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Jul 17 2014

Who says we didn’t lose?

“Iraq Has Already Disintegrated”: ISIS Expands Stronghold as Leaks Expose US Doubts on Iraqi Forces

Democracy Now

July 16, 2014

Iraq remains on the verge of splintering into three separate states as Sunni militants expand their stronghold in the north and west of Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) declared itself a caliphate last month and now controls large parts of northern and western Iraq and much of eastern Syria. Recent advances by ISIS, including in the city of Tikrit, come amidst leaks revealing extensive Pentagon concerns over its effort to advise the Iraqi military. Iraqi politicians, meanwhile, are scrambling to form a power-sharing government in an effort to save Iraq from splintering into separate Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish states. We are joined by two guests: Reporting live from Baghdad is Hannah Allam, foreign affairs correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, and joining us from London is Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent and author of the forthcoming book, “The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising.”

U.S. Sees Risks in Assisting a Compromised Iraqi Force

By ERIC SCHMITT and MICHAEL R. GORDON, The New York Times

JULY 13, 2014

The report concludes that only about half of Iraq’s operational units are capable enough for American commandos to advise them if the White House decides to help roll back the advances made by Sunni militants in northern and western Iraq over the past month.

Adding to the administration’s dilemma is the assessment’s conclusion that Iraqi forces loyal to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki are now heavily dependent on Shiite militias – many of which were trained in Iran – as well as on advisers from Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force.



The Pentagon’s decision this month to rush 200 troops, plus six Apache helicopter gunships and Shadow surveillance drones, to the Baghdad airport was prompted by a classified intelligence assessment that the sprawling complex, the main hub for sending and withdrawing American troops and diplomats, was vulnerable to attack by ISIS fighters, American officials have now disclosed.

“It’s a mess,” said one senior Obama administration official who has been briefed on the draft assessment and who, like two other American officials briefed, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing review and the delicate nature of the assessment.



One of the assessment’s conclusions was that Iraqi forces had the ability to defend Baghdad, but not necessary hold all of it, especially against a major attack. Already, the capital has been targeted by ISIS car bombs.

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