Monday, May 04, 2015

Barzani visits the US and did the Badr militia just threatens the US?

Saturday, at least 15 people were killed from a car bombing in Baghdad's affluent district of Karrada.  Today, a resident shares his belief with the press that the Baghdad-based central government -- the Green Zone government is a tool of the United States and means to further implement the projects of the Islamic State.

Hearts and minds?

Neither the US government nor Haider al-Abadi appear to be winning hearts and minds.

Meanwhile the vice president of the KRG Parliament, Jaafar Ibrahim Aamenki, tells Alsumaria that the attacks from some members of the Iraqi Parliament on the US Congressional proposal to arm Sunnis and Kurds directly was "disappointing."  He also notes that some pretend to want to be democratic but, for example, Article 140 of the Constitution has still not been implemented.

The Kurdish viewpoints will have a hearing at the White House on Tuesday when KRG President Massoud Barzani meets with US President Barack Obama.  Al Mada notes that in his meetings with Barack and with US Vice President Joe Biden, Barzani intends to press on the issue of supplying the Kurdish Peshmerga with weapons to fight the Islamic State.  Rudaw adds, "The question of Kurdish self-determination and the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) will dominate talks between the Kurdish delegation led by President Masoud Barzani and American officials in Washington, said the Kurdish President’s Chief of Staff, Fuad Hussein."

He'll also be meeting with members of Congress during his visit.

Trudy Rubin (Philadelphia Inquirer) filed a report last week which included:

 The Kurds don't want to invade the heart of Mosul, because it is a historically Sunni Arab city. They'd like the Iraqi army to play a leading role, but that force virtually collapsed when the extremists invaded. The army's officer class had been corrupted under the previous Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki. It is being retrained by U.S. and other coalition forces, but no one knows when enough revamped brigades will be available for Mosul.
Barzani also made clear that Iranian-backed Shiite militias are not the right force to liberate Mosul (in the battle for the Sunni city of Tikrit they burned and looted Sunni homes). While praising the militias' "good fighters," he stressed that "without one central command and control you cannot be successful." In other words, no role for Shiite militias that operate outside national army command.
I asked whether the Kurds had any expectation that the Sunni inhabitants of Mosul might rebel against their tormentors. Masrour Barzani, the Kurds' savvy intelligence chief and son of the president, interjected: "We see a lot of people very unsatisfied with ISIS control, but they know how brutal ISIS is."

Meanwhile, is the Shi'ite thug from the Badr militia threatening the US?  Rudaw reports:

Iraqi Shiite leader Hadi Ameri, who is currently commanding Hashd al-Shaabi fighters in the Anbar military campaign against ISIS militants, has threatened “all parties working to dissolve Iraq.”

Ameri’s controversial comments came days after a new bill introduced by Republicans in the US Congress called on the White House to directly arm and assist the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Sunni Arab tribes against the Islamic State.

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