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Proletarian issue 70 (February 2016)
Iraq: the axis of resistance and the liberation of Ramadi
Key Iraqi city has been freed from IS occupation despite the presence of imperialist forces.
The true relationship between imperialism and Islamic State (aka Isil, Isis, Daesh, etc) can be seen from the curious behaviour of the US-led coalition in Iraq. The recent liberation of the city of Ramadi was rightly hailed as a significant blow against IS et al, but by no stretch of the imagination could this victory be credited to the US and its buddies.

For a year before, arms and supply dumps organised by the coalition had somehow – by accident or by design – been falling into the hands of IS, the avowed enemy.

Back in February 2015, coordinator of Iraqi popular forces Jafar al-Jaberi told the Fars news agency: “US planes have dropped weapons for the Isil terrorists in the areas under Isil control and even in those areas that have been recently liberated from the Isil control to encourage the terrorists to return to those places.” These accusations echoed others by the head of the Iraqi parliament’s national security and defence committee, Hakem al-Zameli, who insisted that there were “proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition’s military aid to Isil terrorists through air [dropped cargoes]”. (22 Iraqi troops killed in US airstrikes in Ramadi, Fars News Agency , 27 October 2015)

Worse, the Iraq army and the popular forces assisting it have on repeated occasions been ‘accidentally’ bombed by Nato aircraft. This happened on 29 March last year, when the imperialists conducted eight airstrikes near Tikrit, missing Islamic State and injuring popular forces instead.

It happened again in May, when two members of Iraq’s popular forces were killed in the course of an attack upon their arms production workshop. In June, coalition warplanes targeted bases of Iraqi resistance forces in Fallujah, killing six fighters and injuring another eight.

When the combined Iraqi forces drew near to the occupied city of Ramadi in October, the US-led coalition excelled itself in infamy. Iraqi security sources reported that coalition airstrikes had killed 22 army and volunteer forces, noting: “coalition warplanes pounded the Iraqi forces after they advanced near the city of Ramadi after al-Jama bridge and al-Davajen bridge”. Such are the perils of daring to wage all-out war against Islamic State whilst imperialism is, to say the least, still hedging its bets.

Despite all this ‘help’ from the coalition, the end of 2015 saw Ramadi belatedly liberated from the scourge of Islamic State. Yet even as the army and its popular allies were fighting their way into the centre of the city, the commander of the Imam Khamenei Battalion threw a harsh light on the role of the coalition, putting on record his view: “The delay in operations to liberate Ramadi and Fallujah cities in al-Anbar province is the result of the US interference,” adding: “It seems that the US intends to evacuate the Isil terrorist group’s infamous ringleaders secretly (with helicopters) from Ramadi to unknown places.”

Right on cue, US army colonel Steve Warren jumped on the bandwagon to announce: “the coalition has provided steadfast support to the Iraqi government to enable them to fight and win against Isil”. But, given the fresh and painful memories of the real nature of US ‘support’ in the fight against IS, there can be few in Iraq who will hear with anything other than a shudder of contempt the imperialists’ efforts to claim credit for the liberation of Ramadi. (Iranian news agency doesn’t like US-led coalition taking any credit for Ramadi by Patrick Goodenough, CNS , 28 December 2015)

The truth is that the liberation of Ramadi was the work of the Iraqi army and the popular forces alone.
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