Is Turkish Invasion of Northern Iraq a Prelude to Bigger Action?

December 8, 2015

A senior U.S. military source warned Monday that the Turkish deployment of a battalion of troops into the Mosul area of north Iraq, which the Iraq government has denounced as an invasion, is likely a prelude to a much larger invasion.  The source suggested that the battalion is the vanguard of a major Turkish military move, to backup allied Kurdish Peshmerga units that are anxious to launch an assault to take back the key city of Mosul. The source indicated that he expected Turkish Air Force support for such a Peshmerga action, that could also involve larger Turkish ground combat deployments as well.

Were such an action to be taken, independent of the Iraqi Army and the central government in Baghdad, it would be a clear step in the direction of the breakup of Iraq, with the Kurdish region becoming an independent entity—under Turkish tutelage.

The Turkish move into northern Iraq came just days after U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced the deployment of several hundred more U.S. forces from the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).  Washington sources confirm that the JSOC deployment is a major break from the Obama Administration's earlier “train, equip, and advise” mission.  The JSOC teams will function as hunter-killer teams, targeting Islamic State leaders and infrastructure, and will operate autonomously, with no coordination or intelligence sharing with the Iraq Army or the government in Baghdad.  These JSOC killer squads were used by Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Iraq and then in Afghanistan, and they have been widely accused of indiscriminate killings, human rights violations and other actions that have actually further fueled recruitment by jihadists.

The Carter announcement has already triggered a backlash in Baghdad, where Shi'a members of the Iraq parliament have denounced the deployments and threatened to bring down the Abadi government if the Prime Minister does not order the U.S. to abandon the planned “ground invasion.”  Under pressure from within his own Dawa Party, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi did denounce the U.S. planned deployment late last week.  Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that he had briefed Abadi on the U.S. escalation plan, and that he was making statements aimed at satisfying domestic critics. Statements by Shi'a parliamentarians and militia spokesmen warned that the U.S. operations could trigger a civil war and would likely result in the fall of the Abadi government soon.

In short, the Turkish and American actions could blow up the entire Iraq situation, which conforms precisely to the British plan for permanent sectarian war throughout the Middle East region.