Iraqi troops, alongside their Iranian allies, have been caught using American tanks and weaponry in the process of their assault on Kurdish separatists. After days of denying an attack was coming, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s words have proven false after forces captured parts the oil-rich city of Kirkuk early Sunday morning.
Many of the inhabitants of Kirkuk, who overwhelmingly voted to secede from Iraq, have fled from the onslaught of Shiite forces now terrorizing the disputed land in and surrounding the city. Any Kurd over the age of 30 will undoubtedly remember Saddam Hussein’s attempt at “Arabization” of the contested area by murdering between 50,000 and 182,000 Kurds in the late 80’s.
After reports were released that the Kurdish Peshmerga destroyed at least five U.S Humvees that were used by Iran backed militias, the rarely cogent Arizona Senator John McCain warned of “severe consequences” if the competing factions destroy military equipment supplied by the United States.
“The United States provided equipment and training to the Government of Iraq to fight ISIS and secure itself from external threats — not to attack elements of one of its regional governments, which is a longstanding and valuable partner of the United States,” McCain said in a statement. “Make no mistake; there will be severe consequences if we continue to see American equipment misused in this way.”
While Sunni and Shiite forces have swapped power in Iraq in the 21st century, little has changed for the Kurds. By threat of violent force, the Kurdish population remains unable to fulfill their internationally recognized right to self-determination.
Once held up as the “most effective ground troop against ISIS” by many western media sources, the Kurds have become an afterthought to cheap, partisan attacks. On the very same day Iranian troops assaulted America’s staunchest ally in Iraq, here are the headlines presented by the oddly pro Iranian media.
MSNBC: On the Iran nuclear deal, Trump finds the truth isn’t good enough
CNN: Trump Iran deal plan risks opening nuclear ‘Pandora’s box.’
Huffington Post: Nancy Pelosi: This Was The Week Donald Trump ‘Went Rogue’
Washington Times: Iran says that Trump nixing nukes deal is an ‘insult’ to U.S. allies
While President Trump’s recent verbal offensive against Iran has caused significant condemnation by the mainstream media, the reality on the ground merits even stronger action.
Since 2014, Iranian-backed Shiite militias have filled much of the vacuum left by the collapse of the Iraqi army. Unless the strategy against ISIS was to permit Iran to recreate a new Persian Empire if they merely eradicate the Sunni Islamist group, we are seeing a significant failure on the part of part of Washington’s strategists.
If Trump is serious about his rhetoric on Iran, Kirkuk must be the starting point for change. Iraq has drowned in an ocean of Iranian Influence, now on the verge of civil war and barely holding onto any semblance of sovereignty. Preventing Iran from taking control over the failed state would be the fulfillment of Trump’s campaign promise to stand by America’s friends and oppose – not reward – the enemies of democracy and progress.
Editor’s note: This is disturbing. Iranian soldiers driving American tanks, with the permission of the Iraqi army. Didn’t this happen on Hillary’s watch?