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Iraqi army moves closer to defeating ISIS in Ramadi. Mosul is next

Iraqi forces had all but liberated Ramadi, which fell to ISIS in May after what Defense Secretary Ash Carter says was a remarkable display of cowardice by the US-trained Iraqi regulars.

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Via Zerohedge…

The city, some 60 miles west of Baghdad, is key both strategically and psychologically. It’s the veritable “heartland” of Iraq’s Sunni community and its liberation is seen as a kind of rehearsal for a planned operation in Mosul which fell to ISIS 18 months ago.

“In the coming days will be announced the good news of the complete liberation of Ramadi,” army chief of staff Lt. General Othman al-Ghanemi said, earlier this week.

Now, it appears ISIS is on its last legs in the city. According to multiple sources, around 100 “diehard” militants are holed up in a former government compound. All that stands between the Iraqi army and the building are a series of IEDs (recall that ISIS set up a network of devices around the city in a failed attempt to check the army’s advance) and sniper fire.

“CTS has cleared Hoz neighbourhood in central Ramadi completely and arrived near the government complex,” Iraq’s counter terrorism service said on Saturday. “The plan was to enter Hoz from Dhubbat but because of the mines, CTS changed tack and came in from the river bank.”

“Our troops are now advancing toward their targets but were delayed because the criminals have booby-trapped everything,” Special operation commander Sami al-Aridhi says.

Here’s a map from AFP which depicts the current situation on the ground:

Ramadi_1_0

Three Iraqi soldiers and as many as two dozen ISIS fighters were killed on Friday alone. The military says 23 IEDs and two suicide bombers have been “destroyed” in the past 24 hours. The progress is also hampered by the presence of civilians who AFP says, are being used as shields: “The advance by the government forces has also been hampered by the possible presence of dozens of families trapped in the combat zone and used by IS as human shields.”

“Civilians who remain trapped in Ramadi have posed a formidable challenge for both the Iraqi troops and their U.S. air support,” WSJ adds. “At least 120 families are trapped between Islamic State fighters and invading Iraqi soldiers in the eastern suburbs of Sejariya and Sofiya, said Mohamed al-Khozaee, a spokesman for the Iraqi Red Crescent Society.”

Ramadi2_1_0

“Most remaining civilians in the IS-held central district have taken shelter in the city’s hospital, knowing that the army will not target it,” Reuters notes, adding that although “the counter-terrorism forces are within 800 meters (0.5 mile) from the government complex,”the Iraqi military “has declined to give a time frame for the final onslaught to dislodge the militants. “The campaign’s priority is to avoid casualties among civilians and the troops, no matter how long it takes,” a spokesperson said.

The question, as we’ve noted on a number of occasions, is what happens “next.” That is, Baghdad has deliberately excluded Iran’s fearsome Shiite militias from the fight in an effort to avoid sparking a sectarian backlash among local Sunnis. But the Sunni tribesmen who are expected to hold the city once it’s captured are undertrained and ill-equipped to hold territory in the face of a counter-offensive. One wonders how long the city will remain “liberated.”

In any event, next is Mosul. Or so Abadi says. “The liberation of dear Mosul will be achieved with the cooperation and unity of all Iraqis after the victory in Ramadi,” the PM said, earlier this week.

That battle will be decisive. “Islamic State fighters have had more than a year and a half to establish themselves in Mosul since storming the city in the summer of last year,” WSJ writes, adding that “they have built defenses including land mines and possibly tunnels, tactics used in other cities recaptured from the group, while ruling over hundreds of thousands of civilians who could be used as human shields.”

If Mosul is recaptured, ISIS will have, for all intents and purposes, lost half of its “caliphate” and the US will have lost its excuse to operate in Iraq.

But it’s hardly that simple. As Thomas Ricks, a US soldier who fought in the city wrote earlier this month, “there’s a lot of loose talk about ‘re-taking’ Mosul [but] in my non-General Officer, very tactical-level opinion, an assault on this place would turn into a ten year siege, perhaps longer.”

References:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-26/100-diehard-isis-militants-stand-between-iraqi-army-and-recapturing-key-city

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ABC’s Ted Koppel admits mainstream media bias against Trump [Video]

The mainstream news media has traded informing the public for indoctrinating them, but the change got called out by an “old-school” journo.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News reported on March 19th that one of America’s most well-known TV news anchors, Ted Koppel, noted that the once-great media outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post, have indeed traded journalistic excellence for hit pieces for political purposes. While political opinions in the mainstream press are certainly within the purview of any publication, this sort of writing can hardly be classified as “news” but as “Opinion” or more widely known, “Op-Ed.”

