rout the Iraqi forces in the area with only 1,000 to 2,000 fighters. Furthermore, Iraqi security forces reportedly had around 10,000 personnel in and around Mosul. Despite the ferociousness of the ISIL attack, the fact that a significant portion of these forces fled -- abandoning their uniforms, equipment and vehicles -- indicates serious structural and morale issues within the force, which could be attributed in part to a high number of Sunni soldiers in the ranks who are unwilling to stand up to ISIL for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The militants' alarmingly quick advances across an important region of the Middle East could draw in regional powers as well as the United States.

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Spastica Rex's picture

Looks like a 14 year old boy with boobs.

And an old fart's head, of course.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Strafor doesn't know dick. I thought Stratfor was suppose to envision such scenarios? They missed a city of over 2 million disenfranchised people? Why would anyone pay for their shitty advice?

knukles's picture

Hey lookie!

Flights disappearing over EU airspace!
Shades of....



Oh nevermind...

All this neo-con shits Just In Time for elections, too

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

And what's with all those stupid-ass corridors. Are we suppose to believe the Iraqi government commands the open desert when it can't even control the major roads? You can shade those regions in Stratfarts.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

LOL... thanks for that...

You forgot one thing though... the giant cock of the USSA Navy coming up from the Persian Gulf.

max2205's picture

Iraqi's surrender faster than the fucking French. ...

The Alarmist's picture

Q: "Why would anyone pay for their shitty advice?" 


A: Like political donations making millionaires out of otherwise useless media types, like student loans feather the nests of liberal elites, like union dues ... you get the idea .... It's a great way to legally launder money?

fencejumper's picture

"... like student loans feather the nests of liberal elites,"


Please explain that one.

BigJim's picture

I'm told being on their mailing list is a good way to get your email address known to millions.

JRobby's picture

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death's construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds... Oh Lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait 'till their Judgment day comes, yeah!

Now in darkness, world stops turning
Ashes where the bodies burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of God has struck the hour
Day of Judgment, God is calling
On their knees the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
Oh Lord yeah!

nuclearsquid's picture

The lesson I draw from this map is that all of the bullshit seems to be focused at the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates.  This crap has been happening for 10 thousand years, why are we wasting our time and money there?

Fuck em.


NotApplicable's picture

The geopolitical chokeholds known as energy and religion, of course.

BTW, what's with this "we" BS? The last thing any sane human should do is to claim allegience with organized crime.

nuclearsquid's picture

I have personally spent tens of thousands of dollars on this Iraqi war, as have you, like it or not.


BLOTTO's picture

Because something extremely important to 'them' exists in that general area where civilization started 10,000+ years ago. As if the source of power comes from those that rule that land...that land that just seems like a bunch of stones and sticks and rubble.


They want to build the 3rd temple mountin in Israel one day soon...we are dealing with the ancient occult. And its irrelevant whether or not you or I believe...they do.

NoTTD's picture

One day they'll die off, 

Leaving us alone...

PartysOver's picture

Get your popcorn!  Showtime!

kowalli's picture

People dying - american people  - showtime... just no words

Headbanger's picture

Nuke em!  Nuke em!  Nuke em!  NOW!!



Reminds me...  I gotta git the new FP fer my SKS

kowalli's picture

when you will have something similar in your country - we will tell you the same,plz can you give me your address?

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Well, not sure which country you are from but don't forget that America has NEVER lost a war.   The American people now expect its military to be always win, in a similar vain as Americans expect their local sports teams to always win;  because - as all American children learn from an early age:  winning isn't everything, it's the ONLY thing and winners never quit and quiters never win.  It's this spirit of war as sport which has allowed America to become the BEST warrior society the planet has EVER witnessed.    

Falling Down's picture

...and Social Security was raided to pay for part of it, and LBJ's Great Society.

Americuhhhh! Fuck Yeaaaaaaaaaaahhh!


NOTaREALmerican's picture

I remember this kinda map.   Was about Vietnam a few decades ago.   Looks like it's time to get Rambo out of retirement.   If it wasn't for Rambo we never woulda won that Vietnam war. 

