As the U.S. starts deploying special operations forces in Iraq to assist in the fight against the Islamic State, its efforts are likely to create issues that will work to the advantage of the transnational jihadist group. It will reinforce the perception that the west is in cahoots with the Shia, including the Shia-dominated Iraqi government, and the Kurds against Sunni Muslims in the region. At the same time, American military involvement is also bound to create problems within the anti-IS camp.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said that Washington is to deploy special operations forces (SOF) in Iraq to build pressure on the Islamic State, in cooperation with the Iraqi government. This special operations task force would carry out raids, free hostages and capture IS leaders, while also conducting “unilateral operations” in Syria. No details have been provided on the number of SOF personnel that are to be deployed or where they will be based in the country. Shortly after thi