Black Christian Panzers roll back Islamic horde

#1
Islamist Forces in Somalia Are on the Retreat

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec. 26 — Islamist forces in Somalia beat a hasty retreat today to their stronghold in Mogadishu, Somalia’s battle-scared capital, crumbling faster than anyone expected after a week of attacks by Ethiopian forces.

Burhakaba, a large inland city, fell first, followed by Dinsoor, not far away, and then Bulo Burto, where just a few weeks ago the Islamists in charge were threatening to behead people who did not pray.

The Islamist fighters, who had seemed invincible after taking Mogadishu in June, now seem powerless to stop the steady advance of the Ethiopian-backed forces of the transitional government.

By this afternoon, the transitional government troops were within 60 miles of Mogadishu and calling for the Islamists to surrender. The Islamist leaders refused, saying they would take their fight “everywhere,” which some people viewed as a veiled threat to expand the guerilla tactics and suicide bombs they have already used.

The fast-moving developments seem to confirm what United Nations officials and witnesses in Somalia have been saying since the fighting erupted a week ago: that the young forces of the Islamists, however religiously inspired, were no match for the better trained, better equipped Ethiopian-backed troops who have tanks and fighter jets.

Still, the conflict is hardly over. Thousands of people continue to march in the streets of Mogadishu, rallying behind the Islamists, and analysts are unanimous that an Ethiopian occupation of Mogadishu, a city thick with weapons and xenophobia, could become a bloodbath.

In Baidoa, the seat of the transitional government, top leaders said they were planning on taking the capital.

“We feel great,” said Hussein Saylan, chief of the transitional cabinet, on Tuesday. He spoke by telephone from a command center where radios crackled in the background. “We’re moving swiftly toward Mogadishu, and the Islamists are panicking. We’re finishing them off as we go.”

Witnesses reported that Ethiopian fighter jets and helicopter gunships were firing missiles at the retreating Islamist pickup trucks, easy targets in the open desert.

In Mogadishu, the Islamists began fortifying the airport, radio station and other key buildings, preparing for a siege.

Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a top Islamist leader and one who used to be considered a moderate, vowed at a press conference that the Islamists would never buckle.

“The war is entering a new phase,” he said. “We will fight Ethiopia for a long, long time, and we expect the war to go everywhere.”

Though diplomats in the region have expressed concerns about this conflict turning Somalia, already a very poor, neglected country, into a humanitarian disaster, there has been noticeable silence about Ethiopia’s aggressive tactics.

Patrick Mazimhaka, a high-ranking African Union official, told the BBC that Ethiopia was within its rights to strike.

“It is up to every country to judge the measure of the threat to its own sovereignty,” Mr. Mazimhaka said. American officials have given Ethiopia, one of their closest allies in Africa, tacit approval to stamp out the Islamists, who American intelligence agents have accused of sheltering Al Qaeda terrorists.

On Tuesday, there were reports that American surveillance planes were spotted in the skies above Somalia and may be funneling battlefield intelligence to Ethiopian forces.

There are more than 100 American soldiers in Ethiopia helping train Ethiopia troops. But Major Thibodeau said “Officially, we haven’t put anybody in Somalia. The Americans don’t go forward with the Ethiopians. They are training Ethiopians in Ethiopia.”

As the situation in Somalia began to shift, it seemed that the Islamists may have overplayed their hand. Just a few months ago they were the most powerful force in the country and popular in many areas for restoring order after 15 years of anarchy. The transitional government, which is internationally recognized but weak and divided, was urging the Islamists to return to peace talks to discuss sharing power.

But all that changed last Wednesday at dawn when the Islamists attacked Baidoa from two directions. Witnesses said that their waves of young fighters were summarily mowed down by the more experienced (and older) Ethiopian-backed troops. On Saturday, the Islamists announced that Somalia was now open to Muslim fighters across the world who wanted to wage a jihad against Ethiopia, which has a long Christian history.


The next day, Ethiopia struck.

With warplanes and tanks, the Ethiopian military pushed deep into Somalia and began uprooting the Islamists from their positions. Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s prime minister, said his country had been forced into war by the Islamists and that Ethiopia would try to neutralize the threat as quickly as possible.

The toll is rising in Mogadishu. At Benadir hospital, crowds of women pushed at the gates to get inside to see their wounded sons and husbands. Witnesses said the hospital’s courtyards were stacked with dozens of corpses buzzing with flies. Some of the women even threw stones at the Islamist commanders visiting the hospital and shouted, “Why have you done this to us?”

