Despite Iranian backed Iraqi ground forces capturing a town outside the birthplace of former Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, the offensive against Islamic State, who have had the town since last year, appears to have stalled and so the Iraqi government has had to ask for assistance from the US air force.

The US air force that has been steadily bombing Islamic targets across Iraq and Syria was not involved in any way militarily, until the message came through for help from Iraqi forces. It would appear that the Islamic State forces will fight to the death to keep this town theirs. They will be throwing everything they have at the Iraqi forces to keep hold of this town, now that American planes are in the sky I would imagine the town may be reduced to rubble as was Kobane, as IS forces will fight to the last man as is their code of honour, if you can call it that.

Obviously with offensives against them on all fronts, IS will be on the back foot, but this is not stopping young people from Europe and elsewhere wishing to join IS, either as Jihadi brides or soldiers, as in the example of the three missing English schoolgirls.

The Middle East right now especially with a re-elected Binyamin Netanyahu is a tinderbox which could go off any second and certainly is going off in Iraq and Syria and the situation in Gaza though a ceasefire remains in place, seems tense at times.

Obama has been reluctant to get involved in another Iraq conflict and who can blame him, he wanted to be the President that brought home the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, which he did, but he has found himself committing ground forces in small measure and building a coalition of nations to bomb IS from the air.

The Iranians for their part, have always had been a presence in Iraq, ever since the first Shia government came to power, and have been very definitely involved on the ground and in the air against Islamic State and will want to see this organisation defeated and crushed as much as the US will, as both have a common interest in seeing this cancer of Sunni Islamic extremism put down once and for all. I suspect though as with the American operation against the Japanese in the second world war, victory will come eventually but it will come at a great loss of men and material.