The Islamic State of Syria, Iraq and Levante (southwest of Asia)

Al-Qaeda makes to the Sunnis great part of the difficult, despicable and awkward «fieldwork». And her existence and threat is a trick to play by the Sunnis. Always they can agree with the Shiite government to exercise more or less control over al-Qaeda in some areas. This was the function for general Petraeus re-turned them from 2007 into self-defense forces, the Sahwa militias (of the Sunni resurgence). Strategy that followed without counting with the government and paying the Americans the salaries of these appeased militias. With it, as only antiwestern visible enemy stayed the AQI and next the Islamic State of Iraq, that is to say al-Qaeda. The area of operations is as arid and difficult that that of Syria. The «groups» movements can be detected from the sky and for many eyes of chance observers. The targets of the «punctual assaults with explosives» are the mosques, the markets, the peregrinations, the concentrations of civilians and military men and Iraqi policemen and the frequent passages or in mass of the Shiites. In many of these places always are several members of the same family. The Network uses the uncontrolled violence and taken to her unnecessary, immodest and insanity extremes, not hesitating to sacrifice their «suicide muhaiddins». That will never have «expectations of life and promotion» within the terrorist organization. So, the Network betrays even their «more effective militants», as demonstrates the correlation of caused hurts and suffered losses.

And this is not all. These “fatherland sellers” terrorists are the principal persons in charge of the genocide (systematic extermination of a collectivity for reasons of religion, race or ideology) that the Christians suffer in Syria and Iraq. And that are provoking their massive exodus, probably without return, from their native lands. Where they were living and working from several centuries before the Islam flags were appearing in these Christian lands. Only a brushstroke, probably already forgotten. On Sunday, the 31st of October, 2010 the cathedral.of Our Lady of the Perpetual Help of Baghdad was assaulted during the celebration of the Eucharist by a group of the AQI. Blowing, shooting and throwing grenades, they attacked the present faithfuls and celebrators, in a delirious drunkenness of blood and horror. And shot the crucified Christ, who was presiding. Dozens of persons, major and children, and two priests, remained died in the sacred place, sacrilegiously profaned. This way, on following December 14, the cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Roman Congregation for the Oriental Churches, had to dedicate again the cathedral to the divine worship. It was the response of the Christian faith to the aggression of the subhuman assassins. The cardinal breathed the community to live through a response of love to all the Iraqis, under the protection of the Virgin of the Perpetual Help. In the first letter to the Corinthians, 1 can be read: » do not you know that you are God’s temples? So, that who profanes His temple, God will destroy him». The Justice belongs to God, the Wise , the Merciful, the Compassionate, which knows the deeds of all men and they will be pay for them the Day of the Resurgence…

At the beginning of 2014, the forces of the ISSIL invaded Faluya. «Already there is no presence of the Iraqi State in Faluya. The police and the army left the city. Al-Qaeda has taken off the Iraqi flags, has burned them and hung her own flags on all the buildings», exaggerating narrated a local journalist to “The Washington Post”. At the end of the Friday central prayer, the 3rd of January, followed even in the street by thousands of Muslims, dozens of jihadists, with the «black banners embroidered with the Shahada» of al-Qaeda, appeared in the downtown, to proclaim the establishment of an «Islamic emirate» in Faluya. The Shahada is the profession of faith of the Islam and his alone recitation turns the neophyte into Muslim. It is his Islamic personal and intimate baptism, without necessary presence of an imam. The Shahada is sometimes «adorned» with a cutlass extended to all the long of his text. Al-Ramadi is also partially occupied. There, the Government troops killed on Friday the local commander of the ISSIL, Abu Abdelrahman al-Bagdadi. In the combats of this day in these two cities of Anbar’s province, died more than 100 military men and jihadists.