Yussuf Maxamuud and Mohammed Ibrahim contributed reporting from Mogadishu.


In full

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/26/world/africa/26cnd-somalia.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin
 
#3
I will say one thing, these lot will not be pussyfooting round like UN peacekeepers or American forces, they will shoot a LOT if you upset them big time, No "what about me Human rights" or sueing them for compo, the Ethiopians will just laugh at them and tell them to fuuck off to high port , no chance of any Ethiopian soldier being presecuted by their own lawyers.

sometimes our enemies don't know how lucky they are with us :evil:
 
#4
Way back in BAOR we had an Ethiopian Captain from their Armoured Corps attached to us for a while, God knows why. Anyway he came out on Ex with us down to the IGB, did the usual posey bit for the benefit of the KGB-he had cap badge like a gazelle ( anttelope type thingy ) crossed with ??
Certainly appeared to cause a bit of a ruck with the Ossis.
Any cap badge spotters out there ?
 
#5
Some of the women even threw stones at the Islamist commanders visiting the hospital and shouted, “Why have you done this to us?”
Surprise, surprise. All happy to live in utopian bliss(ish) until it all goes Pete Tong. After that the blame lies with any one else but themselves. Human Nature.

SK
 
#6
thegimp said:
Great thread title
Many thanks, I am rather pleased with it myself.

Meanwhile -

Ethiopians Closing In On Capital of Somalia


Ethiopian troops fought their way closer to the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Tuesday, pushing back militias loyal to the Islamic Courts movement that has until now controlled much of the country and has vowed to wage a guerrilla war against Ethiopia lasting "years and years and years."

At a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said that he had no plans to push into Mogadishu but that the campaign was only half-completed. The only option now, he added, was to win.

He said that he was pleased at how swiftly the campaign had gone and that 3,000 to 4,000 Ethiopian troops had "broken the back" of the Islamic Courts movement, which he has repeatedly accused of supporting secessionist groups in Ethiopia.

On Tuesday, Islamic Courts leader Sharif Ahmed again condemned the international community for failing to stop the Ethiopian attack, which is widely perceived to have U.S. support, and he said the war had "entered a new phase."

Witnesses said fighters from Eritrea, a bitter foe of Ethiopia, as well as from Pakistan were among those fighting alongside the Islamic militia


in full

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/26/AR2006122600285_3.html
 
#7
Wonder how much the US is paying to fund this little Ethopian excursion?
It's quite amusing to see how much oil security really does drive American foreign policy!
 
#10
Ethiopia has a pretty serious army, but I do wonder what happens after they do the "Alan Cunningham Memorial Concours d'Elegance" in the centre of Mogadishu. TFG installed, out in weeks, back home, tea & medals? Shit and bricks urban battle? Political solution doesn't stick, jihadis arrive, Ethiopians turn to page 234 in the "Big Soviet Guide to Counterinsurgency with the 125mm Main Gun" - like a low budget remake of Iraq?
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#11
Frankly I'm quite pleased that all that money raised by the long haired paddy and other trendy rock musicians has been used to prop up the Ethiopians and allow their armed forces to recover from the 80's civil war (oh year, and the famine) and now they're out kicking two shades of shit out of a bunch of gorilla hate-preaching butchers.

Excellent. Well worth my five quid to live aid when I was a student!
 
#12
Surely some thanks in line to KGB Rez and friends for all the kit. I remember Ryszard Kapuzcinski writing about Ethiopia just after ol'Mengistu got the order of the boot - huge parks of brand-new Soviet armour, Hinds, arty left for miles outside Addis Abeba after the biggest army in Africa just went home.

Be a pity to let it all rust.
 
#13
castlereagh said:
Wonder how much the US is paying to fund this little Ethopian excursion?
Oh, Ethiopian rulers are cheap.

castlereagh said:
It's quite amusing to see how much oil security really does drive American foreign policy!
Bearing in mind events that happened 33 years ago it would be logical to expect that our American friends would try to find a new foothold quite near oil reserves. Iraq will be abandoned later or sooner. It is a question of time. Regimes in the Gulf countries are too unstable and even they could demand withdrawal of American forces (as Saudi Arabia did). Turkey is not under full American influence and Israel... Yes Israel is a true ally but American military bases in Israel... Unlikely it will happen for many reasons.

Somalia is indeed an almost ideal place - big enough country for military bases and it is a possible object of new experiments with 'true democracy'.
 
