This morning NEC-SE posted: Assyrian Army Commander: The battle for Teleskof continues.
In the post we stated: The commander of the Assyrian Army in Iraq is reporting that ISIS attacked the Iraqi city of Telskof starting on 3 MAY 16, at 05:55 Nineveh Time, infiltrating suicide bombers both in front of and behind Kurdish positions in the city to breach the defenses in two locations.
Swiftly exploiting the two breaches, ISIS forces overran the city in approximately one hour. U.S. helped to launched a counterattack, employing air assets to prevent ISIS forces from advancing further and collapsing Kurdish main defensive positions along HWY #2 three miles behind Kurdish lines.
The Pentagon has confirmed that at least one U.S. Navy Seal lost his life in the fighting.
Additionally, Assyrian Military scouts reported that U.S. air platforms destroyed two water tankers being used as vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), targeted for the city. According to U.S. sources, American forces in this fight are operating only in an advisory capacity but the reality is that without U.S. force projections the KRG will not be able to hold or take ground in Iraqi north.
America was hoping that after 26 years of involvement in Iraq that ISIS would have been destroyed, Baghdad government would not be under Iranian influence, and the Kurdish defensive lines were not being breached from behind. Unfortunately as we have invested billions in the region and their forces the reality is that without our help they can not hold ground.
The Assyrian Army is still in the front line holding its portion of the Forward Line of Troops (FLOT) along the Bakufa Area of Operation (AO), but does not have any U.S. advisory support and does not receive direct support from U.S. Government as do others.
Again, the number of troops and the weapons they use are not by themselves sufficient for winning battles; the will and desire to fight and hold ground are also critical to achieving victory.
The Assyrian Army has both, in quantity. Assyrian Army troops have held their positions for almost two-year against ISIS attacks with no advisory and material support.
This morning they were able to force ISIS to extend its reach past the Bakufa line and abandon their flank support given ISIS hit resistance within the Assyrian Army Area of Operation.
After probing the Assyrian Forward Line of Troops, ISIS flexed to Telskof and found a breach point. The CF were evidently asleep at the proverbial switch when ISIS made this move, because they did nothing to prevent ISIS forces from advancing with a large number of VBIED’S across the 2.5 kilometers separating the ISIS attack positions from Batnay into Telskof along the main high-speed avenue of approach (HWY #2).
When western volunteers fighting with the Assyrian Army sought to establish an ambush position along the enemy attack axis, the commander of the Assyrian forces as well as the Assyrian battlefield commander withheld permission to do so because the Assyrians do not wish for anyone to fight the Assyrians’ battles. Western volunteers and Assyrian forces subsequently reinforced their defensive positions in Bakufa even as their forward scouts were sent to identify and establish an ambush position along the axis of attack. The Assyrian forward scouts recommended that the CF establish an ambush position in the Yazidi village of Khatara and requested enough force support to conduct a counterattack into the enemy flank.
The Peshmerga which controls the area did not send forces into Khatara to support the recommendation.
In Teleskof the same “people” CF has been protecting retreated from battlefield checkpoints under attack by ISIS forces from Sater. These “people” did not protect our American “advisers” one of whom lost his life trying to protect individuals who are suppose to protect . . . our advisers.
This is the fatal consequence of a flawed American foreign policy for the region—a policy that is killing our boys. As NEC-SE has asserted in our previous post, any failure to provide the Assyrian military with meaningful support in our collective war with ISIS will result in more—perhaps many more—American and Assyrian deaths over the next two years.
The only Assyrian soldiers who were wounded in the fight were three Assyrian fighters assigned to the PMF structure at their Teleskof HQ. These soldiers who are currently recovering in Dohouk were caught unprepared for the attack on Teleskof as were the rest of the forces operating in the city. Again, NEC-SE has stated multiple times that PMF structures do not create battle- ready or battle-hardened forces able to conduct unilateral operations for their own benefits and survival.
Again, NEC-SE has stated multiple times that PMF structures do not create battle- ready or battle-hardened forces able to conduct unilateral operations for their own benefits and survival. PMF structures assign Assyrian troops to others command and control structures and do nothing more than complicate Command and Control (C2) relationships that are based on political and financial links rather than actual tactical needs. They have shown themselves inept at best on an operational level when ISIS attacks.
The Assyrian Army structure has allowed it to conduct unilateral action in the region under a simple command and control structure which has the flexibility of incorporating western fighters within its ranks. It is our hope that the Assyrian populace finally realizes that this structure is the only means by which you can hold ground and survive on your own in this war.