Iraqis criticize U.S. ‘duplicity’ in fighting Islamic State

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By Mohammad Salehi

Azzaman, August 23, 2014

Iraqis suspect that the U.S. and its western allies will be serious, honest and fair in fighting militants from the Islamic State (IS) who now control large swathes of the country.

Many in Iraq, while welcoming U.S. airstrikes against IS, formerly known as ISIS, say the selection of targets and areas shows “double standard” policy.

Several hundred Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad on Saturday to voice their displeasure and anger at the way the fight against IS was being carried out.

They said while the U.S. rushed to protect the city of Arbil, the regional capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, against an imminent invasion by IS, Washington has done nothing to break the siege the Jihadists have placed on several other towns in the country.

If these towns fall, there will massacres even on a bigger scale than what happened to the Yazidis, they said.

The towns in question are Amerli, Haditha and a few districts in the restive Province of Diyala.

These towns have been encircled by the Jihadists since they stormed northern and western areas of Iraq in early June and their inhabitants are running out of food, drinking water and other basic amenities.

“It is the duty of everyone in Iraq not to leave these areas to their fate and let IS terrorists control them,” said Ahmad Abdulhussein, one of the organizers of the protest in Baghdad. “If they fall, their people will the victims of the same calamity to which the inhabitants of Tal Affar and Sinjar were subjected.”

The atrocities IS militants committed against Tal Affar and Sinjar border on genocide.

The plight of the Yazidis in Sinjar drew international condemnation and is reported to be one of the reasons for the U.S. to start bombing IS.

But Abdulhussein said the fate of the towns IS besieges would be no better than Sinjar once their defenses are breached.

“There is duplicity in dealing with Amerli contrary to what happened in Sinjar … Amerli now solely relies on the meager air drops by the government,” he said.

Shamkhi Jaber said there was more than one question mark about U.S. airstrikes.

“The international community views conditions in Iraq with duplicity and double standard eyes while the victims are Iraqis,” he said. “Emergency meetings are held to save Sinjar and U.S. and peshmerga (Kurdish militia) coordinate their efforts in an unprecedented manner while they do nothing to help Haditha.”