26 September 2017
English Arabic
With the recapturing of Mosul, the rein of ISIS in northern Iraq is coming to an end. This, however, can lead to the reemergence of a far more dangerous threat for the future of this fledgling democracy. Iran and its destructive meddling Mesopotamia has devastated this entire nation, leaving at least tens of thousands killed, scores more wounded, injured and displaced. Tehran has continuously targeted the Sunni community in Iraq and taken advantage of the war against ISIS to change…
The fight to eject the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from Mosul — the terror group’s last stronghold in Iraq — has demonstrated that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government can be a proven counterterrorism partner in rolling back ISIS gains. Beyond this immediate goal, the Trump administration must turn its attention to three key governance issues that will determine Baghdad’s future beginning the day after it reclaimed Iraq’s second largest city: Stanching Iranian influence at the highest levels of government; Restraining powerful…
BAGHDAD — Walk into almost any market in Iraq and the shelves are filled with goods from Iran — milk, yogurt, chicken. Turn on the television and channel after channel broadcasts programs sympathetic to Iran. A new building goes up? It is likely that the cement and bricks came from Iran. And when bored young Iraqi men take pills to get high, the illicit drugs are likely to have been smuggled across the porous Iranian border. And that’s not even the half of it.…
Iraq and the international community must avoid the mistakes of the past The Iraqi Security Forces are to be congratulated for the liberation of Mosul. It has come at a high cost. In the nine-month battle to liberate the city, around 1,000 Iraqi soldiers – the majority from the special forces – have lost their lives, half the city’s population has been displaced, historical sites have been destroyed and the infrastructure devastated.  The immediate challenge is to restore basic services such…
MOSUL, Iraq — The fighting is all but over in Mosul, and the billboards are already up: hastily raised signs in which the government urged the city’s Sunni residents to “turn the page” from the terrorists of the Islamic State. As Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Mosul to declare victory and call for unity, civilians on the longer-secured east side of the city danced and waved Iraqi flags. Some called for brotherhood between Sunnis and Shiites, or chanted, “By our souls and…
The liberation of Mosul is complete. Islamic State is unlikely to again govern and control large swaths of territory in the near future. While the past three years of war have been brutal, there will be some justice and respite for those who have lost friends and family to Isis, as well as for the broader Iraqi population that has had to put up with it and its ilk for more than a decade. However, while there is some reason…
After almost nine months of fierce fighting, the campaign to recapture Mosul from Islamic State is drawing to a bitter end in the ruins of the city's historic quarter, but the struggle for Iraq's future is far from over. Aside from Mosul, across the border in Syria a battle is raging to dislodge IS from Raqqa, the second capital of its self-declared caliphate. Fighting will push down the Euphrates valley to Deir al-Zour, the jihadis’ last big urban stronghold. But the fall of Mosul also exposes ethnic…

Battle for Mosul drags on Friday, 07 July 2017 07:06

While Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared victory in the battle for Mosul, announcing that the forces of the Islamic State group have been defeated, the Iraqi military and allied Federal Police units are still locked in a bloody struggle against the militants. IS have continued to bleed their opponents, and despite Iraqi politicians’ celebrations on Twitter, the battle is far from over. In other parts of Iraq, Iran has started to manoeuvre itself and its proxies in order…
Even though 200,000 people - 85,000 of them children - continue to be trapped in the violence raging in west Mosul's Old City area, work is ongoing to re-open 47 schools in the areas of west Mosul that were retaken from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) by Iraqi forces.  I visited east Mosul, which was fully recaptured by Iraqi forces in January this year, after the violence wound down. I spoke to many parents; their…
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in talks with the Trump administration to keep American troops in Iraq after the fight against the Islamic State group in the country is concluded, according to a U.S. official and an official from the Iraqi government. Both officials underlined that the discussions are ongoing and that nothing is finalized. But the talks point to a consensus by both governments that, in contrast to the U.S. withdrawal in 2011, a longer-term presence of American troops in…
HAMAM AL-ALIL, Iraq — The road to Mosul is littered with the detritus from almost three years of war: burned M1117 armored vehicles, sandbagged berms and trenches from defensive positions once manned against Islamic State fighters, houses pancaked by airstrikes. The long supply line of the Iraqi army stretches through villages, with bulldozers, camouflaged trucks and temporary base camps. Particularly noticeable are the frequent checkpoints manned by young armed men. But the fighters often aren’t from the Iraqi army or the Federal Police, but are members of various Iran-supported…

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