Iraqi Tribal Leader Warns ISIS Could Be Replaced With ‘Even More Radical’ Factions

Says Defeating ISIS Not Enough to Heal Sectarian Divide

Iraqi tribal leader Sheikh Jamal al-Dhari, the head of an organization trying to resolve the sectarian fighting in his nation, today warned that the defeat of ISIS wasn’t sufficient to resolve the situation, and might just give way to a new, “even more radical” faction.

Dhari, whose Zoba tribe includes a significant number of both Sunnis and Shi’ites, warned that the Shi’ite dominated government has disenfranchised the Sunni Arab minority, and that without getting them to participate in the political process there was nothing to keep new factions from cropping up.

That’s been a problem for some time, and indeed the lead-up to ISIS’ first territorial gains in Iraq was the mass resignation from parliament of Sunni Arab MPs after the Maliki government reneged on key power-sharing deals, leading to protests in Sunni cities and a military crackdown.

Previous pushes for reconciliation between Sunnis and Shi’ites haven’t gone well, as any Sunni figure given a position of even limited power has found himself accused of being a secret terrorist not long thereafter, and the subject of repeated investigations.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.