01:15 GMT07 August 2020
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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

    Suspicion that the US is collaborating with Daesh (also known as ISIL/The Islamic State), instead of fighting the military group, is spreading among Iraqis, primarily due to the country's minimalist approach toward the crisis.

    To Americans, accusations that the US government is helping Daesh may seem ludicrous. However, many Iraqi fighters and civilians claim they have seen evidence of collusion between the US and the notorious terrorist group citing, for instance, videos allegedly showing US helicopters airdropping weapons to the militants, The Washington Post reported.

    The idea that the US is supporting Daesh is being persistently promoted via social media and voiced in parliament by Shiite politicians in Iraq, US military officials claim. In one popular video, recently released on a Shiite militia group's Facebook page, a lawmaker with the country's biggest militia group, the Badr Organization, waves seemingly new US military MREs (meals ready to eat), allegedly found at a recently seized Daesh base in Baiji, saying it is proof that the US supports terrorists.

    The US military's Baghdad-based spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the charges are "beyond ridiculous."

    "The Iranians and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias are really pushing this line of propaganda, that the United States is supporting ISIL," he said. "There's clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes."

    Many accuse the US of "creating" the antagonist so that it could fight to restore its damaged image in the region, while others assume America wants to assert its control over Iraq and throughout the Middle East in order to control oil supplies. These ideas are triggered by the ubiquitous belief that US should be doing more in the Middle East. This confusion of outcomes with intentions has resulted in the popularization of conspiracy theories.

    "The reason is that the Americans aren't doing the job people expect them to do," said Mustafa Alani, director of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center. "Mosul was lost and the Americans did nothing. Syria was lost and the Americans did nothing. Paris is attacked and the Americans aren't doing much. So people believe this is a deliberate policy. They can't believe the American leadership fails to understand the developments in the region, and so the only other explanation is that this is part of a conspiracy."

    According to Warren, The US military reported near-daily strikes in support of the offensive to recapture Baiji and continues to respond to requests for strikes in the vicinity on a regular basis. However, the fighters there claim there were no strikes by the Americans at all and that the only air support they received was from the Iraqi air force.

    Naseer Nouri, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense who himself thinks the allegations are groundless, said America is "so slow", it doesn't surprise him that some Iraqis think they are supporting Daesh.

     "We don't believe the Americans support Daesh," He said. "But it is true that most people are saying they do, and they are right to believe that the Americans should be doing much more than they are."

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


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    terrorism, Daesh, Iraq, United States
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