TODAY’S MESOP QUOTATION : Will PKK only get new foothold in North Iraq ?

Some minor updates by Benjamin Hiller: (17-8-2014)

1. There are reports that the Peshmerga forces retook the Mosul-Dam. I can`t confirm these reports on my own. This would mean a fast success after the large-scale offensive started there yesterday night. The US Airforce supported the offensive with over 25 attacks against IS positions since Saturday.

2. There is also heavy fighting 100km East of the Mosul Dam in Tal Kayf. But the Kurdish forces manage only to advance slowly as IS has planted IEDs in the whole area.

3. West of Baghdad, in the province Anbar, there is an uprising by 25 Arabic Sunni-Muslim tribes against IS. The fighting is heavy – the tribal fighter pushed
IS out West of the provincial capital Ramadi.

4. In Rojava/Syria the Kurdish militia YPG is training hundreds of Êzidî. They get military training and some basic equipment so that they can defend their areas in North-Iraq against IS attacks. There are tensions due to this training between YPG and other Kurdish groups as some claim with this training the YPG wants to get a foothold into North-Iraq while the Êzidî defend the YPG and tell that only they defended them against IS.

5. The Syrian regime started a large-scale bombing raid against the IS stronghold in Ar Raqqah. Many experts believe that the Syrian regime tries to regain a positive image of itself due to the current international opinion/fighting against IS.