September 1, 2014
PROVIDED THAT UNLIKELY MEANS NATURAL:
U.S. and Iran Unlikely Allies in Iraq Battle (TIM ARANGO and AZAM AHMEDAUG. 31, 2014, NY Times)
With American bombs raining down from the sky, Shiite militia fighters aligned with Iran battled Sunni extremists over the weekend, punching through their defenses to break the weekslong siege of Amerli, a cluster of farming villages whose Shiite residents faced possible slaughter.The fight in northern Iraq appeared to be the first time American warplanes and militias backed by Iran had worked with a common purpose on a battlefield against militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, even though the Obama administration said there was no direct coordination with the militias.Should such military actions continue, they could signal a dramatic shift for the United States and Iran, which have long vied for control in Iraq. They could also align the interests of the Americans with their longtime sworn enemies in the Shiite militias, whose fighters killed many United States soldiers during the long occupation of Iraq.
Few stories of the 21st Century have been more predictable than the eventual alliance of the Middle East's two main democratic forces.Posted by Orrin Judd at September 1, 2014 8:22 AM