The Iranian regime has long been the supplier and sponsor for many of the Middle East’s terrorist groups and militias, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Shiite militias and their death squads in Iraq.
The mullahs in Tehran have maneuvered these militias and groups across the playing field in an effort to manipulate the global powers such as the US and Russia to advance their own ends.
When the Syrian civil war broke out, the Iranian regime quickly dispatched thousands of Hezbollah fighters to prop up the Assad regime and keep it from being toppled. After years of conflict and the prodigious draining of financial reserves, the mullahs manipulated Russia into entering the war and saving the faltering campaign on the pretense Assad would preserve Russia’s access to naval bases in the Mediterranean.
The mullahs also used the leverage they gained from the Obama administration during the nuclear agreement negotiations to stave off direct US intervention in exchange for what the Iran lobby called “the promise of being a moderating influence” in the Syrian conflict.
The Iranian regime took the long view of these conflicts, finding the fight against ISIS a useful distraction from its own aggressive military buildup and gradual control of the Iraqi and Syrian militaries. Iran used the threat of ISIS to portray itself as an able partner in the fight against terror; one of the more absurd ideas to be hatched.
Unfortunately, many nations in the West took the bait and picked ISIS as the more immediate problem confronting them, not realizing or understanding that the mullahs in Tehran were the ones behind the scenes manipulating this scenario. Remember, it was Iran that originally provided safe haven to many top Al-Qaeda leaders pushed out of Afghanistan after the US invasion, only to set them up in Syria where some eventually formed ISIS as an Al-Qaeda offshoot.
Adding to the confusion for the US and its allies, the Iranian regime manipulated Iraq’s former prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, to drive out Sunni partners causing some to join up with ISIS and aided in the downfall of Mosul and the rapid advance across northern Iraq.
The threat of ISIS allowed Iran to relaunch and rearm its Shiite militias that previously attacked the coalition forces and now effectively usurped the Iraqi military in the drive against ISIS in that country.
Now these same Iranian-backed Iraqi militia fighters are pouring into Syria to reinforce the Assad regime’s siege of rebels in Aleppo.
To put that into the complicated perspective the Iranian regime prefers: Iraqi militias, backed by Iran, who fought alongside US-backed Iraqi military units, are now fighting alongside Syrian government forces backed by Iranian regime against Syrian rebel units backed and trained by the US.
It is a situation that only the mullahs in Tehran could relish in turning US support in Iraq against US interests in Syria.
The Obama administration—in this game of chess—has been badly outmaneuvered because it failed to recognize that the heart of all these conflict was not ISIS, but in fact Iran’s manipulation.
The administration and much of the news media have been blinded by siren call of false promises made by groups such as the National Iranian American Council, which tried to portray Iran as an eager participant in the peace process, when in fact the Iranian regime ruthlessly sought to eliminate opponents to its vision of a Shiite sphere of influence with barrel bombs, rocket attacks and carpet bombing.
The fact that Iran has been able to get Russia to literally bomb Aleppo and other cities in Syria back into the Stone Age is a testament to the slick skill the mullahs have at lying.
With the collapse of the cease fire between the US and Russia because of more indiscriminate bombing of Aleppo, one could surmise that the flood of Iraqi militia into Aleppo is a strong indication that Iran was behind the cease fire’s collapse.
According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 1,000 Iraqi Shiite militants have traveled from Iraq since early September, joining the ranks of as many as 4,000 others already on the ground near Aleppo, the militia leaders and Syrian rebels said. They make up about half of the regime’s estimated ground force of 10,000.
The siege they are helping to enforce has tilted the battle there in favor of President Bashar al-Assad. His ruling Alawite sect has drawn on fellow Shiite powers—Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and Afghan Shiite fighters—to shore up government forces depleted by deaths, defections and attrition over five years of war.
“Those…terrorist groups cause all problems in the region and the world and they should be stopped,” said Hashem al-Mosawwi, a commander of the Iraqi Shiite militia Al Nujaba, naming several Sunni opposition groups in Syria he deems synonymous with the Sunni extremists of Islamic State. The Syrian opposition is dominated by the country’s Sunni majority.
The pattern of painting all Syrian opposition groups as being part of ISIS if they are Sunni is part of the strategy of the Iranian regime to deflect attention on its own Shiite extremists by way of comparison to the barbarous acts of ISIS.
In many ways, it’s akin to a mass murderer pointing a finger at a murderer and yelling “killer!”
It is remarkable these Iraqi militias are flooding into Syria just as the Iraqi military backed by additional US advisors is about to launch the offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS, but since these Shiite militias are liable to play a marginal role in that campaign, the mullahs in Tehran are determined not to let all that manpower go to waste and instead is orchestrating this attack in Aleppo against the bombed out ruins of a city where the majority of the 250,000 residents still are starving and stranded.