Nightmare scenario unfolding for Obama at Ayn al-Assad Air base
The massive air base at Ayn al-Assad in Iraq’s Anbar Province hosts 400 US Service members, who are training Iraq Air Force personnel. They now are in danger of serving as hostages to ISIS, which has conquered the nearby city of Al Baghdadi and already threatened the perimeter of the base.
As a result, US helicopters have been brought in to provide close ground support for the Iraqi boots on the ground. CNN:
Robert Baer, a former CIA officer, said the battles may indicate a deepening involvement of U.S. troops in the fight against ISIS.
"I think what we're seeing here is mission creep," he said Friday night. "The Iraqi army is not up to the task. And without the United States Air Force and the military on the ground, a lot of these ... bases would be overrun."
President Obama’s dream of US withdrawal from Iraq was realized, only to turn into a nightmare, as it became clear that without US support, the Iraqi military would crumble before the ISIS threat. Now, that support is in danger:
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby described the battle at the air base, saying, "It looks like they at least got to the outer base limits. We're still looking at this and it's hard to say whether they breached the perimeter or not. But they certainly got to the perimeter level at the very least."
He said 20-25 people led by suicide bombers made the attack. Most, if not all, of the attackers were wearing Iraqi military uniforms, Kirby said.
Obama’s ultimate nightmare is a US pilot being shot down and falling into the hands of ISIS. Helicopters, for all their armor, are vulnerable to ground fire. God forbid such a thing happen, for the pilot would undoubtedly be exploited on video and subjected to a hideously cruel death. In such an instance, public opinion in the United States would demand serious military engagement.
Under the half-hearted leadership of Obama, such engagement could lead to a major disaster. It all seemed so simple under the illusion that if only the malign US presence were ended, peace, love and happiness would result.
We are living in perilous times.