Thursday, March 31, 2016

Info on Tap

A great shift in the US alliances in the Middle East, following Iran's nuclear deal, US policy has clearly changed, moving away from its old friends in the region, most notably Saudi Arabia, and closer to Iran.

The United States seems to stand in solidarity with Abadi's position on including the Popular Mobilization Units in the battle for Mosul, contrary to its stance in the battles for Tikrit and Ramadi. The United States banned the force from taking part in the Ramadi operation and prevented it from entering Tikrit. Walker was even quoted as saying during his visit to the hospital that the United States does not have a veto on the force's participation in the battle for Mosul, and that it is up to Abadi to decide.

The US shift toward the Popular Mobilization Units came after it realized that it has lost a presence in the region and learned about the Popular Mobilization Units' huge popularity. This is added to the support for these units by Iran, which is one of the most important regional actors

It is important and very good to see that the Popular Mobilization Units are increasingly being recognized within international circles. Yet these units need to welcome international support, lower their hostility to the US and make greater efforts to achieve administrative and legal integration in the official Iraqi military forces.

Ever since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, there have been two Baghdads. One a chaotic metropolis choked by traffic and tormented by bombings. Another is the so-called Green Zone, a placid expanse of empty avenues and verdant gardens that is forbidden to the average Iraqi.

Muqtada al-Sadr controls a large parliament faction, with several ministers, and one of the country’s largest Shiite militias, which he calls the Peace Brigade, a decade ago, he also led an insurgent campaign against U.S. forces in Iraq