Chaos in Tikrit: Militias and Iraqi Forces Loot and Behead Captives

Tikrit is in shambles following it's "liberation" from ISIS. The U.S. and Iraq are now investigating incidents of rampant looting, burning of Sunni homes and businesses, summary executions and and beheadings of Sunni and ISIS captives by the self-proclaimed victors, the Iran-backed Shi'ite militias and the Iraqi military.

American and Iraqi officials called for investigations on Friday into reports that Iraqi security forces were summarily executing captives and looting property in Tikrit, and warned that such abuses could undermine the international effort to defeat the Sunni extremists of Islamic State.


Reports that Shiite militias were looting and burning mostly Sunni-owned homes and businesses emerged from Tikrit soon after Iraqi government forces and Shiite militias, backed by U.S. airstrikes, drove Islamic State fighters out of the city on Tuesday.

The U.S. was well aware this was bound to happen.

American officials said earlier that they were concerned about potential human-rights abuses by Shiite forces if they took control of the predominantly Sunni city...

“It’s bad,” said one U.S. military official. “This is not what we want. This is not what [Iraqi Prime Minister Haider] al-Abadi wants. And we’re going to express our concerns.”

Why are we supporting one side over the other when they all act the same? The U.S. dream that Iraq will form an inclusive government is nothing but a fantasy. We have no more legitimate reason to become entrenched in a war in Iraq now than we did in 2003. If ISIS gets defeated, another group just as violent will take its place. The Middle East needs to solve its own crises and the U.S. needs to stop trying to impose democracy on the rest of the world. We have more pressing needs for our dollars than feeding an insatiable defense industry that makes war machinery.

According to the New York Times, the Iraqi forces are not strong enough to beat ISIS in Tikrit or anywhere else. So the U.S. has developed a "template" under which our airstrikes pave the way for the Iran backed Shi'a militias to do what the Iraqi forces cannot. The "template" is:

American airstrikes and Iranian-backed ground assaults, with the Iraqi military serving as the go-between for two global adversaries that do not want to publicly acknowledge that they are working together.

This template is likely to repeat itself in Mosul:

The template, American officials said privately this week, could apply in particular to the looming battle to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. Given that President Obama has ruled out the use of American ground troops in Iraq, and that the Iraqi military remains ill-trained for urban warfare, the fight for Mosul will require some combination of American air power, Iranian-backed Shiite militias, Iraqi military forces and perhaps Kurdish pesh merga fighters.

“You can see where this is going,” a senior Pentagon official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Are the Iraqi forces ready yet? I would say no.”

The shorter version of this all is we are now in bed with Iran.

“What you’re seeing play out is the challenging prospect of creating synergy between two entities, the United States and Iran, who don’t want to work together, who hate each other, but who need each other,” said James G. Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander of NATO.

Just a short time ago, the U.S. denied it would work with Iran.

During testimony to Congress last week, Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the commander of the United States Central Command, denounced the militias, which once conducted a deadly campaign against American forces in Iraq. “I will not — and I hope we will never — coordinate or cooperate with Shiite militias,” General Austin said.

But the White House quickly distanced itself from his statement, saying "it went too far." The White House now says we're not in "direct partnership" with Iran, but we have to share the battlefield with them.

“What we’ve been trying to say is that we are not coordinating directly with Iran,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “That is just policy.”

Reuters has more on the looting and burning in Tikrit.

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  • Display: Sort:
    the enemy of my enemy is my friend... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Apr 04, 2015 at 10:56:22 PM EST
    Welcome to the middle east, America.

    ah yes (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 05, 2015 at 03:07:11 PM EST
    An Arabic proverb attributed to a prince who was betrayed and decapitated by his own subjects.

    Mr Spock

    So quite fitting in this context.


    What else would happen... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Sun Apr 05, 2015 at 09:58:06 AM EST
    ...in a region of the world where tribalism matters more than basic humanity, and where mass murder has been unleashed as legitimate?

    The world is dead. Dead. DEAD.

    And we ain't much better (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sun Apr 05, 2015 at 09:59:09 AM EST
    But this is why we should leave the world alone, and set our own example based on nothing but our own love and generosity. If we have any left, that is.