By Walid Shoebat
We have been saying it all along, that whenever ISIS is defeated in Iraq, Iran will move in. While the media says that “Iraqi forces took over Kirkuk this week”, reality is it was Iran and not Iraq that took Kirkuk. The military operation of today and yesterday was carried out under the banner of the Iraqi military, sure, but the ground forces were Iranian-backed Shiite militias which even included the aid from Al-Quds Force which was lead by Qassem Soleimani who bribed certain elements of U.S allied Kurdish factions to cut and run abandoning their positions. This opened the runway for the Iranian backed Shiites to take over Kirkuk.
The Kurds of Kirkuk (biblical Medes) read the writing on the wall that Babylon is now in the hands of the Persians and one hundred thousand Kurds fled Kirkuk. With the return of Kirkuk to Iran’s puppet, the balance of power appears to have shifted between the ethnic communities in the Kurdish-majority city to the delight of its Turkmen residents. We have always maintained that the issue is not Sunni versus Shiite, the Turkmen (ethnic Turks) allied to Turkey are Sunni and the Iraqi forces that took over Kirkuk are Shiites.
And besides Iran’s interests, Turkey has interest in Kirkuk’s Turkmen and Iran now has control over the richest oil spot in the region (40% of Iraq’s oil). Iran, the biblical bear, is eating its share of flesh to soon devour all three ribs that make up Iraq, the biblical lion, which had its wings plucked by the U.S after it ousted Saddam out of power.
Kurdistan (biblical Media) is defeated and has no power in the unfolding event since the bear (Medo-Persia) rises only on one side; Persia without Media. The latter is defeated and its hope to form a state is shattered.
Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani
Its always the case in warfare, the smaller dog, in this case the Kurds who defeated ISIS simply cleared the runway for the bigger dog: Iran to control northern Iraq, and Turkey to control northern Syria. Both will swallow much territory in the coming future and the U.S. can do very little for the Kurds. When it comes to nations there is no such thing as permanent allies.
And it should be to no surprise that Turkey, a Sunni rival to Iran came out to confirm its support for Iran’s backed Shiites to enter into Kirkuk. Kirkuk’s Turkmen (Sunnis) welcomed Iran’s militia. Last August, a spokesman for the Turkish presidency, Ibrahim Kalan, said of the city: “Yes, the Kurds and the Arabs, but the basic identity of Kirkuk is a Turkmen city.”
Turkey has a historic interest in Kirkuk since Ottoman times. Last month, a slogan by Turkish President Erdogan was written in the Ottoman script on the walls of Kirkuk: “Recep Tayyip Erdogan ‘we may come suddenly one night'”. Erdogan promised that one day he will enter northern Iraq, suddenly and by surprise. It seems that Iran beat him to the punch or else they combined efforts to divide the region to form their two crescents: Shiite and Sunni, but this time united.
The U.S. concern and meddling in the Middle East should teach us a lesson: throw out one tyrant (Saddam) from Iraq and you will get ISIS; drive ISIS out of Iraq and you will get Iran; get rid of Iran and Turkey will move in; get rid of Turkey and the Middle East will finally be at rest. At least this is what happened when the Ottoman Empire was finally bruised. Will westerners learn from the lesson’s that Jesus gave: get rid of one demon and a host of other demons will enter. Never fight one evil. All evils must be equally fought.
It is all about regional interests. In fact, the U.S. knew about Iran’s intents. Haider al-Abadi stated “At a minimum, the U.S. knew that the attack was coming.”
Iran’s entering Kirkuk is for a reason. Years ago we stated:
The U.S. is gazing away from the encroaching Iranian forces taking up forward positions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where they are busy fashioning a Shiite Crescent that encircles Sunni Arab states as well as Israel … They key to advancing these agendas is ISIS. While we rejoice when we see ISIS lose battles, what many fail to see, is that ISIS is the chip used to make all the moves to bolster two tyrannies, Iran and Turkey.
We were correct because we try to study scriptures to correct our errors. Today ISIS is pretty much gone, Turkey (the biblical Leopard) is flexing its muscles and Iran (the bear) is already consuming.
Back in 2015 we predicted:
“the US will allow Iran to reach the status of a pre-nuclear power and regional hegemon, while Tehran, in return, will send “boots on the ground” to fight in Iraq, Syria and even Afghanistan, allowing “the bear to eat much flesh” (Daniel 7:5). Iran through Iraq, we have always maintained, will prove the linchpin in an area of Iranian influence among predominantly Shiite governments and organizations that stretched across Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip. This zone has been variously described as an Iranian or Shiite “Arc of Influence” or the Shiite Crescent.”
