IS takes over another Iraqi city, the US reveals its weakness

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec20,2023 #Iraqi #weakness
IS takes over another Iraqi city, the US reveals its weakness 0
IS takes over another Iraqi city, the US reveals its weakness 0

Iraqi government troops hold a base during yesterday’s offensive against IS in Anbar province.

The self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) last weekend took control of the city of Ramadi after a large-scale attack, killing at least 500 civilians and government soldiers.

This heavy defeat put US President Barack Obama’s administration under a lot of pressure because the Iraqi army tasked with protecting Ramadi was a force trained and supported by Washington with weapons.

`Illusion`

US officials initially downplayed the importance of Ramadi.

`We have to use the word ‘delusion’ to accurately describe` the government’s justifications for the failure in Ramadi, said Ali Khedery, who was an advisor to five US ambassadors to Iraq and three leaders of the Command.

According to some experts familiar with the situation in Iraq, when capturing Ramadi, IS will take control of a large area in the center of Anbar province, accounting for 1/3 of Iraqi territory.

`Nearby areas like Baghdad or Karbala are at risk of being in the sights of IS terrorists,` commented Zaineb al-Assam, an expert from risk analysis company IHS Country Risk.

In addition, the loss of Ramadi to IS also exposed the inherent weakness of the Iraqi army when this force has long been rotten from the inside due to corruption, nepotism or leadership capacity.

`Regaining Mosul is currently beyond the ability` of the government, said Kirk H. Sowell, editor of Inside Iraq Politics magazine, specializing in exploring political and war topics in Iraq.

After the fall of Ramadi, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sent Shiite self-defense militia to fight IS.

Michael Pregent, a Middle East analyst and former US intelligence official who worked in Iraq, believes that the capabilities of Shiite militias are being overblown.

`Their concern is not Ramadi but Najaf, Karbala and Samarra,` Mr. Pregent said.

Furthermore, mobilizing Shiite militias to carry out the mission of capturing Ramadi also has the potential risk of sparking religious conflicts.

Mr. Khedery said that it is time for the Obama administration to have new strategies.

Meanwhile, an anonymous defense official warned that, with IS preparing to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Islamic state next month, `IS will certainly seek to launch major attacks or execute

Plan B

IS takes over another Iraqi city, the US reveals its weakness

Iraqi army forces fled Ramadi before the attack of IS.

Washington’s approach in the war with IS today is a combination of retraining, rebuilding the Iraqi army, urging Baghdad to reconcile with the Sunni population and bombing IS targets without using ground troops.

But according to AP, the failure in Ramadi revealed an inadequacy in Washington’s strategy.

An alternative method that the Obama administration can consider is to use a containment strategy: finding ways to isolate areas of conflict with IS instead of completely driving them out of Iraq.

The secret US attack deployed by Task Force Delta on May 15 in Syria proved effective when it simultaneously killed three senior leaders of IS, including financial leader Abu Abu Dhabi.

But according to some officials in Washington, prevention methods, although promising, are not being discussed at this time.

`Being pushed back is unfortunate but not something that is too unusual in war,` Mr. Dempsey said.

A Pentagon official also agreed with the above point of view and pointed out that the failure in Ramadi did not expose the fatal weakness of the Iraqi security forces as well as the US strategy.

Meanwhile, President Obama seems to remain steadfast in his stance of not sending ground troops to Iraq to rescue Ramadi or any other stronghold.

Analysts are skeptical.

`Certainly this plan is not effective or at least does not achieve the progress we expected,` Mr. Biddle assessed.

IS takes over another Iraqi city, the US reveals its weakness

Ramadi is a large city, located more than 100 km from Iraq’s capital Baghdad.

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