Why is taking control of Fallujah so important? Is Fallujah a strategic city in the war against ISIS?
Strategic is an understatement! Fallujah is indeed vital for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, it is the last major stronghold of Daesh in Al-Anbar, so a victory will not only mean the liberation of the city but the liberation of the entire province. Secondly, it is a particularly important transit point for Takfiris who are trekking back and forth between Fallujah and the Baghdad area to ISIS's Syrian strongholds, i.e. the capital of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor, so a victory will mean a crippling blow to the enemy forces' mobility not only in Iraq but Syria as well. Thirdly, and perhaps most essential of all, is that Fallujah, like Yabroud once was in Syria prior to Hizbullah smashing the Takfiris to bits, is the car/suicide bomb factory of Daesh in Iraq. All of those blasts that terrorized our people throughout the period of Imam Moussa al-Kazim's (A.S.) birthday, followed by other celebrations/commemorations for Imam Hussein (A.S.), Abou Fadhl al-Abbas (A.S.) and Imam Zayn al-Abideen (A.S.), originated in Fallujah. So this victory will cut off the car/suicide bombs permanently and further enforce security in Baghdad itself. And lastly, Fallujah's importance is also psychological, cultural, spiritual, political and historical, as it was once known as the City of Mosques as well as a fierce bastion of resistance to the US-UK-'Israeli' invasion. ISIS's occupation of the city has instilled a feeling of despair not only in the people of Fallujah but Iraqis generally speaking; the liberation of it will restore Fallujah's aura as a place of triumph and Mouqawamah and strike Empire Judaica right in its blackened heart.
If the Iraqi forces succeed against ISIS in Fallujah and retake the city, what will be the consequences of this victory in the region?
As stated above, the shockwaves from the triumph will be felt regionwide, most especially in Syria, where Resistance Axis forces led by the Syrian Arab Army and Hizbullah will get a major boost and may even feel emboldened enough to launch an assault on Deir Ezzor, as now, there won't be a single drop of terrorist support coming from Al-Anbar. On the Iraqi front, it will pave the way for the 'death-blow' operation all Iraqis and free peoples of our region are awaiting: Mosul. With Al-Anbar cleansed of MossadDaesh and Baghdad secure and stable, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization and the Iraqi army can focus all of their energies and strength on this key Ninewa region and finish off this Takfiri filth for good.
Why are the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia worried about the consequences of the battle against ISIS in Fallujah?
Simply put because they know it will be the beginning of the end of their Takfiri project in Iraq. The Zionist-Wahhabi-Imperialist Axis of Evil has kept Iraq inundated with Takfiri terrorism since day one of the war of aggression that began on March 20th, 2003, chiefly through the Jewish neocons' P2OG program. And now for the first time in 12 years, Iraqis see the light of a future without this scourge inflicting murder and mayhem everywhere they turn. The defeat of ISIS in Fallujah represents hope for a better tomorrow as cliched as it sounds; hope for an Iraq free of terrorism, Wahhabism and Imperialism. Washington, Riyadh and 'Tel Aviv' cannot have such hope floating in our region because it will inspire others to rip off their chains and fight for their independence too.
As it is known, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force is fighting ISIS in Fallujah, how do you describe Iran’s role in this battle?
The Islamic Republic of Iran's role in Fallujah and elsewhere in Iraq is one of friendship and brotherhood. There are advisors on the ground as well as fighters working under these advisors, and their objectives are to protect the holy shrines, i.e. Imam Hassan al-Askari's (A.S.) shrine in Samarra, Imam Moussa al-Kazim's (A.S.) shrine in Kazimiyeh, and of course the sanctities of Karbala, Kufa and Najaf, as well as to assist Iraqi forces in any capacity they need. Al-Saud is particularly incensed about this but truthfully, the tyrants can go pound sand. While the IRGC Quds Force has led our brave young men to victory over MossadDaesh in Jaref al-Nasr, Diyala and Salah ad-Din to name just a few arenas, it is the Saudi despots who have been financing this Takfiri menace since even before there was an ISIS and agitating against Shi'a Iraqis specifically as a means of spreading fitnah among our people. Besides, Iran is in Iraq on invitation from Baghdad so the views of the Wahhabi "king" are irrelevant. As Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif said today, "We will leave Iraq whenever Iraq asks us to. And we will help Iraq to confront terrorism, as long as Iraq wants us to."
How does the Western media illustrate Major General Qassem Soleimani’s impact in the fight against ISIS?
Well, the Western-Zionist media actually isn't giving Major General Qassem Suleimani any coverage whatsoever, surprisingly enough. All the typical mainstream Jewish-dominated press outlets are essentially pretending that the Quds Force Commander doesn't exist despite the fact that he is actually the one who planned the entire Fallujah strategy to begin with! It's incredible! When he's fighting invasion and occupation, the Western-Zionist media calls him a terrorist. When he's fighting real, live, savage terrorism (backed by 'Israel', the American ZOG, Turkey and the GCC), the Western-Zionist media goes completely silent. This is perhaps the greatest example of their criminal nature and hypocrisy.
Do you agree that the Falluja battle is sectarian?
Absolutely, positively not. This is hands down the greatest Zionist lie of the entire Fallujah battle. Sunnis aren't fleeing Shi'a, nor are Shi'a massacring Sunnis, nor is the Iraqi army a sectarian force but representative of all Iraqis. There are Sunni tribesmen fighting side-by-side with the predominantly Shi'a Iraqi Popular Mobilization and commanders from Hashd al-Shaabi are working with Sunni tribal leaders to evacuate civilians. There have been many beautiful, touching, heartwarming photos displaying the love and oneness between Sunni and Shi'a Iraqis in the midst of this fight. In 2003, Sunni Iraqi Resistance fighters in Fallujah and elsewhere in Al-Anbar chanted "We are one hand!" in solidarity with their Shi'a brothers fighting the aggressors in Basra and other regions of the Iraqi south. Today, we repeat the same words, which are solidified with our blood, despite the sectarian hasbara being spewed daily by the newspapers, websites and television channels of the Anglo-Zionist Empire and its Khaleeji tools: "We are one hand!" And this is what Iraqis will chant and act upon until there isn't a trace of Takfirism remaining in our ancient homeland. Insha'ALLAH.
Jonathan Azaziah is an Iraqi-American Muslim poet, activist, analyst, writer and journalist from Brooklyn, New York, currently residing in Florida. His articles, poems and music predominantly deal with international Zionism and the cruel effect that it has on the world’s oppressed people. He is also a staff writer for Pakistan’s premier alternative media outlet, Opinion Maker, and a frequent guest and co-host of the Crescent and Cross Solidarity Movement’s Ugly Truth radio broadcast.