President Obama is sending 275 back to Iraq to protect the embassy and American personnel from ISIS insurgents. [Read more...]
The U.S. trained and equipped Iraqi army is much bigger and better armed than the ISIS insurgents, but in combat they have been running away in droves. So the chief Shi’ite cleric has called for volunteers and a reconstituting of the militias to fight back against the Sunni insurgents. And that seems to be working. The ISIS forces have been stopped for now on their march to Baghdad and some of the territory they won is being recaptured.
In the meantime, Iran is offering to help their Shi’ite brethren. And President Obama has said that we won’t send in troops, but leaves the door open for air strikes. [Read more...]
It looks like we are approaching the helicopter-on-the-roof phase in Iraq, as Americans are being evacuated as the rebel army moves closer and closer to Baghdad. (To add insult to injury, the rebels are apparently making use of American equipment that was left behind.)
But the situation there is not just about us. The rebel organization is called ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. They are Sunni Muslims, which was Saddam Hussein’s denomination, seeking to overthrow the Shi’ite Muslims, who make up 60% of the population and who assumed power in the American-imposed democracy. The Sunnis are also opposed to Iran and to the Shi’ite dictatorship in Syria. Iran might actually support the existing government, as ISIS–which includes Syrian rebels ostensibly supported by the United States–seeks to create a pan-Sunni state in the region. Both factions have their jihadist terrorists and consider the USA their enemy, but they also hate each other. So this is not only a war against the West, but also an intr-Islamic religious war. [Read more...]
Islamic radicals are scoring victory after victory over the Iraqi government left in place by departing American forces. Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, is in rebel hands, as is Mosul, the nation’s second largest city. Now the insurgents are 70 miles away from Baghdad. [Read more...]