Forget the so-called “Islamic State”, the future in Iraq, may very well belong to Iran.
Sheikh Ali Hammad, of Falluja in the Anbar province of Iraq says that the Prime Minister of Iraq has deliberately allowed Ramadi to fall to ISIL in order to create a pretext for sending in the Iranian backed Shia militia, the Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) to slaughter Sunni in the area.
Ali Hammad told the Indian times, “They wanted to us reach this point. The people and the provincial council were forced to accept the entrance of the Hashid because they didn’t give weapons to the Sunnis….Abadi doesn’t rule Baghdad; the militias rule.”
Haider Al-Abadi, Iraq’s current Prime Minister, replaced Nuri al-Maliki, who was overtly anti-Sunni and rather cozy with Iran. But while Abadi’s rhetoric is more conciliatory, his actions play into the hands of Tehran and worry the Sunnis who oppose both the Salafism of the “Islamic State” (which is a Sunni brand of Salafism) and the Salafism of the Iran-backed Shia militias. (Salafism is the Jihadist and imperialistic version of Islam as a political movement.)
On the morning of May 18th there were 3,000 well armed Hashid Shaabi ready to go back into Ramadi, all sporting Iranian equipment and allegedly including among their number Iranian special operatives. Meanwhile the Sunni, who were promised arms, never received them- they are sidelined in the fight for their homeland between two essentially Salafist forces.
As of this writing the Hashid Shaabi have not retaken anything, but already there are accusations that as ISIS slaughter Sunni moderates in Ramadi, Shia Slafists are persecuting Sunni moderates outside the fallen city.
Whatever Washington’s strategy for Iraq might be, it would appear that the winner is going to be Iran.
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