Act now on Iran, Hezbollah and Daesh or pay later!

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It is becoming a common theme for many political analysts to maintain that Iran has helped with the war on Daesh. Fake news!

Let’s go back to before the birth of the terrorist organization in 2014. After they led the insurgency against US forces that invaded Iraq in 2003, Al-Qaeda was on the run after the US Army organized a military campaign against them of Sunni tribes from Al-Anbar region in western Iraq. Within a few years, the new force managed to clean all the terrorists out of their midst and handed hundreds of captured jihadists to US forces.

Such success did not go down well with Iran and its agent in Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki (2006-2014), who also held the positions of acting Interior Minister, acting Defense Minister and acting National Security Minister—all at once! Instead of supporting the new pro-government force, the sectarian PM led a campaign of his own to disarm and weaken the Sunni tribes, against the best American judgment. In addition, he let out hundreds of imprisoned jihadists, who went on to form Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq. At exactly the same time, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, another Iranian stooge, let out more jihadists who joined their colleagues in Al-Raqaa.

When Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri wrote an open letter to Al-Qaeda leadership criticizing their cooperation with Iran, they responded with a harsher letter telling him he was a hypocrite because Al-Qaeda had stronger ties to Tehran, getting monetary, military and intelligent support, in addition to a free pass to Iraq, Syria and the Arabian Gulf region. As relations worsened, Abu Baker Baghdadi declared independence and renamed his organization the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2014.

During the years of their expansion in northern and western Syria and then into Iraq, Daesh avoided any direct clash with Iran and its militias in the region, including Hezbollah or the Syrian government. Areas in Syria and Iraq were given to them, as Iraqi and Syrian forces were ordered to leave without a fight. In Mosul, for example, Nouri Al-Maliki ordered the evacuation of two hundred thousand well-equipped and trained soldiers over night in the face of a few hundred jihadists driving down the highway in broad daylight, riding no more than Toyota pickups. Similar withdrawals followed till the jihadists reached the outskirts of Baghdad and then suddenly stopped before taking the top prize.

The Iraqi sectarian government turned then to Iran for help. Ayatollah Ali Sistani issued a fatwa to establish a mobilized public force (Al-Hashad Al-Shabi) made up of Iranian militias and led by Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. How convenient!

The American-led international coalition supported the campaign to defeat Daesh. The sectarian forces were busy during that war ethnic-cleansing Sunnis, slaughtering inhabitants and driving them out of their homes and towns. They were publicly celebrating their vengeance on what they called the sons and daughters of Yazid, an Arab caliph who won a war against Al-Hussein Bin Ali in Karbala that ended with the latter’s demise 1400 years ago!

ISIS soldiers and leaders were treated in Iranian hospitals, their families hosted in Tehran, and there was never an attack on Iran’s soil, soldiers or interests! As Qasem Soleimani was leading the Iraqi government from the Iranian embassy, he assured Iraqi officials that Daesh would never attack Baghdad! He knew that much!

Now, Daesh is almost gone, but the conditions that created them are still there. Iran and its proxies in the region are still oppressing Arabs and Sunnis. Sooner or later, they will explode and join whoever provides them with organized resistance. Right now, Iraqis and Lebanese have gone out into streets to protest Iran’s intervention and oppression. If that continues and the enslaved governments do not free themselves from Iranian control, the people may respond to violence with violence. Another Syrian scenario? I would not be surprised!

To the misguided media, I say that Iran has been the mothership of extremism and terror in the world for 40 years. The revolutionary theocratic system is based on the exportation of revolution. This is no secret, read their constitution! It is high time for the world community to stand up to the new Nazis. Enough containment! Enough appeasement! Enough cowardice and stupidity! Act now or pay later!

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah. He can be reached at kbatarfi@gmail.com. Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi


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