An­other fall of Iraq

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Gazi Has­san

The dra­matic de­vel­op­ments in Mo­sul caused Iraq new se­ri­ous crises, es­pe­cially af­ter the de­feat of the Iraqi army. The army sur­ren­dered and re­treated from the Mo­sul Prov­ince as well as Tikrit. Mo­sul is only 405 km away from Bag­dad and is one hour driv­ing from the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s cap­i­tal of Er­bil. ISIS (Is­lamic State in Iraq and Sham), which is a rad­i­cal and ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion, has taken power in the city. Prac­ti­cally they’ve be­come rulers of the city while over 400 thou­sand people have fled to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion in fear of the grow­ing vi­o­lence and for the safety of their lives, in­clud­ing Arabs, Kurds, Chris­tians, Ezi­dies and Shabaks. They’re liv­ing in ter­ri­ble hu­man­i­tar­ian con­di­tions.

Fac­tors are many, but we can sum them up in some spe­cific points:

Firstly: what is go­ing on is strongly re­lated to the es­tab­lish­ment of Iraq by the Bri­tish in the 1930s.

Sec­ondly: the sec­tar­ian con­flict has reached a level which can no longer be re­versed be­tween the Sun­nis and the Shi­ites. And what’s now hap­pen­ing in Mo­sul and Tikrit and has been hap­pen­ing for over a year in An­bar and Fal­lu­jah, is the real as­pect of the con­flict. It is a process of dis­solv­ing the forced an­nex­a­tion of Iraq’s com­po­nents of eth­nic and re­li­gious groups.

Thirdly: Mo­sul’s de­vel­op­ment demon­strates that the re­gional power's in­ter­ests and con­flicts play a cru­cial role in de­ter­min­ing the fu­ture and des­tiny of Iraq, which is also the re­flec­tion of the geo-sec­tar­ian di­vi­sion of the area be­tween Sun­nis and Shi­ites, and also is a part of the area’s ex­ten­sion of crises and prob­lems.

Fourth: the rad­i­cal Is­lamist groups sup­ported by Baath re­main­ders and for­mer of­fi­cers of the dis­solved Iraqi army af­ter 2003, then the Sun­nis in­side Mo­sul, who have al­ways felt op­pressed by an army full of Shi­ite soldiers and high-rank­ing of­fi­cers and some for­merly Baathists who Ma­liki was us­ing against the Sun­nis are ex­tremely ir­ri­tated and an­gry.

Fifth: army’s de­feat and re­treat means the fall of the state’s sys­tem, and the state’s fail­ure in ful­fill­ing its du­ties in the man­age­ment of the state’s af­fairs. That is why the dra­matic events of Mo­sul ex­actly mean the fall of the state.

Sixth: the events re­veal that the Iraqi army and po­lice for whom hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars have been an­nu­ally al­lo­cated, and have owned pow­er­ful weapons and mil­i­tary equip­ment are not ready to face 800 fighters of ISIS and could eas­ily be de­feated. This in­di­cates that the army has been reestab­lished on a wrong and un­sci­en­tific ba­sis.

Sev­enth: The US left Iraq with a sea of con­flicts and crises. To­day, the re­gional coun­tries and the rad­i­cal Is­lamist groups can un­de­terred in­ter­fere and get in­volved in the in­ter­nal Iraqi af­fairs. The coun­try is un­der the threat of au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism and mo­nop­o­liza­tion as well. This is the rea­son why it’s nat­u­ral to see the crises reach­ing that se­ri­ous and un­ex­pected level.

Eighth: Nuri al-Ma­liki in­tends to demon­strate that he can take out the thorn in his flesh, but he couldn’t ad­mit that this kind of de­feat of an army means the lose of his both hands. As a psy­cho­log­i­cal re­ac­tion and his sense of snob­bish­ness, he doesn’t want to ask help from Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, and at the same time wants to demon­strate that all faults he’s done are right and never need re­con­sid­er­ing his wrong poli­cies. On the con­trary, he su­per­cil­iously threat­ened that he’ll pun­ish all those re­spon­si­ble for the sur­ren­der and the re­treat of his army. And he him­self is the num­ber one in charge that no one can ques­tion.

Ninth: The Iraqi Par­lia­ment failed to de­clare the state of emer­gency through which Ma­liki in­tended to en­joy an ab­so­lute power af­ter in­val­i­dat­ing the con­sti­tu­tion.

Tenth: The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s Pesh­marge forces have con­trolled all the Kur­dis­tani ar­eas out of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, and haven't made de­ci­sion to con­front ISIS, be­cause Bag­dad doesn’t want to com­pro­mise with the Pesh­marge. The Pesh­marge’s budget has been cut for years and the Kur­dis­tan’s budget also has been cut since the be­gin­ning of the year.

Eleventh: the coun­tries pro­vid­ing mil­i­tary aid to Iraq, es­pe­cially the US, should re­con­sider this mat­ter as the weapons given to Iraq are all seized by the ISIS fighters.

Twelfth: this is a de­feat, a po­lit­i­cal and a mil­i­tary de­feat. Ma­liki should think of the na­tional unity of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties in­stead of break­ing up and sun­der­ing. What has hap­pened was a fear and would keep the door of new fear and the new po­lit­i­cal alien­ation in Iraq open, the crises have reached a new level and di­rec­tion which are out­comes of Bag­dad’s author­i­tar­ian and self-im­pos­ing poli­cies.

Thir­teenth: we should bear in mind that the role Iran plays in these de­vel­op­ments is piv­otal. For re­turn­ing and main­tain­ing the bal­ance to Nuri Ma­liki’s govern­ment who is al­lied with Iran and Syria, Iran is ex­pected to take part and pro­vide mil­i­tary and lo­gis­tic aid when asked. In that mo­ment, Iraq would turn into an arena of a wider re­gional war. This dire sce­nario is bur­geon­ing now. It will put Sunni-Ara­bic coun­tries and Turkey in a de­ci­sive con­junc­tion; even Europe and U.S have to make their own cru­cial de­ci­sion.

ISIS wants to take over the strate­gic lo­ca­tions in Sunni ar­eas. It wants to take over the weapons, mil­i­tary bases, eco­nomic re­sources and the main road to Bag­dad. They in­tend to head to­wards Bag­dad. In this case, in­stead of plan­ning to re­take Mo­sul and the other ar­eas, Ma­liki’s forces should plan to main­tain the se­cu­rity and the pro­tec­tion of the cap­i­tal Bagh­dad. Ac­cord­ing to this strat­egy, a po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary mind is be­hind ISIS’s at­tacks. ISIS doesn’t in­tend to kill and slaugh­ter or raise people’s fears. It also doesn’t want to take re­venge on Sun­nis back­ing Bagh­dad and con­front the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and Ma­liki’s forces si­mul­ta­ne­ously. This is a kind of a new strat­egy in the pol­i­tics and the men­tal­ity of this group in tak­ing over ar­eas.

We should bear in mind that ISIS’s at­tacks are highly depend­ing on pro­pa­ganda and a psy­cho­log­i­cal war to con­quer new ar­eas and de­feat Ma­lik’s army. As the Iraqi for­eign min­is­ter Hosh­yar Ze­bari said: “What’s hap­pened is prac­ti­cally de­feat and a set­back.”

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