Skip to comments.Iraqi army retreats from Tikrit after assault stalls
Posted on 07/16/2014 3:42:17 PM PDT by mojito
Iraqi forces have withdrawn from the militant-held city of Tikrit after their new offensive met heavy resistance, in a blow to the government effort to push back Sunni insurgents controlling large parts of the country.
The failure highlights the difficulties of Baghdad's struggle to recapture territory from the insurgents who seized Mosul, Tikrit and other cities last month in a rapid offensive which threatens to fragment Iraq on ethnic and sectarian lines.
The setback came as Iraqi politicians named a moderate Sunni Islamist as speaker of parliament on Tuesday. That was a long-delayed first step towards a power-sharing government urgently needed to confront the militants, who are led by the al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State.
It is unclear if the election of Salim al-Jabouri as speaker will break the broader deadlock over Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's bid to serve a third term. He has ruled since the April election as a caretaker.
Government troops and allied Shi'ite volunteer fighters retreated from Tikrit before sunset on Tuesday to a base four km (2.5 miles) south after coming under heavy mortar and sniper fire, a soldier who fought in the battle said.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
I guess that's not happening.
“Al Qaeda is on the run... uh... is that the Iraqi army?”
What’s left of the Iraqi army will be running to Tehran pretty soon.
In retrospect, America’s mistake to train the Iraqi army to only march backwards.
“In retrospect, Americas mistake to train the Iraqi army to only march backwards.”
The big mistake was completely dis-banding the original army.
“....threatens to fragment Iraq on ethnic and sectarian lines.”
The possibility is no longer a threat, it is fast becoming a reality. Iraq was only a loose federation before, with the Sunni minority effectively locked out of any participation in the national government, because of adherence to “democratic” principles of government. Essentially, because there were numerically far more Shi’ites than Sunnis in Iraq, the Sunnis were and are always outvoted on ever major decision. The Kurds were in a semi-automatous region, and did not concern themselves with the overall national Iraqi politics so much. But since the unrest started, there is considerable agitation to proceed with the formation of a new country of Kurdistan, carved out of Syria, Turkey and Iran, as well as Iraq.
Southern Iraq, from Baghdad all the way to the frontier with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, probably will end up annexed to the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a vassal state if not an integral part of Iran. This puts Iran in a direct nexus with Syria, and opens an easy access to rush logistical support to Bashar al-Assad, the embattled leader of Syria, to hold onto power in that country.
Saudi Arabia, no longer able to call upon the US military as mercenary forces to provide a shield for them, shall be compelled to either find another ready-made armed force to cover the border, or put its own people in the field, an unwelcome change for the Royal Saudi family.
Meanwhile, the upstart Caliphate will be consolidating power through the old crescent from the heart of Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean, and from this springboard, launch into recreating the Ottoman Empire.
We are doomed to live in interesting times.