Just as we warned hours ago, it appears the capture of a nearby town was not the endgame and, as The Wall Street Journal reports, A group of Islamic State militants penetrated an Iraqi air base where U.S. military advisers are training Iraqi forces, the first time attackers have gotten beyond the outer perimeter of an Iraqi base being used by American trainers.
U.S. officials said eight Islamic State militants struck a small building at the edge of the huge al-Asad Air Base before being repelled by Iraqi forces. All eight were killed.
Military officials said American and other coalition trainers were “several kilometers” away from the attack and under no direct threat. There are 400 U.S. Marines and other service members at the base.
An Iraqi security-force official said that at the time of the attack, Islamic State militants also were firing rockets and mortars at the base.
The attacks on the base came after Islamic State fighters moved against the nearby Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi earlier on Thursday. The militants, according to an Iraqi official, took control of a number of government buildings after the local police fled following a pair of suicide bombings. It isn’t clear how much of the town the militants control.
Friday’s assault was the first in which Islamic State forces sent an armed team to attack the base. U.S. military officials said Iraqi forces repelled the attack, which occurred at 7:20 a.m. Iraqi time on Friday, killing all eight attackers. The U.S. provided overhead surveillance for the Iraqi force.
“Eight guys going after al-Asad—that is a suicide mission. They have no chance,” said a U.S. defense official. “But they have an interest in al-Asad and I would venture to say they will have an interest anywhere we have people.”
The defense official said Islamic State fighters have been targeting the base because of the propaganda value of the attacks. Even ineffective attacks in the vicinity of the base have generated widespread newspaper and television headlines.
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We leave it to Ron Paul to conlude on where this goes next...
Declaring war against ISIS is like declaring war against communism or fascism. The enemy cannot be identified or limited. Both are ideological and armies are incapable of stopping an idea, good or bad, that the people do not resist or that they support. Besides, the strength of ISIS has been enhanced by our efforts.
Our involvement in the Middle East is being used as a very successful recruitment tool to expand the number of radical jihadists willing to fight and die for what they believe in. And sadly our efforts have further backfired with the weapons that we send ending up in the hands of our enemies and used against our allies and Americans caught in the crossfire.
Good intentions are not enough. Wise policies and common sense would go a long way toward working for peace and prosperity instead of escalating violence and motivating the enemy.