Iraqis believe the U.S. is supporting ISIS.

The American campaign to win hearts and minds in the country hasn’t gone well these past twelve years, but you would expect the U.S. to win at least some kudos for attacking an evil death cult that enslaves its opponents and rapes their women. Nope. The Washington Post reports that many Iraqi Shiites, influenced by Iranian propaganda and a deep suspicion of American involvement in the Middle East, believe that the U.S. and the Islamic State are “in cahoots”:

“It is not in doubt,” said Mustafa Saadi, who says his friend saw U.S. helicopters delivering bottled water to Islamic State positions. He is a commander in one of the Shiite militias that last month helped push the militants out of the oil refinery near Baiji in northern Iraq alongside the Iraqi army.

The Islamic State is “almost finished,” he said. “They are weak. If only America would stop supporting them, we could defeat them in days.”

U.S.-ISIS conspiracy theories have reached the point where Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, a Shiite caught between his Iranian and American patrons, is resisting new infusions of U.S. special operations forces. So remember, the next time any American politician promises to put more troops on the ground in Iraq, it will be seen as another victory for ISIS.