THE CONFUSION OVER THE BATTLE OF TIKRIT
In mid 02/2015 Shiaa forces in Syria launched two offensive against Syrian ‘rebels’ – actually against Sunni militants from Jabhat al-Nusra in the South, near the Jordanian-Israeli borders, and against I.S.I.S (Daesh) in Aleppo province – near the Turkish border. The Shiaa forces were commanded by Iranian Revolutionary Guard officers and were combined of Iranian elements, Hizbullah forces and battalions of Shiite volunteers from Iraq, Western Afghanistan and the Shiaa minority in Pakistan. An international foreign legion of Shiites, led by the Islamic Republic of Iran who faced another international foreign legion of Sunni militants led by the Islamic State – I.S.I.S. Eventually the Shiite offensives failed to reach its basic goals. Indeed Iran was to hold a memorial service, on Tuesday 03/03/2015, for seven Afghans killed fighting alongside the forces of its close ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iranian media reported. The Afghan are from Western Herat province of Afghanistan.
On 03/03/2015 another Shiite coalition forces comprised of Iraqi 20,000 Shiite Militias, no less brutal and murderous that I.S.I.S, About 10,000 Iraqi troops headed and commanded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard general Qasem Soleimani (pic), suspected to be behind operation against USA in the past, and supported by Iranian artillery launched a major attack into the Sunni Salah-a-Din province’s capital Tikrit, the home-town of Saddam Hussein, in the center of a heavily populated Sunni area. The offensive was not coordinated with the Arab and international anti-I.S.I.S Coalition and caught USA on surprise (again).
Giving the brutality of the Shiite militias the offensive already caused another wave of Sunni refugees on one hand and closed the ranks between the Sunni tribes, many of them not supportive for I.S.I.S- Daesh, and the Islamic state and other Sunni elements against the traditional Shiaa enemy. It is also a serious test to the stability of the anti-Daesh coalition since the Sunni countries are extremely hysterical about the prospect that Iran is, actually, controlling Iraq and its army while America is a silent player as they did when Shiaa forces took over Yemen just a month ago.
Although the battle of Tikrit is yet jammed by dozens of Sunni suicide bombers, one of them an American citizens, by thousands of booby traps and by hundreds of snipers and the Shiite forces will face an hostile Sunni population the battle of Tikrit is a turning point from a regional coalition to fight I.S.I.S to a regional religious war between Sunnis and Shiites n which the Sunni Countries will align themselves with the Sunni cause against the Shiaa threat.
No wonder that USA, who sought to be in control over the events and was caught on surprise, once agai, on Wednesday 03/04/2015. warned an offensive to retake control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit from Islamic State militants must not fuel sectarian tensions – indeed a wishful thinking – there is no “sectarian tension” – its already a full scale religious war between Sunnis and Shiites all over the Middle East.
Indeed, on 03/09/2015, USA military’s top officer Gen’ Martin Dmpsey told reporters on board his aircraft in Bahrain, during a visit to the battle zones, that “The international coalition fighting ISIS extremists could be jeopardized if the Baghdad government fails to bridge Iraq’s sectarian divide”. In the longer term, the solidarity of the anti-ISIS coalition – which includes Sunni Arab states – could be put at risk, Dempsey told reporters in Manama.