How Iran Is Making It Impossible for the U.S. to Beat ISIS

(Daily Beast) Michael Weiss and Michael Pregent - Iran's influence in Iraq since ISIS sacked Mosul last June has resulted in a wave of sectarian bloodletting and dispossession against the country's Sunni minority population, usually at the hands of Iranian-backed Shia militia groups, but sometimes with the active collusion of Iraq's internal security forces. The Hizbullah-ization of Iraq's military and security forces has been overseen by Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force, headed by Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani. "Iran has used Iraq as a petri dish to grow new Shia jihadist groups and spread their ideology," says Phillip Smyth, an expert on Shia militias.There are more than 50 "highly ideological, anti-American, and rabidly sectarian" Shia militias operating in Iraq today, and recruiting more to their ranks, all with the acquiescence of the central government. Iraq's Vice President for Reconciliation, Ayad Allawi, a secular Shia, told the Guardian that pro-government forces have been ethnically cleansing Sunnis from Baghdad. Thus, Sunni tribesmen are given a choice between cutting a pragmatic deal with ISIS or embracing Shia death squads.

2015-02-03 00:00:00

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