Pentagon officials, who declined to be named, are expressing serious concerns about the lack of US involvement in the upcoming Tikrit offensive, saying Iraq never even asked them to take part.
It’s not an oversight, but rather a reflection of how important Iran is as an ally to Iraq, and with Iranian artillery and other military assets being thrown behind this attack, the Iraqi apparently felt the US wasn’t necessary.
What this boils down to is the long-standing concern that Iran is actually overtaking the US as Iraq’s go-to ally, an understandable position for the Shi’ite Iraqi government, as the US refuses to cooperate with either Iran or Syria, two major combatant forces fighting against ISIS in what amounts to the same war.
The US has struggled with this risk of losing Iraq for years, since Iran is a much more natural ally for them. That they both have compatible interests in this war seems to be irrelevant to the Pentagon, which sees the battle for Iraq support as a zero sum game, and Iran consequently as the “enemy.”
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