Will Georgian troops return to Iraq?
25 September, 2014
Will Georgian troops return to Iraq?
At the beginning of August the Radical Islamist movement ISIS staged a massacre in the Yazidi villages of Iraq. The fighters of the ‘Islamic State’ terrorist organization chased the Yazidis who escaped death, raped the women and children and sold them for peanuts in the market of Mosul. The extremists forced the Yazidis to change their religion and convert to Sunni Islam. As the refugees, who arrived in Georgia, say, if they refused, they killed them like sheep.

The recent
military aggression of Russia in Eastern Ukraine has overshadowed the events unfolding in the north of Iraq where the terrorist group “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” or ISIS has declared its intent to turn these states into a caliphate.
What is currently happening in Iraq seems to be unimaginable even to Barack Obama. Right now in Tikrit, Mosul and Baghdad, Pentagon-dispatched American military planes are using precision strikes to destroy American Hummers, 155-mm howitzers and APCs - the very tech that Americans left to the Iraqi Armed Forces upon their departure in 2011.
Naturally, the Iraqi Army, which was trained for years by US forces, failed to stand up to Islamic State’s invasion of Iraq from the south of Syria.
The White House has not enjoyed admitting that US Special Forces spent the last few years semi-covertly arming the Syrian opposition, which is trying (futilely) to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime. Arms and vehicles provided to the Syrian opposition may, sooner or later, end up in the hands of the Islamists who created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in April of 2013.
On the September 15th at a conference in Paris, leaders of 26 countries agreed to provide military assistance to the Iraqi Government to curb the Islamists’ onslaught.
Aerial bombardment of Islamists in Iraq continues every day, which severely hampers movement of their armed columns, forcing them into hiding instead of assault. However, no matter how effective precision airstrikes may be, cities are still liberated by infantry and not pilots.
For combatants of the Islamic State, precise aerial bombardment is an unpleasant novelty. Bashar Assad’s airstrikes in Syria have been weak and imprecise. However, it seems that Islamists might soon learn how to deceive American aerial reconnaissance (the same way the Taliban has managed to hide from “Hornets” and “Apaches” for 13 years now), thus reducing the effectiveness of Western aerial operations. After this, ground counteroffensives will become necessary to drive the Islamists from Iraq’s territory and destroy them in Syria for good.
Georgia’s becoming a member of a new military coalition is not out of the question. It happened before in 2003, and again in 2008 when several thousand Georgian soldiers were deployed in Iraq.
Several members of the Georgian government already have blurted out statements that Georgian Armed Forces might become part of the coalition that is preparing to start military action in Iraq. However, since the Georgian Army does not have planes and helicopters to establish dominance in Iraqi skies (by the way, the Iraqi Government quickly purchased up to 10 SU-25 assault planes from Russia to use against the Islamic State), it is expected that Georgian forces might take part in the ground offensive. If the White House decides to take American forces back to Iraq, that is.

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