The battle for Tikrit has not been going well for the Iraqi army, its Shia militia allies and their Iranian advisors. So the U.S. has begun flying air strikes in support. And, as the New York Times reports
Three major Shiite militia groups pulled out of the fight for Tikrit on Thursday, immediately depriving the Iraqi government of thousands of their fighters on the ground ...
The militia groups, some of which until recently had Iranian advisers with them, pulled out of the Tikrit fight in protest of the American military airstrikes … insisting that the Americans were not needed to defeat the extremists in Tikrit.
The Obama Administration’s defacto anti-ISIS partnership with Tehran is helping Iran’s Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimeni and Ayatollah Khamenei “Finlandize” Iraq. Not only does this damage U.S. interests in sustaining an independent and sovereign Iraq, but the Obama Administration’s apparent acquiescence to Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions undermines U.S.
Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces on Monday began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown from the Islamic State extremist group, state TV said, a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants.
In late 2001, when initial military operations in Afghanistan produced surprising successes, the opening skit on Saturday Night Live was a send-up of the daily press conference given by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Actor Darrell Hammond made a perfect Rummy, complete with rimless spectacles and prune-face squint. But the real target of the sketch was the inanity of the media.
“Mr. Secretary, do you plan to halt bombing during Ramadan?”
ISIS has made its greatest gains and won its most significant victories in Iraq’s Anbar province. This is where the offensive against ISIS is expected to begin, sometime in the next few months, with an attempt to retake the city of Mosul. But while preparations for that campaign are underway, ISIS remains on the offensive.