Skip to comments.Iraq Sunni insurgents have new target: Iran
Posted on 04/16/2012 12:22:22 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
Sunni insurgents who battled American soldiers in Iraq until their long-time enemy withdrew last year have turned their wrath on a new target: Shiite Iran.
The fall of Saddam Hussein's regime on April 9, 2003, the dissolution of the Iraqi army and ruling Baath party and the rise to power of Shiites after 80 years of Sunni domination, buoyed Iraqi and Arab jihadists.
Four months after most US troops left Iraq, the jihadists had to find a new reason to sustain their continued presence -- enter Iran and the Shiite-led Iraqi regime.
"Armed groups always need to find an enemy in order to justify their existence," said Hamid Fadel, a professor of political science at Baghdad University.
In the run-up to the 9th anniversary of the fall of Saddam's regime and the start of US occupation, militant groups issued a plethora of statements attacking Iran and Shiites.
The Islamic Group in Iraq, a coalition of 17 insurgent groups formed in 2010, said in a statement that "we will fight Iran with the same force that we fought their brothers, the Americans."
The United States was "forced" to leave Iraq "to a worse occupier, the greedy Persian coward," said the statement posted on jihadist websites.
"It has become clear beyond any doubt that Iran occupies Iraq through its traitor agents," it added.
The statement played on the centuries-old hostility between Arabs and Persians, as well as the outrage of Sunnis in Iraq who lost their power to the majority Shiites after the 2003 US-led invasion.
That anger is reinforced by the fact that some of Iraq's current leaders lived in exile in Iran during the 1980-1988 war between the two countries.
Another group of jihadists, the Banner of Right and Jihad, vowed to continue "fighting the enemy" and urged God to grant it victory over "America and its (followers) the Safavids," in a derogatory reference to Shiites.
For its part, the Murabitun Jihad Brigades asked for God's blessing in securing "a final victory over the (followers) of the occupation and its agents represented in the government" of Iraq.
And the Islamic Army in Iraq said the US left "behind them an uglier, more brutal and ignorant occupation, where the graves are full of the innocent bodies of Sunnis."
The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Al-Qaeda's front organisation, said that it had carried out 195 attacks against "the Safavid army and police" between December 28 and February 24.
Fadel said the new strategy of Sunni insurgents has a "regional dimension."
"The majority of the groups that portray Iran as the enemy are probably in contact with countries in the region that are in conflict with Iranian politics, or with the Baath party, which rejects the political process," Fadel said.
Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, Saddam's vice president and the highest-ranking member of his regime still on the run, poured oil on the fire in a video posted online last week,
Duri charged that that Iran plans on "taking over Iraq and then destroying the nation."
Meanwhile, Shiite armed groups who also battled the US "occupiers" now face no opponent and have decided to enter politics.
Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or the League of the Righteous, which has been accused of killing US troops, announced in December that it would join the Iraqi political process.
And Jawad al-Hasnawi, an MP from the Sadr movement whose Mahdi Army armed fought pitched battles against American and Iraqi forces, told AFP "the number one enemy of the Sadrist movement now... is corruption, unemployment and dictatorship."
If Arabs don’t have an external enemy to unite them they will fight each other. (yes I know the Iranians are not Arabs).
Sounds like a win-win situation.
No winning hearts and minds strategy when it comes to intramural wars between Islamic factions.That is strictly a Western fantasy The good old time religion of killing your enemy and defiling them is the order of the day when it comes to Islamists fighting among themselves over their moon good.
Don’t count on it.
May they succeed in destroying each other. Perhaps we could help.
The Iraqi Sunnis may just convince the Iraqi Shiites that extermination is the only option.
Oh its a win-win alright.
For radical Islam, perhaps. Not for the USA.
Also, keep any and all citizens of approx. 15 M-E, South Asian and African Muslim nations out of the USA entirely. Those two together, would be the most effective and common-sense anti-terror policy we could implement.
in the lovely city of Baghdad, as I type. And I do have to say that it has been eerily quiet as of late. Could be the calm before the storm. I do know firsthand, that many an Iraqi was unhappy when the military left. They knew that things were not going to get better and are just as corrupt as before. Although, folks aren’t fed to the lions anymore or shot and thrown into the Tigris.
Iran & Iraq bled each other white in the eighties.
If they had “bled each other white”, there would have been no Islamic Republic today. Both Saddam Hussein (Sunni) and Bashar Assad (Alawite Shiite) were/are Ba’athists; more than conceivable that he was a go-between for the two egos in Baghdad and Tehran. All parties concerned were friendlier with each other than they pretended to be vis-à-vis the West.
Exactly how would a war between the shiites & sunnis benefit radical Islam, again?
There is no such war.
The Assads have been enemies of Saddam Hussein even before the Iran-Iraq War. Syria and Iraq used hit squads against each others diplomats back in the 70’s. . Yes they were both Baathists, and so the conflict. With fascists dictators from the same political party there can be only one leader, and there’s the rub.
Still be hoping against hope that they’ll turn on each other and forget about us. That is surely not happening. Once Iran gets its “nuclear umbrella”, that’ll be a rallying point for both Sunni and Shi’a.