Despite White House assurances to the contrary, the loss of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to Islamic State (ISIS) forces is not a minor setback, retired Lt. Col. Oliver North says.
U.S. forces fought "every day" in Ramadi between 2004 and 2007 because of the city's strategic importance, North said Monday on Fox News Channel's
"On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
"It's the capital of Anbar Province, the key to the Euphrates River Valley," North said. "It is the only land ingress/egress from Syria all the way to the Iranian border, so it is a very strategic part of their country."
Ramadi also is the heartland of the Sunni population in Iraq, he added.
Though Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey
in April said Ramadi was of little strategic importance, North disagrees.
"These are lies. It's a strategically important city. It was then, it is now, and it will be tomorrow," North said. "The Obama legacy is going to be a bloodbath of unprecedented, biblical proportions in Iraq because this is setting up the ultimate Sunni-Shia gunfight."
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is documenting mass murders and death squads because he is "proclaiming himself to be the savior of Sunni Islam against those who now occupy Tehran, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad, and Sanaa in Yemen," North said.
He called the brutality of ISIS a genocide that rivals Rwanda in 1994. One of the interpreters used by North when he reported for Fox News from Ramadi told him that 36 of his own family members have been killed.
"This is disastrous for our foreign policy, for the government in Baghdad and ultimately for the Sunni population," North said. "They're going to call in the Iranian-backed, -armed, -trained and -controlled Shiite militias to try to retake this city."
ISIS and Iran are bitter enemies in the Sunni/Shiite divide, and Iran has sent militias to help Iraq fight ISIS, much to the consternation of the United States.
Iran, which funds terrorism throughout the Middle East, will be in control as Iraq breaks up under a federation with its capital in Baghdad, North said.
"It will be a Kurdistan, a Sunni-stan and a Shia-stan," North said. "You know who said this before? Joe Biden."
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