On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry described the Iranian presence in Iraq as “helpful” in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh), although he admitted there were some “challenges” to the relationship.
“Look, we have challenges with Iran as everybody knows and we are working on those challenges,” Kerry said at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Tuesday, as reported by CNN. “But I can tell you that Iran in Iraq has been in certain ways helpful, and they clearly are focused on ISIL-Daesh, and so we have a common interest, actually.”
One of those “challenges” would, of course, be the hundreds of American soldiers murdered by Iran and its proxies during the Iraqi occupation, but those people and their families long ago slid off the Obama administration’s radar screen, if they were ever so much as a blip to begin with.
Another challenge is the uncomfortable assessment by U.S. special envoy Brent McGurk, disclosed in the very same CNN article, that 15 to 20 percent of the Iran-backed Shiite militias have gone “rogue,” becoming a “fundamental problem,” as McGurk put it.
Sunni civilians living near the battleground of Fallujah certainly feel challenged by all the torturing Iran’s Shiite militia proxies have reportedly been doing, with at least four of them reportedly tortured to death.
The Australian reports:
Human Rights Watch says that it had credible reports of murders of men and boys by Shia militias and Iraqi government troops and police. In one incident, alleged to have taken place on June 2, 17 men were shot; in another, northeast of Fallujah, several men allegedly were dragged behind vehicles before being stabbed to death.
Just a few days ago, the U.S. Navy relieved another officer of duty; Capt. Kyle S. Moses was punished for his performance during the January incident when Iran’s Revolutionary Guard naval corps challenged ten American sailors to a game of hostage role-playing, including double bonus point challenges when captives were forced to read on-camera statements in defiance of international law, and a captive female sailor was forced to wear Islamic head covering.