On 25 JAN 15, and as described in a previous post, the Assyrian Universal Alliance in San Jose, California had me speak to members of the Assyrian community on developments affecting Assyrians in the Middle East. During the question-and-answer session following my address I pointed out that a door was fast closing on Assyrians in that region, all because of the decision made by our leaders to split Assyrian military forces. I observed that, in allowing our leaders to take this action, the Assyrian community has effectively shot itself in the face, and that we had scarcely a month to correct the mistake.
One month later, on 23 FEB 15, the door closed on Assyrians in Syria when ISIL forces operating in the Khabur River Valley attacked and overran Assyrian villages in that region.
The next day I posted a warning to the Assyrian “leaders” and people, written from a military perspective, that they were facing imminent disaster in both Syria and Iraq. Let this post serve as a second warning, with the same message.
Two days ago NEC-SE reported that Iranian troops were captured in Syria and that they will probably be executed. We also said that if this happens, retaliation by the Iranians is certain. And if the Iranians conclude that the Saudis are backing the forces that carry out the executions, then you can bet that a fight will develop between Saudi and Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen.
Three hours after our post, Saudi Arabia warplanes began bombing targets in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.
We also told our readers that they would need to ask themselves how Saudi military action in Yemen might affect internal affairs in the Gulf nations and in Jordan, which is conducting military operations against ISIL forces in Syria. Today, we are no longer asking this question. Rather, we are now advising Assyrian leaders that they have just a few weeks at most to ensure that Assyrians in Syria are moved to a safe location, before the fighting spills over into that country–as it surely will.
With clearing operations in Mosul reportedly planned for April and a general broadening and intensification of the Shia-Sunni war taking place, it is likely that foreign powers that have supported the various actors and governments in the region will be pulled into the conflict at both the tactical and operational levels. Even with the U.S. not wanting to add boots on the ground they have just picked up airstrikes in support of the Same Bader Corp operations in Tikrit which killed a large number of American servicemen in OIF.
If and when that happens, Assyrians in the Hasakah and Al-Shaddady area will be in the epicenter of the conflict. Unfortunately for them, a few Assyrian leaders who have absolutely no understanding of the region and how the battlefield is shaping and changing within the region are still “representing” the community and are still being given a chance to speak and make decisions on its behalf.
It is now time for these men to step aside and allow competent leaders to take command of Assyrian forces and advice our nation out of the position these old corrupt networks have lead us into. And to those new leaders both secular and religious I would say: Unite your forces in Nineveh Plains and create an army not a police force! Equip the Assyrian troops with the chemical suits they will need and let Assyrian Command and Control leaders begin leading this force. Stop using them as cannon fodder for other regional players. Demand self-governance and understand that if you fail to take these actions Assyrian Christians in Syria will possibly undergo yet another cleansing sooner than expected, and this time, quite possibly, the enemy may use chemical weapons against key terrain and cities in the region.
Unfortunately, for the Assyrian people who lost Mar Dinkha IV today, Catholicos Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, ISIS will not wait for our community to morn or burry the dead. They will celebrate and attack sooner than later just as the Kurds and the Ottoman’s did after Simko, the Kurdish assassin, killed Mar Binyamin Shimun XXI, along with 150 of our best fighters one hindered years ago.
Given that the Assyrian “leaders” just graduated a Brigade of Assyrians to fight under the Kurdish Flags, split the forces to create a police force which received four weeks of training instead of the promised twelve, and who still refuse to unit under one flag and one leadership this may be a heavier burden to overcome given the timing of Mar Dinkha’s death.