Iraq Soldiers need more combat training
On May 17th, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took over the Iraqi city of Ramadi. The Iraqi soldiers dropped their weapons and ran even after the Iraq Prime Minister had issued an order to the Iraqi army to not abandon Ramadi. The Iraqi army is a weakened organization that will require training from professional trainers for the next several years.
The Shia militias or Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) are working with the Iranian government are gearing up to take on ISIL at Ramadi. The PMU have been successful in taking back small towns and areas on the edge of Ramadi. I would not count these successes as prelude to what is going to happen when the campaign starts to take back Ramadi. The ISIL militants have the use of suicide car bombs down to an art form. Nothing demoralizes any fighting force faster when you can carry out an attack with 30 car bombs, especially when one ISIL car bomb can level a city block.
When the battle for Tikrit was taking place, it only was a success when the U.S. air campaigned ramped up and pretty much bombed the whole city to ruins, and there were no more civilians in Tikrit. The civilians had all left, and the only people inside were ISIL militants. In Ramadi, it’s going to be a little different as there are thousands of civilians who have remained. It will be harder for the U.S. military air strikes to conduct pinpoint strikes in the city of Ramadi without causing civilian casualties as your trying to bomb ISIL militants.
ISIL continues to fortified defensive positions in Ramadi
It is a given that since May 17, the ISIL militants have set up defensive positions in advance of the Shia Militias and the Iraqi army. The Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, has been spotted inside the Anbar province planning the upcoming counter-offensive possibly for both Baiji the oil refinery and Ramadi.
The Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated that Iraq will not be a gateway for Iran. I am sure PM al-Abadi knows that there are over 70,000 well-armed Iranian militias in his country. Large majorities of the Iraqi parliament carry Iranian passports. I think Iraq is a gateway and is each day extending Iranian influence in Iraq. The Iraqi government is powerless against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In my last posting, I told you that I doubted the Iraq Security Forces and the Iranian militias would ever go into Ramadi a deeply ingrained Sunni area. The leader of PMU, Hadi al-Ameri, stated that he will make no attempt to go into Ramadi. We have the Shia Militia leader saying one thing and the Iraqi government saying another. As predicted (Read last post) I said that they would not enter deeply ingrained Sunni areas.
It’s over folks, expect the divide of Iraq in the coming years.