I do not believe the media narratives presented.(fighter shortages) Clearly someone told the fighters to pack it in.
“The Islamic State group on Sunday pulled its fighters out of Rutba, a desert town in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, an army general and the mayor said.
The pullout, if confirmed, (nice obfuscation, the mayor of the city confirms the withdrawal) would be a rare case of the jihadists abandoning a position under no massive miliary pressure and suggests a manpower crisis in the organisation.
"Daesh (ISIS) has completely pulled out of Rutba and gone towards Al-Qaim," a major general said, referring to a jihadist bastion on the border with Syria, further north in Anbar.
"Daesh's armed men started pulling out last night and completed their withdrawal this morning," the senior officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Rutba is now free of Daesh."
The mayor of the isolated town, which lies about 390 kilometres (245 miles) west of Baghdad on the road to Jordan, confirmed that ISIS had withdrawn.
"Daesh has pulled out. They have no armed men there now," Imad Ahmed said.”Sputnik
“The Daesh took control of Ar Rutbah in mid-2014, becoming one of the first cities which the militants occupied in Iraq. The city is considered of strategic value as it is located on the Iraqi-Jordanian border, and it allows the militants to better control the western border and transfer weapons and ammunition. It also occupies a strategically important spot on the Amman-Baghdad road, and the Mosul–Haifa oil pipeline”
Rutba- Major highway to Syria and Jordan.
Rutba- Major pipeline location
|From Kirkuk through Iraq and Jordan to Israel|
Anyone have any idea at all why ISIS would simply up and leave this area?
Were they working on a pipeline for the benefit of Israel?
U.S. Checking Possibility of Pumping Oil From Northern Iraq to Haifa, via Jordan
The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
The Prime Minister's Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a "bonus" the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram.
The new pipeline would take oil from the Kirkuk area, where some 40 percent of Iraqi oil is produced, and transport it via Mosul, and then across Jordan to Israel. The U.S. telegram included a request for a cost estimate for repairing the Mosul-Haifa pipeline that was in use prior to 1948. During the War of Independence, the Iraqis stopped the flow of oil to Haifa and the pipeline fell into disrepair over the years.
The National Infrastructure Ministry has recently conducted research indicating that construction of a 42-inch diameter pipeline between Kirkuk and Haifa would cost about $400,000 per kilometer. The old Mosul-Haifa pipeline was only 8 inches in diameter.National Infrastructure Minister Yosef Paritzky said yesterday that the port of Haifa is an attractive destination for Iraqi oil and that he plans to discuss this matter with the U.S. secretary of energy during his planned visit to Washington next month.
The whole 'pan Arab' issue has gone away because the Kurds control Kirkuk- And if Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0 comes to fruition.....Mosul will be under PKK Kurdish control also.....Paritzky added that the plan depends on Jordan's consent and that Jordan would receive a transit fee for allowing the oil to piped through its territory. The minister noted, however, that "due to pan-Arab concerns, it will be hard for the Jordanians to agree to the flow of Iraqi oil via Jordan and Israel."
As a double bonus this pipeline is a slap in the face to Turkey!
"In response to rumors about the possible Kirkuk-Mosul-Haifa pipeline, Turkey has warned Israel that it would regard this development as a serious blow to Turkish-Israeli relations"
Also interesting from Iraq:
A team of Iraqi government investigators have found signs of the use of chemical gas in a small Turkman town in Kirkuk by Islamic State (ISIS) in recent days.
Following two weeks of shelling the town of Taza south of Kirkuk the Iraqi Interior and Defense ministries sent a team to the area to investigate.
Mustard gas is what the team is sure was used.
“We have become sure that the terrorists have used mustard gas against the people of this area,” Lieutenant Kadhim Salman told Rudaw. “But thankfully we have started treating the wounded and clean the area.”
Accounts of the number of victims vary. A local woman in Taza told Rudaw last week that 370 people were wounded. Other sources believe the number is over 600.