Attacks have soared in Iraq across the summer, and have brought with them death tolls rivaling the waning years of the US occupation. Despite all efforts to the contrary, sectarian civil war is back in Iraq, with political disputes and spillover from Syria combining into a deadly powder-keg.
The sectarian nature of the attacks is fueling more tensions between Iraq’s Sunni and Shi’ite communities, and is leading to calls from Shi’ite leaders to establish “popular committees,” armed Shi’ite-only militias that would fight as auxiliaries to the military.
During the worst of the last sectarian war, militias on both sides acted as de facto death squads, “cleansing” neighborhoods of the rival sect, and fueling yet more resentment on both sides.
Combining that with the Iraqi military could be an even bigger problem, since after the last election and a reneged-on power sharing deal there is already a sense among Iraq’s Sunnis that the government is biased against them, and shoring them up with Shi’ite militias would only strengthen that belief.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Palestinians Slam Planned US Embassy Move to Jerusalem - February 23rd, 2018
- White House Orders Military Parade for Veterans Day - February 23rd, 2018
- Turkish Army Attacks Afrin Convoy, Kurds Say It Was Full of Aid - February 23rd, 2018
- Nigeria Sends More Troops to Look for Missing Girls - February 23rd, 2018
- Trump Vows 'Largest Ever' North Korea Sanctions, Threatens Ominous 'Phase Two' - February 23rd, 2018