Giving ISIS the battle they want in Iraq

Imran Khan writes: It was the worst defeat for Iraq’s elite security forces since the f‎all of Mosul just under year ago.

The images coming from Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, looked more like a force in defeat rather than a tactical withdrawal.

They fled in the face of a campaign by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, which used firepower, car bombs and brute force for over a year to wear the Iraqi security forces down.

For ISIL it was a big victory.

Reports from Anbar suggest ISIL forces are now massing and gearing up for the next battle. A battle that they have wanted for a long time.

On Monday the Iraqi government announced that it had deployed at least ,3000 ‎Shia militia members to Habbineyeh airbase in Anbar in preparation for an assault on ISIL fighters.

The Iranians have stepped up support for the militias and the US-led coalition has increased air strikes in the last 72 hours on ISIL targets in Ramadi.

A very loose coalition of Iraqi Shia forces, Iranian support and America and the West. It is the war that ISIL have always wanted.

Across ISIL messages boards and social media accounts, ISIL sympathisers have drawn parallels between this conflict and ‎the Battle of Badr fought in 624 CE between the earliest followers of the Prophet Muhammad and the Quraish, the largest tribe in what is now Saudi Arabia. [Continue reading…]

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