Eli Lake is doing fantastic work over at Bloomberg View and has come out with a huge article that explains how the Obama administration saw ISIS amassing convoys to take Ramadi and did NOTHING about it:
BLOOMBERG VIEW – The U.S. watched Islamic State fighters, vehicles and heavy equipment gather on the outskirts of Ramadi before the group retook the city in mid-May. But the U.S. did not order airstrikes against the convoys before the battle started. It left the fighting to Iraqi troops, who ultimately abandoned their positions.
U.S. intelligence and military officials told me recently, on the condition of anonymity, that the U.S. had significant intelligence about the pending Islamic State offensive in Ramadi. For the U.S. military, it was an open secret even at the time.
The Islamic State had been contesting territory in and around Ramadi for more than a year and had spoken of the importance of recapturing the city. The U.S. intelligence community had good warning that the Islamic State intended a new and bolder offensive on Ramadi because it was able to identify the convoys of heavy artillery, vehicle bombs and reinforcements through overhead imagery and eavesdropping on chatter from local Islamic State commanders. It surprised no one, one U.S. intelligence official told me.
Other observers were willing to speak on the record about how many had seen the Islamic State’s assault on Ramadi coming. “The operations on Ramadi have been ongoing for 16 months,” said Derek Harvey, a former intelligence adviser to David Petraeus when he commanded the counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq. Harvey said many observers had seen the Islamic State’s series of probing attacks and psychological operations aimed at the Iraqi army and local tribes: “Everyone knew that Ramadi for some reason was a major focus.” He conceded that he did not know the exact timing of the Ramadi offensive beforehand and acknowledged that he was surprised at how effective the operations were.
The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, had also been warning in policy papers that the Islamic State had set its eyes on Ramadi. Kim Kagan, the think tank’s president, told me her institute “assessed that ISIS would undertake tactical offensives in different areas of Iraq in April and May in order to disperse the Iraqi Security Forces and prevent them from consolidating their gains after the fall of Tikrit.” She said that “ISIS began alternating attacks between Anbar and the Baiji oil refinery in mid-April,” which prompted General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to say in Congressional testimony that the U.S. was prioritizing the defense of Baiji over Ramadi. Kagan said the Islamic State’s attack on Ramadi was not a “strategic surprise.”
A spokeswoman for U.S. Central Command declined to discuss any specific intelligence. But she did say the U.S.-led coalition provided both airstrikes and surveillance to the Iraqi Security Forces in support of the Ramadi defense. The U.S. has also flown airstrikes in the past against Islamic State forces in Ramadi.
This report by Eli Lake supports Iran’s accusation that Obama saw ISIS coming and didn’t do a damn thing about it:
The general in charge of Iran’s paramilitary activities in the Middle East said the United States and other powers were failing to confront Islamic State, and only Iran was committed to the task, a news agency on Monday reported.
Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the elite Quds Force responsible for protecting the Islamic Republic’s interests abroad, has become a familiar face on the battlefields of Iraq, where he often outranks local commanders.
“Obama has not done a damn thing so far to confront Daesh: doesn’t that show that there is no will in America to confront it?” Mehr quoted Soleimani as saying, using a derogatory Arabic term for Islamic State.
“How is it that America claims to be protecting the Iraqi government, when a few kilometres away in Ramadi killings and war crimes are taking place and they are doing nothing?”
So Iran is now more believable than our American president? How pathetic we’ve become, thanks to Obama.
Let me remind you now of the 500 who were slaughtered by ISIS and left in the streets of Ramadi after their victory, a slaughter than no doubt leaves blood on Obama’s hands over this:
CHRISTIAN NEWS – Thousands of civilians are fleeing the Iraqi city of Ramadi after the barbaric Islamic group ISIS, which identifies itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, seized the municipality on Sunday.
According to reports, approximately 25,000 civilians have fled Ramadi as well as a number of government officials, adding to the many that have already left the region to find refuge elsewhere. Some were stated to be stranded on a bridge for some time as they sought to enter Baghdad, but were denied entry.
ISIS fighters went door-to-door looking for military troops and security forces after taking the city, and killed 500 people in the streets, including children.
“There have been executions in the streets of Ramadi,” Anbar Province spokesman Muhanad Haimour told NBC News. “The situation in the city is absolutely terrible. The city is in very bad shape.”
He said that ISIS has rigged cars and bulldozers with explosives in an attempt to overtake the city.
“Men, women, kids and fighters’ bodies are scattered on the ground,” Sheikh Rafi al-Fahdawi, a tribal leader from Ramadi who had been fighting ISIS, told the New York Times. “All security forces and tribal leaders have either retreated or been killed in battle. It is a big loss.”