The combats began on Monday, the 30th of December in al-Ramadi. There, the forces of Baghdad devastated a camp of anti-government protest, raised at the end of 2012 and considered as “al-Qaeda’ barracks», and untied an islamist counter-offensive, that they were not waiting. The march 2 years ago of the American forces, created a dangerous deterioration of the Iraq capacity to face the irregular insurgence, in his double aspect of military fight and civil action of development, education and politics. And this encouraged the Sunnis militias in general and the jihadists of al-Qaeda especially. The Sunni Iraqi minority is frustrated by her loss of rights and freedoms at hands of the Shiite government of the prime minister al-Maliki. The last elections dedicated the «democratic» right of the Shiite majority over her. And «Sunni Resurgence» of general Petreaus, is already without «stimuli». And the lack of perspectives to obtain civil advances in the negotiations with the majority, returned the latent and bellicose Sunni’s «local and regional forces of self-defense» to the active rebel rows.

The operational strategy of the jihadists groups centers in never get involve by the Army in combats lost in advance. Their technologies and tactics are the constant and beforehand mobility; the dispersion and the infiltration in the urban fighting, going forward in a flexible and wearing out defense, yielding space; the small, dispersed and more or less simultaneous or sequential actions in an area; the staggered flight; the fight with limited aims and in advantageous temporary conditions; the systematic abandon of positions, forcing once and again the enemy to deploy and prepare. They can win for the ISSIL the necessary time to survive in Iraq.

In the temporary occupations of large populations, they extend their defensive positions beyond the necessary in a conventional defense, covering a great surface. Their «delay points» are diffuse, disguise concealed and cover. So are imperceptible for the strangers. It is necessary to enter the houses to detect perforated walls and to find passages under a furniture or a carpet. The destruction that generates the heavy vague fire, reinforces their combat positions, surrounding them with debris that divide and impede the enemy accesses, except when are reached by a direct impact. The resistance nests have more importance in this form of fight, because the occupation of the defense zone is more tenuous, they cannot strengthen too much the positions, the sights are more short and exist numerous approximation routes. They depend on the delay points and to them return if the nests are invaded or destroyed. Numerous alternative positions exist. This defense structure allows to deceive the assaulting enemy about the forward limit of the defense position, her real extension, the limits of the sectors that form her, the interest of the rebel command in the defense of the zone and to disperse the attacker heavy fire.



Then, the dragoons of the right British flank ran in a “beheading charge”, to ruin the militiamen’s rush, pushing them up. And that in their flight, already in panic, run over and dissolve the formations of the line of regulars. Morgan sent his orders to Washington with an assistant. The American dragoons advanced from their waiting positions near the right hill and, forming two shock lines, charged on the right flank of Tarleton’s dragoons, destroying their formation. Her troopers turned into a fugitives’ tumult, escaping individually from the rebel sabers. The sight of the British dragoons altered the militiamen. And Pickens and Morgan had to use thoroughly to retain their officials. And in order that them achieve that the militiamen were calming down, were recovering and forming in their companies and battalions in the rear slope. While this happened, the British line was coming at the close distance of combat with the last rebel line. This developed with an fire exchange. The British line hesitated and descended to reform. They had successively charge against 3 rebel lines… Then, Tarleton insisted with his infantry reserve: the Highlanders’s battalion initiated his march to attack the enemy right flank, trying to run over from there all his line. Little later, a militia’s company of Virginia at the end of this line was moving back and turning towards right, seeking to refuse his flank to the Highlanders and to receive them abreast. Morgan received then messengers of Pickens from the rear slope, indicating him that his militiamen were ready. Morgan ordered them to go round the defense position towards his right and attack the British who were in front to the Continentals right flank.

The British line was advancing, for the fourth time and without any rest, already unconnected and turned in a crowd. Though the men were attacking, they were physic and mentally exhausted and had lost a too big number of officials and NCO. Without realizing it, the British were beaten and mature for a forceful counterattack. The cavalry of Washington prepared to charge on their right flank, from his waiting position. Meanwhile, the rebel regular infantry was receiving the British with another volley from approximately 27 ms. of distance. It was a devastating blow for the British, who stopped dead, stunned. The lieutenant colonel Howard gave his order to the men: «bayonet charge». The American dragoons also were charging with their sabers over the units of the right British flank. In this occasion, the British dragoons, placed behind, did not intervene, simply they dispersed and fled towards the forest. The remains of the British light infantry, the line infantry of the Legion and of the 7th regiment moved back dispersed and running, and were stopped and got prisoners by the Washington’s dragoons. In turn, in the rebel right flank, the militias of Virginia and the regular were facing the Scotch battalion of the Highlanders. For their part, Pickens’s militias in closed formation appeared surpassing this position and attacked them on flank and rear. Overwhelmed by this ungrateful surprise, the Scots hesitated in their lines, but continued the fight. The British cavalry reserve, the dragoons of the Legion, commanded by Tarleton in person, came in aid of the Highlanders. But, a volley from the militiamen of Pickens, took away the spirits from them and, already without expectations, they turned round and fled. The Highlanders were surrounded, except for their right flank, and to avoid destruction, mayor Mc Arthur gave up his sword. Only remained useful and in their positions the British gunners. Then, Howard’s infantry assaulted the pieces and beat them. Washington tried Tarleton’s pursuit, without result. Everything was finished.

