Press TV has conducted an interview with Kaveh Afrasiabi, author and political scientist from Boston, about the Iraqi military’s push against Takfiri militants.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: It seems the Iraqi army is slowing down the ISIL advancements and in some regions it’s pushed back the terrorists. How do you evaluate the future of this crisis? Will the Takfiri militants be defeated?
Afrasiabi: Obviously, this is a foreign-induced crisis that is principally the result of all the foreign meddling in Syria and supporting these terrorist groups who have now made the inroad into Iraq and caused the security crisis that will hopefully be stemmed by the Iraqi government and indeed the international community that has invested interest in defeating these very extremist violent, ultra-violent, terrorists who are wrecking havoc in Iraq and Syria.
This is a very volatile and fluid situation that much depends on the efforts of the Iraqi government that unfortunately did not do too well in Mosul recently and we have seen that the government and security forces are able to rebound and fight back and cause some partial retreat by the ISIS terrorists. Hopefully this trend will continue and very soon we will see the end of this crisis.
Press TV: Some analysts refer to a plot hatched by Israel, the Iraqi Kurdish officials, Turkey, and some Arab states of the Persian Gulf to disintegrate Iraq. What will each of these countries gain, do you think?
Afrasiabi: There are different players with different interests that may coincide in the short run but may also backfire against them in the medium term and long run.
Take the case of the Kurds, for example, that some of them are seeking independence and taking advantage of the security vacuum by controlling Kirkuk and so on and yet at the same time, they are very worried and should be worried about being next-door neighbor to desire ISIS terrorists who recognize no national borders and want to establish a seventh century caliphate with the most backward and barbaric set of self-made rules.
Or Turkey the same thing, has a very complicated relations with ISIS because there are confirmed reports of some ISIS leaders, being given medical treatment in Turkey and so on, some opposition leaders in Turkey are questioning the attitude of the present government with respects to these terrorists inside Syria. But,while they are supporting them in Syria, the Turks are also very worried about what’s happening in Iraq because these terrorists have taken some Turkish prisoners, hostages, the consulate in Mosul was, of course, released and so on.
As for Israel, it has always pursued its own sinister objectives of divide and conquer while it’s pursuing its own grand idea of greater Israel.
With respect to the Persian Gulf states of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, I think they are following a very shortsighted and self-defeating approach by giving money and other support to these terrorists who will sooner or later turn the guns against them.
Press TV: Western media have from the beginning of the ISIL offensive have to some extent become a mouthpiece for the group. Why do you think this is the case?
Afrasiabi: Wars as well as crises are profitable for big corporate media, especially in the West. It’s not a surprise that the big Western media corporations are jumping on this and so for trying to get out of the summer doldrums.
On the other hand, it goes back to the ambivalent and ambiguous intentions of the US in this situation because we have heard from President Obama asking the US Congress for funds to the Syrian rebels and this is at the same time when the US Secretary of State John Kerry is warning the neighboring states of Iraq not to meddle in the internal affairs of Iraq. This is really hypocrisy run amok because how can President Obama justify meddling in the internal affairs of Syria while its own officials are saying, “Don’t meddle in Iraq” to Syria and others.
That hypocrisy aside, the question is what is US’s real intention? Does it want to see a divided Iraq, balkanized Iraq and so forth and there are some who suggest that what the US is doing is revenge from Mr. Putin in Russia in order to achieve huge arm cash transfer to Syria in order to cause a setback for Mr. Bashar al-Assad who has achieved tremendous victory against terrorists inside Syria.