So, just how troubling is the Iraq crisis?
Frontline’s coverage of the turmoil in the Middle East makes an important note. The battle for Syria has spilled across the border into Iraq. Indeed, the militants who have overrun Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, are tied directly to those who are fighting in the Syrian conflict next door. What’s more, they are extremists who are linked with al-Qaeda, the infamous terrorist group that committed the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Frontline’s documentary “Syria’s Second Front” is shown here.
The battle in Iraq is far from over. President Obama has declared that the United States will not commit ground forces to the fighting; he’s leaving open the option of using air power to help put down the insurgents who are challenging the Iraqi government. The United States has ended its combat role in Iraq after a nearly 10-year war that began in March 2003 with our invasion of that country and the toppling of the late dictator Saddam Hussein.
We’ve exited the battlefield but the fighting has resumed with Sunni Muslim forces battling the Shiites who control the country.
Syria’s battle also continues. It has swung back and forth, with insurgents winning critical territory, only to lose it back to government forces that are being supplied by Iran and Russia.
It’s all intertwined.
Frontline, the acclaimed PBS documentary series, airs on Panhandle PBS throughout the year. Its coverage of the Syrian — and now the Iraqi — crises can be seen online.