Analysis and Lessons from Cowpens’s Battle.

Morgan’s falls were 12 dead and 61 injured men, equivalent to 7% of his force. The British had 110 dead and 830 prisoners, of which around 200 were injured, that supposed 85% of their force. And they also lost 2 regimental flags, 2 artillery pieces, 800 muskets, 35 load wagons, all the instruments of their music band and approximately 60 black slaves. Tarleton in his later memories declared: «some unforeseen fact (happened), that could throw the terror between the most disciplined troops and to resist the better thought plans». To this the experts call “surprise” and is an effective multiplier of the combat capacity applied.

In a small battle and of little more than one hour of duration, we see how a commander, at 24 days of his definitive fall because of rheumatism, could extract from the weakness and the lacks of his troops, renewed «forces», successive useful «combat capacities». And he recreates at his insignificant measures a small Cannas, without been he an Aníbal… Without the characteristics of his men had changed nothing at all. And so well he does it and so brave, direct, obstinate and sure is his arrogant enemy, that the results overcome his expectations and the orders received from General Greene. As Morgan was only trying to reject the intense pursuit that the impulsive British was submitting him.

In Cowpens, Morgan used the successive retreat of his slightly effective forces of free shooters and of the militiamen’s first line. It was logical and expected. Nevertheless, a regular force that moves back, without coming to the close fire or to the near threat of the bayonets, appears as a trick. The militiamen were stimulated in their moral and in their survival instinct. And no impossible emotional or an effort over their training and aptitudes were asked them, which generate some strong mental tension and enervation. This is going to be sufficient to seriously harm the assault and shock capacities of Tarleton’s regular infantry. And, in addition, without his «epaulettes» and NCOs noted it, since the regular troops were advancing on militiamen’s lines, which were behaving as was expected from them, that is to say, avoiding the shock and moving back. Tarleton launches, sure of possessing a remaining potential, being based on his comparison man to man. His linear logic is crushing. Nevertheless, after the second or third successive assaults, the best men suffer a general weariness: they get careless, their combat moral becomes neutral, have fallen too much officials and NCOs and their vulnerability is at maximum. The attackers have exhausted their combat capacity, though they continue instructively advancing.

Of this phenomenon also Sun Tzu treats. «He chooses his men and they take advantage the better possible of the situation«. Li Ch’uang comments this way: «The brave can fight; the prudent, defend itself; the wise person, advise. The talent of anyone is not wasted» and Chang Yu says: «Then the real method, when it is necessary to give orders to men, consists of using the greedy and the idiot, the wise person and the brave and in giving everyone the responsibility that are convenient for them in the situations. Do not entrust to the people tasks that cannot fulfill. Do a selection and give everyone responsibilities adapted to his qualities». «The one that bears in mind the situation, uses his men in the combat like who makes roll trunks or stones. Since it is in the nature of the trunks and of the stones to be in balance in a firm soil and to roll in an unstable soil. And if they are squared, they stop and if they are round, roll «.

After using them successively, without exhausting or allow that they are swept or come in panic, Morgan does not reject his men. He is incorporating them in reserves, with the moral grown by the effort supported over the regular British. he does not exhaust their potentials, but preserves and recovers them, recreating reserves. Though it is a question of little trained troops, they have a combat capacity applicable and operable on the enemy. The brigadier prevents that the shock or the depletion affect the inferior capacity of his men. Morgan avoids the wear, but uses it to the maximum against his enemy. The result would be less manifest and showy, if Tarleton had given rest and rotation to his different battalions. With it he would compensate very much it and might act more effectively on his opposite, using his reserves. This possibility presents a wealth-producing perspective of the holistic, global vision, of the treated phenomenon.




