The Iraqi military, backed by Shi’ite militia, have been joined in the fight against ISIS by the Kurdish Peshmerga troops, which is the military formation of Iraqi Kurds. Together the forces launched an offensive against ISIS and have driven the terror group from areas south of Tikrit. Although Tikrit and the surrounding area remain in ISIS hands, as ISIS retreated, they set the Ajil oil fields aflame, which is a considerable source of capital for their insurgent movement.
Driving ISIS from oil-rich territory is a preeminent objective in the campaign to drive the terror group from achieving the establishment of a caliphate in the region.
Ignoring this potential victory against this most unrelenting enemy fought by Iraqi, Shi’ite and Kurdish soldiers would be a devastating blunder. While the Iraqi, Shi’ite and Kurdish troops do not clutch a dauntless reputation, this news of their advance against ISIS is more than uplifting; it is worth celebrating. The drive against ISIS signals this military force is willing and capable of being saddled with the responsibility of conducting military operations of their own accord. A much maligned force in the recent past, frequently victims of careless generalizations of being corrupt and lazy, they have displayed a resilience to defeat ISIS.
Debate has routinely occurred on the deployment of U.S. troops to the region to fight the ISIS terror threat. This encouraging maturation of Iraqi, Shi’ite and Kurdish troops of reversing the practice of ceding ground to ISIS in face of their brutal tactics illuminates the ability of Iraqi, Kurdish and Shi’ite militia to successfully drive ISIS into oblivion if given the means to sustain the campaign. Such a task becomes more complex if the U.S. remains idle.
Critics and skeptics in the United States are rightfully apprehensive about the re-introduction of U.S. troops into the region. However, alternatives exist: A stable, steady and maintainable standard of military aid to all three groups to withstand challenges ISIS poses to the region. On close examination, it is no closely-guarded secret cutting ISIS off from petroleum products will sweep away their main, if not only, source of dividends to underwrite their crusade of terror. Iraqi, Kurdish and Shi’ite troops have approached Tikrit, an area where ISIS gleans some necessities to conduct their operations, and they appear on the verge of re-taking the city from ISIS.
[Reuters] [REUTERS/ MAHMOUD RAOUF]