Angesichts der Entwicklung im Jemen ist eine andere Entwicklung der vergangenen Nacht in der Region in den Hintergrund getreten: Im Kampf gegen die islamistischen ISIS-Milizen im Irak hat die US-geführte Koalition zur Unterstützung von irakischen Einheiten vor Tikrit Luftangriffe geflogen – und damit praktisch auch Milizen unterstützt, die dem Iran nahestehen.
Die offizielle Bestätigung der US-Angriffe war in der Nacht zum Donnerstag zunächst vom Pentagon und dann vom Außenministerium in Washington gekommen:
At the request of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the Coalition today launched airstrikes in and around Tikrit in support of Iraqi Security Forces ground operations. In a statement to the press, Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said:“These strikes were designed to destroy ISIL strongholds with precision — protecting innocent Iraqis by minimizing damage to infrastructure, and enabling Iraqi forces under Iraqi command to continue offensive operations against ISIL in the vicinity of Tikrit. All strikes were coordinated with the Government of Iraq and Iraqi Security Forces through our Joint Operation Center in Baghdad.
Nach Einschätzung von US-Medien ist das die direkte Unterstützung von Iran proxies:
US military warplanes have begun targeting Islamic State positions in the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wednesday, a reversal that has placed American airpower dramatically close to a supporting role for Iranian-backed militias on the ground. (…)
The senior general conducting the US’s latest war in Iraq, Lieutenant General James Terry, sidestepped all questions of Iranian involvement or influence in the fight for Tikrit in a statement on Wednesday. (…)
Though expected for the better part of a week and unlikely to be coordinated with Iran’s proxies, the belated introduction of US combat aircraft above Tikrit has brought the Obama administration to an awkward point it has long dismissed: a tactical, if tacit, alliance with its greatest rival in the Middle East.
Von den Luftangriffen bei Tikrit veröffentlichte das Pentagon ein Video, das den Angriff auf eine Brücke zeigt, die unter ISIS-Kontrolle gestanden haben soll:
Nachtrag: Frankreich beteiligt sich auch:
#BREAKING France launches first bombing strike against IS in Tikrit: official
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) March 26, 2015
Nachtrag 2: Die Mitteilung der Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve:
Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve operations in support of Iraqi Security Forces in Tikrit commenced last night after a request from the Government of Iraq.
In Tikrit, Iraq, Coalition military forces conducted 17 airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, using fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists.
In Tikrit, 17 airstrikes struck an ISIL building, two ISIL bridges, three ISIL checkpoints, two ISIL staging areas, two ISIL berms, an ISIL roadblock and an ISIL controlled command and control facility.
„The ongoing Iraqi and Coalition air strikes are setting the conditions for offensive action to be conducted by Iraqi forces currently surrounding Tikrit,“ said Lt. Gen. James Terry. „Iraqi Security Forces supported by the Coalition will continue to gain territory from Daesh.“
Nachtrag 3: Den USA kann man nicht trauen, sagen einige der Milizen laut New York Times:
Three major Shiite militia groups pulled out of the fight for Tikrit on Thursday, immediately depriving the Iraqi government of thousands of their fighters on the ground even as American warplanes readied for an expected second day of airstrikes against the Islamic State there.
The militia groups, some of which until recently had Iranian advisers with them, pulled out of the Tikrit fight in protest of the American military airstrikes, which began late Wednesday night, insisting that the Americans were not needed to defeat the extremists in Tikrit. (…)
“We don’t trust the American-led coalition in combating ISIS,” said Naeem al-Uboudi, the spokesman for Asaib Ahl al-Haq, one of the three groups which said they would withdraw from the front line around Tikrit.
(Foto oben: Screenshot aus dem Video)