La Estrategia rebelde en el Conflicto civil de IraK.

En Iraq, la estrategia de los sunníes no pretendía ganar una guerra civil al régimen democrático imperfecto de al-Maliki, de la mayoría chiíta. Tampoco podría, expulsarlos del país por agotamiento, al hacer aflorar y destacar su incapacidad militar y política para acabar con los rebeldes armados. Así ocurrió en muchas “guerras de liberación nacional” en los países coloniales a mediados del siglo XX. A muchos de los movimientos guerrilleros populares les bastó con resistir durante algunos años las campañas y embestidas de los militares extranjeros. Y resistiendo, cansaron a los pueblos enemigos de las metrópolis de sostener una guerra lejana, poco asumida y dañina. Y enervaron a sus fuerzas armadas, que fueron muchas veces incomprendidas y hasta infravaloradas en sus propios lares y solares. Los sunníes luchan en Iraq por garantizar regionalmente el poder de sus tribus, basado en sus jefes aceptados, en sus “asambleas de iguales” entre los destacados de aquéllas y en el “código de honor”, que regula, con sabiduría secular, su comportamiento y sus derechos y deberes individuales y colectivos.

La estructura de tribus, clanes regionales y locales y familias, que estructura y soporta a las sociedades árabes, da el valor y sentido prácticos a las lealtades y los intereses, siempre relativos y aún oportunistas, de los árabes. Por último, es posible que las sociedades musulmanas modernas envidien en parte el “desarrollo económico occidental”. Pero también desprecian sinceramente la pérdida de las virtudes humanas que las sociedades cristianas occidentales han sufrido innecesariamente, en el logro de aquél. Los sunníes pelean por arrancarle a la mayoría chiíta los derechos y concesiones, que se les niegan demasiado tozudamente dentro de las reglas de la imperfecta y reciente democracia inorgánica existente en Iraq. Las elecciones últimas consagraron el derecho “democrático” de la mayoría chií sobre ellos. Y el “resurgir sunní” del general Petreaus, está ya sin “estímulos”, ni funciones reales. Sólo fue una táctica político militar efímera, buscando ahorrar vidas de los “grunts” (sus “quintos” o soldaditos valientes). Más que buscando, al menos parcialmente, una solución estratégica nacional para el enfrentamiento secular de los chiíes y sunníes iraquíes. Intentando así fraguar así una integración nacional superior, que superara de divisiones tribales y regionales. Que podría lograrse mejorando las condiciones sociales y económicas de la vida en comunidades sociales primitivas perfeccionables, las tribus y clanes de siempre.

Los sunníes han dejado ya gran libertad de acción al Estado Islámico de Irak, la fracción nacional de al-Qaida, con tal de que respeten su hegemonía social en sus zonas tribales. Entonces, les facilitan refugio, abastecimiento y ocultamiento temporales a sus “grupos de acción” en sus operaciones. Éste fue el caso de la concentración previa de las compañías y batallones del Estado Islámico a finales de 2013. Que fue el inicio de su campaña de hostigamiento y de ocupación temporal de al-Ramadi y Faluya. Y que, a lo largo de los primeros meses de 2014, fue languideciendo hasta disiparse sin resultados operativos. Faluya, donde los “marines” protagonizaron una gran batalla (en los términos de esa guerra contra la insurgencia), de la que sacaron importantes experiencias para la siempre difícil lucha urbana, está indefinidamente en poder de la insurgencia sunní.

El EISL mantiene un “dominio difuso” sobre ella, pese al asedio y los bombardeos constantes de las tropas iraquíes. Pero ya hemos dicho que la lucha urbana es una asignatura muy difícil y está pendiente de aprobar por el ejército iraquí. En ella la soledad del combatiente se acentúa, la muerte le respira encima, los demonios de la incertidumbre, la falta angustiosa de confort, el fuego pesado, incluso impreciso, del enemigo y el miedo cerbal lo acechan. Y sus mandos son demasiado flojitos, para transmitirle entusiasmo y darle las necesaria cercanía y profesionalidad, que les den confianza en ellos. Así, es difícil que la infantería regular penetre en una población con defensores motivados ideológicamente y decididos a defenderse.

