Monday, November 21, 2016

Tal Afar.

This is coolbert:

The game is afoot! The fray has begun.

Consequences potentially extreme! Sunni versus Shia and the Turkish connection.

As from an article by Patrick Cockburn courtesy of Ron Unz.

1. "Battle to Drive Isis Out of Tal Afar Will be Bitter and Bloody" by Patrick Cockburn •  as of November 15.

"Tal Afar is a small city notorious for sectarian hatred and slaughter, which may soon be engulfed by a final battle between Isis and its bitterest enemies. Shia paramilitaries seeking revenge for past massacres of their co-religionists may soon assault the place which has provided many of the most feared Isis commanders, judges and religious officials."

. . . .

"What happens next in Tal Afar has international implications because Turkey has threatened military intervention in defense of the Sunni Turkmen if the Shia paramilitaries enter the city. A Turkish mechanized brigade has been moved to the Turkish Iraqi border to give substance to the threat. The KDP, the dominant Kurdish party in this part of northern Iraq, is likewise worried by the presence of powerful Shia militia forces in the region."

". . . the struggle for Tal Afar could be the flash point leading to a wider conflict"

Think not so much the battle for Tal Afar but will occur afterwards that is worrisome!

Additionally and only from yesterday further on Tal Afar thanks to the Sheldon Adelson Internet web site Israel Hayom:

2. "Shiite Iraqi militia threatens Islamic State's main supply route"

"'The airport of Tal Afar has been liberated,' Iranian-backed militias' official tells Iraqi state TV • Airport's seizure could alarm Turkey, wary of Shiite involvement in the civil war in Syria • Army continues advancing on Mosul from north and east."

"Iraqi Shiite militias said on Wednesday they had driven Islamic State fighters from an air base west of Mosul, a victory which would threaten the Sunni group's supply route from Syria to its last major stronghold in Iraq."

A Turkish response and border crossing into Iraq not desirable. Obviously and intuitively so. The Sunni and Shia in conflict for fourteen-hundred years and probably always will be.


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