US to send Spec Ops troops to Iraq to fight ISIL, but do Iraqis want them?

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced Tuesday that the US would send more Special Operations troops to Iraq to fight Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) both in Iraq and in Syria. They would coordinate with and reinforce the Iraqi Army and the Kurdish peshmerga.

It looked to some as though Iraqi prime minister Haydar al-Abadi was being inhospitable with a press release rejecting the sending of new infantry troops by the US to Iraq, especially without Iraqi permission.

However, in fact al-Abadi’s remarks were released Monday before Carter spoke, and were a reply to US senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who want to send tens of thousands of foreign troops into Iraq.

Al-Abadi said Iraq had enough infantrymen to take on Daesh, and did not need that sort of outside help, nor would it be welcome without specific Iraqi government permission.

McCain and Graham likely rubbed al-Abadi the wrong way because he remembers them as boosters of George W. Bush’s disastrous war on Iraq. Both of them supported Bush in this illegal assault.

Al-Abadi was not rejecting a small contingent of special operations forces, not was he replying to Ash Carter.

There are, however, forces that really don’t want US troops in Iraq, i.e. the hardline Shiite militias that fought the US a decade ago, and which are now resurgent.

Ja’far al-Husayni, of the Iraqi Hizbullah, pledged that his fighters would take on the US troops who came to his country.

It should be noted, however, that Iraqi Hizbullah (no relationship to the Lebanese) is not a large or important militia, and that we there weren’t immediate reactions to the large militias. One of the few successes these Iraqi militiamen had had was at Takrit, and that only because Obama ordered the US Air Force to give them air support .

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5 Responses

  1. Why not repeat the successes of the past? Golden oldies are the best. I see that Mr. Obama is warning Russia not to meddle in Syria (that’s reserved to us and to the former colonial powers, as well as regional powers we approve, such as Saudi Arabia). This reminds me of Rumsfeld and others warning Iran not to meddle in Iraq. The arrogance, moral blindness, and hypocrisy displayed by our American leaders (both Democrat and Republican) is beyond words.

    Obama’s warning: link to

  2. The real reason Obama wants to introduce special forces people into Iraq is to sneak them into Syria. Their mission will be to help the terrorists jihadi rebels fight against the legitimate Assad government of the Syrian Arab Republic.

    Obama has overtly, avowedly and proudly come out in support of the terrorists. He is the Evil World Leader of the Axis of Jihad.

  3. Our secretary for war (aka defense) wants to send in troops to capture the jihadi leaders and free the hostages after which we will all live happily ever after with fast-food franchises all over the Islamic State. It’ll be another cakewalk.

  4. Second day RT tubes linked at IC won’t come in for me…”cannot be displayed.” And the RT site doesn’t have this one.

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