The coming Iran-US Confrontation in Iraq

By Zakiyeh Yazdanshenas for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.

In June 2014, Mosul was seized by the Islamic State (IS), whose leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi soon afterward announced a caliphate from the city’s grand mosque. Now the caliphate is seemingly coming to an end.

Iraqi government forces took the eastern part of Mosul from IS on Jan. 24 after three months of fighting. On March 15, a spokesman for Iraq’s Counterterrorism Service said 60% of the western part of Mosul is under the control of Iraqi security forces. The day before, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had said the operation is in its final stage, pledging the defeat of IS.

But military victory in Mosul is just the beginning of a more complicated phase for Iraq. Disparate forces have so far come together to pursue the common objective of expelling IS from Iraq. With the imminent achievement of this goal, many underlying and preceding power struggles will likely re-emerge.

Moreover, it should be borne in mind that various external powers — including Iran and the United States — have become greatly involved in Iraq’s security-related affairs and expanded their spheres of influence within the country since IS’ 2014 onslaught.

One key question is who will step in to fill the power vacuum in post-IS Mosul. Will the United States revert to its previous retreat from the Middle East, or will it opt to reassure its regional allies by keeping at least a part of its current forces in Iraq? Will Iran seek to establish a presence in northern Iraq, either directly or through its allies?

After having withdrawn in late 2011, the United States has once again become militarily engaged in the country, deploying over 5,000 troops and special forces, and spending more than $10 billion on combating IS in Iraq and Syria.

One Response to The coming Iran-US Confrontation in Iraq

  1. a.j.aziz March 24, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    to deal with such complicating situation < the following scenarios to be taken into consideration:

    1- USA is always chose the wrong men, they have done so in Iraq , so why clinch to different ideas , they already sponsored meetings in Europe and Turkey , the attendants came with one idea, deny others their legitimate rights ( both attacking Shiaats for their, rights for visiting holey Shiaat shrines , ask the kurds to go back to 2003 borders , they did not claim what they are already denied off , so it is the same policy of BAATH party .

    2- Who trust iraqi politicians that emerged after 2003 with the aid of United states , they robbed the country of the huge wealth, USA already kb=new that but do nothing .

    3- Iraqi Shiaat got ties with Iran, both are shiaat , what ties Iraqies with USA , the south baptist church that say ( our GOD is not the same as yours )<they came to iraq trying to exploit Christians to convert to become baptist , and there is too many indication that they pushed MR. Bush junior to wage war against Iraq .

    4- United states practice of reconstruction , it proved that it is total disaster , they already with mine removal , handed it to so called sterling company that was security company only 5 years ago , there is kurdish companies with experience dating back to 1991 , but they get nothing , so USA is about to shut down that industry that saved the live of million of kurds .

    5- We all knew that sunni are opportunist and shiaat are thieves ( polticians ) ,sunni working for greater dictatorship than before as they believe they are the only one that must run the country , the shiaat claim the same .

    6- Iran has armed militias in Iraq , many fight in Syria , ABADI on last visit to Washington told Mr. TRUMP that popular Mobilization is a legitimate entity . so how America can remove it , many of such Militia were armed by the government , many ABRAMS TANKS handed to them, but they are outside the control of the government.

    7- ministry of interior : it is 100% percent owned by Iran: Badr owns it , Badr is Iranian strong arm in Iraq , the federal police is so powerful, that it owns mechanized division,swat , special forces , it counts to more than 2 fully armed divisions .

    8- Noori Almaliky is Irans most powerful agent , with 50 billion USD at his disposal , now ( DEFACTO ) in control of the parliament , and buying everyone ( sunni and shiaat ) .

    9- Islamic party that follows TURKEY : do you think Salim Al-JIBOURY shall not convoy all American plans to RAJAB TAIB ARDOGAN ,the most wanted man by USA , Salim is ascertaining his position , raising his salary and benefits to be equal to prime Minister , he might stand against Iranian influence , but only to strengthen his party and ARDUGAN influence in Iraq so another wave of Islamic brotherhood will emerge.Islamist are opportunist, they do anything to strengthen their position , no matter what is the consequences, already we have Shiaat in Iraq and Muslim brother hood in EGYPT, both tried to destroy their own country , they have no alliance to their own country , sovereignty is a word they do not understand , the Americans shall come with much worse solution, not solutions ,

    we experienced USA democracy since 2003 till this moment , it does harm much more than you can imagine.

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