May 26, 2015
A military operation by Iraq to push the Islamic State out of the Anbar province was announced on Tuesday.
The western Anbar province is the location where extremists this month captured Ramadi, the provincial capital.
Fear of possible sectarian violence has been ignited by the possibility of an enormous counteroffensive “long the scene of protests and criticism against the Shiite-led government in Baghdad,” reports Fox News.
Iraq’s forces have surrounded Ramadi from all sides. A spokesperson for the Iraqi Shia armed forces stated that the operation “will not last for a long time.”
In “what will surprise the enemy,” according to parliament member Ahmed al-Assadi, are the new weapons being used in this war.
“Still, senior U.S. defense officials at the Pentagon push back on the reports Tuesday morning that the counterattack had begun,” according to Fox News. “Two sources described the actions as ‘shaping operations’ — or battlefield preparations — at this stage.”
In an effort to calm anxieties over statements made by Defense Secretary Ash Carter after he blamed Iraqi forces of having seemingly “no will to fight” in Ramadi, Vice President Joe Biden talked with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. A few hours later the announcement of the attack came.
The Associated Press was told by a spokesman for Abadi that Carter was given “incorrect information…We should not judge the whole army based on one incident.”
Recognizing “the enormous sacrifice and bravery” being exhibited by Iraqi soldiers over the last 18 months, the White House commented on Monday that they were open to “an Iraqi decision to mobilize additional troops and prepare for counter-attack operations.”
A frustrated Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani stated to an Iranian newspaper that the United States [didn’t do] “a damn thing” to stop the advance on Ramadi by ISIS.
“Today, there is nobody in confrontation with [ISIS] except the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as nations who are next to Iran or supported by Iran,” stated Soleimani.
The United States, Soleimani went on to say, was ‘complicit’ in the development of ISIS.