Weeks of fighting in the Anbar Province has pitted Iraq’s military against Sunni civilian protesters, tribes, and mostly recently al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). It’s not going to be a quick thing either, warns Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari.
“We will be in this for the long haul, probably as long as Syria is going on,” Zebari said. That could mean years of sectarian civil war in the Anbar Province.
That’s a problem not just in Anbar but beyond, as already the fighting with AQI is beginning to spill across the provincial border from Anbar into Baghdad’s own governate.
Sectarian violence has been surging in Iraq since April, and has picked up even more this month with the fall of Fallujah to AQI. This is the first time a top Iraqi official has aimed to predict the length of the fighting, and putting it in the same timeframe as Syria means Iraq is in a new civil war, and a potentially long one.