Friday, December 02, 2016

At Least Try to Be Believable

I'm calling qualified bullshit on this claim:

A total of 1,600 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters have been killed since the start on October 17 of a huge offensive to retake the jihadist bastion of Mosul, a spokesman said Thursday.

Add in 10,000 wounded, the spokesman said.

The Kurds have not been doing much more than holding the perimeter rather than going into Mosul. There is no way they've suffered that many losses. I'd be shocked if it was ten percent of that claim.

So if this is an effort to leverage more aid from the West, give it a rest.

And if the Kurds are truly that inept to suffer this level of casualties I don't know how on Earth they keep their reputation as the best fighters in the region.

The only reasonable explanation for the claim is that the Kurds are trying to draw ISIL attention away from a looming Iraqi thrust from the southwest.

UPDATE: Okay, that's not what the spokesman said (or meant to say, perhaps). This is plausible:

"Since the beginning of the war against Daesh, which means June 2014, until November 30 (2016), the total number of martyrs is 1,614 and the wounded are 9,515," peshmerga ministry secretary-general Jabar Yawar told AFP.

I can buy that toll.

UPDATE: ISIL is battling Shia militias to the west of Mosul:

An official from Iraq’s state-sanctioned Shiite militias says Islamic State militants have breached their defenses at a village west of the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar.

May the Sunni jihadis and Iran-friendly Shia militias both lose heavily.