Nov 6 2014
By Tareq Hareb
Azzaman, november 2014
The Iraqi government must prevent French warplanes from using the country’s national airspace.
France has done nothing for Iraq and its contribution to the war effort against the Islamic State (IS) is merely a show off.
The decision to stop French warplanes from flying over Iraqi territory must be a response to remarks by French President Francois that Iraqi troops were not doing enough in their fight against IS.
This is not true and sends wrong signals to the Iraqi people.
French President Francois Hollande should know that Iraqi troops and the militias supporting them stood fast and prevented IS from approaching Baghdad without help from any foreign power.
Hollande should remember that his warplanes started bombing IS by end of September, four months after the militants had invaded large swathes of northwestern parts of the country and vowed to occupy Baghdad.
It also took U.S. warplanes more than three months following IS’s invasion to launch its first attack on the Jihadist positions in central Iraq.
The credit for stopping IS and forcing its militants to retreat from areas around Baghdad and other provinces like Babel, Kirkuk, Salahudeen and parts of Mosul goes solely to Iraqi troops.
Hollande needs someone to remind him of the chronology to events following the invasion by IS and the role of Iraqi people in confronting its Jihadists long before France and U.S. started their bombing campaigns.