THE Kurdistan Region intelligence chief, Lahur Jangi, has said that according to his estimates there were 400 to 450 British nationals in the ranks of the jihadist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS).
Jangi, who is also the head of the anti-terror forces, said that ISIS could use its fighters to attack Britain, adding that ISIS posed threats to Iraq and the UK.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said this week that ISIS was the ‘most serious threat to Britain’s security’.
Met Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who is currently head of specialist operations including counter terrorism at the Met, warned Britain would face ‘the consequences’ of the conflict in Syria for years.
These are very recent discoveries. In fact, the jihadists were encouraged and allowed to travel to Syria by the British government and its intelligence services, who have numerous agents in the Muslim community, in the heady days when the imperialists thought that they could ‘do a Libya’ in Syria and use the Islamists to smash the Assad regime.
To their anger and disappointment, they have been unable to accomplish the removal of Assad and have suffered a major defeat in Syria. They have also created a major terrorist movement, a number of whose operatives are already back in the UK.
Once more, the British ruling class, with its imperialist adventures, has put the mass of British people in danger as well as killing large numbers of innocent people abroad.
Having been blocked in Syria, the Saudi-backed ISIS has moved into Iraq to carry out the Saudi scheme to divide Iraq into three entities, with parts of northern and Western Iraq to become an Islamic Sharia state under the thumb of Saudi Arabia, from where ISIS gets both its money and its religious inspiration.
This has left the Iraqi masses with the job of clearing up the mess that the imperialist powers have created. They now have to deal with ISIS and the Maliki regime that US imperialism left behind, but which is now completely isolated and penned into Baghdad.
Historically, the Iraqi resistance to the US-UK occupation was based on the twin insurrections in Sunni Fallujah and by the Mahdi army in Karbala and southern Iraq – these insurrections fought the US and UK forces to a standstill.
Today, the Mahdi army has been resconstituted, under the leadership of Al Sadr, who has publicly stated that the Maliki regime has to go and that there must be a national unity government.
As well, the Ayatolla Sistani has called on all Iraqis, not just Shias, to rally to the defence of Iraq.
Amongst the forces that are marching on Baghdad are many Sunni fighters who are either former soldiers and officers in the old army or are part of the Sunni masses who have taken to arms against Maliki. The Baathists are in fact split with some opting for an opportunist alliance with ISIS which they say is a temporary matter.
In fact, this rotten tactic is putting the Iraqi revolution in danger.
The Baathists must break off all relations with ISIS and reach out to their real allies the Shia masses.
Now is the time to raise the banner for the unity of the Sunni and Shia masses and for the formation of a revolutionary government that will restore the secular nature of the Iraqi state and treat all of the Iraqi people as equals, with all entitled to participate in the construction of the country and to share in the massive oil wealth that Iraq possesses.
This is the only way that Iraq will be able to continue and rid itself of the remnants of the US occupation and re-establish itself as an advanced modern state whose wealth is used to finance the development of advanced and free healthcare and education, and jobs and housing for all of its citizens.
Only a revolutionary government that unites the Shia and Sunni masses, and tolerates all religions and religious trends can do this job.
This is why the Baathists have a duty to break with ISIS and embrace their real friends, the Shia masses, who fought alongside the city of Fallujah against American imperialism and drove the British army out of Basra.
Now is the time to take this principled stand.
Forward to Shia-Sunni unity and a revolutionary government in Iraq.