The coming Iran-US Confrontation in Iraq

By Zakiyeh Yazdanshenas for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.

In June 2014, Mosul was seized by the Islamic State (IS), whose leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi soon afterward announced a caliphate from the city’s grand mosque. Now the caliphate is seemingly coming to an end.

Iraqi government forces took the eastern part of Mosul from IS on Jan. 24 after three months of fighting. On March 15, a spokesman for Iraq’s Counterterrorism Service said 60% of the western part of Mosul is under the control of Iraqi security forces. The day before, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had said the operation is in its final stage, pledging the defeat of IS.

But military victory in Mosul is just the beginning of a more complicated phase for Iraq. Disparate forces have so far come together to pursue the common objective of expelling IS from Iraq. With the imminent achievement of this goal, many underlying and preceding power struggles will likely re-emerge.

Moreover, it should be borne in mind that various external powers — including Iran and the United States — have become greatly involved in Iraq’s security-related affairs and expanded their spheres of influence within the country since IS’ 2014 onslaught.

One key question is who will step in to fill the power vacuum in post-IS Mosul. Will the United States revert to its previous retreat from the Middle East, or will it opt to reassure its regional allies by keeping at least a part of its current forces in Iraq? Will Iran seek to establish a presence in northern Iraq, either directly or through its allies?

After having withdrawn in late 2011, the United States has once again become militarily engaged in the country, deploying over 5,000 troops and special forces, and spending more than $10 billion on combating IS in Iraq and Syria.

One Response to The coming Iran-US Confrontation in Iraq

  1. Jim Pagan 22nd March 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    The more problem and chaos the USA creates the better that is for the Israeli dream. Iran should know who was responsible for the Iraq Iran war, and who supplied the arms for both side at an
    enormous profits. Anywhere the USA military goes into it will never leave unless they are forced out. The ultimate dream of Israel is to cut up Iraq and Syria, after that divide and conquer Iran. These two countries including Syria were the most cultured and most civilized nations on earth. I do hope that Iran has a few nukes.
    Once you have Nukes and the delivery ability. The big Bullies will leave you alone. They only attack defenseless people. You will see they will not dare Attack N.Korea.
    The USA has spent $Trillions on military adventurism,but can’t afford decent health care for
    their own citizens. 50% of the American people are dead poor,but hey we have Trillions for
    undeclared wars. War = terror and who have started more wars in the history of this world.
    England and the USA. The poor Americans are sacrificing their own children thinking that they are preserving “Freedom and Democracy” Really? and Pigs can fly!

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