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Iran And The U.S. Are Working Together in Iraq. Will That Continue Once ISIS Is Defeated?

ArmchairPolitiicianIraq, June 13, 2017, by Brad Peery, WWW.ArmchairPolitician.US, ArmchairPolitician.US@gmail.com

President Trump removed Iraq from the temporary travel ban in recognition that the U.S. and Iraq are working together to defeat ISIS. That Iraqi, Kurdish and Iranian campaign has had significant success in driving ISIS from Iraqi cities. The last remaining stronghold for ISIS in Syria has been Mosul.

In Eastern Mosul, which was liberated from ISIS in January, life is coming back to normal. Trees are being planted, and downed wires repaired. Retail establishments are reopening. Products banned by ISIS, such as cell phones, and women’s lingerie are reappearing.

Western Mosul has historically been a less prosperous area. Five bridges around the area have been knocked out to eliminate ISIS supply lines. The fight has come down to door-door fighting in the Old Town area, which is less than 10% of Western Mosul. The recaptured areas of Western Mosul are in need of rebuilding, as is underway in Eastern Mosul.

When Obama abandoned Iraq in 2011, it left the door open for Iran to increase its’ presence, and ISIS, formed by the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Sunni regime, captured large parts of the country in 2014. Iran has its’ supporters in the government, but it appears that Haidi al-Abadi, the Prime Minister, is interested in maintaining relationships with both the U.S. and Iran, with military help from the U.S. being very important. However, Iran has Shiite proxy militias fighting in Iraq, that give it a strong influence.

The Kurds have their own separate region, Kurdistan, in Northern Iraq. Iran has a strong presence in this region. The U.S. support of the Kurds in Syria could be an important element in helping the U.S. stay involved in Iraq.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion:
What will happen when ISIS is defeated is not clear. President Trump’s aggressive moves to confront Iran’s regional ambitions could work against the U.S. in Iraq, because of the foothold the U.S. allowed Iran to establish. Since ISIS is still likely to be a terrorist threat in the country, the U.S. could be important on a long term basis militarily. Trumps move to reestablish relations with Iraq was a good one. Also, his move to arm the Kurds in Syria appears to be a good one, despite the anger from Turkey in response to this move.

See:
ArmchairPolitician.Syria, April 9, 2017, By Brad Peery, ArmchairPolitician.US, armchairpolitician.us@gmail.com
With All of the Different Combatants in Syria, What Should the US Do?

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