Turning Point: Coordinated Operations in the War on ISIS


Coordinated military offensives against ISIS have begun in the Middle East. In Iraq, Kurdish Peshmerga, with Special Ops and Coalition support, have begun an attack on an ISIS held city that controls an ISIS supply road. In Syria, Kurdish YPG and YPJ units, also backed by airstrikes and U.S. Special Operations, are attacking a town on their side of the border that controls the same road. Concurrently, Russian backed Syrian forces have taken an airport that ISIS has controlled since 2013. And in the EU, there was a wide sweep with arrests of ISIS linked jihadists.

ISIS is fighting back with booby traps and car bombs, including an attack in Beirut that has killed dozens, with offensives against Kurds in Syria, with, potentially, the downed Russian airplane over the Sinai, with the twin bombings recently in Turkey, and with jihadist planned attacks in Europe. But the war has changed. The Syrian tragedy seems to have come into focus for Russia, Assad and their Hezbollah allies, for the U.S., their Kurdish allies, and for the Iraqi and Syrian Arabs who are fed up with ISIS and who now may be working together.

In Iraq, 7,500 Kurdish Peshmerga, along with U.S. Special Forces and Coalition air support, have moved to retake the town of Sinjar from ISIS. This is significant because the road (called Road 47) that runs through the Yezidi town is ISIS's supply route between their "capital" of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq that ISIS controls.
SINJAR, Iraq — Supported by U.S.-led airstrikes, Kurdish Iraqi troops on Thursday seized part of a highway that is used as a vital supply line for the Islamic State group, a key initial step in a major offensive to retake the strategic town of Sinjar from the militants.
In Syria, the Kurdish YPG and YPJ (the female brigades) have marched on a town of in northeastern Syria to cut off the same highway on the Syrian side of the border. This will support the march toward Raqqa after their capture of the most of the Syrian northern territories. This is the Kurdish group that recently received U.S. Special Forces trainers and support.