Could the terrorist attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport killing 43 and injuring hundreds be a blowback from the Fallujah operations concluded three days ago? Does Fallujah, in the end, indicate a more cooperative operation compared to, say, Tikrit last year? Is a resumption of US-Russia cooperation over Syria causing anxiety among abandoned militants? Are the Americans showing a decisive sense of purpose – a frightening scenario for militant groups protected by regional powers with influence in Washington? A look at the details of the mosaic. Multiple interests were involved in the Fallujah operations – US advisers and air force, Iraqi forces controlled from Baghdad, Shia militias, mistrustful of Baghdad, but with allegiance to the clerical authorities in Najaf and Karbala.
Americans wanted their own nominee, Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, to take the credit. The Fallujah endgame was slow in coming because the Americans carried on their shoulders the burden of protecting and providing safe passage to “assets” holed up in Fallujah affiliated to the Saudis and the Turks.