| 30.07,15. 04:06 AM |
Middle East impasse: next crisis after nuclear deal
While insecurity and instability have engulfed Iraq, all eyes are focused on the roots and elements instigating the status quo. The Iranian regime, after being forced to give in to the recent nuclear agreement, has now in the Middle East been forced to grapple with the consequences of its aggressive and terrorist policies. Iran is truly weakened and today it can no longer direct, control and provide for its proxy forces across the region known as “militants” or “popular mobilization” forces (PMF). These units are all essentially associated to Iran’s Quds Force and causing instability and fear across Iraq in the name of the war against ISIS. Today, these same foot soldiers are the new victims of the Iranian regime and its corrupt commanders appointed in their ranks and files by Tehran.
These militants and PMF units are stationed in the Baghdad beltway and mainly Sunni areas, including Qazaliye, Latifiye, Ameriye, Hay al-Adl and …
They are currently busy abducting innocent Iraqis, stealing their property and bombing their homes as many reports from Tikrit, Fallujah, Ramadi and other Sunni cities in Iraq indicate. They are loathed by all walks of life in this country for their measures instigating sectarianism. Despite all this and while it may be unbelievable for you and me, these very forces are suffering from major shortages in water and food supplies because their rations are literally being sold by their commanders in markets across Iraq. The PMF, suffering major casualties, are refusing to go to the battlefronts and leave requests are on the rise.
Incompetence amongst the PMF in the city of Biji and its strategically important oil refinery, being the largest in Iraq, and areas around Tikrit has reached the point that none of these areas are no longer under their complete control and clashes continue to this day. Let’s not forget that the Iraqi government boasted victory in Tikrit months ago. Militant spokesmen keep on claiming of liberating further areas and more victories to boost their forces’ spirits. Whereas their advances have stopped in nearly all areas and dozens of PMF bodies are being sent to Najaf and Karbala in southern Iraq. PMF units are no longer able to finalize and maintain a firm grip on any region of the conflict. In various districts of Salahaddin Province while there have been no battles, being terrified of ISIS the militants PMF units are not willing to advance even 1 meter without Quds Force support.
Major casualties suffered by Iran-associated forces in the abovementioned areas depict their low morale and deep exhaustion. Commanders of the militants and PMF units are following the exact pattern of attacks staged by the Iranian regime’s paramilitary ‘Bassij’ forces during Iran-Iraq War back in the 1980s, known as “human waves”. There is no military tactic or planning in these battlefronts, and this is exactly why three months after “liberating” Tikrit these areas remain flashpoints of major battles. Militant commanders are sending their troops to battle without any support or backup. This has brought about huge numbers of casualties and the ranks and files of these units are literally crumbling. In areas around Biji many of the militant forces have fled the scenes after witnessing such drastic defeats.
PMF units are also witnessing increasing casualties on a daily basis in various fronts, from Biji and Fat’he to Garme and Fallujah. Of course, there are never any official statistics reported in this regard.
More and more PMF troops are fleeing the battlefronts and this trend has reached such an extent that militant commanders are now resorting to recruiting criminals and even prisoners convicted of major crimes. These foot soldiers are dispatched to the front lines with promises of huge salaries and premiums, but they too have been seen fleeing these warfronts after a short while.
Four months after the clashes in Salahaddin Province macro thefts, smuggling and selling weapons and ammunition by PMF commanders remains one of the main problems in this area. Witnessing such plundering of weapons & ammo and people’s property by their commanders, PMF units choose to flee the battlefield or get in line and become accomplices in these thefts. Militant commanders are also seen conducting major trade by selling the arms and ammunition that is allocated to them, leaving their forces facing major shortages. This has actually reached a point that their troops are forced to purchase their ammunition from the black market. PMF commanders decrease 130,000 dinars of each of their troops’ salaries for food and water supplies. However, this money is then deposited in their own bank accounts, showing that they are mainly focused on just theft and the revenue resulting from selling people’s property. People’s property, vehicles and power generators are being stolen by militant commanders and sold by the PMF in Diyala or Baghdad, and even transferred to southern provinces to be sold there.
The status of Iran-associated groups in other countries, specifically Syria, Yemen and Lebanon – all facing advances by popular forces, the Free Syria Army and the Saudi-led Arab coalition – have also become extremely dire and frenzied. Therefore, it is quite certain that following the nuclear agreement with the P5+1 and “drinking from the chalice of poison”, Iran is engulfed with major problems in its own government, and has seen its bubble-like expansion in the Middle East burst into thin air. Let’s make it clear: Iran is facing a stalemate. Such developments come at a time as the crisis-riddled regime is facing a wave of uprisings and public dissent by the Iranian people who have serious expectations after the recent nuclear deal. As a result, Tehran is besieged by crises from all corners and facing a serious downhill to being overthrown. So, what is Iran’s response? Escalating the trend of crackdown and execution to further cement a climate of fear amongst the Iranian people. Therefore, any political and economic relations with a regime that seeks to continue its vicious crackdown and gross human rights violations to maintain its rule, means being accomplice and actually taking part in this crime. Following the nuclear agreement, any relations and economic trade with this regime must be conditioned on Tehran respecting human rights, UN Security Council resolutions and international laws.
Heshmat Alavi is a political activist for peace and freedom and advocates anti-fundamentalism. Follow him on @HeshmatAlavi