With US forces offering support, the Iraqi military launched what officials have described as a “major crackdown” on the northern city of Mosul, capturing at least 150 people it suspects of being involved in the Sunni insurgency which is still active in the city.
Since the 2003 US invasion, Mosul has remained one of the most violent cities, and years of operations in and around the city appear to have done little to curb this insurgency. Officials have blamed the Sunni region’s traditional ties with sudden rival Syria for the steady stream of fighters.
But the primary source of tensions in recent months has been the proposed Kurdish annexation of much of the region, and several protests against the presence of the Kurdish military around the area.
The region’s Kurdish opposition has gone so far as to accuse the provincial government of inciting al-Qaeda to launch attacks in the area. The provincial government is controlled by al-Hadba, a Sunni Arab party.
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