ISIS & Khorasan Mauled From Above
Originally posted on September 26, 2014 @ 11:42 PM
ISIS & Khorasan in Syria Clobbered by Air Attacks and Tomahawk Strikes Night of Monday, September 22, 2014
ISIS Post Update: September 27, 2014, 2:08 p.m.
ISIS and Khorasan attack coverage has been expanded by correcting some incorrect information and providing new material on the air campaign, but chiefly by adding an entire new section–Hidden Agendas and Other Matters–to the original work. This was done because the new material raises real issues which, if true, fundamentally alter the meaning and context of what's happening in the region. JKIs sources have not gotten back to it on the issues raised in that new section below, not least because there are scads of directly observable military-intelligence events happening which command their immediate attention. Nor has JKI been in a position to really get into these matters, for those reasons and over a week of crippled staff.
ISIS and new terrorist player Khorasan are learning–the hard way–what real opposition can do. ISIS knew sonething was coming and thought it was ready. Events proved otherwise. Khorasan was not expecting an attack, though it did have air search radar operating, and suffered accordingly. “ISIS I understand, but what's Khorasan and why should I care?” JKI can help! It has learned Khorasan is a Muslim extremist group helmed by Usama bin Laden's former deputy. Khorasan, whose name means “Light of the Sun,” is based in Syria, but is of direct significance to Americans because it has been working with a Yemeni bomb maker who has figured out how to build undetectable bombs! Such bombs cannot be identified by either magnetometer scan or sniffers for explosives. The US was aware Khorasan was having these bombs built by him with the explicit intent of blowing up airliners over this country, causing bodies to rain down upon us. Unfortunately, Khorasan now has the bomb technology and is using it operationally. To date, no less than four such attacks, directed against the US and Western Europe, have been initiated but thwarted by good intelligence. Two bombs were found inside tubes of toothpaste, ands two more were, if you can believe it, hidden in rolled up socks in suitcases! Obviously, this could not be allowed to continue. Nor was it. The above and what follow are based on exclusive and explicit information supplied to JKI by highly sensitive, not-for attribution sources with nosebleed level clearances. Clearances so high they make your nose bleed!
French Struck ISIS In Syria First!
And before the highly public US airstrikes began into Syria, ISIS in Syria was already on the receiving end of air delivered pain. Courtesy of the much maligned French! Just how much pain? ISIS, through a subsidiary of sorts, responded by kidnapping and beheading an unfortunate Frenchman named Herve Goudel, age 55.
On Friday night, September 19, 2014, 2 x Rafale and 1 x Mirage IV jet aircraft hit ISIS targets on both sides of the NE Syrian border. On the Iraqi side, the Rafale F1 multitrole fighters hit two ISIS convoys: The first consisted of 2 x technical and 2 x captured Stryker; the second was 3 x technical and 1 x captured Stryker. All vehicles listed were destroyed. Weaponry used in the attack consisted of 500-pound class JDAMs. The Mirage IV strategic bomber hit an ISIS supply depot on the Syrian side of the border. The resulting secondary ammunition explosion was so powerful “it caused a sandstorm which lasted for hours before it all settled.” Knowledgeable sources said the secondary explosion “left a crater about half a mile wide.” Such a crater implies an immense quantity of ammo went up.
Regrettably, it is entirely possible these munitions may have inadvertently been supplied to ISIS by a grotesquely improperly vetted US covert arms supply program (under CIA aegis) to anti-Assad Muslim groups, an effort honchoed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and still-incumbent President of the United States Barack Obama, both of whom are running for political cover as a result of the September 11, 2012 Ansar al-Sharia Benghazi attack, now the subject of an already revelatory House Select Committee hearing. The enormous quantities of Soviet era weapons and ammunition, bought en masse by the US from Libya, were supposed to be funneled to Muslim insurgent groups in Syria which were not anti-US. Because those in charge did not do their homework, the transferring “friendly” Muslim entity, Ansar al-Ansharia, was not identified as being al Qaeda, the part which morphed into ISIS! Thus, while the claim is wrongly and stridently made in some circles the US and allies created ISIS, the grim fact is that the US, through incompetence and uncaring easily meeting the legal definition of criminally negligent homicide, was, in fact, instrumental in turning ISIS from a local threat to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into a heavily armed veritable all-consuming regional terror with credible global ambitions.
