It looks as though the Iraq War is back on after President Obama had officially declared its end in December 2011.
The events of the last few months have shed a harsh light on the situation in the OPEC producer…
It may have taken three years, but new militants – The Islamic State – gained enough influence and resources to mount a successful attack on the central and northwestern corridors of Iraq.
As we mentioned after the initial attack, the IS rebellion still have yet to attack the southern regions where three quarters of Iraq’s oil is produced. But if they do we could likely see boots on the ground again, and for who knows how long.
According to some sources, the Islamic State fighters are much better financed and equipped now that they have overtaken a large portion of Iraq’s military.
This week the capture of northern oilfields, the Kurdish towns Sinjar and Wana, and the Mosul Dam caused several religious minorities to flee to nearby mountains as IS fighters killed those who wouldn’t convert.
In response to the severe humanitarian crisis and the threat to U.S. assets in the area, President Obama authorized two air-strikes on IS artillery advancing toward the Kurdish capital of Irbil, while also sending food and water via cargo plane to refugees in the mountains.
An F-18 combat aircraft dropped two 500 pound bombs on the IS artillery that had been shelling Kurdish forces and within close range of U.S. personnel also in the area.
“We’re also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL,” the President said in a statement.
Clearly the U.S. is being pushed even closer to another costly Iraq War. And unless the militants were completely discouraged by single air-strike, we will likely see the fighting continue and air-strikes escalate.
Even though the Islamic State fighters were committing terrible violent acts against the men, women, and children of the Yezidi community, forcing about 50,000 of them to go into hiding in the mountains, much of the American public is still wary of another war in Iraq.
As for you and I, this new wave of fighting has sent oil prices higher once again, although not near the 10 month highs we saw in June when the invasion first broke out.
But if the fighting continues, and the Islamic State takes more Northern territory we will probably see crude oil prices jump to their June highs, if not higher.