Iran Sends Quds to Help Iraqi Military Fight ISIS

The Wall St. Journal reported earlier today Iran has sent its Quds soldiers to Iraq to battle ISIS:

At least three battalions of the Quds Forces, the elite overseas branch of the Guards, were deployed support the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an offshoot of al Qaeda that is swiftly conquering territory across Iraq, they said.

One Guards unit that was already in Iraq fought alongside the Iraqi army, offering guerrilla warfare advice and tactics that helped reclaim most of the city of Tikrit on Thursday. Two Guards’ units, deployed from Iran’s western border provinces on Wednesday, were tasked with protecting Baghdad and the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf, these security sources said.

The QUDS are the overseas branch of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. ISIS has reportedly seized a huge cache of U.S. military equipment. The Washington Post reports Iraq is falling apart, splintering into three factions: Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish. The Kurds have taken Kirkuk, ISIS is moving south towards Baghdad, and the Shiite-led government of Nouri al-Maliki is reduced to calling for volunteers and some help from Iran.

Has Obama's position changed? The Post quotes him as saying, “It’s fair to say . . . there will be some short-term things that need to be done militarily."

Foreign Policy says ISIS blindsided U.S. intelligence. [More...]

More on Iran's move here. A profile of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is here.

I hope the media doesn't change ISIS to ISIL. They are the same but ISIS resonates much better. ISIL is Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) while ISIS is either Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The differences apparently are geographical.

Sham is the common Arabic word for Syria, but it refers to an older meaning of Syria before Colonial powers drew the modern borders of what is now called, ‘Suriya.’ Today, we refer to the older ‘Sham’ designation as Greater Syria,” he says. “Greater Syria commonly refers to what is today Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.”

The media mostly paints a picture of Iraqis being petrified of ISIS and fleeing. But the Washington Post article says ISIS has its supporters among Iraqis, including in Mosul:

“Normal people, like me, we aren’t scared,” said Wissam Attiyeh, a 33-year-old electrical engineer who was leaving town with his wife and five children; he said it was fear of Maliki’s response, not ISIS rule, that was driving them to flee. “The ones who are scared are those who did something bad in the past, like those in the army and the police.”

He said ISIS had restored electricity, were running services and that shops and businesses have reopened. “People are willing to give them a chance,” he said.

Of course, since ISIS issued its ultimatum saying those who repent and embrace them will be forgiven, it's hard to tell whether any civilian expressing support for ISIS is telling the truth or just trying to stay alive.

“Whoever hated us yesterday is safe, unless he rejects, fights or abandons Islam,” the charter said. Those who oppose their new rulers, however, will be “killed, crucified or have their hands and feet cut off,” it added.

There's nothing on the Iran state news site about sending the Quds to fight in Iraq. Hassan Rouhani, the President of Iran and Iraq's Prime Minister, Nuri Al-Maliki, had a telephone chat today.

In related news, U.S. contractors are pulling out their employees by the planeload and relocating them.

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  • Display: Sort:
    All this (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:17:39 PM EST
    was predicted years ago that would happen has come to pass.

    Thanks for the ISIS/ISIL bit (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:18:20 PM EST
    McCain and his flying monkeys are really pushing thus.  Haven't seen him this ambulatory since 2008.  He's been waiting for this.  

    It seems like the good news, if it can be called that, is him and Lindsey are the only two people in America who what to charge in guns blazing.  

    Maybe we could just buy them a ticket.  

    They are reporting with Iranian forces (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 12:20:37 AM EST
    Help they have regained 85% of control of Tikrit.  Doesn't seem like we are needed :). What a great feeling.

    Why was American Intelligence blindsided? (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:53:13 PM EST
    Probably because they spend all their money spying on Americans.

    How can anything catch US intelligence (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:58:21 PM EST
    by surprise, given all the data they collect?

    Were they too busy concocting sting operations and listening in to the calls of European leaders?

    And how many times was something like this predicted over the years?  Too many to count.

    Jesus, talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees...

    I don't know how we know they were suprised (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:28:58 AM EST
    They sure are not going to tell us the truth about the state of their knowledge.

    I don't know that we were honestly (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:38:00 AM EST
    Surprised either. We probably knew the first call was going to be placed to Iran too.  One of the most difficult groups to collect good honest intel on has been the Iranian Quds forces.  Nobody is going to tell me we aren't watching everything we can right now because they are out in the open working.  We are gathering intel on them :) Studying their tactics and their communications equipment and capabilities....

    The invasion of Iraq (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:45:02 AM EST
    destroyed the government. The disbanding of Saddam's army in 2003 as a first step by Paul Bremer, required the investment of $billions trying to build a new one.  When the Iraq army stands up, we will stand down said Bush.  And, nothing really could go wrong, said Wolfie and Rummy.  Maybe, we need Saddam back, oh wait, he was hung in an execution that rivals Oklahoma.  Maliki was a prescription for disaster, staying on and on, and excluding Sunnis from any real role in governance.  Baghdad is more segregated than ever.   The civil war was predestined no matter when we left, and even if we did not.    So what to do now.  Hopefully, President Obama's caution will prevail over the trigger-happy types like McCain and Miss Lindsey.

     If Obama thinks he has cover from those guys, he should have learned that if he does what they say, they will criticize him later for so doing.  And, deny they said it in the first place.   My thinking, is provide some short-term military air support to calm things down, and get rid of Maliki, with a chalet in Switzerland, and move for a new political start.  Or, sub-divide into three  autonomous areas, as suggested by Joe Biden.   No re-entry, or there will be no departure, ever.  

    Just heard on teevee (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:32:27 PM EST
    That ISIS took 425 million in a bank robbery and is now the richest terrorist organization in the world.


    425 mill.... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:13:28 AM EST
    that ain't the richest terror org in the world...the CIA and DEA get more than that annually.  The Russian govt., the Chinese govt., Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, need I go on?

    Probably ain't even top 50.


    The whole (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:56:47 PM EST
    place has evolved into complete anarchy.

    They are very busy Capt (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:29:21 AM EST
    Don't worry.  The folks running Iraq, they used to be called Dawa.  And prior to the Iraq War they were considered a terrorist group by this nation.  So none of this is an exact science.

    Sad statement by an Iraqi soldier on NPR this am (none / 0) (#11)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:36:53 AM EST
    One of the reporters...I was half awake so I do not know who...was asking an Iraqi soldier why they were not more effective as a force - was the US provided training not sufficient? He replied that the training was excellent. I wish I could quote his exact words, but it was close to 'We do not feel our value. We do not matter'.

    What that must feel like? (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:04:20 AM EST
    So sad (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:25:49 AM EST
    Life in Iraq under Maliki has been no great experience either huh?

    Good (none / 0) (#16)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:37:46 AM EST
    Iran Sends Quds to Help Iraqi Military

    regional powers should help Iraqis kick usurpers out of their country.

    Miss Lindsey wants war so much that ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 10:42:21 PM EST
    ... even an alliance with Iran sounds preferable to standing down:

    "Put American airpower into the game. These guys are not 10-feet tall. Stop the advance on Baghdad. Get people on the ground that the Iraqis trust. Maliki must go. Get a new government in place, right, and hit Syria. If you don't deal with Syria in a coordinated fashion, maybe with Turkey, regional Sunni Arab states, you will have this happen all over again in Iraq. [...] The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn't fall. We need to coordinate with the Iranians. And the Turks need to get in the game and get the Sunni Arabs back into the game, form a new government without Maliki."

    The Republican Party has OD'd on testosterone and window pane.

    It's all about November (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 10:21:29 AM EST