Tomahawk Strikes & Airstrikes Against ISIS & Khorasan
The basic story of the Monday night attacks is detailed here and here, with the second link's being video rich. JKI had the story before it broke in the major media, but was unable to exploit this because of a crippling personnel casualty. Despite the delays, JKI has details on the attacks no one else has.
Assad Warned in Advance “Stay Out!”
Before the Tomahawk missile attacks and airstrikes were launched in Syria, Syria's Assad received a démarche from the US flatly telling him not only to stay out of impending US combat operations there, but warning him that any Syrian action which looked remotely threatening would be met with decisive force. In other words, radar ON = radar GONE-whether from the ground, air or sea.
The Remarkable Arab Composite Fighter Squadron
While politics does indeed make strange bedfellows, that can lead to even stranger comrades at arms. Would you believe a mixed squadron of Jordanian, Saudi, UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Bahraini jet fighters? Not only is it real, but it works fine. The mixed formation, whose aircraft operate from bases in their own countries, made common cause with US forces over Syria and added multinational Arab clout to the fight against what the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia (top Muslim cleric of Saudi Arabia) called “the enemy of all ISLAM,” ISIS. 3 x Jordanian F-15s, 3 x Saudi F-15s (one flown by the son of a Saudi crown prince), 3 x UAE F-16s and 3 x Bahraini F-16s made up this all-Arab squadron, led by UAE F-16 pilot, Major Merrian Mansour. Major Mansour is considered the best fighter pilot in the region and is female! The squadron was and is OPCON (under the Operational Control of) the Nimitz-class CVN-77 USS George H.W. Bush carrier strike group in the Persian Gulf–via two E-2C Hawkeye AEW (Airborne Early Warning) aircraft from the strike group. Qatar, another regional ally, contributed no aircraft to the fray but did provide refueling support and intelligence information. Qatar finds itself in the awkward position of supporting attacks against the same organization some of its own wealthy citizens are reportedly helping to bankroll.
Turkey–Uncooperative on One Hand; Covert, Pragmatic ISIS Supporter on the Other!
Turkey was helping out against ISIS, when it earlier supplied the Kurds in Iraq's crack Peshmerga with ancient (WW II vintage) M1 Garand semiautomatic battle rifles (2 x effective AK-47 range) and ammunition, as was previously reported by JKI. That was then, but what has happened since is almost impossible to grasp. Turkey, you see, executed a 180 and intermittently allows/allowed ISIS T-72 tanks driven in from Syria, to operate in-country against Turkish Kurds! This while “favoring” an independent Kurdish state in Iraq! The appropriate US authorities are aware of this and are trying to keep tabs on the small, constantly repositioning ISIS armored force, consisting of ~30 tanks. Turkey has refused from the beginning of the ISIS rampage to allow US air ops from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, but has now upped the ante by denying even overflight of the country, greatly complicating things by making it difficult and expensive to bring the US Air Force to bear. Consequently, almost the entire burden of conducting the aerial war has fallen on the George H.W. Bush strike group, which may now wind up deployed for a family wrecking, record breaking year away from home port!
Tomahawks Decapitate Khorasan; F-22A Raptors Pounce–For the First Time
As reported elsewhere Khorasan was the target of 8 x Tomahawk in what was planned as a decapitation strike. According to JKI's insider sources, the US is now pretty certain, based on chatter arguing over who should succeed him and other undisclosed evidence, that the attacks did kill Khorasan's founder and leader, Muhsin Al-Fadhli. This is in fairly strong contrasts to what is now being reported by Reuters. Readers would be well advised to notice the profound difference between the JKI reported thwarted actual attack attempts made by Khorasan and the planning to attack or about to attack reason for hitting Khorsan described elsewhere. Given what JKI has been told, it would appear the objectives of the Tomahawk missile attacks and airstrikes by the F-22 Raptor were to: a) kill Khorasan's leadership; b) destroy the bomb making facilities, associated technical specialists and related items; c) destroy Khorasan infrastructure (training areas, logistics, target planning cells and materiel) at the camp and d) destroy the air surveillance radar. In practice, d) came first–after the Tomahawks executed a)–in order to allow unhindered attack operations. JKI was not informed of the type of radar used by Khorasan. Nor was there any mention of an associated SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) threat. What is certain is that the Khorasan radar did not fare well in the face of a 500-pound class JDAM.