The Alarmist's picture

Or Afghanistan, now that you mention it.

Headbanger's picture

Nahhh..  If it weren't for Lieutenant Colonel William Kilgore...

Now there's the kind of military initiative I'm talkin about!

NoTTD's picture

"Do we get to win this time?"

fauxhammer's picture

They didn't abandon their uniforms...they stashed them for later.  Think of it as a simple costume change!

NOZZLE's picture

Thanks god that OlympDick vanquished Al-CIA-da and removed all troops from Iraq with no status of forces agreement, now all of those Americans that died for something now died for nothing.

Notice how Al-CIA-Da is now called ISIS by the media so that you forget that Obasma lied when he claimed he got rid of  Al-CIA-Da.

The Alarmist's picture

That particular movement died when its leader was offered up to save GM or something like that ... Joe Biden told us so.  This group just looks like the old group and quacks like the old group, but they certainly aren't your father's old group.

Duffy Duck's picture

the map reminds me of something I recently saw on a Japanese porn site.

what's that smell's picture

the mysterious mutating amorphous fictitious shadowy murky machinations of a certain emmanuel goldstein.....


Winston: Does the Brotherhood exist?

O'Brien: That, Winston, you will never know. If we choose to set you free when we have finished with you, and if you live to be ninety years old, still you will never learn whether the answer to that question is Yes or No. As long as you live it will be an unsolved riddle in your mind.

Duffy Duck's picture

that's the smell of truth, brother....

alexcojones's picture

Time to dust off the A 10 Warthog?

Oh wait. The Toyota Terrorists might have some Stingers left over from Libya.

asking4it2k's picture

Let Iraq deal with their own country.

We had 200 people shot in Chicago last week, and tens of thousands of illegal immigrants flooding into the country. We have our own problems to deal with.

NoTTD's picture

Who gives a fuck if it's "Al Queda" or not?   Only Obama wants to debate semantices at this point since he "destroyed" AQ by killing OBL. So it can't be them.  Otherwise, it's like BHO has accomplished absolutely nothing internationally - except making it far worse.


It's the same murdering Muslim motherfuckers as always.

Missing_Link's picture

That pretty much sums it up.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and shits like a duck, then IT'S A DUCK, whether it calls itself "al-Qaeda," "ISIS," "Hezbollah," "Hamas," "Islamic Jihad," or any of the thousand other stupid names these fuckers come up with to try to (all too easily) confuse their western enemies. 

NOTaREALmerican's picture

I like to think of them as out-of-control religious fundamentalists with an imaginary-friend.   

NoWayJose's picture

There seems to be some need to establish a super villian organization like SPECTRE, THRUSH or Dr. Evil.  Most of these organizations are independent and are run by local leaders who are capable of motivating a few hundred followers.  Moreover, the local leaders can easily and quickly change - especially when a hero emerges (think William Wallace in Braveheart).  If is easy to get your followers to jump in trucks and fight, especially when the government forces throw down their weapons and run.  Stamping any of these as Jihadists, ISIS, al Qaeda or other labels is not as accurate as the unifying factors in Iraq are more along the Shiite versus Sunni religious fighting, and government versus people-suppressed-by-government lines. 

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  There seems to be some need to establish a super villian organization like SPECTRE, THRUSH or Dr. Evil. 

Would be MUCH harder for Big-MIC and Big-PoliceState to rip-off "da people" if the "da people" thought of them as 15th century religious fanatics.  

Freddie's picture

There seems to be some need to establish a super villian organization like...

Congress?  The White House?  NWO?

lakecity55's picture

We already have Blowfeldt, err, uhh, Barry.

tempo's picture

Where in Iraq are 2 of the largest oil fields in the world located. We fight there!!

lakecity55's picture

Saddam kept the Sunni vs. Shia deal on low heat. The Kurds were suppressed.

Now it's coming back to a boil.

The best thing to do is find another Saddam, but since the Ba'ath party is decimated, it's not likely.

GHW kept Saddam in power. Saddam had a legit beef against Kuwait for sideswiping his oil.