Friday, October 28, 2016

What Do You Mean "We," Kemo Jihadi?

ISIL jihadis will fight to the death to hold Mosul. That's the story. Well, perhaps not all of them, eh?


"I saw some Daesh (IS) members and they looked completely different from the last time I saw them," eastern Mosul resident Abu Saif said.

"They had trimmed their beards and changed their clothes," the former businessman said. "They must be scared... they are also probably preparing to escape the city."

Residents and military officials said many IS fighters had relocated within Mosul, moving from the east to their traditional bastions on the western bank of the Tigris river, closer to escape routes to Syria.

We're doing our part to encourage the enemy to run:

Army General Joseph Votel, head of the US military's Central Command, said groups of half a dozen or fewer IS fighters have been seen slipping out of the city as US-backed Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces close in.

Some of them dump weapons and try to look like civilians, making it hard for coalition drones and planes to track them, Votel said, but some presumably are headed toward Raqa, the IS group's Syria stronghold.

We think ISIL may have lost up to 900 fighters so far in the Iraqi offensive.

And whether or not ISIL defenders are trickling out to avoid adding to the body count, it is good to talk about anything that encourages ISIL defenders not to be the last to leave the city before they can't.

And if you've been reading this blog, you know I'm skeptical about whether the jihadi reputation for fighting to the death is true any more in Iraq.

Nearly a year ago I noticed something seemed to be wrong with that love of death and the months since then have not changed my mind about the general state of loving death versus life in ISIL ranks (there are always brown nosers in some number eager to die for the cause to perpetuate the reputation).

So when ISIL propaganda boasts that "we" will fight to the death and inflict heavy casualties on the attackers and civilians doing so, how many jihadis on the ground in Mosul will glance at each other and say that "we" doesn't include their leaders and "important" skilled jihadis already skedaddled to Raqqa and it darned well isn't going to include them?