Next Phase of U.S.-ISIS Alliance: Take Over Iraq w/ Bombing Campaigns
Associated Press | |
WASHINGTON — U.S. fighters dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq Friday, the Pentagon said, carrying out President Barack Obama’s promise of military force to counter the advancing militants and confront the threat they pose to Iraqi civilians and Americans still stationed there.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it. Kirby said the fighters had taken off from the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush in the Persian Gulf to conduct the mission. He said it wasn’t clear how many militants might have been killed in the strike.
The Pentagon said the militants were using the artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Irbil.
For the United States, it was a re-engagement in the long sectarian war from which American combat forces had been withdrawn — on President Barack Obama’s orders — in late 2011.
US allies cultivated Islamic State. Now IS plans to ‘raise flag of Allah in White House’Published time: August 08, 2014 16:03
As the Islamic State tears through minority communities in northern Iraq, the extremist terror group, that owes its ascendance to funding from US allies in the Middle East, sent a message to the White House: We’re coming for you.
“I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established,” Abu Mosa, a spokesman for the Islamic State (IS), formerly know as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), told VICE Media. “Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq.”
“We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House,” Mosa added.
But while the Islamic terror group du jour rips through Iraq – largely forcing minorities to choose its brand of strict Islam, flee, or die – observers note that it’s important to remember how IS has gained strength from the financial backing of United States’ allies in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar.
Elite donors of American allies in the Persian Gulf region have poured an immense amount of resources into rebel groups like IS in efforts to advance on three general goals: opposing Iran, its ally Bashar Assad and his government in Syria, and fomenting the Sunni-Shia divides in the region.
IS, formerly allied with Al-Qaeda before splitting with them last year, has benefited from Gulf funding of rebel groups opposed to Assad in the Syrian civil war, as several reports have detailed, paving the way for the Islamic State to advance over the border into Iraq, where it has captured major gains such as Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has publicly accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both Sunni-led nations, of ongoing financial support for IS.
In Kuwait, donors have successfully funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to rebel militias in Syria.
“Over the last two and a half years, Kuwait has emerged as a financing and organizational hub for charities and individuals supporting Syria’s myriad rebel groups,” the Washington think tank Brookings Institution wrote in a December report.
“Today, there is evidence that Kuwaiti donors have backed rebels who have committed atrocities and who are either directly linked to al-Qa’ida or cooperate with its affiliated brigades on the ground.”
The United States has also supported so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels with both lethal and non-lethal aid, lending to fears that arms sent with the help of the Gulf states were channeled to the likes of IS.