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Al-Qaeda Descends Upon Baghdad, Iraq
Who would have thought that after so many years of American presence in Iraq, training their army, supplying them with weapons, and the mythical destruction of al-Qaeda, this could happen. But while the eyes of the world are focused elsewhere, the Iraqi government and its army are very concerned about the growing boldness and strength of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Iraqi intelligence reports that terrorist forces have broken through into the city’s western outskirts and fanning out to other parts of the city of more than seven million. No wonder the President of Iraq made a personal request to Obama for more American weapons and Apache helicopters. Obama turned him down.
The al-Qaeda army seized the western province of Anbar, the city of Tikrit, and the eastern province of Diyala on the border of Iran. They openly make their presence known in parts of Baghdad as well as in the big Iraqi cities of Falluja, Ramadi, Baquba, Salahudeen and Nineveh. This specific branch of al-Qaeda is ISIS (al Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). Many of the men in this army were fighting in Syria until recruited for the conquest of Iraq, which is their goal. Many of the fighters are international coming from many European countries and elsewhere. In a US senate report, it was stated that 20-25,000 hardened Islamic fighters were in Syria. Of these, 7500 of them were from 50 nations. Many fought in Afghanistan.
The ISIS army is about 7500 men. No small number. It has fought successfully against the American armed and trained Iraqi army holding sections of cities. The army is slowly isolating Baghdad and it is cutting off Baghdad's sources of fresh water and blowing up the main bridges connecting the city to western, eastern and central Iraq. When the Iraqi PM went to inspect defenses, his convoy was ambushed and he was nearly killed. North of the city, ISIS is diverting the Euphrates River from its course. Giant earth moving equipment and trucks are damming the river bed with mud and rocks scooped up from the Iraqi desert. If they are allowed to succeed, the river’s course to the south towards central Iraq will inundate the Iraqi military positions facing Falluja and the road links from Baghdad to army bases in central Iraq. It will also cutoff freshwater of towns south of Baghdad.
As their bases are built close to the Iranian border, there is a high chance that Iran might launch and attack across to keep al-Qaeda from getting too bold or strong.
The question is, why is America helping Iraq defeat this new enemy that threatens Iraq's security? President Obama has denied requests for more military aid. By doing so, this makes the whole effort and Iraqi war truly a waste. The whole war in Afghanistan is against al-Qaeda, wherever it is. Well, its army in Iraq is a real threat and growing.