StrategyPage reports on the latest gain made on the ground against ISIS — thanks to actions taken in the air by Iraqi jets:
After nearly a year of stalemate near the oil refinery at Baiji (on the Tigris River between Baghdad and Mosul 200 kilometers north of Baghdad) has been broken as government forces made major progress in October. Security forces have managed to push ISIL (al Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant) away from most of the refinery. For over a year ISIL attacks were constant and deadly. They generally involved suicide car bombs and equally determined gunmen. In the last few months the security forces developed better ways to deal with these attacks to the point where they could call in air strikes on ISIL men preparing for another attack and stop it before the Islamic terrorists were able to even make their move. This was made possible by the growing capabilities of the Iraqi Air Force, which at Baiji has been accounting for some 90 percent of the dozen or so air strikes a day.
Good. This is taking too long and too many people are dying and we’ve squandered too much of our reputation — but the Iraqi Air Force has stepped up, and for that they deserve our respect and applause.
The situation however with Iraqi ground forces is more …convoluted… which is something we’ll discuss in depth tomorrow.