Qassim Abdul-Zahra writes in the Times of Israel:
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security forces regained control of a town next to the Islamic State-held city of Tikrit Tuesday, continuing their offensive against the jihadi stronghold, military officials saidI take this to be a positive development and an indication that, perhaps, the Obama administration is involved with a little quiet push-back against Islamic State Jihadis.
The Iraqi forces entered Alam early in the morning and hours later took full control of the town adjacent to Tikrit, two officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.
The battle for Saddam Hussein’s hometown is a key test for the Iraqi forces as they struggle to win back some of the Islamic State group’s biggest strongholds in Iraq.
If that is the case it will represent a rare day in which the President of the United States, Barack Obama, receives warm praise in these pages.
The offensive to wrest Tikrit from IS has received significant assistance from Iranian military advisers who are guiding Iraq’s Shiite militias on the battlefield.What we seem to be looking at is a coordinated effort between US Intelligence, Iranian advisers, and Iraqi national troops, with an implication of a division between Sunni and Shia soldiers.
U.S. military officials have said a coordinated military mission to retake Mosul will likely begin in April or May and involve up to 25,000 Iraqi troops.This is fascinating, actually, and it highlights President Obama's efforts at détente with Iran.
The Obama administration seems to have welcomed Iran as a foreign policy partner and, if this is in fact the case, it will undoubtedly have serious ongoing repercussions for US - Israel relations.
We seem to have two conflicting priorities. On the one hand, we must oppose an Iranian nuclear bomb. Netanyahu was right to bring the question to the floor of Congress because the question is far too vital to be left in the hands of single man.
On the other hand, the Obama administration seems to be working with the Iranians to push against the Islamic State.
My position on such things has been consistent from the beginning.
The United States should never partner with any Islamist state or regime or organization.
Political Islam, as represented by both Iran and the Islamic State, are self-proclaimed enemies to the West, to the United States, and to the Jewish people. For these reasons they should forfeit the benefits of our association.