Why do Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State, Iran-backed Shiite militants, and Kurdish militants of PKK and allied groups still find in the Iraq-Syria border a space to operate and consolidate their positions vis-à-vis their rivals? The answer lies in the disintegration of the apparatuses of the central state.
Since Iraq’s protest movement exploded two years ago, it has been plagued by a tragic and unbroken string of hundreds of murders. Few have been solved. But activists have repeatedly pointed the finger at corrupt police and shadowy militia groups.
After the war, we expected something like a Marshall Plan to revive Mosul. But instead, we found ourselves dependent on the international community and IMF loans to restore our war-torn city. With our government’s problems and the collapsing currency, I don’t know what Mosul will look like in five years.
In a new book, “God 99,” the Iraqi writer Hassan Blasim takes readers on a disorienting journey beyond the boundaries of realism and through the dark consequences, the absurd moments and the grotesque truths of war.
In the dusty farms and villages of Sinjar, the interests of Iran and Turkey collide. Here in northern Iraq, Tehran is allying with non-state actors in order to further its own interests — this time with the controversial PKK group, which will bring it into conflict with Ankara.
No one believes Baghdad will hold anyone to account for gross negligence that caused the death of dozens of patients at Ibn al-Khatib hospital. Mismanagement and greed will continue to triumph in Iraq as long as the current system, entangled in patronage, does not reform.
Though ISIS cells undeniably continue to operate in some Sunni-dominant areas, the use of forces linked to Shiite armed groups to conduct operations in Sunni-majority areas aggravates fears of human rights abuses and even “ethnic cleansing.”