According to Iraqi PM Hayder Abadi, the largest city currently held by ISIL will be “liberated” shortly thereafter. True, it is much larger than Ramadi and far deeper into ISIL territory, but it is still touchable. Which means notwithstanding Western media reports, the Iran-backed cleansing operation in Ramadi is having an impact on the ground, and that it is Iraqi army and allied Shia-Sunni irregular forces that are making gains against the terrorist group of ISIL – and not the United States and its “Coalition of Unwilling.”
So far, in collaboration with Iranian military advisers, Iraqi ground forces have managed to liberate many key areas within the city. The huge gains came after Iraqi officials announced they would liberate the city by the end of the year.
Now one doesn’t have to look far to see why Iraqi forces decided to make the recent strategic gains single-handedly: They have come to believe themselves to be liberators of their country and they have every reason to be sceptical of the US-led coalition, mainly because:
-The US air war has no timetable – akin to war on terror.
-The US air wars always victimize innocent civilians.
-The US is relying on Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey that sponsor ISIL.
-The US replaced Al-Qaeda with an even worse monster, ISIL.
-The US doesn’t stand against sectarian marginalization.
-The US has no credibility to sway public opinion toward its bogus coalition.
-The US fights “extremist” ISIL in Iraq while arming “moderate” ISIL in Syria.
To date, nonetheless, the tides are turning in favour of the people of Iraq, as they gradually regain control of their shattered communities. The ongoing operation is part of an all-out military campaign launched by the army to cleanse the western Anbar province of ISIL militants, which has been under the control of foreign-backed terrorists since May. The recent military gains in Ramadi prove the elected government has the sufficient capacity to unite its people against all manners of terrorism and extremism before they partition the country onto sectarian lines.
Recent history also proves that it is only local groups and political actors that can restore a functioning, multi-ethnic government; retrain effective security and volunteer forces; root out ISIL and its utter inhumanity and anti-Islamic actions; and save Iraq and its democratic process from further mayhem.
Looking at the present set of circumstances, the government is clearly well-placed and heavily-involved to do so, as it has a comprehensive, coherent and realistic strategy that represents major ethno-sectarian communities. But it needs to hit ISIL hard and fast, because this cannot be allowed to become a long war, as the War Party and the Military-Industrial Complex in Washington would like to see.
As maintained by Prim Minister Abadi, acting quickly will build on the momentum generated by the new military gains to also liberate Mosul. Much to the chagrin of the War Party and its regional vassals, it will show all ethnic communities that their government is serious about their future, that there is no country for terrorists, and that a unified Iraqi identity and trust is indeed emerging.