US and Iran are closer in Iraq than people realize — and things are getting ugly

H/T Business Insider:

(REUTERS) Obama at Hill Air Force Base, Utah on April 3, 2015.The Obama administration is no longer hiding the fact that the US is serving as the air force for Iran-backed Shia militias fighting ISIS in Iraq.

Helen Cooper of The New York Times reports that the US and Iran “have found a template for fighting the Sunni militancy in other parts of Iraq: American airstrikes and Iranian-backed ground assaults” with the Iraqi military serving as a go-between.

The US recently provided crucial air support in the Iran-led offensive to drive ISIS (aka Islamic State, Daesh) from Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit and bragged about it. US officials told The Wall Street Journal that “they deliberately used the Tikrit operation to drive a wedge between Iran and Iraq.”

The template, however, is reportedly seen as the best way to retake Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul, which ISIS captured last summer as it rampaged into Iraq from its massive safe haven in neighboring Syria.

“You can see where this is going,” a senior Pentagon official told the Times, apparently reference to Mosul. “Are the Iraqi forces ready yet? I would say no.”

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US and Iran

 

US and Iran are closer in Iraq than people realize

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