The war everybody is waiting for

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By Fatih Abdulsalam

Azzaman, January 13, 2014

There are obvious signals on the path to the war that is to be launched over the Province of Anbar. The sides are mobilizing forces and resources, locally, regionally and internationally.

The U.S. is sending more than one signal to furnish Iraq with advanced weapons including Apache helicopters known for their lethal attack capabilities on ground troops.

Iran on the other hand is sending overtures of readiness to supply ammunition and experts.

Jordan, according to U.S. sources, has expressed willingness to train Iraqi troops on its soil and military camps.

The U.K. has voiced support and solidarity with Baghdad against terror.

Turkey, as a reserve regional player, is eyeing Iraq closely the way it has been watching and meddling in the arena in Syria.

Syria is not so much concerned to see the fierce fighting taking place on its territories spreading to Iraq and specifically to Anbar.

But one thing is certain. All these players are concerned because there is no one among them who would like to be the spearhead in the fighting as it rages in Anbar.

It is easy to say that one is fighting terrorist groups but it is extremely hard to tell what path the fighting will lead to.

And ‘terror’ itself is interpreted differently.

In Iraq and some other Arab and Muslim countries the term ‘terror’ is given different appellations. Fighting it under your own terms is risky because it may easily ignite a new sectarian war in Iraq that no one can control with consequences far worse than those in Syria.

Those fuelling the fire of war in Iraq must be made aware of the country’s fragile conditions and its ethnic and sectarian divisions that have been widened in the past 10 years or so.

Iraq is like a massive vehicle loaded with explosives with millions of bombs. It can blow up incidentally if not tackled wisely.