That Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi is still in power is nothing short of stunning. Despite international backing, his status has weakened dramatically for months on end, and many top political figures had predicted his ouster long ago.
With his proposed cabinet on indefinite hold and massive protests seemingly weekly in Baghdad, his survival beyond the next few weeks is seen likely to hinge heavily on the ongoing military offensive against Fallujah.
Abadi has presented the Fallujah offensive as a vital one in the war against ISIS, and many powerful militia leaders have gone along with him. With parliament in recess for Ramadan, this is likely to be Abadi’s last chance he can successfully do something.
Despite repeated military predictions of a quick victory, that’s likely a tall order, and a replay of the destruction of Ramadi, where the city gets “liberated” by destroying most of it, probably won’t be easy for Abadi to sell as success to the returning MPs.
It’s likely unrealistic to think Iraq’s military actually can win a relatively clean victory in Fallujah, which means either way Abadi is likely on the hotseat, and even if things go better than most expect, his inability to get a parliament in place is likely to leave him in a very vulnerable position.
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