Results for Tag: Iraq
Today, Shiites are divided into numerous sects, the largest being Twelver Shiism. Shiites make up the majority of the population in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Azerbaijan; and they constitute significant minorities in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Since the fall of Mosul in July 2017, the capture of Raqqa has become ‘priority number one’ for the US military, although top generals have refused to put a timeline on the campaign. It took Iraqi forces more than eight months to free Mosul. More worryingly, however, in April 2017 a senior counterterrorism official in the Trump administration admitted that the White House has no long-term plan once Raqqa is freed.
The survival of IS’ media outlets will determine the capacity of the group to rebound from its losses in Iraq and Syria, rally its supporters and inspire continued allegiance. IS’ Amaq news agency remains active online, helping to spawn the lone wolf attacks that have plagued IS’ enemies from Australia to Brazil. These ardent followers represent a potent new global threat, one as difficult to calculate as it is to counter.
The United Nations (UN) estimates that in the short term, rebuilding will cost at least $1 billion. Lisa Grande, the United Nations Development Programme’s resident representative in Iraq, said it will take about $470 million to restore basic infrastructure including the power, water and sewer systems and to rehabilitate hospitals, schools and houses in the neighbourhoods with the most severe damage in western Mosul. At least another $237 million is needed for the more lightly damaged districts in western Mosul and a further $370 for rebuilding in eastern Mosul.
The loss of Islamic State’s jihadists to their territorial bases does not signal the end of the group, but their warped ideology has not been vanquished. The group will continue to propagate its hateful ideas online. Its fighters will probably continue to wage an insurgent campaign. And they may now be additionally motivated to take the fight to the “enemy”, meaning a possible future rise in attacks on European soil.’
The policies of the Shiite-dominated government have prevented Sunnis from contributing effectively to building the Iraqi state and running its affairs. In recent years, the government has enacted several new laws and allegedly used them to marginalize and exclude Sunnis from political decision-making.
In the first month of the operation, approximately 4,000 civilians were killed and 500,000 residents fled. Civilians have paid with their lives for following official advice to stay in their homes. Yet the prospects for survivors are little better. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped in the part of Mosul still controlled by ISIS, where supplies of food, fuel and drinkable water are dwindling and violence is a daily reality.