US to Launch Another Invasion of Iraq

A civil war is raging in Iraq and the United States is studying the possibility of going back there. The US-created state is bursting at the seams. So it’s deadlock again. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (alternatively translated as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and abbreviated as ISIL or ISIS) is an unrecognized state and active Jihadist militant group in Iraq and Syria influenced by the Wahhabi movement. It is operating in Iraq and Syria. The US President is considering aid for militants in Syria. At the same time in Iraq he does not exclude any options against jihadists. So Washington sticks to its usual policy of double standards. 

It’s not excluded the thrust of ISIL to Baghdad is inspired by Americans to justify its would-be intervention. The strong presence of jihadists meets the US interests because it would divide Iraq into three parts controlled by Sunni, Shia and Kurds. The chaos will create a hotbed near the Iranian border, the Arab world will get another civil war and the US allies will be dragged into another war to support America. The United States will use the situation to its advantage. It will go back to Iraq and probably spread the expansion into Syria. The White House has started to discuss openly the possibility of bombing Syria after the election victory of Bashar Assad. Riyadh is not trying to hide its satisfaction with the plans. Saudi Arabia would like to see Bashar Assad overthrown in Syria and is ready to join any anti-Shia action initiated by the United States against Iran.

Tehran renders its support to Iraqi Shiites who are in power in Iraq. It is adamant in its stance. President Rouhani has already said that Iran is ready to support the government of al-Maliki in its fight against Islamists. According to him, Iran is intent to provide any support Iraq may ask for in order to fight terrorists back. At some time Iran even expressed readiness to act in unison with the United States to restore security in Iraq. Rouhani said so on the condition that Washington’s intent to struggle against terrorism is real. But in a few days Iran drastically changed its stance; by the time it had become clear the White House was afraid of Iranian involvement into the events even more than the overthrow of its protégé al-Maliki. Americans are already looking for someone to take his place. It’s not excluded the person to head Iraq will come from the Sunni community.

Patrick Cockburn of the Independent believes that the rule of Shiite government installed by the United States after the toppling of Saddam Hussein is nearing its end. Even if Iraq will restore the control over the major part of the country, it won’t get back the northern part populated by Sunni. Looks like Washington also sees the things this way. According to what it says, the US does not want the Sunni jihadists take a foothold in Iraq. But in reality the United States does not want to help the Iraqi Shiites who are friendly towards Iran. In his statement on Iraq US President Obama said,

“So any action that we may take to provide assistance to Iraqi security forces has to be joined by a serious and sincere effort by Iraq’s leaders to set aside sectarian differences, to promote stability, and account for the legitimate interests of all of Iraq’s communities, and to continue to build the capacity of an effective security force. We can’t do it for them. And in the absence of this type of political effort, short-term military action, including any assistance we might provide, won’t succeed. So this should be a wake-up call. Iraq’s leaders have to demonstrate a willingness to make hard decisions and compromises on behalf of the Iraqi people in order to bring the country together. In that effort, they will have the support of the United States and our friends and our allies.”

Obama is exasperated over the Iraqi security forces inability to carry out their missions. All the calls of al-Maliki for aid still waiting to be responded to.

Iranian military are already in Iraq. According to Western media, Iran has deployed Revolutionary Guard forces to fight al Qaeda-inspired militants that have overrun a string of Iraqi cities, and it has helped Iraqi troops win back control of most of Tikrit. The Guardian reports 15 hundred volunteers have come to Iraq from Iran as well as two battalions of the Quds Forces (500 men), the elite overseas branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps that have long operated in Iraq. They have come to the aid of the besieged, Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. An Iraqi official confirmed that 1,500 basiji forces had crossed the border into the town of Khanaqin, in Diyala province, in central Iraq on June 13, while another 500 had entered the Badra Jassan area in Wasat province overnight. The Guardian reported on June 13 that Major General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, had arrived in Baghdad to oversee the defence of the capital. There is growing evidence in Baghdad of Shia militias continuing to reorganize, with some heading to the central city of Samarra, 70 miles (110km) north of the capital, to defend two Shia shrines from Sunni jihadist groups surrounding them. According to the Wall Street Journal, one battalion of Iran’s special operations forces is already fighting the Islamists. On June 12 this unit helped the Iraqi army to liberate Tikrit. Two Guards’ units, dispatched from Iran’s western border provinces on June 11, were tasked with protecting Baghdad and the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf, these security sources said. The Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs flatly rejects the reports. “Until now we haven’t received any requests for help from Iraq. Iraq’s army is certainly capable in handling this”, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afgham said on June 11.

At that, the Iranian government is not going to leave the neighbor in trouble. It intends to send weapons and military advisors. Tehran is trying to make the best use of US aid to Iraq. After being asked if Iran was prepared to cooperate with America in Iraq, Rouhani said:

“All countries need to embark on joint effort regarding terrorism. At the moment, it’s the government of Iraq and the people of Iraq that are fighting terrorism. We have not seen the US do anything for now. Any time the Americans start to take action against terrorist groups, we can consider that.”

