This is an international group. Every team going into action will have Kurds for language duty and French troopers because France has a great deal of expertise in Africa and the Middle East. The vast majority of the armored troops are Americans.
Islamic State acquired T-72 tanks and other weaponry largely because Iraqi soldiers ran away like little girls in Mosul and other locations, leaving their weapons behind, but also because Gulf oil states have given military aid to Islamists in the region. IS has Chinese-made, shoulder-fired missiles which they used to shoot-down Iraqi army helicopters and Yugoslavian-made anti-tank weapons, both of which were once owned by so-called moderate Syrian rebels. Today's rebels are tomorrow's terrorists. These weapons forced us to make certain decisions.
We will be working in the border region bordering Iraq and Syria. We made an arrangement with Syria so its air-defense systems will not bother us -- I mean, here we are in Syria -- not to mention that we have elements in and coordination with Jordan.
IS believes us to be infidel pansies, afraid to get our boots dirty. That was a fatal error on their part.
IS savages kidnapped hundreds of Yazidi girls and forced them into sexual slavery. We have a high degree of confidence that we know their current location from interviewing escapees and drone surveillance. More than a few have been given as gifts to older Muslim men, but we believe we know where those girls are as well.
Over the past week, we air-dropped serious weaponry, not just grenades and rifles, to Kurdish fighters. We made an arrangement with them to not use them until this morning, when they started an all-out offensive in Kobane and other locations. IS is now being forced to defend its territory; they are on the defensive.
At the same time we initiated a massive air assault on all tanks, flak guns, armored vehicles, pickups with machine guns or anti-aircraft guns, artillery pieces, heavy mortars, arms depots, and targets of opportunity, in support of Kurdish forces and independently, all over IS territory. We have not played favorites, geographically-speaking, so IS will not be able to discern our intentions. Perhaps most importantly, we eliminated all threats near our landing zones.
Up until now, our fighters and bombers were handicapped by the fact that they needed to launch via carriers sitting many hours away or airbases located many hundreds of miles away, necessitating mid-air refueling and resulting in tired pilots. Incirlik air base would have been perfect for this because it is in the vicinity, but Turkey forbade us to conduct operations from it. However, by my definition of operations, aircraft depart with weapons and return without them.
We have been staging aircraft at Incirlik over the past week. We added F-16s, some stealth aircraft, and a good number of A-10s.
This morning, Incirlik was used to launch these aircraft, in a reverse Roach Motel, if you will, because aircraft will leave, drop their ordnance, and not return to Incirlik. Some will go to Poland to defend it and the Baltic Countries against Russian aggression, and others will be flown back to their home bases. Turkey will complain, but it is already at risk of being kicked out of NATO for its explicit support of IS barbarians. It is irrelevant to our mission here, but Incirlik is most likely going to be retired from the U.S. point of view.
Early tomorrow morning will kick-off the final phase of this operation. Commando teams will fly to all known locations of kidnapped Yazidi girls and women. Some will be locations where we expect to only find one or two females. Those will be quick missions: land, shoot-em-up, grab them, and depart. However, there will be a few locations where we will find too many females for safe helicopter exfiltration. In that case, you will hold until relieved. Commando teams are carrying massive firepower and will be able to repel any attacks. A-10s and drones will ensure that nothing worse than small arms makes it there.
Tomorrow morning will also witness the start of ground operations. For every location with a multitude of females, we will launch an armored column consisting of Bradleys and Strykers fitted with bench seats to maximize capacity. We have packed as many extra party favors as will fit in the form of .50 caliber, 7.62 mm, and 25 mm ammunition. It would have been nice to bring a few M1 Abrams tanks, but their poor fuel economy precludes their inclusion. Missile-firing drones will accompany all convoys.
The armored columns will travel via the most direct route on the way in, but they may or may not take that route for egress. If IS congregates along the entry routes as we expect, we'll take different ones on the way out and rain fire and brimstone down on their brutish heads using A-10s.
We'll have M1s, Bradleys, Strykers, Blackhawks, Apaches, and refueling trucks in reserve in case of trouble.
We informed all Kurds to avoid the routes of the columns, so there will be no friendlies in your fire zones. So the rules of engagement are simple: everyone you see without a U.S. or French uniform and carrying a weapon, dies. Anything which looks like a bazooka, hand-held missile, or RPG is a high-priority target; destroy the weapon and its handlers.
One thing which could cause confusion is whether a female is Yazidi, Kurdish, or Sunni, even IS. If she is armed, you will handle it using your professional discretion, but otherwise Kurdish team members will decide if she is fit to join your convoy.
There might be surprises. As I mentioned, we have been keeping collections of Yazidi girls under drone surveillance. We will know if they have been transferred to another location, but we might not know if they have been moved to an adjacent house. If so, you will pursue and retrieve them. By tomorrow evening, we intend to have rescued all Yazidi females from the Islamist headhunters.
Our mission is called Operation Yazidi Forget-me-not. Saddle up!