The powerful Shiite (Shia) cleric of Iraq, Muqtada al-Sadr, asked his followers to attack the Americans who are fighting ISIS (Daesh) in Iraq. Al-Sadr represents the Iraqi Shia who want Iran out of Iraq, and who want normalization with the Iraqi Sunnis, which means normalization with the ex-people of Saddam Hussein, which means normalization with ISIS. Al-Sadr’s followers hate the Americans in the same way ISIS does.
These guys obviously want to cut a deal with the Sunnis of Iraq, in order to have access to Turkey and the Red Sea through Jordan, through the Sunni parts of Syria and Iraq.
Map Syria and Iraq – Alawite-Sunni-Shia-Kurdish Parts
It is true that what al-Sadr says makes sense, because the Iraqi Shiites already have access to the Persian Gulf, and they are competing with Iran and Saudi Arabia in the oil markets. If the Iraqi Shia approach the Iraqi Sunnis they can also reach the Red Sea through Jordan and Turkey through Syria.
Moreover if the Iraqi Shiites (Shia) are not in a war with the Iraqi Sunnis ie. the ex-people of Saddam Hussein, they will no longer need Iran and the United States to protect them, and in any case they will also have the protection of Turkey.
The question is whether the Iraqi Sunni minority of Saddam Hussein, which was used to rule over the Shia majority and over the Kurds, can accept to cooperate with a now dominant Shia majority.
At the other side, if the Iranians see that they are not welcome by the Iraqi Shias, they might try to approach ISIS. The ex-people of Saddam Hussein were sworn enemies of Iran, but that was when they had the oil and natural gas of Iraq.
Now the people of Saddam Hussein don’t have much oil and gas, because the oil and gas of Iraq is located in the Shia and Kurdish regions. Therefore who knows, maybe ISIS and Iran could leave their old hatred behind them in the future.
What is for sure is that the Iraqi Shia need ISIS to reach Turkey and the Red Sea, but also the Iranians need ISIS to reach Syria.
However Iran used to spur the Shia uprisings against Saddam Hussein, and therefore Iran has a lot of influence over the Shia population of Iraq. Therefore there should first be a civil war between the Shias of Iraq who would be supported by Turkey and the Arabs, and the Shias of Iraq who would be supported by Iran and United States, before the Shias of Iraq could change their geopolitical orientation.
For more details see “The Geopolitics of the Civil War of Shia Islam”
For the article see:
“Iraqi Shiite cleric tells followers to target US troops fighting Daesh”, July 2016
Powerful Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr instructed his followers on Sunday to target US troops deploying to Iraq as part of the military campaign against Daesh.
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday the Pentagon would dispatch 560 additional troops to help Iraqi forces retake the northern city of Mosul in an offensive planned for later this year.
Sadr, who rose to prominence when his Mahdi Army battled US troops after the 2003 invasion, posted the comments on his official website after a follower asked for his response to the announcement.
“They are a target for us,” Sadr said, without offering details.