In the escalating US airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, the Obama Administration has touted the international nature of the occupation, pointing out that multiple Gulf Nations, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are taking part.
Not so with the US airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, and Prime Minister Hayder Abadi today reiterated that the Arab states were not welcome to join in on the air war in his country.
The decision is not a minor one, as Shi’ite-dominated Iraq is not on good terms with the Sunni Arab Gulf nations. They are seen by many in the Shi’ite community as tacit backers of ISIS, or at the least other Sunni Islamist factions.
With respect to the US air war in Iraq, that leaves European nations as the only others involved, with a handful of British and French planes involved, and some Danish planes en route.
Abadi also reiterated his opposition to any foreign ground troops in the war, insisting that only Iraqi ground troops were needed to defeat ISIS with the provision of air support from the US and others.