Looting and Lynching: Post-ISIS Tikrit an Ugly Sight Indeed

After Month-Long Siege, Shi'ite Militias Run Amok

Iraqi officials are bragging about a “magnificent victory” over ISIS in Tikrit, and the “liberation” of the Sunni city from foreign Islamists. The liberation looks an awful lot like another ugly occupation.

Shi’ite militias that led the offensive against Tikrit are now carrying out lynchings, insisting the people they are summarily executing are ISIS sympathizers, dragging their bodies through the streets on parade.

Then there’s the looting. The militias are gleefully running amok in Tikrit, ransacking stores and private residences, and burning homes seemingly for the run of it.

All of this was predictable, of course. The Shi’ite militias have followed this same strategy after “liberating” other ISIS-held towns, with horrible sectarian blood-letting often worse than the fighting that preceded it.

Sectarian tensions have played a major role in ISIS taking over so much of Iraq to begin with, and every “victory” over ISIS leads to more sectarian purges, which in the long run increase the pool of abused Sunnis ISIS can recruit from.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.