With President Barack Obama on Thursday announcing to the American people that the U.S. must assist the fragile Iraq government to defend itself against a tidal wave of jihadists in that nation's northern region, Obama now finds himself in the peculiar position of perhaps partnering with the terrorist-sponsoring, Sharia-imposing nation of Iran.
Iran, which has always opposed al-Qaida and other Sunni Muslim terrorist groups, is reportedly mobilizing its military to enter Iraq and assist in repelling the onslaught of the al-Qaida offshoot that calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). As described in past Examiner news stories, the ISIS is considered even more brutal and merciless than the original al-Qaida.
As luck would have it, President Obama is being pressured into taking some type of military action if only to send weapons systems and equipment to the Iraqis. But now that the Iranians are deploying troops to help defend Iraq's capital, the thought of sending American assistance appears more complicated than it looked before.
What American officials found disturbing is that upon attacking Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, the Iraqi army and police force not only retreated without putting up much of a fight, but they reportedly deserted their weapons, armored vehicles and state-of-the-art military equipment given to Iraq after the U.S. withdrew from their country.
According to the region's news organizations, at least two battalions of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are already in Iraq. Some believe it's part of a plot to take over the fight against ISIS and perhaps replace the Iraqi government with an Iranian-style government based on Sharia law.
Iran's almost immediate response gives that nation a strategic advantage over the United States since Obama is expected to only order limited bombing missions. As has been repeated over and over by just about everyone reporting the news on Thursday, the chances of "U.S. boots on ground" are slim or none.
"Even if the Iranians continue to provide infantry, artillery and armored support to the Iraqis, and the U.S. military conducts air strikes and intelligence assistance, it's not like Obama and the Iranians are joining forces since both countries have their own interests, " said former intelligence officer and counterterrorism unit police detective Joseph T. Walsh.
Militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq, have seized major cities in northern Iraq in recent days, including Mosul and Tikrit, the hometown of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
During his visit to Australia on Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry said there is "deep concern" in the Obama administration regarding the Iraq crisis. He also said, "President Barack Obama will make key decisions in short order."