ISIS Offensive to seize al-Muthanna Military Air Base Near Baghdad
Obama, the reluctant president of America, is forcing Iraq to seek immediate help in weapon from American adversaries-Russia and China. For over a week now, the Iraqi PM has told the media and the US government, they need urgent help to thwart the impending war clouds surrounding the Baghdad area. President Obama is being overly timid in sending the help requested fearing mission creep of becoming involved again in Iraq after the US handed over the keys in 2011. That was then and today it is a new threat.
Syria has already bombed ISIS in Iraq at PM Maliki's request. To fill in the lack of American interest, Russia sent within two days, six SU-25 aircraft with crews (this aircraft is similar to the US A-10). Another adversary, Iran, sent another eight previous Iraqi, but now, Iranian, SU-25's. These 14 aircraft are all based at Baghdad's key military base called al-Muthanna, close to the International airport. Defending the base are the Iraqi special forces, which may be no better than the four divisions that broke and ran when ISIS confronted them.
None of the SU-25's have flown yet, which is mysterious since they are combat ready. ISIS plans on seizing the military air field that will afford them control of Baghdad air space and provide a forward base for bombing forays in different quarters of the city. The Islamists count on support in the Sunni suburbs of West Baghad by uprising against Shiites.
Intel images show that three columns containing up to 1500 men approaching from the north and west in American Humvees and pickup trucks. Despite the obvious signs, there seems to be an inertia in Iraq's government and military. They continue to want American support from the air, yet Obama is a reluctant warrior these days. Perhaps he is afraid that the American jets making bombing runs might encounter SAMs, both Russian and American made seized in Syria or Iraq. A downing of a single US jet would be a PR nightmare for America and a major win for ISIS. Drone strikes would be a safer route, yet, even those have not occurred. There is nothing worse than being hesitant when urgency is required in a given situation.
Forcing Iraq to seek help from former adversaries is just stupid policy. It will never work out in your favor. ISIS has also captured Iraq's largest oil field in the north by just showing up according to eyewitnesses. They state, the Iraqi troops defending the area, which pumps vast amount of oil revenue for the country, simply fled upon seeing ISIS approach. This is all too a frequent event, some 2,500 Iraqi soldiers in the desert area east of the Iraqi city of Karbala just quit their positions leaving the Saudi-Iraq border unprotected. This forces the Saudi army to send 30,000 troops to the border. The loss of the Baiji refinery is a devastating blow some 155 miles from Baghdad because it is the largest refinery in the country.
PM Maliki, a Shiite, is now considering a plan to create an Iraqi state just containing Baghdad and Basra while conceding the rest of Iraq to ISIS. If this occurs, or if, ISIS continues to be unchecked, blame is fully on President Obama who has the power to decimate ISIS to buy time for Iraq. The magic of the media and hysteria and chaos caused by apparent ISIS victories is just as dangerous as being afraid to intervene.