Local concerns about the presence of Shi’ite militias in the Sunni Arab city of Fallujah since the military’s “liberation” of it appear to have been well-founded, as a number of major Sunni mosques have started being demolished in recent days, many simply burned to the ground.
The Anbar Provincial Council affirmed the destruction, urging the defense ministry to identify exactly who was behind it,. Unsurprisingly, the locals see the militias as behind the effort. Despite that, militia officials are issuing blanket denials, insisting they had nothing to do with the sudden destruction of so many mosques.
That denial doesn’t carry a lot of weight, as since the militias arrived they’ve been accused of kidnapping, torture, looting, and arson, and they’ve been accused of the same in virtually every other Sunni city and town they’ve ended up in.
The Iraqi government is heavily reliant on the militias, and thus tends to give them a pretty wide berth for summary executions and the like. At the same time, concerns about the ever-worsening sectarian tensions in the country, and what that will mean to control over the Sunni Arab parts of the country, are making those militia abuses more serious than ever.