A primeros de junio de 2014, el EISL lanzó otra ofensiva operativa en Iraq. Después de asaltar la ciudad de Samarra, irrumpieron en Mosúl y lanzaron una “acción de área” en las provincias norteñas de Salahadin y Diyala. El ataque contra Samarra 500 muyahidines, apoyados por camiones con ametralladoras pesadas y excavadoras, para desmantelar las barricadas erigidas por el ejército en torno a la ciudad. Samarra es una ciudad de especial significación para el propio al-Baghdadi, que nació aquí. Las fuerzas de seguridad iraquíes repelieron la nueva ofensiva en la que los terroristas recurrieron a sus “juramentados suicidas”, cinco de los cuales fueron abatidos. Otros dos «kamikazes» hicieron detonar un vehículo cargado de explosivos en la aldea de Al-Mouwaffaqiyah, al este de Mosúl, matando a media docena de personas. Decenas de personas han muerto en esas luchas. El asalto del ISIL a Mosúl se suma a los ocurridos sucesivamente en varias ciudades de las provincias de Ninive, Salahadin, donde está Samarra, y Diyala. Confirmando con todo ello la capacidad y la agresividad cada día más significativas del grupo fundamentalista salafista y la ascendencia de su líder, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Los especialistas coinciden en que la expansión del territorio que controla el ISIS tanto en Irak como en Siria son un reflejo de la intención de al-Baghdadi por desplazar al egipcio Ayman al-Zawahiri como sucesor de Osama Bin Laden.

«Desde al menos 10 años, al-Zawahiri se oculta en la región fronteriza de Afganistán y Paquistán sin hacer gran cosa, a parte de publicar comunicados y vídeos. Mientras que al-Baghdadi ha ocupado ciudades y moviliza a un número enorme de personas. Mata sin piedad en Irak y Siria. Cualquier que ame la acción se unirá a al-Baghdadi», dijo un antiguo responsable del servicio secreto del Reino Unido a la agencia AFP. Por su parte, el King’s College de Londres estima que el 80% de los yihadistas occidentales que acuden a Siria se unen al ISIL y no al Frente al-Nusra, que se mantiene a las órdenes ideologicas de al-Zawahiri. La realidad es que, además de contar con unos 10 mil combatientes en Siria y un número desconocido en Irak, el Estado islámico de Siria y el Levante se extiende intermitentemente por un territorio que se extiende desde Alepo hasta la provincia iraquí de Diyala, al este del país. Nunca en su historia los seguidores de Bin Laden llegaron a “controlar difusamente” tal extensión de territorio clave. «Al-Qaida es sólo un movimiento, nosotros somos ya un estado», declaró un orgulloso muyahidín salafista del EISL.

Dejando al margen las “operaciones temporales de acción, propaganda y prestigio”, al-Qaida tiene pocas probabilidades de asentarse y llegar a controlar firme e indefinidamente una zona más o menos grande en Iraq. Porque, las milicias sunníes rechazarían sus intentos de crear “bases estables”. Necesarias para realizar operaciones consistentes y conexas, buscando algún objetivo militar o social definido y trascendente. Al-Qaida les hace a los sunníes iraquíes gran parte del “trabajo de campo” difícil, sucio, despreciable y comprometido. Y su existencia y su amenaza es una baza a jugar por los sunníes. Siempre pueden acordar con el gobierno chií ejercer más o menos el control de al-Qaida en algunas áreas tribales. Ésta era la función para la que los reconvirtió el general Petraeus desde 2007 en “fuerzas de autodefensa” regionales, en las milicias Sahwa (del “resurgir sunní”). Táctica oportunista que siguió sin contar con el gobierno y pagando los estadounidenses las soldadas de esas milicias tribales. Con ello, como único enemigo antioccidental visible en el país, quedó “al-Qaida en Iraq”, transformado luego en el Estado Islámico de Iraq. Sus objetivos de los “ataques puntuales con explosivos” son las mezquitas, los mercados, las peregrinaciones, las concentraciones de civiles y militares y policías iraquíes y los tránsitos frecuentes o en masa de los chiítas. En muchos de estos sitios siempre hay miembros de una misma familia. Al-Qaida emplea la violencia incontrolada y llevada a sus extremos innecesarios, impúdicos y vesánicos, no dudando, sino buscando, además, sacrificar a sus “muyahidines suicidas”. Que nunca tendrán “expectativas de vida y de ascenso” dentro de la organización terrorista. El “EISL” traiciona hasta a sus “militantes más eficaces”, según demuestra “la correlación de los daños causados y la pérdida sufrida”.

