Another 200 US troops will join the nearly 170 soldiers President Barack Obama ordered to Baghdad to defend the American embassy. A further 100 are kept in reserve outside Iraq.
These troops are in addition to the 300 Special Forces personnel sent to assemble target lists for the coming battle. The total number authorized by Obama in Iraq has now soared to nearly 800.
Iraq’s first parliamentary session since its April elections – and since Islamic militants took control of its second-largest city and declared a new caliphate – descended into chaos after Kurdish and Sunni MPs stormed out when Shiite politicians refused to nominate a prime minister to replace Nouri al-Maliki.
Calls for a national unity government from senior Shiite clerics, the US, Iran and the United Nations; seen as essential to heal the country’s deep sectarian rifts and keep it together, came to nothing; as it appeared the Shiite parties were unwilling to name an alternative to the democratically elected Maliki; and violate Iraq’s US dictated constitution.
This leaves the division of Iraq into three parts a very serious option.
A new Sunni state is now open to the Sunni tribes; if they break with the ISIS and join with the US and Allies to destroy the Islamic Extremists. The Kurds are also being offered the same deal of a new independent state, if they turn against the ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed in over the weekend. Citing the chaos in Iraq, he called for establishing an independent Kurdistan as part of a broader alliance between Israel and moderate forces across the region.
Vice President Joe Biden, when he was a U.S. senator in 2006, proposed decentralizing Iraq’s government by giving each group – Kurd, Sunni and Shiite – three largely autonomous regions with a viable central government in Baghdad.
Indeed one of the main reasons for the American invasion of Iraq was to divide the country into semi independent autonomous regions to lessen any possible future potential against Israel, as they worked to create a new Middle East. Now the three parts of Iraq seem to be close to fully separating.
The Kurds and Sunni tribes must choose between being controlled by the vicious ISIS; or having independent states as offered by the Allies in exchange for turning on the ISIS and aiding the US action to destroy the ISIS, after the failure to get Maliki to resign in Bagdad.