He Said That? 3/30/15

From Hayder al-Khoei, an associate fellow on the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House who is close with Iraqi Shiite politicians:

Baghdad clearly needs both the U.S. and Iran to deal with ISIS, and yet both its allies are still tiptoeing around each other on the battlefield because its embarrassing to acknowledge cooperation, even if tacit.

The Wall Street Journal, “Shiite Militias, U.S. Uneasily Share in Battle for Tikrit,” 3/30/15

Now why would the US be embarrassed? In Iraq and Syria, we are siding with Shiite militias from Iraq, Syria, and Iran, along with the predominantly Shiite Iraqi army, to take on Sunni ISIS. We’re not, despite our requests, getting much help from Sunni nations Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or the Gulf States, who collectively have the military muscle to make short work of ISIS. However, in Yemen, we are siding with Sunni Saudi Arabia and a coalition of those Sunni nations that aren’t giving us much help against ISIS, as it takes on Shiite rebels backed by Iran. So in one conflict we’re fighting on one side, and in the other conflicting we’re on the other side. Yet, powerful and important people maintain with a straight face that the US presence in the Middle East is necessary to preserve order. The real embarrassment is that anyone still believes those clowns.

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