Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Assault on Anbar reported to have started

Yesterday, the opinion was that Mosul might be the next target for 'liberation' or it might be Anbar Province.  But, conventional wisdom went, no operations would begin until after next week's visit to the United States by Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

This morning, Alsumaria reports that the Iraqi government has launched its assault on Anbar Province. And al-Abadi has left Baghdad to visit Anbar and see how the operation is commencing.

Press TV notes Alsumaria's reporting here.

The governor of Anbar Tweeted the following:

I am now in Habbaniyah Airbase overseeing the distribution of arms to the volunteer fighters of
13 retweets 5 favorites

To get the desired US bombings of Tikrit, Iraq had to hurry Qassem Soleimani out of Iraq.  The Iranian commander has been designated a terrorist by the US government since 2001.  As March was winding down, Jack Khoury (Harretz) noted:

 A top commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said this weekend he believed Tehran had the ability to control events in Jordan, as it does in Iraq and Lebanon.

Qassem Soleimani, commander of the elite Quds force — the foreign wing of the Revolutionary Guards — was addressing a youth conference in Tehran. His remarks were the first time a senior Iranian official has openly discussed Iranian ambitions in Jordan.            

Statements like those are among the reasons some in the region question Barack's 'deal' with Iran.  Abdulrahman al-Rashed (Al Arabiya) rejects Barack's recent hectoring and dismissal of nations in the Middle East:

Then Obama criticized his Gulf allies by saying their fears are domestic, as a result of a lack of satisfaction among their people, as well as extremism, terrorism and unemployment. Of course, this is all true and no one denies the presence of domestic challenges. However it does not mean the Gulf will not voice its irritation at the agreement that the Americans reached with Iran and which set the Gulf’s hand free in a manner that threatens it.

There’s no contradiction here. It’s as if we are telling the American president that he does not have to worry about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda because he has national problems such as unemployment and inadequate healthcare. These two issues are not contradictory!

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