|Anthony Freda Art|
After Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias backed by Iran were unable to liberate the Iraqi city of Tikrit from Western-backed ISIS forces in a swift manner, the US military establishment is now gloating in a rather obvious and even childish fashion that the Iraqi military has been forced to return like a battered wife to the arms of the abuser yet again.
According to the Military Times, nearly 20,000 Shiite militias withdrew from the Tikrit battleground after the Iraqi government agreed to pause its cooperation and coordination with the Iranian government. The Iraqi government agreed to take control of all the military operations from here on.
The United States imposed two conditions on the Iraqi government before it would agree to provide any assistance in the fight against ISIS that the Iraqi government end cooperation with Iran and that the Iraqi government assume command over forces on the ground.
Yet it could easily be seen that whatever successes were being witnessed on the ground were the result of the lack of US involvement, not the result of it. The Iraqi military/government and the United States had been in the planning stages of an assault against ISIS-held positions inside Iraq since January 2015. Yet, despite “assistance” coming from the most militarily advanced nation on the face of the earth, Iraqi officials had complained that preparations for military plans were moving much too slow or either not at all. It appeared, for all intents and purposes, that the US was not as interested in eliminating strategic (to the Iraqi government) strongholds of ISIS as it was pretending to be in its press conferences and international speeches.
What is interesting, however, is the fact that, months before any such operations were ever launched, U.S. General Lloyd Austin, head of the US military’s CENTCOM, told the Wall Street Journal that the US and Iraq were planning a summer offensive to retake Mosul and cut supply lines to the ISIS fighters that control it. In other words, US General Austin revealed the war plans long before the actual operation took place, thus tipping off the potential targets to the upcoming military assault and creating even greater odds for the weak Iraqi forces to surmount.
Although failing to retake Tikrit, the Iranian military provided tanks, personnel, arms, and artillery assistance to the Shiite militias fighting against ISIS.
However, as the bulk of the work in the fight against ISIS was done by Shiite militias, some Sunni militias, Iraqi forces with various forms of Iranian assistance, the United States stepped in and began to whine about its fears that Iraq was falling under the influence of Iran, a real fear of the US since the Shiite crescent and Iranian arc of influence is exactly what the US, NATO, and Israel have been fighting so hard against.
Thus, the US demanded that, if Iraq was going to continue to work with Iran, then America would take its ball and go home and leave Iraq to its own devices, at least on this particular battlefield. After the Iraqi government agreed to America’s terms, the US engaged in airstrikes over Tikrit that saw the destruction of a number of bridges and railroads as well as alleged ISIS checkpoints and facilities.
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter explained his “concern” with the joint Iraq-Iran operation “because it could inflame sectarian tensions that are driving support for Islamic State militants,” despite the fact that Sunnis and Sunni militias have fought alongside the Shiite militias and Iraqi security forces. Obviously, the biggest possibility of inflaming sectarian tensions comes from the United States and Israel as recent history has clearly shown.
Army Col. Steve Warren also took the opportunity to gloat about the effectiveness and importance of US forces in the fight against ISIS despite the fact that the US is entirely responsible for the creation and the facilitation of the terrorist group. Warren stated,
When Tikrit operations kicked off … we heard quite a bit from the Iraqis and some even from the Iranians, some fairly high-confidence statements about how rapidly the operation in Tikrit would go. Obviously they were incorrect.
I think it’s important that the Iraqis understand that what would be most helpful to them is a reliable partner in this fight. Reliable, professional, advanced military capabilities are something that reside very clearly and very squarely with the [American-led] coalition.
General Lloyd Austin, the man who leaked the military assault plans before the Iraqi military was able to implement them and who is partly responsible for the difficulty experienced by the Iraqi-Iranian forces even if for no other reason than his untimely revelation, admitted that the Iranian forces have a vested interest in seeing the destruction of ISIS. He also repeated his and the US’ rejection of cooperation in that goal.
Austin pointed out that, only a few years ago, American soldiers were fighting these same Iraqi Shiite militias. “I’d just like to highlight sir, after three tours in Iraq commanding troops in Iraq who were brutalized by some of these Shia militias I will not and I hope we never coordinate or cooperate with the Shia militias,” he said.
Austin, of course made no mention of the motivation behind these Shiite militias who, along with Sunni fighters, were dealing defeat to the sophisticated US forces until David Petraeus and Robert Ford among others devised a plan to divide the Iraqi resistance. Indeed, the reason they were doing so was because the US illegally invaded their country, murdering their friends and family and destroying their infrastructure. Unfortunately, Americans, who have a history of this type of behavior across the entire globe, remain confused as to why they are not universally loved and greeted as heroes and liberators wherever they go.
For now, Austin and his imperialist commanders have gotten their wish. The militias have been halted yet again, Iran’s influence has been weakened in Iraq, and ISIS is now escaping what was its imminent destruction in Tikrit.
In the end, however, the recent nudging of Iranian influence in Iraq by the US is not only an example of the geopolitical struggle between Iran and the US, but also how the US consistently rides in on a white horse at the last minute to save ISIS from defeat in Iraq and Syria. This alone should cause many to question the true nature of the relationship between the United States and ISIS.
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Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.