The attack against the Khorasan base camp by the F-22As marked the combat debut of an aircraft whose road to deployment and whose operational history have long been beset. JKI found it odd that what is supposed to be the premier air-to-air aircraft in the world would be used for what the Air Force fighter community aka “scarf and goggles” has long disdainfully referred to as “air to mud.” When asked about this peculiar situation, JKI's contacts replied “Better than nothing.” Thus, though Khorasan was not expecting an air attack, its air surveillance radar, which was operating and radiating; which could have provided at least some warning, was effectively nullified by the F-22A's extremely low nose-on RCS (Radar Cross Section), reportedly “about that of a bug.” To give some idea of what that means, the RCS of a typical pre-Stealth jet fighter was deemed to be 5 m2 (16.4 ft2). The RCS of a bug (example is honeybee queen) is around 3 cm2 (0.003 ft2). Approximately 167 x smaller RCS! Speaking of “air to mud,” the Pentagon is now sending 12 x A-10 Thunderbolt II to the Middle East. Naturally, this is being presented in the context of being completely unrelated to air operations in Syria. Uh huh. The A-10 CAS (Close Air Support) aircraft is the perfect plane for working with the largely unacknowledged–SecDef Hagel did slip recently and admitted the US has 113 such four-person ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) teams in the field–“boots on the ground” (special operators/commandos) which figure in the ISIS and Khorasan extermination program now unfolding. High firepower, high survivability and high combat persistence (loiter time) combine in one very maneuverable platform able to get down in the weeds and work the targets lit up by the operators on the ground.
ISIS vs Tomahawks–ISIS Loses Big!
Tomahawk strikes hit ISIS where it really hurts, taking down its ability to issue coordinated orders and receive reports from all over the world. A brace of Tomahawks airburst over an ISIS rooftop electronic forest of antennas and satellite dishes–without harming the innocent civilians living below in the high rise apartment building. That attack was conducted “near Damascus.” Tomahawks also wiped out an ISIS “digital financial center,” the means by which ISIS receives and sends funds all over the world. For an organization worth over $2 billion and making $4 million/day from oil sales and $2 million/day from brutal taxes in occupied areas, this really hurts. But a subsequent set of Allied airstrikes which occurred after the events described in this post is likely to put an enormous long term dent in the ISIS bottom line. The joint attacks hit ISIS oil production facilities in Syria so hard they are effectively dead. The strikes were not directed at and did not hit the wells themselves.
Who's Got (Invisible) Boots on the Ground?
The US has a ~1500 strong elite Spec Ops force in-theater, most of which is US Navy SEALs, with a relatively small Army Delta Force contingent. Associated dedicated helicopter lift and heliborne fire support is from elements of the Army's 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment), the Night Stalkers. The 113 teams listed above are mostly Navy SEALs. Unfortunately for those still itching to get into the game, the Big Boss has not allowed them out of what JKI contacts call the “bullpen,” located apparently around Erbil, Iraq. And other than the earlier hostage rescue raid into Syria exclusively reported by JKI, JKI has no reports of US Spec Ops troops in Syria. It does have reports of Jordanian commandos there and of UAE commandos operating in Iraq, where they are effectively indistinguishable from ISIS fighters, enabling much devilry to ensue. JKI has also learned that a classified size contingent from the greatly respected and admired by the SEALs (“crazy Aussies”) Australian Special Air Service Regiment is in the fight. Since the UK's Parliament has now voted to attack ISIS in Iraq only, and has six Tornado GR4 all-weather, day/night attack and reconnaissance aircraft already operating from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, JKI and its sources believe a contingent of the UK's rightly vaunted SAS (Special Air Service) Regiment will also be entering the fray. Earlier Tornado flights over Iraq were unarmed recon and humanitarian missions, but as of Saturday, September 27, 2014, a combat pair armed with laser-guided bombs and unspecified missiles was launched from Cyprus and was/is over Iraq.
In related developments, Germany has supplied both towed and self-propelled artillery to the Peshmerga. The Dutch have sent a squadron of F-16 fighters to the Peshmerga for air cover. JKI has also learned that Belgium and Denmark will be sending aircraft as well.
Hidden Agendas and Other Matters
The evolving campaign against ISIS and Khorasan is not without its critics, some quite succinct. In any war, there are enormous profits to be made, and this one has some real winners, as detailed here. If what one organization has alleged is correct, though, the entire set of events now unfolding traces back to a highly secret overarching US master plan for the entire world, in a piece called “The Geopolitics of World War III.” And if there is such a plan, it would seem logical that the disintegration of Iraq so clearly in evidence would fit into such a strategy. The video below makes the case that what is happening in Iraq is, in fact, part of a much larger overall hidden agenda.