En una “operación temporal de acción, propaganda y prestigio” el EISL ha tomado al asalto y sin encontrar apenas resistencia la ciudad de Mosúl durante la madrugada del lunes 9 de junio. Es indudablemente un golpe certero y maestro de al-Bagdadi. Veamos el por qué lo planeó y lo pudo conseguir fácilmente. Mosul es la segunda ciudad en importancia de Irak y es la segunda localidad del país que es ocupada, siquiera temporalmente por el EISL. El efecto de atracción y prestigio para el EISL y el golpe de descrédito para los gobiernos regionales y central de Irak son sorpresivos y grandes. La permanente disputa por la administración de la ciudad, a 350 kilómetros al norte de Bagdad, entre las autoridades iraquíes y las del Gobierno Regional Kurdo (KRG, sus siglas inglesas) influyó en la falta de defensas adecuadas de la segunda mayor ciudad de Iraq. La toma de Mosul ha sacado a relucir la esterilidad y la incapacidad para gobernar la urbe, generadas por el enfrentamiento entre el gobierno autónomo kurdo de Erbil y la autoridad central de Bagdad. Los kurdos aguardan desde 2007 un referendo que apruebe la absorción de esta ciudad por parte del KRG. Ahora, Erbil ha reconocido que el ejército del KRG, los “peshmerga” kurdos, no han intervenido para defender su ciudad del ataque sorpresivo del EISL. Y los policías y soldados nacionales que quedaban como guarnición estatal, abandonaron simplemente la ciudad a medida que avanzaban los “barbudos de Allah”. «Una petición para que los “peshmergas” colaborasen en la defensa de Mosul la tenía que haber hecho el gobierno federal», argumentó Jabar Yawar, jefe del Estado Mayor de los “peshmergas”. «Si nuestras fuerzas hubiesen estado allí, todas las explosiones y asesinatos de inocentes no hubiesen ocurrido», concluyó, pero “a posteriori” de los hechos. Los ardores guerreros no se cuentan, ni se blasona de ellos tras una retirada, convertida en fuga de autoridades civiles y militares. Se expresan eficazmente ante el enemigo, inerme por todos sus flancos, aniquilándolo por su osadía de atacar la capital.

«La ciudad de Mosul, provincia de Nínive, está fuera del control del Estado», confirmó una fuente del Ministerio del Interior iraquí. Para entonces, el EISL, que irrumpió con cientos de guerrilleros exaltados, portando armas ligeras, granadas RPG y ametralladoras de pelotón y sección, con sus banderas negras con la Shahada ondeando al viento, ya había ocupado la sede del gobierno central, otros edificios gubernamentales y varias sedes de medios de comunicación locales en Mosúl. La guerrilla islamista salafusta liberó del penal local de Badush a 1400 presos. Este ataque supera al dado por el EISL, en julio de 2013, a la cárcel de Abu Ghraib, al oeste de Bagdad. En aquella ocasión sacaron del penal a entre 500 y mil convictos. El EISL nutre también sus filas de fugados. Athil al-Nujaifi, gobernador de Nínive, escapó también en la madrugada. Según su oficina de prensa, el gobernador se encuentra en un lugar seguro y supervisando la situación. «Insto a los hombres de Mosul a mantenerse firmes en sus áreas para defenderlas contra los extranjeros, y a formar comités populares en sus distritos para cooperar en la defensa», declaró Nujaifi el lunes en un mensaje publicado en Internet. Ya se sabe, si no estás en Internet no eres nadie; si estás o no en tu puesto de defensa da igual. “El primero que va a portar armas para defender Mosul y sus habitantes soy yo,” dijo también el gobernador, al-Nuyeifi, desde lejos, como buen capitán araña.