Saturday, May 02, 2015

Wag the Dog

Is Iraq seriously planning to use pro-Iranian Shia militias in Anbar where they will alienate Sunni Arabs needed to re-Awaken to defeat ISIL? Or are the Iraqis just putting pressure on America to sway us to focusing on Anbar first rather than making the liberation of Mosul the priority?

This isn't good:

Shi'ite paramilitaries have already played a central, if controversial, role alongside regular army units in recent months in the Iraqi government's first major successful campaign against Islamic State fighters, helping to capture Saddam Hussein's home town Tikrit on the Tigris River north of Baghdad.

So far, however, the government has avoided deploying the militia in the Euphrates River valley province of Anbar west of the capital, a vast Sunni tribal homeland that strides the main routes to Jordan and Syria. Baghdad considers Anbar the next target in its campaign to retake territory from the militants.

But with the army advance having faltered, officials are now speaking openly about dispatching the militia, organized under the umbrella of "Hashid Shaabi" - "Popular Mobilisation".

But is Iraq just using the prospect of Iran's hand puppets moving further west in Iraq to pressure us to support their effort in Anbar and thus marginalize the militias as we did at Tikrit in the final battle to take that city?

We do disagree with Iraq on whether Anbar or Mosul is the priority target.