Mosul – Recently news were emerged that Iraqi Hashd al-Sha’bi (Public Mobilization Unites or PMU) will be deployed to Syria to assist the Syrian government’s forces to press forward with their battle against ISIS terrorist group in a bid to retake the terrorist-held areas.
In very latest remarks, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said that Baghdad could not bar the PMU from Syria deployment to fight terrorism beside that country’s forces. Iraq’s Al-Jaafari added that it is right that the Iraqi constitution prohibits Baghdad from any political or military intervention in other countries’ affairs, but it does not ban the Iraq citizens from going to other countries.
The PMU deployment to Syria to aid the anti-ISIS Syrian forces’ campaign is crucial for the Iraqi side because any attempt to liberate the northern Iraqi city of Mosul is almost impossible without eradication of the terrorist group in its bastion Syria. Despite the fact that during over three months of Mosul liberation operation the Iraqi forces have managed to retake and fully cleanse over three quarters of the city, the terrorists continue to receive supplies and additional fighters from Syria’s Raqqa using the Tal Afar and Al-Qa’im border crossings. The logistical connections between the ISIS terrorists on both sides of Iraq-Syrian border have raised the hackles of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi about a lengthy battle in Mosul once the life lines to terrorists continue to work intact.
Additionally, the military experts assert that even if Mosul, the capital of Iraqi province of Nineveh, is reclaimed from the terrorists, ISIS could assault the northern Iraq via Syria’s Raqqa in a proper time later. This danger challenges the Iraqi desire and strategy for sustainable security. This concern is addressed by Syrian-Iraqi coordination that comes out to allow the Iraqi forces to cross the border into the Syrian territories to chase the terrorists beyond the borders. The analysts underscore the idea that without Baghdad-Damascus coordination, it is almost unfeasible for Iraq to secure its northern areas against terrorist infiltration.
PMU’s Syria presence is effective in countering terrorism as the voluntary force during its anti-terror campaign along with the other Iraqi armed forces has proven itself to be an efficient combat force with potentials to change the game in favor of the national governments in the front lines of counterterror war. But some actors like the US, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have gone to great lengths to disrupt activities of this popular force via efforts to inflame the sectarian arguments. Notwithstanding the impediments ahead, the PMU is expected to go to Syria at intervals and receive cover from the Iraqi air force’s fighter jets there.
Obliteration of ISIS in Syria and Iraq is possible at the hands of the national armed forces of these countries if regional and international sides such as the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey cease supportive measures that work in favor of ISIS and Al-Nusra Front terrorists. The war experience in Syria and Iraq has proven that when Washington, Riyadh, Ankara, and even Tel Aviv felt that ISIS is in a state of decline in fight with national Syrian and Iraqi forces, these sides changed political and battleground conditions in interest of the terrorists.
This is clear in the Turkish military deployment to Jarabulus and Al-Bab towns in northern Syria under the excuse of repelling the threats posed to Turkey from the Kurdish Democratic Union Party’s fighters who apparently fight ISIS terrorists. This in part lays bare the fact that some sides are not willing to see ISIS fully uprooted in the region. They ultimately eye sporadic existence of the terrorist group across the region to produce an ever-present jeopardy to the security of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran. This goal, once achieved, will make the countries of the Axis of Resistance persistently live in the fear of possible ISIS terror attacks. But this is not the end of mission. After accomplishment of ISIS mission in West Asia, the US-led West is likely to redirect the terrorist group towards the Chinese and Russian borders to challenge the security there.