Iraqi Sunni Mosques Burned in ‘Revenge’ Attacks, 10 Killed

Shi'ite Militias Ordered Sunni Civilians Out of Muqdadiya

Anger at yesterday’s ISIS attack on a cafe popular with Shi’ite militias has led some of those militias to launch revenge attacks. Not against ISIS, of course, but rather against Sunni civilians in Iraq’s Diyala Province, where at least 10 were killed.

Militia fighters with loudspeakers were roaming the streets of the city of Muqdadiya demanding all Sunni civilians leave within 24 hours or be killed on sight. The militias destroyed at least nine Sunni mosques in the area, and dozens of Sunni-owned shops.

This is the second round of attacks on Sunni mosques in Iraq in less than a week, after a pair of mosques were destroyed south of Baghdad on Thursday. The Iraqi government attempted to pin that on ISIS, claiming it an effort to “destroy Iraqi unity,” though it seems there’s no denying the militias’ involvement this time.

That puts the Iraqi government in a tough place, as it relies heavily on Shi’ite militias to do front-line fighting against ISIS, but in allowing them to run amock, as they so often have, they risk fueling sectarian unrest which will bring more Sunnis into ISIS’ sphere of influence, if only for protection.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.