“And hostilities with Shia Arabs are growing increasingly dangerous. Even though ISIS, the so-called Islamic State, is practically on the city’s doorstep, Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, has opposed arming the city’s Arab and Turkmen population since Kurdish forces took control of the region from the Iraqi government last summer. The Kurdish advance came after ISIS took the city of Tikrit, which lies to the south between Kirkuk and Baghdad. In a recent interview with the London-based Arabic daily newspaper Al Hayat, Barzani said that “We will not allow any forces to enter Kirkuk,” in a message clearly directed at Iranian-backed Shia militias…………..”
The media makes it sound like a choice between Iranian-backed Shi’a militias and Wahhabi-backed Jihadists.
They always ignore the opportunistic former Baathists who have gone religious and are now part of this silly murderous Caliphate. The Baathist officers who would not defend Baghdad in 2003, changed into civilian attire and vanished as American forces closed in on Baghdad, long before Paul Bremer arrived in the city. Not a single shot fired to defend their capital. But they have Mosul, historically their most favorable city in Iraq, for now. That is where Uday and Qusay Saddam Hussein made their last stand in 2003. That is where the last of the Iraqi Baathists will probably make their stand.
American media are also reporting now that “certain Arab allies” have raised objections to possible details of the expected counter-attack to free Mosul from the ISIS Wahhabis now controlling it. These “certain Arab allies“, no doubt Saudi Arabia or its other sidekick on the Persian Gulf, have expressed concern that most the forces on the good side in the expected battle will be Shi’as (either Iraqi soldiers or militias). Odd, given that there is no practical way around Iraqi participation. Maybe the Saudis are willing to lend some of their own valiant forces for the battle? Or they could hire the usual Asian mercenaries.
Other ‘allies’ are also apparently doing their best to hamper any campaign to roll back the Jihadists, be that in Iraq or Syria. The Turks, whose government has an open door policy that allows Jihadists, their female groupies, and weapons to flow freely across the border into the war zone. The Turks are worried that not only the Kurds in Syria are being empowered but that the Assad regime is already gaining back territory as ISIS focuses on consolidating and holding its gains in the northern and border regions.
Such is the backdrop to the haggling going on before the expected battle for Mosul. As for Kirkuk, it is the one issue all other Iraqis (Shi’a, Sunni, Wahhabi, etc) and other Arabs agree on. But the Kurds have it now and I doubt they will give it up again. So, the battle for Kirkuk is over before it ever started……
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum