November 15, 2014

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Iran general said to mastermind Iraq ground war (QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA AND VIVIAN SALAMA November 5, 2014, Times of Israel)

Shiite militias have played a key role in driving the Islamic State group out of the so-called Baghdad Belt of Sunni villages ringing the capital. But the sectarian militias have long been implicated in brutality against the country's Sunnis, and while they have benefited from US-led airstrikes, their advance could undermine efforts to knit the troubled country together.

Militia commanders told The Associated Press that dozens of advisers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Lebanese Hezbollah were on the front lines in Jurf al-Sakher, providing weapons training to some 7,000 troops and militia fighters, and coordinating with military commanders ahead of the operation.

One commander, who agreed only to be identified by his nickname, Abu Zeinab, said Soleimani began planning the Jurf al-Sakher operation three months ago. The cleared town, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the capital, lies on a road often used by Shite pilgrims, who will be heading in droves to the holy city of Karbala this week to commemorate the death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein, in a 7th century battle that marked the beginning of the Sunni-Shiite divide.

The war against salafism is a joint Iranian-American operation.

Posted by at November 15, 2014 10:33 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« PRAY FOR THE PRESIDENT'S HEALTH: | Main | THE CHOICE ISN'T ACTUALLY BETWEEN CLIMATE CHANGE AND CLIMATE STASIS: »