Post-Mosul. When Iraq will go to a new round of violence?

In Mosul there are fights over the Western part of the city. That sooner or later Mosul will be cleared of the Islamists, few people doubt. The debate is only about the timing and about what will be the power after the defeat of the “Islamic state” (banned in Russia — approx.ed.). How to divide the spheres of influence of the Iraqi government forces, Kurds, Shia? What will be the role of Iran and Turkey?

But there are issues that may be more important than the above: if changed something that had previously supported the rise of ISIS? Lost if the Islamists support of the population? Whether Iraq is fundamentally different after the military defeat of ISIS?

While in Mosul are fighting in other Iraqi cities, the situation is not so optimistic. In released a year ago, Ramadi police loses evidence of the involvement of certain persons to the IG, the witnesses are afraid to testify against ISIS, for a bribe of $ 20 you can buy yourself a pass to the city or go through the security checkpoints. In Kirkuk for a bribe from the police you can redeem those suspected of ties with ISIS. In the province of Salah ad-DIN the mayor of one of cities from the Islamists come to death threats. According to the Iraqi military in Anbar province remained “sleeper cells” of ISIS, ready to launch military and terrorist actions. In Ramadi, the lists of collaborators with ISIS is comprised of thousands of names, to check the involvement of each while there is no physical possibility.

ISIS and other radical groups, using the weakness of power, corruption, and the fact that all attention is focused on Mosul, again trying to establish its influence there, where they already knocked out in Iraq. Settlements destroyed and are recovering very slowly, thousands of people became refugees, among Sunnis, rumors of revenge by government forces and Shiite factions of the Sunni population.

Sometimes there is a lynching, when out of personal revenge without trial outraged by police inaction, local residents kill suspected links with IG. In Anbar province, to blow up the house of a man, it is necessary to collect the ten signatures proving that the homeowner was a member of the IG. Relatives of members of the IG are beaten, and they are not allowed to return to their homes. Natural and no one checked the lists involved with is circulating the pages of Facebook. By lynching in this scenario, even purely statistically will get the Sunnis and uncomplicated that will lead to further bitterness.

All this again becomes the perfect breeding ground for propaganda and recruitment of people under its banner.

Representatives of the Iraqi authorities in Anbar province fear that in the end back to where it all began. In 2007, George Bush, at that time being President of the United States, visited the Anbar province, to symbolically emphasize that al-Qaida is defeated and life is getting better under the authority of the Central government of Iraq. Seven years later, the IG takes almost the whole province under his control. Today again the question arises: how long will it take for the Islamists to again raise its head?

Last year al-Qaeda (banned in Russia — approx.ed.) called on the Sunnis of Iraq to regroup and begin a long guerrilla war against government forces to “liberate” them from ISIS lost the city. In Samarra, police in January arrested two of the militants, who testified, that consist of al-Qaida. Prior to this incident, the detainees were usually admitted (or were forced to confess) that they are involved in ISIS.

The Institute for the study of war (Institute for the Study of War) in February updated its November warning that among the Sunnis in Iraq began to form a new rebel movement. According to the Institute, the Naqshbandi tariqa, “the Revolutionary brigades of 1920” and the Baathists of Iraqi town of Hawija in Kirkuk province declared their intention to fight against the existing Iraqi government and after the defeat of ISIS. Moreover, the defeat of ISIS will play for them, as it will eliminate its main competitor, and after the terror of ISIS and any other groups look to Sunni much more attractive.

Data appears that at Tikrit seen armed gangs on motorcycles. In 2006, in these parts too, it all began with the appearance of such groups. Americans at the end of last year raised concerns that Saudi Arabia is supplying weapons to Sunni groups in Iraq, waiting for the beginning of the fierce struggle of the Sunnis with the Shiite groups supported by Iran, immediately after the capture of Mosul. Turkey supports the Sunni groups in Syria, which then can have an impact in Iraq. Moreover, al-Qaida urges not just start there guerrilla war, but also calls for the Syrian Sunnis to go to Iraq.

You cannot write off and the IG. Since the beginning of the battle for Mosul, the Islamists managed to hold a large number of bloody terrorist attacks in various parts of the country, including Kirkuk, Tikrit, Samarra and Baghdad. With the move of ISIS to the guerrilla war we can expect a greater number of such attacks. This will be harder to understand some of the Sunni groups are behind their implementation.

In 2018 in Iraq is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections and the provincial elections. In the summer of 2013 during the elections in the provinces the Sunnis of Iraq there was no single political force that could fight for their rights and to resist the policy of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. In 2013 in Ramadi to protest has already been seen flags of ISIS. A year later, in 2014, political fragmentation of the Sunnis, the lack of political implementation of public discontent and the brutal suppression of Sunni protests have led to the easy victories of ISIS, which skillfully played on the sentiments of the population.

Today, a year before the elections, the Sunnis of Iraq the situation is no better, and in many respects worse than four years ago, and partly resembles the situation of those years. None of the issues that led to the success of ISIS in Iraq, almost not solved. The spring before the election in 2018 in a post-Mosul Iraq, the projected increase in terrorist activities and the emergence of a broad Sunni insurgency against the Iraqi authorities and Pro-Iranian Shiite groups.