#16
Egypt,Saudi Arabia,Eritrea and Libya all are supporting the Islamic Courts against the Somali government/Ethiopia. Not good news for the US. A total defeat of the IC will be necessary as a warning to those that back radical islamists.
 
#17
This was June - I guess when this didn't work they started throwing money at the Ethiopians.....


New York times

Efforts by C.I.A. Fail in Somalia, Officials Charge


WASHINGTON, June 7 — A covert effort by the Central Intelligence Agency to finance Somali warlords has drawn sharp criticism from American government officials who say the campaign has thwarted counterterrorism efforts inside Somalia and empowered the same Islamic groups it was intended to marginalize.



The criticism was expressed privately by United States government officials with direct knowledge of the debate. And the comments flared even before the apparent victory this week by Islamist militias in the country dealt a sharp setback to American policy in the region and broke the warlords' hold on the capital, Mogadishu.


The officials said the C.I.A. effort, run from the agency's station in Nairobi, Kenya, had channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past year to secular warlords inside Somalia with the aim, among other things, of capturing or killing a handful of suspected members of Al Qaeda believed to be hiding there.

Officials say the decision to use warlords as proxies was born in part from fears of committing large numbers of American personnel to counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, a country that the United States hastily left in 1994 after attempts to capture the warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid and his aides ended in disaster and the death of 18 American troops.

The American effort of the last year has occasionally included trips to Somalia by Nairobi-based C.I.A. case officers, who landed on warlord-controlled airstrips in Mogadishu with large amounts of money for distribution to Somali militias, according to American officials involved in Africa policy making and to outside experts.

Among those who have criticized the C.I.A. operation as short-sighted have been senior Foreign Service officers at the United States Embassy in Nairobi. Earlier this year, Leslie Rowe, the embassy's second-ranking official, signed off on a cable back to State Department headquarters that detailed grave concerns throughout the region about American efforts in Somalia, according to several people with knowledge of the report.

Around that time, the State Department's political officer for Somalia, Michael Zorick, who had been based in Nairobi, was reassigned to Chad after he sent a cable to Washington criticizing Washington's policy of paying Somali warlords.

One American government official who traveled to Nairobi this year said officials from various government agencies working in Somalia had expressed concern that American activities in the country were not being carried out in the context of a broader policy.

"They were fully aware that they were doing so without any strategic framework," the official said. "And they realized that there might be negative implications to what they are doing."

The details of the American effort in Somalia are classified, and American officials from several different agencies agreed to discuss them only after being assured of anonymity. The officials included supporters of the C.I.A.-led effort as well as critics. A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the American Embassy in Kenya.

Asked about the complaints made by embassy officials in Kenya, Thomas Casey, a State Department spokesman, said: "We're not going to discuss any internal policy discussions. The secretary certainly encourages individuals in the policy making process to express their views and opinions."

Several news organizations have reported on the American payments to the Somali warlords. Reuters and Newsweek were the first to report about Mr. Zorick's cable and reassignment to Chad. The extent and location of the C.I.A.'s efforts, and the extent of the internal dissent about these activities, have not been previously disclosed.

Some Africa experts contend that the United States has lost its focus on how to deal with the larger threat of terrorism in East Africa by putting a premium on its effort to capture or kill a small number of high-level suspects.

Indeed, some of the experts point to the American effort to finance the warlords as one of the factors that led to the resurgence of Islamic militias in the country. They argue that American support for secular warlords, who joined together under the banner of the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counterterrorism, may have helped to unnerve the Islamic militias and prompted them to launch pre-emptive strikes. The Islamic militias have been routing the warlords, and on Monday they claimed to have taken control of most of the Somali capital.

"This has blown up in our face, frankly," said John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit research organization with extensive field experience in Somalia.

"We've strengthened the hand of the people whose presence we were worried most about," said Mr. Prendergast, who worked on Africa policy at the National Security Council and State Department during the Clinton administration.

The American activities in Somalia have been approved by top officials in Washington and were reaffirmed during a National Security Council meeting about Somalia in March, according to people familiar with the meeting. During the March meeting, at a time of fierce fighting in and around Mogadishu, a decision was made to make counterterrorism the top policy priority for Somalia.

Porter J. Goss, who recently resigned as C.I.A. director, traveled to Kenya this year and met with case officers in the Nairobi station, according to one intelligence official. It is not clear whether the payments to Somali warlords were discussed during Mr. Goss's trip.

