A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, March 9, 2015

If Iraqis Take Tikrit, Will Iran Claim Credit?

The Iraqi offensive against the Islamic State is continuing to push towards Tikrit. While the US and other Western countries are providing airstrikes, the ground forces involved are the Iraqi Army, Kurdish peshmergas, and forces of various Shi‘ite militias,armed and  trained by Iran. These formerly "disbanded"n militias were remobilized last year by former Prime Minister Maliki.

General Suleimani
Many of these militias reportedly operate with advisers from Iran's  Islamic Revolution Guards Corps IRGC). and many believe IRGC Quds Force Commander Gen Qassem Suleimani is directing the offensive.

If Tikrit is taken, many will see it as a victory for Iran, and deservedly so; but there is also a danger, if Iraqi forces and their Shi‘ite allies indulge in sectarian vendettas, it could drive those Sunni tribes which have soured on ISIS back into their hands.

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