‘America can’t be part of any solution to stop the ISIS violence’
RT:What's next for Iraq if ISIS continues to capture cities?
Chris Bambery: I think what ISIS is going to discover is that a number of countries in the region which up to now have been on different sides of the civil war in Syria are going to step in. Iran can’t simply watch the Shia holy places fall and Baghdad itself fall to ISIS. But also the Turks must be worried and the Kurds are going to worry about an intrusion into their region as well. So at some stage that it's going to come up against various regional powers and what is strange about this is that the different positions that people took on the Syrian civil war are being subsumed by this crisis, so we will see Turkey siding with Iran. The Americans are already talking about drone strikes, further warships in the Persian Gulf, further drones as well. So we are going to see lines coming through here. In the meantime hundreds of people have been killed in what the United Nations is calling war crimes. I think ISIS is going to discover that in some ways it's bitten off for more than it could chew.
RT:We have a new propaganda video reportedly produced by Sunni jihadists from ISIS. This was posted right before the fighters launched an offensive in the country's north. Are you surprised that ISIS uses such ways to attract more people?
CB: I’m not surprised because it has been somehow coming. It has been obvious that the war in Syria, in which those people have been involved and brutalized, is the same war we should be seeing in Iraq for some time, the sectarian killings. So it has been obvious that the war is spreading from Syria into Iraq. I was watching another video where one of the ISIS fighters kills a captured soldier and describes him as "the Shia dog". It’s interesting that his accent is from North Africa, it’s obviously not from Syria or from Iraq. We know there had been Chechens and others there involved in this war. So firstly, they are brutalized, secondly, they use of course social media in terms of projecting themselves. That is going to backfire across the region. The neighboring governments all around will be very nervous about what is happening here and would be very keen whatever past differences have been with the Maliki government in Baghdad, to buttress the Maliki government against the ISIS because it is going to have major implication potentially for Turkey, for Iran and every other country in the region, apart from Saudi Arabia in the short term who has been backing these people so far.
RT:The Pentagon says US officials are open to holding direct talks with Iran on Iraq's growing violence. Why is Washington now seeking help from its arch-rival and what kind of cooperation it wants?
CB: I think they provide weapons and training, I think they will protect the holy shrines for the Shia. They will be very careful becoming involved. The Iranians have always stayed out of foreign conflicts to any great degree and I think they will be very careful. The Americans are in a very difficult position. There is already a major criticism of American foreign policy blundering around here. Hyping up support for Syria, backing away from intervention, thank goodness, but also a huge debate is now taking place in Britain, in America about was it the invasion in 2003 which created divisions. And of course the answer has to be that the Americans are responsible for dividing and ruining Iraq, carving up Iraq into three separate entities effectively – the Sunni, the Shia and the Kurdish one, co-opting the Sunni militia which have been part of the resistance at the beginning of the occupation, co-opting them and helping them turning against the Shia. The Americans have been really involved in this very badly and creating this scene. I don’t think we could see the Americans being part of any solution. I think the solution has to be within region itself and that is why the people in the way should oppose any further involvement of the Americans or their allies here because they have created this really terrible scenario inside Iraq.
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