So it's rather sad that, as All Iraq News reports, Iraq's Prime Minsiter Haider al-Abadi went to Erbil today to speak with KRG President Massoud Barzani about 'liberating' Nineveh Province. Reuters notes Haider says they have to remain unclear on the timeline for the operation in order to preserve "the element of surprise." Tasnim notes that as well as the following:
During his first visit to the Kurdistan region since becoming Prime Minister last year, Abadi said Baghdad and Erbil faced a common enemy and would improve ties to help confront the threat.
"Our visit to Erbil today is to coordinate and cooperate on a joint plan to liberate the people of Nineveh," Abadi said at a joint news conference with President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani on Monday.
So why is this rather sad? For starters, because, as AP notes, "Al-Abadi admits that dozens of houses and shops were burned in Tikrit." The same article notes he's vowing to bring to justice anyone who loots or burns down homes and shops.
But he's not.
These aren't mystery men, hiding their faces and going out cloaked by darkness.
These are people -- Shi'ite forces -- carrying out crimes in broad daylight.
Long before the press discovered the story and long before Haider made his 'stop it now or you'll be arrested' speech, Iraqi Spring MC Tweeted about the militia looting Tikrit.
#صلاح_الدين: تكرار حالات السلب والنهب التي تنتهجها القوات الحكومية والميليشيات التابعة لها عند دخولها مناطق النزاع.
That is a photo of joyful criminals -- wearing Iraqi forces fatigues.
If Haider wanted to defend Iraq, he could start with seeing to it that everyone in that photo was immediately arrested.
If he wanted to heal the nation, he could be working on post-Tikrit and not rushing off to plan the next battle when the issues in Tikrit still remain unresolved.
Haider's becoming a joke -- as well as ingrate.
Last week, Der Spiegel published their interview with Haider al-Abadi which included:
SPIEGEL: It is Iran and not the United States that emerged as your most important ally in the battle against IS. Are you disappointed by President Barack Obama?
Al-Abadi: I hoped the support would have been quicker and more effective, especially at the beginning of the assault by Daesh. Baghdad was being threatened by them and, in actual fact, there was no action from the US or anybody else.
SPIEGEL: Do you still trust this strategic partnership?
Al-Abadi: I was very surprised to hear later that the US was anticipating that Baghdad might fall within three days. I don't think that this assessment was accurate. Baghdad was and remains fortified very well by our security forces. And after Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa to the civilians to defend the country and the sacred sites, the whole scenario changed. The Iranians were quick and prompt in providing support, in the form of weaponry and advisors. Iran regards Daesh as a national security threat that had reached their borders. As such, they reacted promptly.
Those comments should set the stage for a 'fun' visit with Barack later this month in DC.
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