The American ambassador in Kenya, William M. Bellamy, has disputed assertions that Washington is to blame for the surge in violence in Somalia. And some government officials this week defended the American counterterrorism efforts in the country.

"You've got to find and nullify enemy leadership," one senior Bush administration official said. "We are going to support any viable political actor that we think will help us with counterterrorism."

In May, the United Nations Security Council issued a report detailing the competing efforts of several nations, including Ethiopia and Eritrea, to provide Somali militias and the transitional Somali government with money and arms — activities the report said violated the international arms embargo on Somalia.

"Arms, military matériel and financial support continue to flow like a river to these various actors," the report said.

The United Nations report also cited what it called clandestine support for a so-called antiterrorist coalition, in what appeared to be a reference to the American policy. Somalia's interim president, Abdullahi Yusuf, first criticized American support for Mogadishu's warlords in early May during a trip to Sweden.

"We really oppose American aid that goes outside the government," he said, arguing that the best way to hunt members of Al Qaeda in Somalia was to strengthen the country's government.

Senior American officials indicated this week that the United States might now be willing to hold discussions with the Islamic militias, known as the Islamic Courts Union. President Bush said Tuesday that the first priority for the United States was to keep Somalia from becoming a safe haven for terrorists.

The American payments to the warlords have been intended at least in part to help gain the capture of a number of suspected Qaeda operatives who are believed responsible for a number of deadly attacks throughout East Africa.

Since the 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, American officials have been tracking a Qaeda cell whose members are believed to move freely between Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and parts of the Middle East.

Shortly after an attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, and the failed attempt to shoot down a plane bound for Israel that took off from the Mombasa airport, both in November 2002, the United States began informally reaching out to the Somali clans in the hopes that local forces might provide intelligence about suspected members of Al Qaeda in Somalia.

This approach has brought occasional successes. According to an International Crisis Group report, militiamen loyal to warlord Mohammed Deere, a powerful figure in Mogadishu, caught a suspected Qaeda operative, Suleiman Abdalla Salim Hemed, in April 2003 and turned him over to American officials.

According to Mr. Prendergast, who has met frequently with Somali clan leaders, the C.I.A. over the past year has increased its payments to the militias in the hopes of putting pressure on Al Qaeda.

The operation, while blessed by officials in Washington, did not seem to be closely coordinated among various American national security agencies, he said.

"I've talked to people inside the Defense Department and State Department who said that this was not a comprehensive policy," he said. "It was being conducted in a vacuum, and they were largely shut out."


Original Article
 
#18
tomahawk6 said:
Egypt,Saudi Arabia,Eritrea and Libya all are supporting the Islamic Courts against the Somali government/Ethiopia. Not good news for the US. A total defeat of the IC will be necessary as a warning to those that back radical islamists.
Did the UIC steal your lollipop or something?

Im not going to claim great knowledge of the situation but from everything i've read the UIC have brought some stability to Somalia by cracked down hard on crime and piracy.

When is Uncle Sam going to realise that needlessly taking sides and seeing the Forces of Evil all over the place is just making matters worse?
 
#19
Taz_786 said:
tomahawk6 said:
Egypt,Saudi Arabia,Eritrea and Libya all are supporting the Islamic Courts against the Somali government/Ethiopia. Not good news for the US. A total defeat of the IC will be necessary as a warning to those that back radical islamists.
Did the UIC steal your lollipop or something?

Im not going to claim great knowledge of the situation but from everything i've read the UIC have brought some stability to Somalia by cracked down hard on crime and piracy.

When is Uncle Sam going to realise that needlessly taking sides and seeing the Forces of Evil all over the place is just making matters worse?
Uh-huh, and Mussolini made the trains run on time :roll:
 
#20
Random_Task said:
Taz_786 said:
tomahawk6 said:
Egypt,Saudi Arabia,Eritrea and Libya all are supporting the Islamic Courts against the Somali government/Ethiopia. Not good news for the US. A total defeat of the IC will be necessary as a warning to those that back radical islamists.
Did the UIC steal your lollipop or something?

Im not going to claim great knowledge of the situation but from everything i've read the UIC have brought some stability to Somalia by cracked down hard on crime and piracy.

When is Uncle Sam going to realise that needlessly taking sides and seeing the Forces of Evil all over the place is just making matters worse?
Uh-huh, and Mussolini made the trains run on time :roll:
Damn straight and look what happened when we brought peace and stability to Iraq!
 

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