Wednesday December 2, 2015
On Tuesday evening, we took a look at how Iran’s Shiite proxy arms fighting ISIS in Iraq responded to Ash Carter’s contention that the US would soon send an “expeditionary targeting force” to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the battle against Islamic State.
From Kata'ib Hezbollah: "We will chase and fight any American force deployed in Iraq. Any such American force will become a primary target for our group. We fought them before and we are ready to resume fighting."
From the Badr Organisation: "All Iraqis look to (the Americans) as occupiers who are not trustworthy."
And as for the official reaction from Baghdad, we go to PM Haider al-Abadi: “Iraq does not need foreign ground combat forces on Iraqi land."
So basically, “thanks, but we’ve seen enough of your ground troops over the past 15 years and if they come here again, they’re likely to get shot at, and not just by ISIS.”
This is a conundrum for Washington. The US-trained and armed Iraqi regulars fight alongside, and in some cases report directly to, the Shiite militias and these militias are far more effective at fighting ISIS than government forces. In some battles, there are more militiamen fighting than Iraqi soldiers.