As was mentioned in a previous post, Russian intervention could be the Obama administration’s excuse to avoid responsibility and leave the Middle East. The consequences of allowing Russia to fill the vacuum are tremendous. It will pave the way for Iran to dominate the entire region, serve as an abandonment of Israel. It will be completely surrounded with no one to turn to other than Germany.
Once it became clear that Moscow and Tehran had jointly planned the incursion in Syria with Russia promising full air support and Iran pledging ground troops from Hezbollah, its various Shiite militias, and the IRGC, we immediately suggested that Iraq was next on the agenda after the Assad regime is restored.
For those unfamiliar with the situation on the ground, we encourage you to read “Who Really Controls Iraq? Inside Iran’s Powerful Proxy Armies,” in which we outline the extent to which Tehran effectively controls both the Iraqi military and the politicians in Baghdad.
The US allows this because i) there’s really not much Washington can do about it, and ii) even if there was, it would mean first trying to root out Iranian influence on the political process and second attempting to separate the Shiite militias from the Iraqi regulars, which would only serve to weaken the country’s ability to resist Sunni extremists like ISIS. The other important thing to understand about Iran’s proxy armies in Iraq is that they are the very same militias fighting alongside the Russians in Syria (we mean “very same” in the most literal sense possible as they were called over the border by Quds commander Qassem Soleimani himself). This means they are Washington’s allies in Iraq but as soon as they cross the border into Syria, they become the targets of US-supported and supplied rebels battling at Aleppo. Obviously, that makes absolutely no sense and is emblematic of just how schizophrenic Washington’s Mid-East strategy has become. It’s also worth noting that these are the same Shiite militias who, with Tehran’s blessing, attacked US troops in Iraq after George Bush destroyed the US-Iran post-9/11 alliance by putting the country in his infamous “Axis Of Evil” (see here for more).
Meanwhile, flying missions over Iraq is the logical next step for The Kremlin in Russia’s bid to supplant the US as Mid-East superpower puppet master. One would be hard pressed to come up with a more humiliating scenario for Washington than for the US to be effectively kicked out of the country it “liberated” over a decade ago by Vladimir Putin on the excuse that try as they may (or may “not”, depending on how prone you are to conspiracy theories), the Americans are apparently not very good at fighting terror.
Just like in Syria, Russian airstrikes would be supported by Iran-backed fighters on the ground, and thanks to the IRGC’s grip over Iraqi politics, Moscow would find Baghdad very receptive to Russia’s presence in the country.
The US knows all of this of course and in an effort to get out ahead of the situation, Washington sent Gen. Joseph Dunford (chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) to Iraq this week to issue what can only be described as a petulant, childish ultimatum to PM Haider al-Abadi. “It’s either us, or the Russians,” Abadi was told, although not specifically in those terms. Here’s what Dunford actually said:
“I said it would make it very difficult for us to be able to provide the kind of support you need if the Russians were here conducting operations as well. We can’t conduct operations if the Russians were operating in Iraq right now.”
Once again, it’s important to understand that this is all made possible by the fact that the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey decided to use extremist groups as their weapon of choice to destabilize Assad. That gives Moscow all the political and PR cover it needs to not only make a pure power play in Syria, but to establish closer diplomatic and political ties in Iraq and now Jordan. Thanks to the fact that the Western media has held up ISIS as the devil incarnate, The Kremlin has a foolproof cover story for what is quite clearly becoming a sweeping attempt to establish Russian influence across the region.
Finally, don’t forget that with each move Russia makes towards replacing the US as Mid-East superpower puppet master, Iran gets that much closer to supplanting Saudi Arabia as regional power broker. The Kremlin’s alliance with Jordan plays right into that dynamic as the Moscow-Tehran nexus is literally encircling Riyadh, Doha, and the UAE…
Full article: Russia Takes Over The Mid-East: Moscow Gets Green Light For Strikes In Iraq, Sets Up Alliance With Jordan (Zero Hedge)