Three major Shi’ite militias have announced they are withdrawing from the Iraq-Iran offensive against Tikrit, citing recent US involvement in the campaign.
A fourth militia said they will remain involved in the offensive, but also threatened to attack members of the US-led coalition while fighting ISIS, suggesting they might begin using anti-aircraft weaponry against the US warplanes.
Some of the militias are complaining that they had the battle for Tikrit almost won on their own, and that the US is just coming in at the last minute to try to hog all the glory.
That claim doesn’t seem to coincide with Iraqi comments on the offensive, which seemed entirely stalled in the face of ISIS opposition, and indeed they insisted it could not continue without air support.
Even with air support, ISIS has shown surprising resilience in the battle for Tikrit, a city of some size but not much strategic value, and has kept the Shi’ite-led offensive against the city mostly stuck on the outskirts, leaving them wreaking havoc on the Sunni villages near Tikrit but sparing the city itself.
2 thoughts on “Shi’ite Militias Quit Tikrit, Citing US Involvement”
What a fiasco! The USA, for no real reason at all, is so desperate to "beat" ISIS that is willing to work not only with the Sh'ite government, but the Sh'ite militias as well. But the militias care more about hating the US than they do about defeating ISIS. If they care so little about it, why do we care so much? Ditto for the KSA, Turkey, the Kurds, etc. Only the USA, which is thousands of miles and a world away from whatever overhyped "threat" ISIS poses, seems to care enough about it to align with pretty much anyone. The actors on the ground, though, right on ISIS' doorstep? Not so much!
According to Alastair Crooke in the Huffington Post, there has been a difference of opinion between Iraqi forces and their Iranian military advisers about tactics in Tikrit. Iranian advisers wanted to continue the siege and then move on the ground street by street to retake Tikrit, which ISIS has heavily booby-trapped. Idea was to try to diminish local Sunni casualties and therefore resentment. Iraqis, however, apparently prefer US advice which is to just bomb the hell out of the place.
Let's not automatically accept the US's anti-Iran propaganda.
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