Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Blast Groundhogs Day

Superb reporting from Reuters on how ISIS is using Saddam's tunnels and drawing a response from the Iraqi government --

Fighters in the area are using rough terrain to evade death and capture: swamps, high reeds, bushes and irrigation canals that military vehicles can't traverse. Desperate to gain an upper hand, the army has started to pound the terrain with "barrel bombs" - drums filled with explosives or fuel dropped from the air. "Islamic State fighters swept the town and kicked out security forces, and to regain control we need to deal with around 10,000 acres of farmland area," said a military colonel."We have stared to follow a scorched earth policy. This is tough, we know, but army helicopters should have clear vision to chase and destroy them."

So the government is destroying farmland like Saddam Hussein and using barrel bombs like Bashar al-Assad. And yet there's headscratching among foreign policy elites about why ISIS can attract popular support!