These days prophecy is being fulfilled faster than ever. Kirkuk is strategic. Not only does it have vast oil resources, Iran’s takeover eliminates any possibility for an independent Kurdish state to emerge from the Kurdish Regional Government area in northern Iraq. We have been saying this for a while now since the “bear” (Medo-Persia) will arise on one side. This is Iran’s rise (Persia) without the Medes (the Kurds).
Iran had an edge over Turkey in Iraq for several reasons. Iran’s skilful use of Shia militias gives it an edge over Turkey’s direct military intervention, which is unwelcomed by the Iraqi government in Baghdad. Also, the Iraqi government officials (Shiites) have been very critical of the ‘illegal’ Turkish military presence in Northern Iraq so Turkey’s incursions will not gain Iraqi government support. For Iran, Iraq is strategically more important than any other Arab country since it shares more than 1400 km of its borders with Iraq. After Saddam’s fall, Iran played a significant role in shaping Iraq’s new political system and is why it is often described as an ‘Iranian puppet government’.
The next to be taken over is Sinjar city, close to the border with Syria and with that Iran can begin its long awaited program we spoke about: to form the Iranian Crescent.
These two crescents, the Iranian ‘Shiite-Crescent’ and the ‘Sunni Crescent’ led by Turkey will eventually form the pincer around Jerusalem.
Indeed, it is Iran (not Iraq or Turkey) that is taking over the richest land (Kirkuk). Besides Iran’s Al-Quds Force, in Iraq the main military militia force is Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous) that is backed by Iran. Besides Asaib Ahl al–Haq, there are the Badr Brigades, formed in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq War, and the younger and more secretive Kataib Hezbollah, which is regarded as a terrorist organization by the State Department. The three militias have been instrumental in battling ISIS, the rival Wahhabist Sunni sect. These militias are the three small Iraqi Shi’ite armies, all backed by Iran, which together have become the most powerful military force in Iraq since the collapse of the national army and are key to Iran’s power and influence inside neighboring Iraq.
While experts foresee a historical Ottoman-Persian rivalry in Mesopotamia we see it differently. What we see is a unity between the two since Turkey is Sufi and has kinship to Shiites sine the religious apparatus of Iran are Azeri Turks. Secondly, the neo-Ottoman Turks are warming its relations and increasing economic and energy ties with Iran and its other Muslim neighbors. Turkey’s economy is growing, and Iran is the only land corridor for Turkey to reach Asia and Iran’s needs are similar. With the Eurasian and E.U dealings Turkey will soon play a significant part to form an economic superpower with Germany and Northern Europe to lead the global economy. Germany and Turkey have been allies since 1871 when Germany was founded as a nation.
Turkey is treading very carefully not to be seen as, effectively, a Sunni power grouped with the Arab states’ agenda in Iraq or the Wahhabists agenda of Saudi Arabia. Prophetically speaking this will be the case since Persia and Turkey will unite against Jerusalem while Arabia (Sheba and Dedan) condemn this coalition and stand on the sidelines.
In conclusion, the Middle East is not that complex to understand. The problem is the oversimplification by westerners who want simplified answers. The problem with most people is that they always think that there is only one demon. When the U.S. overthrew Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist government it resulted in the emergence of a Shia dominated government in Baghdad replacing it with an Iraqi Shiite government friendly to Tehran. Today no one can argue that this decision eliminated Iraqi Sunnis from the equation. These have been an existential threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran and had tipped the local balance of power significantly in Tehran’s favor. As a result of NATO’s supposed exorcizing one demon they simply brought in other demons like ISIS and now Iran and Turkey. So everyone said that we need to eliminate ISIS. We said this does not make a single bit of difference and in fact ridding the world from ISIS will be worse. We stated years ago that:
“once Iran cleans the ISIS mess in Iraq, we will all rejoice. Iran will be happy, the U.S. will be happy, while all we’ve done is chase out ISIS while Iran’s Shiite militias are already running amok in Iraq. All that, while Israel awaits the outcome, that when Sunni and Shiite want to put aside their differences in efforts to stabilize the region will begin by uniting both the Shiite and Sunni crescents, the two horns, the pincer if you will, by focusing and switching their energy towards Jerusalem … The West will be happy to get rid of ISIS out of Iraq, while Iran will be happy to camp in Iraq permanently.”
It takes years later for the foolish masses to understand that what excites them and tickles their ears today will depress them tomorrow when they only find out their folly after its too late. These always try to cast out a single demon. Fools will always scorn the watchman who warns of the multitude of demons. Christianity is not about fighting ISIS or Islam exclusively; it is about combating all evil.