In the town of Rutba, along the Iraq-Jordan border, 10 off-duty Iraqi soldiers were ambushed and killed overnight, with another two soldiers wounded. The attackers had assault rifles and rockets, and so far haven’t been identified, though the suspicion is that they are ISIS.
The location of the strike certainly gives credence to the idea that the attack is either ISIS or some other Sunni Islamist faction, as this is deep in the west of the Anbar Province, in territory which has never been particularly well controlled by the Shi’ite-dominated government.
That the government has tried to impose military control on the area, since “liberating” it from ISIS, is likely to be a sore spot with a lot of the locals, and even if a lot of them didn’t necessarily welcome ISIS, they were not unsympathetic to the cause of having a Sunni Islamist force resisting Baghdad.
With ISIS likely to return to being an insurgency across the nation as they lose more and more territory, revenge attacks against military targets, or those seen working with the military, are likely to continue to be a major problem going forward.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
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