We have two videos on this. The first is the original clip showing the full statement that Mr. Koppel gave. It is illuminating, to say the least:

Tucker Carlson and Brit Hume, a former colleague of Mr. Koppel, added their comments on this admission in this second short video piece, shown here.

There are probably a number of people who have watched this two-year onslaught of slander and wondered why there cannot be a law preventing this sort of misleading reporting. Well, Russia passed a law to stop it, hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook. It is a smart law because it does not advocate imprisonment for bad actors in the media, but it does fine them.

Going to prison for reporting “the truth” looks very noble. Having to pay out of pocket for it is not so exciting.

Newsmax and Louder with Crowder both reported on this as well.

This situation of dishonest media has led to an astonishing 77% distrust rating among Americans of their news media, this statistic being reported by Politico in 2018. This represents a nearly diametric reversal in trust from the 72% trust rating the country’s news viewers gave their news outlets in 1972. These statistics come from Gallup polls taken through the years.

 

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Lori Loughlin’s daughter was aboard USC official’s yacht in Bahamas when mom was charged

Lori Loughlin’s daughter was on the yacht of USC’s Board of Trustees when her mom was accused in scheme.

The Duran

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Via Fox News


Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli was spending spring break on a University of Southern California official’s yacht when her mother was accused Tuesday of involvement in a college admissions scheme, reports said.

Giannulli, 19, was on Rick Caruso’s luxury yacht Invictus in the Bahamas, a report said. Caruso is chairman of USC’s Board of Trustees.

Giannulli, who currently attends USC, was with Caruso’s daughter Gianna and several other friends, the outlet reported.

“My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government’s announcement yesterday,” Caruso told TMZ. “Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home.”

Loughlin’s daughter has since returned to Los Angeles to face the allegations that could result in her getting expelled from USC.

USC’s Board of Trustees will not decide the status of Giannulli and the other students involved in the case, but rather, the university’s president will make the decisions, according to TMZ.

Business deals in jeopardy?

Giannulli is a YouTube beauty vlogger and social media star, but in the midst of her mother’s charges, she may lose the lucrative brand-sponsorship deals she has landed over the years, Variety reported.

HP, having cut ties with Giannulli, said in a statement, “HP worked with Lori Loughlin and Olivia Jade in 2017 for a one-time product campaign. HP has removed the content from its properties.”

Giannulli also cut brand deals with partners including Amazon, Dolce & Gabbana, Lulus, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Sephora, Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Smile Direct Club, Too Faced Cosmetics, Boohoo, and Unilever’s TRESemmé, the report said.

Giannulli’s rep declined to comment, Variety reported. Estée Lauder Companies, which owns Smashbox and Too Faced, also declined to comment, while the other brands or companies the magazine reached out to did not immediately respond to their requests for comment.

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$250M Lawsuit Against CNN Imminent; Covington High MAGA Student Suffered “Direct Attacks”

CNN will be the second MSM outlet sued over their reporting of the incident, after Sandmann launched a $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post in late February. 

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CNN is about to be sued for more than $250 million for spreading fake news about 16-year-old Covington High School student Nicholas Sandmann.

Sandmann was viciously attacked by left-leaning news outlets over a deceptively edited video clip from the January March for Life rally at the Lincoln Memorial, in which the MAGA-hat-wearing teenager appeared to be mocking a Native American man beating a drum. Around a day later, a longer version of the video revealed that Sandmann did absolutely nothing wrong – after the media had played judge, jury and executioner of Sandmann’s reputation.

CNN will be the second MSM outlet sued over their reporting of the incident, after Sandmann launched a $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post in late February.

Speaking with Fox News host Mark Levin in an interview set to air Sunday, Sandmann’s attorney, L. Lin Wood, said “CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals’ homes. It’s broadcast into their homes.”

They really went after Nicholas with the idea that he was part of a mob that was attacking the Black Hebrew Israelites, yelling racist slurs at the Black Hebrew Israelites,” continued Wood. “Totally false. Saying things like that Nicholas was part of a group that was threatening the Black Hebrew Israelites, that they thought it was going to be a lynching.”

Why didn’t they stop and just take an hour and look through the internet and find the truth and then report it?” Wood asked. “Maybe do that before you report the lies. They didn’t do it. They were vicious. It was false. CNN will be sued next week, and the dollar figure in the CNN case may be higher than it was [against] The Washington Post.”

Watch: 

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