Legendary Iraqi general al-Saadi vows to crush the Islamic State terrorist group
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- Hadi al-Amiri Born in the Diyala province in 1956, Hadi al-Amiri is the...[+]
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: iraq;
Iraqi General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, who was recently reinstated by the new prime minister, has vowed to increase the battle against terrorism in Iraq. He says he will launch new operations west of Kirkuk and near Mosul. This will include the governorates of Nineveh and Salahadin.
He says the Counter-Terrorism Service, the famous black-clad Iraqi special forces soldiers known for breaking the back of ISIS in the 2014-2017 war, will lead the way in operations. “The anti-terrorist forces will have a big role in chasing terrorist organizations,” he said. “We have plans to eliminate these organizations according to timetables.” The ISIS members were completely eliminated.
The CTS forces and Saadi are considered legendary in Iraq. However, he was pushed aside in September because of internal politics in Baghdad. Sacrificed by an inept flailing government that was under the influence of Iranian-backed militias, Saadi was forced aside and massive protests began in Iraq.
Now he is back, with support from the new prime minister, a former social activist, and it appears Saadi is wasting no time in seeking to hunt down ISIS members responsible for recent attacks.
One issue he faces is trying to deal with the disunity among Iraqi security forces, the tensions between the US forces of the Coalition and the pro-Iranian Popular Mobilization Units, the tribes who want arms in Kirkuk but who are being starved of weaponry by the PMU, and the PMU units close to Ayatollah Sistani who want budgets from the Defense Ministry but are being sidelined by the pro-Iran factions closer to Hadi al-Amiri. The root of Iraq’s problem is that the PMU wants credit for anti-ISIS operations and wants the US to leave, but the PMU also blames the US for fueling ISIS when it has withdrawn.
At the same time the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces in Nineveh used to work well together through a US Security Forces Assistance Brigade. That unit was removed from Nineveh during the US repositioning due to the pandemic and Iran tensions, as US forces also left Q-West and K-1 and Taqaddum and a base in Anbar.
Without the US footprint the Iranian proxies have fewer targets to shoot their rockets at. But that means keeping tabs on ISIS is difficult. Saadi can’t control all this but his soldiers from the Iraqi ISOF or “Golden Division” can contribute to leading the way in the renewed anti-ISIS campaign.
If he is too successful he may find that the pro-Iranian elements’ jealousy will bubble up again leading the machinations against his power base.