PRESIDENT Barack Obama has stepped up the number of US troops in Iraq to over 3,000 and has also admitted that there may be a further reinforcement of US ‘trainers’.
These numbers do not include the hundreds of US troops that are guarding the US embassy, the biggest US embassy anywhere in the world.
Some of the 3,000 have already been sent to Anbar province, the scene of some of the heaviest fighting during the US occupation of Iraq.
That they will get the same welcome there now as they did in 2003 is certain.
It is clear that in the last two years of his presidency Obama’s role inside the US will be minimal and that he intends to make his mark for US imperialism in foreign policy.
US troops are in Iraq, and the numbers will grow, because the US and UK ruling classes know that the Sykes-Picot agreement, that was made by the UK and France arbitrarily creating new countries after the First World War, has been ripped up in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the ending of the US-UK occupation.
Oil-rich Iraq is already divided between Kurdish northern Iraq, the Shia south and the Sunni north and west.
The Kurdish north is already under the overall control of the US, and under certain conditions will declare its independence and undermine Turkey by declaring the state of Kurdistan.
The current war is driven by the fact that the Saudi and Qatari feudal oil-rich states have financed ISIS to establish their claim (Caliphate) to Sunni Iraq and its oil riches. Meanwhile, Iran guarantees the Shia south.
The US occupation is being resumed and strengthened because the USA is determined that it is not going to lose out in the new grab for Iraq and miss out on its carving up.
The butcher is returning to the scene of his 2003 crime in order to direct the dismembering of his victim.
However, the Assad regime, to its great credit, stands as a massive barrier to this plan to continue the work of Sykes-Picot with a new carve-up of Mesopotamia.
While the UN is seeking to get the Syrians to lower their guard with talk of the establishment of ‘fire-free zones’ in Syria, Obama has ordered a review of America’s strategy in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East.
The word is that the review is expected to see Obama return to the task of removing President Assad and the Baathist government in Syria as a vital requirement for the carving up of Mesopotamia.
The Obama administration has requested $500 million to train and equip what it calls moderate rebels in Syria, but so far it has not been able to find the forces from the non-ISIS section of the Syrian opposition to carry forward the campaign.
There have also been discussions of a no-fly zone in northern Syria but that could not be delivered without taking out Syrian anti-air missile sites and destroying the Syrian airforce. The Syrian government is also seeking to get the Russians to send S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria quickly, a request that has been ignored thus far.
US officials are now stating that the US cannot tackle the Islamic State in Iraq without also incorporating Syria into their strategy and removing Assad first of all. CNN has broadcast that US officials have told it that, ‘We may not have time for Iraq first … In an ideal world, you would drive ISIL out of Iraq and pivot to Syria. But if by then the moderate opposition has been smashed and ISIL is still there, that doesn’t help.’
Secretary of State John Kerry has apparently held talks with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Russia about transferring power away from Assad.
Iran has allegedly proposed constitutional reforms in Syria to be followed by elections, provided that an agreement is reached on the nuclear issue that satisfies the Iranian government.
The Syrian people must look to their defences and must unite with all of the anti-imperialist forces in the region.
The task remains to drive the imperialist powers and their Islamist agents out of the region so that the revolutionary masses can establish the state of Palestine and, alongside the peoples of Syria and Iraq, establish a Socialist Federation of the Middle East.