ISIL take over Ramadi and Gold Brigade failed
At the end of the day on May 17, 2015 there was no mistake that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants had captured the city of Ramadi.
The government had deployed their best military units such as the Gold Brigade, which were a special operation elite unit trained by the United States Army. The Gold Brigade was seen on social media and YouTube channels leaving Ramadi quickly as possible. The elite soldiers were hanging onto their vehicles as they were speeding down the road out of Ramadi. You have to think if these Iraqi soldiers are the best that the Iraqi government has in the fight with ISIL; then the Iraqi government will not be able to take back Ramadi anytime soon.
Iraq Prime Minister now facing criticism over military strategy
Prime Minister (PM) Haider al-Abadi had announced that the Iraqi army will crush the ISIL militants, and that did not happen. PM al-Abadi appears to be weak now that his strategy to take over the city of Ramadi and kick out ISIL failed badly. You know now all the opposition to PM al-Abadi will come out of the woodwork to criticize the Prime Minister. The political opposition will let PM al-Abadi know that his military strategy was wrong and should have allowed the Iranian Shia paramilitaries in the fight for Ramadi.
Iranian Paramilitaries will now join the fight in Ramadi
After the news of ISIL militants capturing Ramadi PM al-Abadi stated that he would now allow the Iranian Shia Paramilitaries to deploy to Anbar. The U.S. Administrator, who had previously opposed the idea also agreed the approval.
Qasem Soleimani moving off the sidelines and into the fight for Ramadi
The Ramadi situation was very much different than the Tikrit operation a few months ago. The Iraqi government was able to muster about 25 to 30,000 Iraqi Army and Iranian Shia paramilitary fighters. The leader of the Tikrit operation or I should say advisors was Iran Quds Force, Major General Qasem Soleimani. The Quds force commander and along with the Iranian Shia paramilitary forces that he directly controls were successful in the battle for Tikrit. Soleimani is a shrewd tactician on the battlefield and able to manage conflicts in several Middle Eastern countries.
Qasem Soleimani was not present at the Ramadi battle and was set out on the sidelines. The U.S. administrator did not want to see any Iranian Shia paramilitary forces involved with the taking back the city of Ramadi. It was going to be an all Iraq government and Iraq Security Forces (ISF) operation. We know now that this was not the best military strategy.
Iranian Paramilitary sending only 3,000 to Habbaniya army base
Shortly after the PM approved the use of the Iranian paramilitary forces, 3,000 fighters deployed to the Habbaniya Army base about 20 miles east of Ramadi. The Iranian Shia commanders are unable to send any more without degrading the security at the Iraqi religious sites. The Iraqi government is recognizing the shortage of fighters and is requesting volunteers to increase the numbers. The recruitment drive for volunteers will most likely be a shortened training schedule to prep them for battle against ISIL. Iraq Security Forces are also being deployed to the Habbaniya army base. The Ministry of Defense is staging vehicles at Habbaniya like tanks and armored vehicles.
Muqtada al-Sadr say he will protect the religious shrines
It appears that the Iranian Shia paramilitary will not be sending a large number to the Habbaniya army base. The Shia cleric Islamic political leader Muqtada al-Sadr stated that his forces would be protecting all religious shrines in and around Baghdad and Karbala. There are not enough Shia paramilitaries to deploy to fight ISIL militants.
The Iraqi government faces a complicated problem. The city of Baghdad is not in any danger at this time of being taken over by ISIL. There are concerns for sleeper cells inside Baghdad who could activate at any time. Security in and around the Baghdad belts is being coordinated by the Iranian paramilitary forces and possibly the Quds force commander Soleimani.
ISIL now control large swaths of land from Fallujah to Alleppo
The ISIL militants know, they are going be counterattacked by a small force of Iranian Shia paramilitaries. The ISIL militants will maximize the propaganda value of capturing the city of Ramadi. They will recover all weapons, ammunition, vehicles and howitzers in the city if Ramadi. Do you realize that the ISIL militants now control the area from Fallujah, which is east of Ramadi and into Syria to Aleppo. A very large area. ISIL will be able to supply their organization without any hindrance from the ground forces of the Iraqi army. The airstrikes will always be available, and we hope that the U.S. military continue with the airstrikes on all ISIL positions either in Iraq or Syria.
There is a humanitarian crisis happening just outside of the city of Baghdad. The Prime Minister refused to allow any of the displaced Iraqis from Anbar to enter Baghdad. The Iraqi government is fearful that some of the displaced persons are ISIL militants. This stance by the government changed a few days later. The displaced persons could enter Baghdad with a sponsor who would guarantee the person would not be a security threat.
The WorldPost (@TheWorldPost) May 20, 2015
We need more training for the Iraqi army and, of course, the Special Forces Gold Brigade. The Iraqi government needs to push for the arming of the Sunni groups that were also instrumental in destroying the insurgency in Anbar province at the height of the U.S. Iraq war. The problem now is going to be how the Sunnis will react to having the Iranian Shia paramilitaries execute the counterattack for the city of Ramadi. The history of the Iranian paramilitaries in Tikrit and other areas of Iraq were not the best as they did commit violence to civilians as reported in news media.
Mosul operation for the year 2015 not in the cards after Ramadi
We can all agree that the military operation to take back the city of Mosul will not be on any Iraqi military commander schedule in 2015. If the Iraqi army and security forces are seen leaving a city and not capable of fighting, then taking back the city of Mosul is a long way off. The Iraqi army fled and left weapons and vehicles for the second time in one year.
Prime Minister al-Abadi will be looking for a quick victory, but I believe he should not push it too quickly. To take back Ramadi it is going to need a well-trained fighting force. The type of force is the 82nd Airborne, who is currently in Iraq and training the army.
Iraqi Shiite militias get the order: Retake Ramadi from Islamic State (+video) – Christian Science Monitor http://t.co/sa4I2tJmjQ
Apple agent (@apple_agent) May 20, 2015
Translation of Muqtada Al-Sadr statement against ISIS threat to attack Kerbala & Baghdad. Courtesy of Shia Jihadica pic.twitter.com/HgwjhDsq01
Shi’a Jihadica (@JihadicaS) May 19, 2015
Muqtada al-Sadr: Iraq will be filled with the rotting bodies of Daash if they insist on attacking Karbala. Baghdadi is digging his own grave
Beyond The Levant (@TheRealBTL) May 19, 2015