Escalating protests in Baghdad threaten the Iraqi government as Shiite Muslim factions battle for control for the country, and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney says Iran could soon wield all the power in Iraq unless the U.S. changes course in significant ways.
He is also reacting to ISIS killing a U.S. Navy SEAL, who was assisting the Kurdish Peshmerga against ISIS.
In recent days, protesters have stormed government buildings, protesting Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s decision to replace members of his cabinet. Al-Abadi said the move was to root out corruption and bring in reformers. The protesters believe it was designed to lessen the influence of different ethnic and sectarian factions.
And an old U.S. nemesis is right in the middle of it.
“What you’re seeing right now is that (radical Shiite cleric) Moqtada al-Sadr is responsible for creating a greater wedge when the current Iraq prime minister wanted to make Iraq more independent from Iran,” McInerney told WND and Radio America.
“You have a combination of Iranian Shiite and Iraqi Shiite competing as to who controls the government and who controls Iraq. That’s the bottom line of what’s going on over there right now,” he added.
Al-Sadr is loyal to Iran. He and his forces are responsible for the deaths of many American troops during the sectarian uprising in Iraq in 2005 and 2006. Al-Sadr then fled to Iran when U.S. forces gained a decisive edge.