By Judith Orr
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2415

US bombs will make Iraq’s crisis worse

This article is over 9 years, 10 months old
Issue 2415

US forces launched a new bombing campaign on northern Iraq today, Friday.

The warmongers are using their favourite excuse, claiming they are intervening to solve a humanitarian crisis.

The Islamic State, the Sunni Islamist group formerly known as ISIS, has continued to gain ground in Iraq after its dramatic seizure of the city of Mosul in June.

Its tactics are brutal and sectarian. It has massacred prisoners, and sent thousands of refugees fleeing its advance.

It has now taken Iraq’s biggest Christian town Qaraqosh. And tens of thousands of people from the Yazidi religious minority are reported to be trapped in hiding on Mount Sinjar.

But bombs from US fighter jets will not help.

Bassem Chit, a socialist in Lebanon, told Socialist Worker, “The US bombing will do nothing but contribute in the further destabilisation of Iraq.

“It will create further grounds for the escalation and development of extremism. It will also enforce the sectarian policies of the Iraqi state, which is a major component of the problem.”


The rise of the Islamic State is a product of the long occupation of Iraq that followed the US-led invasion in 2003. The US sought to divide the opposition by playing different ethnic and religious groups off each other.

The current Shia-dominated Iraqi regime led by Nouri al-Maliki has consistently pursued a sectarian agenda.

Now the US is faced with trying to uphold the government at the same time as denouncing it to avoid taking any blame itself.

Iraqi socialist Sami Ramadani told Socialist Worker, “The US and Western media are again shedding crocodile tears and using a humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq to realise imperialist objectives and pour petrol on fire.

“Emergency humanitarian help to Yezidi, Christian and Shia communities is essential. But this has to be done through genuine humanitarian organisations. US intervention is designed to bolster US presence and use Iraqi Kurdistan as a base of operations.”

The danger of even deeper sectarian conflict is also signalled by the intervention of the Iranian military, who have already carried out drone strikes.

As Bassem points out, “It was the US-led war on Iraq in 2003 that was the main driver of the rise of sectarianism in the region in the first place. Doing it again will only galvanise the existing problem, not solve it.”

The US air strikes on Iraq come on the same day that Israel renewed its air assault on Gaza after a 72 hour ceasefire.

The national demonstration in London and the all Scotland march in Edinburgh in solidarity with the Palestinians tomorrow, Saturday, are also an opportunity to show the scale of opposition to Israel’s western backers and any new imperialist wars.

For details of the demonstrations go to or

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