According to Iraqi media reports, the ISIS is taking advantage of US airstrikes against Iraq to launch its own attacks against Baghdad.
In the early hours of this Saturday, the US air force carried out several deadly air attacks on more than 80 sites in the border regions connecting Iraq and Syria. The US strikes mostly targeted sites in the town of Al-Hari and the Al-Sikka and Al-Hajjana crossing in Al-Bukamal city, near the Syrian border with Iraq.
In a statement following the attacks, the US Central Command acknowledge the deadly move and stated that its forces struck targets “belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its allies, in Iraq and Syria” using “long-range bombers launched from the United States.”
In these attacks, the statement added, the US forces “used more than 125 precision-guided munitions in the air strikes. The facilities that were struck included command and control operations, intelligence centers, missiles and missiles, drone warehouses, logistical facilities, and the ammunition supply chain.”
The statement also noted that Saturday’s airstrikes were a response to an attack by Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi armed group that is part of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, on a US base on the Jordan-Syria border back on 28 January. The attack took the lives of three US soldiers and injured dozens more, according to US media.
The Iraqi militia issued a statement back then and took responsibility for the attack, explaining that the reason for what they did was “to expel US forces from Iraq and also to stop Israel’s genocide in Gaza.”
Following the US air strikes, the spokesman for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces confirmed the US Saturday strikes and described them as “a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and an undermining of the efforts of the Iraqi government to maintain stability in the country.”
Dismissing the concerns of the Iraq side, US President Joe said that the attacks “started today but will continue at the times and places that we determine,” while ironically claiming “America does not seek a conflict in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world.”
US attack against Iraq, the best gift to ISIS!
A few hours after the US jet fighters dropped their deadly bombs on Iraqi cities, the ISIS forces seized the opportunity to conduct their own attacks against the Arab country. According to a report by Al-Mayadeen, the Iraqi army and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) clashed with ISIS militants in western Anbar governorate on Saturday only hours after the US air attacks.
Also citing from an Iraqi security source, the Iraqi Al-Nujaba satellite channel said that ISIS took advantage of the US bombing of targets in Iraq “by launching an attack on the army and the PMU forces in the area of Kilometer 160 on the Al-Sakkar highway near the town of Rutba in Anbar.”
Even before these reports, Gulf-backed Syria researcher Charles Lister wrote in Foreign Policy on 24 January that “ISIS is enjoying a resurgence and that 10,000 ISIS militants are detained within at least 20 makeshift prisons in US and Kurdish-controlled northeastern Syria, constituting an ISIS army in waiting and its next generation.”
The story of infamous ties between US and ISIS terrorists in Iraq dates back to 2014, when Washington decision makers used the group to depose Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki from power and change the ruling regime n Iraq. But after ISIS conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria, US forces turned against the group and it partnered with Iraqi forces to retake Mosul.
Last but not least, recent reports also suggest that the US is in fact helping ISIS fighters to reunite in Iraq, all in the hope of using the group as a leverage to impose pro-US policies in the Arab country. But whether this US policy of letting ISIS revive in Iraq can further American interests in the already chaotic Middle East region is a matter of doubt that the US government should think it twice before any more step in this dangerous path.