Shia Forces in Iraq to Prevent any Gulf, US, and Turkey Intrigues in Mosul
Murad Makhmudov, Kanako Itamae, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Shia militias are gathering in strength in the environs of Western Mosul because they rightly fear the intrigues of America, Turkey, and several Gulf nations, notably Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The Shia fear that NATO and Gulf backers of Sunni sectarians in Syria – that led to the mushrooming of ISIS (Islamic State – IS) from Iraq to Libya – will enable ISIS sectarians to escape into Syria. In turn, these Takfiri Islamists will then assist ISIS and melt into other sectarian forces aimed at putting more stress on the government of Syria.
It makes no sense for America and forces fighting alongside this nation to leave the Western Mosul area open to a corridor – after all, why not in other areas of Mosul if based firmly on humanitarian concerns? Instead, it appears that NATO and Gulf intrigues – with Turkey being in the vanguard – are deliberately leaving this area open because they know that ISIS will seek to reach Syria via this corridor.
Reuters says, “Iraqi Shi’ite militias backed by Iran said on Friday they would soon join the fight against Islamic State on a new front west of Mosul, a move which could block any retreat by the jihadists into Syria but might alarm Turkey and the United States.”
ISIS butchered vast numbers of Shia Muslims prior to the latest assault against Mosul. Despite this, President Obama of America is more concerned about placating Turkey and upholding his “Arthur Zimmermann approach” to the crisis. The Shia, not surprisingly, don’t trust the objectives of Washington and Ankara. Equally important, they know that if a corridor is opened then Sunni Takfiris will flock to Syria from Iraq, in order to consolidate and spread further carnage in this country.
The Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) is alert to the situation on the ground. This reality means that the PMF will focus on Tal Afar and then utilize the area for several purposes. For example, it is fitting that Shia militias take part in the assault against Mosul because these forces kept ISIS from advancing further, taking Tal Afar and other surrounding areas will cut many Takfiri ratlines from entering Syria, and to lay the foundation for strengthening ties with Syrian government forces and allies based on a friendly chain.
Reuters says, “Taking Tal Afar would effectively cut off the escape route for militants wanting to head into neighboring Syria and would please the Iran-backed army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It has accused the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition of planning to allow the jihadists such a safe passage.”
Fighters from the PMF will equally boost the armed forces of Iraq because they are battle-hardened. Indeed, given the information coming out of Mosul is vague, it may even indicate that not everything is going smoothly. Of course, this is speculation, but the fear of a Takfiri Islamist corridor to help remnants of ISIS to escape into Syria is a genuine concern given the track record of America and Turkey.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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