ISIS regaining ground in western Iraq: local officials


Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat—Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters have recaptured several villages near Anbar governorate, local officials and tribal figures told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Despite recently suffering setbacks in western Iraq, the Islamist group has benefited from a lack of coordination between Baghdad’s central government and the tribal forces, Anbar provincial council member Adhal Al-Fahdawi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The government’s failure to “send sufficient weapons to the tribes fighting there who ran out of ammunition” has led to the fall of some of Anbar’s strategic cities, such as Hit and Haditha, Fahdawi said.

“The lack of coordination between the government and the tribes on the one hand and the tribes and the [Anbar] provincial council on the other has aided ISIS,” the official said.

According to Fahdawi, “the government’s lack of interest and support” has enabled ISIS to infiltrate the area.

Anbar, 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of Baghdad, is mainly under the control of tribal militants supported by government forces.


I thought Iranian troops were supposed to be helping?

The Iraqi army just does not seem like they can be depended on.


There are Iranian militias fighting (noted in this article). Its why many of the Sunni leaders in the western region of Iraq have asked the Iraq government to send them weapons – so they can defend themselves. They don’t want Shiite militias there (while they are relatively unarmed) risking a sectarian cleansing.

The Sunnis in the west of Iraq are in a difficult spot-- they fear the Shiite militias coming and they have IS who kill anyone they view as involved with the Sunni Awakening tribal movement. Or executing citizens to discourage anyone from thinking of being a spy. ISIS most fears spies and espionage. It’s why they even kill their own officials when they suspect anything of the such.


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