The Iraqi military just released video of airstrikes it carried out against ISIS targets in two provinces to the north and west of Baghdad.
The video depicts various Iraqi strikes on buildings, vehicles, and fortified positions in Salah al-Din and Anbar provinces. A primarily Sunni region west of Baghdad, Anbar has been the site of a stalled ISIS offensive and Iraqi authorities claimed to have killed a top commander in the province last week.
ISIS has suffered a string of defeats in recent days as Kurdish fighters successfully expelled ISIS fighters from the Syrian border city of Kobane.The militant group was kicked out the city around the same time the Iraqi government announced the successful conclusion of military operations against ISIS in Diyala, the eastern province between Baghdad and the Iranian border.
But the Iraqi government’s successes in the air may come at a certain long-term cost. As analyst Joel Wing explained, Iraqi airstrikes depend on Iranian coordination and expertise and perhaps even on Iranian target selection. Even if Iraq’s government can strike at ISIS from the air, it’s able to do so because of Tehran’s broad influence over the government and military next door — something that may not be good for Iraq in the long run.
“This will all go a long way to make sure that Iran maintains its power within the country after the war is over,” Wing notes.
The full video is below.
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