Thomas Wictor

The Kurds get the help they need

The Kurds get the help they need

Sit back, and I’ll show you something truly incredible. I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime, but it’s happening. The Kurds are getting the help they need on the ground—but not from the US. That’s a good thing in the long run. We’re seeing cultures give up ancient enmities and religious bigotry in order to do the right thing. I’m very excited.

First, a video that shows the aftermath of an attempted Islamic State infiltration of Peshmerga positions near Mosul on February 22, 2015. The Islamic State fighters went through the village of Sultan Abdullah, where they were met by a ferocious Kurdish counterattack. The Kurds say that hundreds of Islamic State terrorists were killed.

Although the video is somewhat censored, you’ll see some dead bodies.

Update 1

A day after I wrote this post, here’s what you saw when you tried to watch the video on YouTube.


I found another copy of the video. We’ll see how long it stays up.

There’s a lot to note, such as the advanced ages of so many Kurdish Peshmerga. Time apparently has no effect on Kurds. I’ve seen hundreds of gray-haired Kurds in uniform. By all accounts the older the Kurd, the better a fighter he or she becomes.

The Islamic State was clearly hit with air strikes; some of the corpses are burned and dismembered. However, I don’t think the aircraft were American, because as this battle took place, the US was helping the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) somewhere else.

(Reuters) - Syrian Kurdish forces advanced against Islamic State fighters in two separate attacks in northeastern Syria near the Iraqi border on Sunday, an organization tracking the war reported, compounding recent losses for the militant group in Syria.

The Kurdish YPG militia has been one of Islamic State’s toughest enemies in Syria and last month flushed the group out of the town of Kobani with the help of U.S. and allied air support and Iraqi Kurdish reinforcements on the ground.

Hasaka province in the northeastern corner of Syria is strategically important in the fight against Islamic State because it borders areas controlled by the group in Iraq.

In an attack backed by U.S.-led air strikes, the YPG advanced to within 5 km (3 miles) of Tel Hamis, an Islamic State-controlled town 35 km (22 miles) southeast of the city of Qamishli, Kurdish official Nasir Haj Mansour said.

The YPG had decided to launch the attack after Islamic State reinforced its positions in the area with foreign fighters.

It is the latest example of coordination between the U.S.-led alliance and the YPG in the fight against Islamic State, which has seized wide areas of Syria and Iraq and declared them part of a cross-border “caliphate”…

In the second advance in the northeast, Kurdish fighters took two villages from Islamic State at the Iraqi border, helped by heavy shelling by Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces on the other side of the frontier, the Observatory said. It said the shelling killed eight people, five of them children.

A source on the Iraqi side of the frontline in the Sinjar area said the Kurdish peshmerga forces in Iraq had shelled Islamic State positions across the border in Syria in coordination with the YPG…

Since driving Islamic State from Kobani, the Kurdish forces backed by other Syrian armed groups have pursued Islamic State fighters as far their provincial stronghold of Raqqa.

So, on the same day, the Kurds launched two offensives into Syria and wiped out an Islamic State attack on Mosul. According to the video, all the terrorists who tried to infiltrate through the village of Sultan Abdullah were killed.

Here’s the exciting part.

In the now-vanished video above, the sound cuts out at 0:19. That’s so that we can’t hear the language being spoken.

It’s Arabic. See these men?



They’re special-operations troops. You can tell because their rifles have single-point slings.


The sling is attached to the rifle at only one point.


When the rifle isn’t in use, it hangs muzzle-down on the side of the body. Single-point slings are the hallmark of professional special operators.

And I can identify the soldiers’ camouflage. They’re operators of the United Arab Emirates.


Compare the camouflage pattern.


According to the world, the UAE isn’t in Iraq. Nobody told the UAE, I guess. Recently the Pentagon got its panties in a wad because the UAE bombed Islamic State targets in Libya without asking permission from the US.


The US is currently doing just enough to appear that we’re doing something. In contrast, the video above shows that the Emeratis are helping kill Islamic State terrorists by the hundreds. This is why I’m excited. Arab Sunnis have put aside their differences with the Kurds and are fighting fellow Arab Sunnis. Not only that, the Emeratis are showing no mercy. Not a single Islamic State terrorist survived the infiltration of Sultan Abdullah.

Here’s something even more exciting. Two more operators.


I know they’re operators because they have single-point slings on their rifles, and both are wearing combination ear protection-communication gear. The soldier on the left is an Arab, probably an Egyptian, since Task Force 777 wears unique light khaki-green uniforms.


I’m almost positive that the soldier in the center is an Israeli.


He’s wearing an IDF parka, on the left in the photo below.


He has green trousers.


And he wears black combat boots, a distinctive feature of IDF commando units. His trouser legs are gathered at the ankles with short, black gaiters that make it unnecessary to tuck the cloth into the boots. Very practical.

Update 2

Dan Seidel points out that the operator in the middle wears a keffiyeh in blue and white, the colors of the Israeli flag. Mr. Seidel gives such keffiyehs as gifts.


Kurds have secretly used Israeli advisers since the early 1990s. The fact that this man didn’t mind being filmed by a TV news crew speaks volumes about Kurdish assertiveness, Israeli regional power, and the changing mindset of Arab governments.

Usually the Law of Unintended Consequences means that something terrible happens when we make poor decisions. In this case, however, the incoherent, waffling American approach to fighting terrorism has spurred other nations into taking the lead.

All we need now is for the Indians to join in.


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