‘IS aan verliezende hand; Irakezen optimistisch’

Aldus Al Jazeera.

Maar het Irakese leger is nog steeds afhankelijk van – met name – sjiitische milities:

“Iran is unifying the armed Shia factions and bringing all of them together to fight side by side, and this has intensified the power of the Iraqi troops in the front lines and greatly helped them to gain multiple victories over the last few months.”

Iraqi troops backed by Shia militias and Kurdish forces, following the direction of Iranian military advisers, recaptured the towns of Saadiyah and Jalawlaa over the last few months. These had been under the control of the extremist group since early August.

Some weeks earlier, ISIL fighters were driven out of Jurf al-Sakhar, a strategic town that was a key supplier for ISIL groups in southern Baghdad.

Both battles were commanded by the Iranian General Qasim Sulaimani, the head of al-Quds unit, and Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of the Shia Badr Organisation. They mainly relied on the Shia militias, according to several Kurdish officers and Shia militia leaders.

En dat is niet per se goed nieuws voor de ‘bevrijde’ bevolking.

Maar de nieuwe regering lijkt uit een ander vaatje te tappen dan ex-premier Maliki. Dus misschien is er hoop:

Iraqi Sunni Muslims have felt marginalised and excluded since 2003, after the electoral victory of Shia Muslims. They said they were unfairly targeted by the former Shia premier, Nouri al-Maliki, who was accused of misusing anti-terrorism laws against them. This sense of injustice, according to Sunni lawmakers, was one of the main factors driving Sunnis to embrace ISIL.

Haider al-Abadi, who took the helm in September, has pledged to review all decisions taken by his predecessor with respect to Sunni Arabs and to bring down the unjust ones. He will grant more power to the local governments, including the Sunni provinces, to ensure the management of their affairs are tended to away from the central government.

“Our major problem was the incubators of ISIL, which were most of the Sunni tribes in the Sunni areas, but now the situation has changed since the new premier took control over this file,” a senior military officer, who is familiar with the talks between the government and Sunni tribal leaders looking to fight ISIL in Anbar, told Al Jazeera.

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