How Iran Stuck it to the U.S. by Transferring ISIS Fighters to Deir ez-Zor
by Matthew RJ Brodsky
Perspectives with Denise Wood / i24News
August 30, 2017
Matthew RJ Brodsky joins Denise Wood on i24News "Perspectives" to discuss the latest ceasefire in which Hezbollah, the Lebanese government, and the Assad regime agreed to the transfer of ISIS fighters and their families out of their border region to Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria. The move bothered the U.S.-led coalition, who responded by bombing the road ahead of the caravan. Since Iran holds an increasing number of the political strings in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, the transfer reflects a move that could only be approved by Tehran.
The move disguises a larger motive as well. It allows the Lebanese President Michel Aoun to claim a victory in the battle against ISIS in Lebanon - despite having to play by Hezbollah's rules. Naturally, moving the fighters toward Syria's border with Iraq bothered the Iraqi prime minister. However, Iran increasingly holds sway in Iraq and it's constellation of Shi'a militias, the Hashd al-Shaabi, can be counted on to conduct a mop-up operation of ISIS if necessary. That would still benefit Iran as it reinforces that they are needed as the fireman, despite playing the role of the arsonist. Otherwise, the influx of ISIS fighters becomes a problem left for the American-led coalition to handle.