Update: 03/02/15: The U.S. did not find out about the attack on Tikrit until the plan was finalized. The U.S. is not providing air cover according to Gen. Jack Keane, despite the fact that Secretary Kerry said “We are taking Tikrit back.”
It’s actually worse. This operation is a fully Iranian offensive.
The potential for Sunni and Shia regional fighting exists. This also puts Iran in a more dominant position in the region if this continues.
Sen. McCain said we serve as Iran’s air force (video) and we often do. We have been routinely providing air cover for Iranian-backed Shia and Sunni offensives but it now seems that Iran has completely taken over.
Iranian-backed Shia militias are currently moving into Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit with Iraqi forces. These are the same Shia militias we fought against during the surge. They are the same militias who killed our soldiers and our allies.
Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, who is leading the Iraqi forces, is a Baghdad-born Shiite and in January he complained of “excesses” [ransacking for example] by some of the Shiite volunteers who joined the fight against the Sunni militants and on whom the military has come to rely.
He also complained about the inconsistent U.S. support.
“Sometimes, they [the U.S.] would carry out airstrikes that I never asked for, and at other times I begged them for a single airstrike and they never did it,” citing logistical issues or orders from higher up, he said. “I don’t think they trust Iraq’s government or military,” the NY Times reported.
The general is fighting alongside Iranian fighters with the U.S. blessings.
In December, Secretary of State John Kerry said any Iranian action against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq would be “positive”, the bbc reported.
He praised the alliance (which included Iran though he didn’t admit it at the time) for inflicting “significant” damage on IS”.
Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, told state TV, the operation for Tikrit, which is now taking place, was “going on as planned,” with fighting taking place outside Tikrit mainly on its eastern side.
As Iran helps Iraq take back Tikrit, the U.S. is providing intelligence and air power. We are Iran’s air force. We wouldn’t assist Jordan or Egypt but we will help Iran.
Secretary Kerry said this morning that “We are taking back Tikrit”.
How much better or worse will it be when Iran has control of Iraq?
In the end, all of this is so much bigger than Tikrit. This is about a global jihad and the expansion of a very dangerous Iran. President Obama appears unaware or unconcerned.
As one foreign minister of a U.S. ally in the region told Sen. McCain, it’s better to be an enemy of the United States right now than an ally.
Sen. McCain discussed the administration’s “delusion” on Fox & Friends this morning which can be seen in part on the video below. Towards the end of the clip, Sen. McCain says we are Iran’s air force and “it’s crazy”…the “Iranians are on the move.”
Secretary Kerry is working out a nuclear deal with Iran and one of the major players is Russia, certainly no friend of the United States but they are allied with Iran and Bashar al-Assad. Another player is China.
John Kerry isn’t worried about any of that. He is worried about Netanyahu’s speech and the possibility that the Prime Minister will tell the truth about the details of the deal prior to its resolution. This morning, John Kerry warned Netanyahu to not reveal any information about the deal.
As Sen. McCain was told, it’s better to be an enemy of the United States than a friend.