It was the "Guardians of the Blood Brigades" – Saray Awliya al-Dam , a pro-Iranian militia – who claimed responsibility for the rocket attack against the area of the international airport of Erbil, capital of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. The base of the American forces in Iraq is based in the same area, following the withdrawal of most of them from the country in 2020. An American contractor was killed in the attack, while five other contractors and a soldier were injured.
An attack, therefore, against the American forces based in Iraqi Kurdistan, which in addition to being a first test for the Biden administration, confirms that Iraq is – as we already highlighted in 2019 on Atlantico Quotidiano – the front of the clash between The United States and Iran, and it is on this first of all that Tehran must be defeated, to force the Islamic Republic to definitively review its dangerous regional policy.
Thanks to the permissive policy of the Obama administration in the Middle East, and taking advantage of the need to counter the presence of Isis, the Iranian regime over the years has managed to create dozens of militias loyal to him in Iraq which, in fact, respond to the Qods Force . Militias such as Asaib Ahl al-Haq , Kataib Hezbollah and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba , which today have over 100,000 fighters.
For years, despite the presence of the Shiite Ayatollah al-Sistani, opponent of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran was able to freely inflict neighboring Iraq, with the complicity of former Iraqi prime ministers, such as al-Maliki, al-Abadi and al-Mahdi. and of the commanders of the Popular Mobilization Units – born precisely at the request of al-Sistani to unite the country against Isis, but which have become an umbrella in the service of the Iranian regime.
Things began to change in Iraq with the appointment as premier of former intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who recently also managed to replace some men at the top of the Iraqi services, also considered too close to the Iranians and not reliable.
Despite everything, there is still a long way to go. As mentioned above, al-Kadhimi is, as far as possible, trying to stem the Iranian advance, including by diplomatic means. Not surprisingly, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein went to Tehran a few days ago to meet his counterpart Javad Zarif. Despite the smiles, a clear message has arrived from the Iranians: peace in Iraq will only exist when the Americans leave the country. In other words, when Iraq will in fact be an easy pawn to be placed at the service of the "Iranian defensive umbrella" (which is not so "defensive", having an offensive projection towards the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean).
A few days before Hussein's visit to Tehran, the head of the Iranian judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, had traveled to Baghdad, where he met with Iraqi Supreme Court Justice Faiq Zaidan, President Barham Salih and Premier al-Kadhimi. Raisi's visit to Iraq is particularly relevant, not only for the Memorandum of Understanding signed to deepen the judicial collaboration between Iran and Iraq, but also because Raisi could be one of the leading candidates to challenge Rouhani in the presidential elections to be held on next June 18.
The Iranian presidential elections will be held a few days after the Iraqi parliamentary elections, set for next 6 June. They will therefore be very important months for the new US administration, to be able to demonstrate that it has the ability to counter Iranian imperialism not only in words, but also in deeds. We repeat: Iraq is the front of the conflict between the United States and Iran and this is where Washington must stop Tehran if it truly intends to build a stable and secure Middle East.
Finally, according to Arab media reports , US intelligence has found evidence that Iranian secret services are responsible for the foiled attack on the Emirati embassy in Addis Ababa. An attack that, of course, had the aim of punishing the Arab country that most believed in peace with Israel and was the first to sign the Agreements of Abraham. It does not take much imagination to understand what would happen to the Iraqi Sunnis and those of the Gulf, if Tehran again took control of neighboring Iraq (from which, in 2019, missiles had already started that hit the Saudi refineries in Abqaiq and Khurais …).
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL http://www.atlanticoquotidiano.it/quotidiano/lattacco-contro-le-forze-usa-a-erbil-primo-test-per-biden-e-conferma-che-e-liraq-il-fronte-del-conflitto-con-teheran/ on Wed, 17 Feb 2021 04:56:00 +0000.