Videos allegedly show U.S.-backed Iraqi forces beating, executing prisoners after liberating Mosul from ISIS. http://abcn.ws/2usyL9d
Again and again in the same situations
For so many years . . .
-- "The Same Situation," written by Joni Mitchell (first appears on COURT & SPARK).
And the Islamic State had not been defeated in Iraq. Hassan Hassan (GUARDIAN) observes:
■ Isis is still stronger than it was before its military advances in June 2014. It became more powerful as it controlled territory, something that enabled it to make money and recruit from local populations based on its military success. It has been significantly weakened compared with the height of its strength after it had seized one third of Iraq and half of Syria.
But compared with what it used to be before then, however, Isis is significantly stronger, larger and a greater threat to both Iraq and Syria. As a local insurgent group, Isis now has a bigger network since it expanded into various territories in the two countries. Its internal structures have been minimally damaged, if not strengthened. The group still controls several strongholds in both countries, and Iraqi forces continue to be unable to recapture those strongholds without close US air support – an indication that the group is still a capable military force; Isis is likely to continue to hold on to some territory well into the fourth anniversary of its so-called caliphate this time next year. US officials expect the fight in Raqqa to drag on until the end of the year and the complex operation to expel it from Deir Ezzor will take about the same time after that. The US is at loggerheads with the Syrian regime and its Iranian and Russian allies over who fights in Deir Ezzor or in which areas.
■ The Isis strongholds in Anbar, while possibly easy to recapture, are likely to continue to be hideouts from where the organisation can operate and launch attacks. These border areas, which can be described as the group’s “third capital” after Mosul and Raqqa, are central to its post-caliphate strategy of hit-and-run operations. They were also where Isis began its push into much of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
And, of course, the conditions that led to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq are still present. Jamal Hashim (XINHUA) speaks with Najib al-Jubouri:
As for the Sunni Arab community, who are overwhelmingly relief for the liberation of their territories from IS militants, there is also fears about the Shiite-led government and the future.
The Sunnis believe that Baghdad Shiite-led government has long been ignoring complaints of the Sunni community, Jubouri said. "They also accuse the Shiite-dominated security forces and Iranian-backed militias of indiscriminately arresting, torturing and killing their sons," he added.
"Such complaints are very serious. Whether they were true, or partially true, the angry Sunnis went into more than a-year-long demonstrations and sit-in protests against the former Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who responded to the Sunni demands by storming their sit-in camps in Hawijah and Ramadi, sparking fierce armed conflict and bloodshed. Such policy by Maliki was a perfect opportunity for the extremist groups, including IS, to thrive," he said.
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