Sunday, April 01, 2018

And now the White Flags emerge in Iraq

The Iraq War's gone on way too long.  Doubt it?  Nancy A. Youssef's been at KNIGHT RIDDER, MCCLATCHY, THE DAILY BEAST, BUZZFEED and now THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Borzou Daragahi has moved around himself.  Back in the early days, he was at THE LOS ANGELES TIMES then he was at THE FINANCIAL TIMES OF LONDON and, these days, he's at BUZZFEED.  This is from his latest:

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared ISIS defeated last December, a call likely timed to give his coalition’s reelection prospects a boost ahead of the vote on May 12. US President Donald Trump claimed credit for devising a military strategy that forced ISIS into “giving up” in Mosul. On Thursday he claimed the US was “knocking the hell out of ISIS.” But ISIS persists as an insurgent group in both Iraq and Syria, and some of its remnants, including the White Flags, already appear to be building new militant factions.
Chor and his fighters named themselves the White Flags, perhaps to contrast themselves with the black flag that symbolizes ISIS. Armed with weapons accumulated over the years fighting alongside ISIS, the White Flags ride in four-wheel-drive pickup trucks through the folds of the mountains, finding shelter from patrols, mortars, and airstrikes launched by Iraqi forces. They dig tunnels to scuttle back and forth between nearby Kurdish and Arab areas, firing mortars at Shia militias arrayed along the mountain range. Equipped with night-vision goggles, they operate deep within the mountains, 7 miles from the outskirts of the city of Tuz Khurmatu, along the highway between Baghdad and the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

ISIS isn't defeated and that's before you factor in the emerging White Flags.  But, one has to wonder, why is Borzou the only one writing about it?

Not that there's a great deal of press coverage on Iraq from the western media.

But Philadelphia's CBS did cover Saturday's benefit for a memorial for Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans.

You have to wonder if other states are working on noting their fallen with a memorial and when one will be planned for DC?

Now the bigger question remains: When will US troops be able to leave Iraq?

But these other questions are important as well and certainly those who died in a foreign country their government sent them to deserve to be remembered.

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