The border between the Shia Iran and Iraq is about 1500 km long, so naturally Iran is concerned over the situation in the neighboring state. It will hardly launch a direct intervention. It opposes any foreign interference anywhere.

Some in the West hold an opinion that the US may ask Iran to bring in troops. This supposition has no justification. In 2010 Obama formally ended the operation in Iraq saying the price was heavy and the US transferred the future of the country to its people. Washington never planned the following rapprochement between Iraq and Iran. Senator John McCain continued his blistering attack on President Barack Obama’s handling of Iraq on June 13, again calling for his entire national security team to be replaced and saying his decisions have been very costly. “The President wanted out and now we are paying a heavy price”, the Arizona Republican said on MSNBC. McCain said repeatedly that the U.S. “had the conflict won” after the 2007 troop surge, with Iraq maintaining a stable government and Al Qaeda extremists largely defeated. But the Obama administration’s decision not to leave behind a residual force, he said, has caused the situation to deteriorate. Now, the Senator said, “this has turned into one of the most serious threats to American security in recent history”. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on June 12 said President Obama should authorize airstrikes in Iraq to halt the progress of extremist groups. “There is no scenario where we can stop the bleeding in Iraq without American airpower”, he told reporters after leaving a classified Senate Armed Services Committee briefing. “If American airpower is not interjected into the equation, I don’t see how you stop these people”. He said that, if the President’s military advisers recommended air attacks, «I would support it”. He also said what he’d heard at the closed-door briefing “scared the hell out of me”. He said the extremist groups were moving toward Baghdad “very rapidly” and urged the withdrawal of all personnel from the U.S. Embassy in that city. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), who serves as a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, issued the following statement today regarding the security situation in Iraq,

“Earlier today, Senators were informed of the instant collapse of four of the 17 Iraqi military divisions – without any apparent effort to push back. This is a desperate situation. It’s moving quickly. It appears to me that the chickens are coming home to roost for the president’s policy of not leaving anybody there to be a stabilizing force. Some Iraqi troops have gone to work with their uniforms on with civilian clothes under their uniforms. That’s a bad sign. In the short term, the U.S. must do everything we can to support the Kurdistan Regional Government’s requests for assistance to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis along Kurdistan’s border.”

Republican congressmen exert pressure on Obama to make him launch a ground operation in Iraq. The United States has more chances to oppose Iran than join it in fighting the same enemy shoulder to shoulder. It’s not an occasion that Tehran started to oppose any foreign meddling in Iraq. The recent statement of Iranian Foreign Ministry says that Iraqi authorities can do it alone. The US, Great Britain and France are getting ready for intervention. In this case Iran will have to step in. The situation may evolve into a full-blown religious war. The West may find itself fighting as one team with the Sunni terrorists. The specter of sectarian war and partition of Iraq grew on June 13 as the country’s top Shiite cleric implored his followers to take up arms against an insurgent army of marauding Sunni extremist militants who have captured broad stretches of northern territory this week in a sweep toward Baghdad. The exhortation by the cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani came as President Obama told the Iraqis they need to resolve the crisis themselves and vowed not to redeploy United States forces in Iraq, a country where nearly 4,500 American soldiers lost their lives and the United States spent more than $1 trillion in an eight-year war that Mr. Obama said was history when the last troops left in 2011. Heeding the call to arms by Ayatollah Sistani, Shiite volunteers rushed to the front lines, reinforcing defenses of the holy city of Samarra 70 miles north of Baghdad, and helping thwart attacks by Sunni fighters of the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in some smaller cities to the east. The confrontations suggested that Shiites and Sunnis would once again engage in open conflict for control of Iraq, as they did during the height of the American-led occupation that ousted Saddam Hussein. The jihad launched against each other may explode Iraq and the whole Middle East. It had been reported before that the White House is not eyeing the possibility of having boots on the ground as Obama said he is weighing the options on delivering military aid to Iraq, not intervention. But the United States cannot be trusted. The signs of US preparation for another military adventure are visible. Americans who work and do military service in Iraq are leaving. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered an aircraft carrier — the Norfolk, Virginia-based USS George H.W. Bush — to move from the northern Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf as President Barack Obama considers possible military options for Iraq. Hagel’s press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the order will give the president added flexibility if military action is required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq. Accompanying the carrier will be the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun. The ships were expected to complete their move into the Gulf on June 14. The ships carry Tomahawk missiles, which could reach Iraq. The Bush is carrying fighter jets that could also easily get to Iraq. The Secretary says the purpose of sending the ships is to defend and add flexibility. We all know what flexibility is meant so the only thing left is to define the scale of upcoming intervention.

Articles by: Nikolai Bobkin

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