As of today the self appointed civilian “power brokers” of the Assyrian community in Iraq have committed a new generation of Assyrian volunteers to three potentially disastrous military courses of action in the ongoing struggle against ISIS. The first, entails Assyrian troops fighting and dying under Kurdish command and control and flag as part of Kurdish Peshmerga forces battling to recapture the ISIS-held territories within Kirkuk and, possibly, the Nineveh Plains as well; the second is to have Assyrian troops fighting and dying (in an offensive reportedly scheduled for April of 2015) under the Iraqi command and control and flag as part of an Iraqi force to retake Mosul; the third is to have Assyrian troops fighting and dying under the Shia command and control as part of the Iranian aligned and led Shia Badr Corp force currently in Kirkuk province fighting to secure the same oil fields which the Kurdish forces are fighting to take.
All three courses of action have in common the shedding of blood by Christian Assyrians to advance Kurdish, Sunni, and Shia interests in Iraq and even Syria at the expense of their own. The seizure of Kirkuk will help further Kurdish aspirations for a larger independent Kurdistan; the recapture of Nineveh Palins villages will allow them to regain administrative, security, and overall political control of the Nineveh Plains and its resources through their old Assyrian “leaders” supported and tied networks. The retaking of Mosul, a city of 2 million with a majority battle hardened Sunni population, will benefit Iraq in its struggle for stability and permanence and possibly give the Sunni leadership a strategic city in the region. The seizure of the oil fields in Kirkuk will give the Shia Badr Corp lead and influenced force access to more oil and a province from which they can influence Kurdish aspirations in the region. In either or all of the instances the goal of the Assyrian people to establish a sovereign state in lands they have inhabited continuously for the most part of seven thousand years will certainly be dealt a severe blow.
It is no mystery why this will likely prove to be the case. To divide a military force is to weaken it; and, by extension, to weaken the cause it’s fighting for. This was precisely the outcome achieved in Syria Khabur River Valley, given the ill-advised decision taken last year by the self appointed civilian “power brokers” of the Assyrian community (one hesitates to call them “leaders,” even though they have styled themselves as such) to split our forces on the Nineveh Plains, sending units to train and possibly fight with the Kurds and the Iraqis. Prior to this move an Assyrian force then battling ISIS on the Nineveh Plains and within the Khabur River Valley had established effective tactical and operational relationships with other CF (Coalition Forces) in the region and were building momentum in their efforts to halt and turn back the enemy advance. For the uneducated military leaders a split of the Assyrian forces in Iraq does affect the Assyrian community in Syria who is now bleeding to death thanks to your inability to think at a strategic level.
Again the current situation in Khabur River Valley and possibly future Nineveh Plains is a result of a security vacuum created by these self appointed leaders who actively split their forces in 2014 within Iraq. Prior to this move Assyrian units then battling ISIS on the Nineveh Plains had established excellent tactical and operational relationships with other CF (Coalition Forces) in the region working effectively and successfully, as part of a joint allied effort–but also as a unified and autonomous force under their own flag and commanders–to counter ISIS aggression. Their actions had secured a possible stable footprint for their brethren in Syria. Then the Assyrian “leaders” intervened, scattering Assyrian units to other locales, effectively killing the offensive momentum those units had been steadily building, and thereby creating a security vacuum in the Plains and within Syria Khabur River Valley villages that ISIS hastened to fill. Again, this move stifled the momentum gained by the Assyrians who had established a tactical and operational relationship with other forces in the region.
On 25 JAN 15 the Assyrian Universal Alliance had invited me to speak on this issue specifically. During the question and answer session with the Assyrian community in San Jose California I stated that the door is closing and closing very fast given the decision made to split your forces. I stated that the Assyrian Community has effectively shot itself in the face. I have even been quoted as saying that you have a month to correct this mistake. In my comments I stated that I don’t care if you call them the pink puppy brigade you must support the force that has the breach! A month later, on 23 FEB 15, that door closed in Syria. Over the past 72 hours ISIS affectively shut that door for the conceivable future both in Syria and Iraq. Given ISIS now has solidified their hold on the much needed communication and supply lines to support Mosul in its coming fight to bleed Iraq. Prior to the fall of the Khabur River Valley communication and supply lines to ISIS it would have been hard for an American Brigade to fight and secure Mosul. Now it will be a struggle even if two American Brigades are placed on the ground in Mosul let alone an Iraqi force.
The battles for Kirkuk and Mosul will now serve no useful purpose in the struggle for Assyrian statehood nor will they result, even in the event of victory in both, in the establishment of a stable Assyrian security zone in the region. Worse–and, it should be reiterated, even in the event of victory–Assyrian forces will assuredly suffer heavy casualties: losses of 30 percent are reliably projected for Kirkuk; 43 percent for Mosul. And these projections may be low, given the “wastage” that may be expected for Assyrian units fighting under non-Assyrian commanders (Kurdish, Shi’as, Sunni) who care little (or not at all) about the deaths of Assyrian troops. Such losses–a total of 73 percent of the forces engaged in the two battles–are simply unsustainable, and any force that incurs them will immediately be rendered combat ineffective for the foreseeable future and possibly collapse altogether.
Given these projections, and bear in mind the likely failure of the two operations to achieve meaningful results, it is safe to say that no Assyrian military commander at any level worth retaining in service to the nation would have approved the commitment of his young men and women to these two operations; nor would any competent military staff charged with securing for the Assyrians a foothold in their ancestral lands have contemplated much less planned and executed operations so hideously costly in Assyrian lives and so transparently detrimental to the achievement of Assyrian strategic aims.
During the Iran-Iraq war 50,000-plus Assyrian fighting men died on both sides, in support of both Saddam Hussein and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s aspirations in the region. I always wondered what those 50,000 casualties would have done if they had been committed to augmenting the current fighting force which has been holding its territory under the Assyrian flag since August of last year. There are currently more Western volunteers serving with this force than there were offered by the old Assyrian “leadership” to augment and support the footprint, which this force has secured in Nineveh Plains since August. I wonder what advice the dead Assyrian fighters would have given to the Assyrian “leaders” who volunteered the next generation of Assyrian fighting men and women to fight and die for the goals of the regional giants in Iraq when they were clearly given a chance and the opportunity to commit to supporting their own force in the region in 2003, 2007, 2014, and now in 2015. From an Assyrian military command perspective the Assyrian “Leaders” own this fight and if any of our brave volunteers committed to fighting in their names in the three possible scenarios receive a bloody nose in Mosul and or Kirkuk do not let them shirk their responsibility and or wash the blood of those young men and women off their hands as they will try to wash the blood of their fellow Assyrians now dying in Syria
NEC-SE 25 FEB 15