PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Andre Colling
 
Comments: 1
Article views: 61
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Andre Colling's badges.
 

The complex conflict in Iraq's Anbar governorate

16 January 2014, 14:18

Iraq’s Anbar governorate has been beset by clashes between armed Sunni tribesmen, Sunni extremist fighters linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and the government and its tribal allies (Awakening Councils) since 30 December. The cities of Fallujah and Ramadi have emerged as the primary battlefields in a conflict that has raised sectarian tensions, threatened to further erode the legitimacy and authority of the state and severely dented Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s national prestige and image, particularly among non-Shiite groups.

The conflict was sparked by the arrest of a prominent local Sunni politician and the disbanding of a Sunni anti-government encampment in Ramadi in late December. The action was precipitated by an astonishing about turn by Anbar governor, Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi, who up to late December had supported the Sunni protesters. His throwing of his lot (and his tribes, the Albu Dhiab) into the Maliki camp, who had favoured the dispersal of the protesters, polarized an already split Anbar governorate. It was within this political mess that AQI sniffed an opportunity and began deploying its fighters to the streets of Fallujah and Ramadi, further complicating an already complex conflict. The indications to date are that AQI are not coordinating their action with local tribes, at least not officially.

Maliki has since deployed additional military brigades to Anbar in an attempt to reassert government control. The deployments have not succeeded and the Iraq army, sensing a possible defeat, has largely moved to surround the two affected cities and engage opposing gunmen in limited confrontations. The approach appears sensible at this stage. While the army can easily rout gunmen, they don’t have sufficient forces to hold territory. There are indications that the government has called for volunteers and that these forces are being trained and will be deployed to Anbar within the month to act as non-combatant support to the primary fighting units.

The approach of Maliki is not out of character. He is considered Iraq’s strong man and favours shows of strength above negotiation, which could reveal weakness to Iraq’s battle hardened tribal and militant forces. This position has served to harden opposition to his regime and stoke accusations that his government is propped up by Shiite Iran. Unsurprisingly his State of Law coalition and the predominantly Sunni Iraqiya are on poor terms. Elsewhere, the Kurds, nestled in their northern autonomous zone, have watched with interest developments in Anbar. In December, they offered troops to support Iraqi forces battling an AQI surge in Anbar. This position has since changed to KRG President Barzani criticizing Maliki’s approach to the conflict in the region. This may serve to strain ties further between the central government and KRG over the course of 2014.

Pro- government        
Iraq military and police
Sunni tribal Awakening Councils led by Ahmed Abu Risha
Anbar governor, Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi
Albu Fahad tribe
Albu Bali tribe

Anti-government
Albu Nimr tribe
al-Jmelat tribe
al-Halbsa tribe
Albu Issa tribe
Jaysh Rijal al-Tariqah al-Naqshabandia (JRTN)
Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)
Tribal Military Councils (established in various governorates)

The Anbar conflict is not a good thing for Iraqi stability and is a major setback for the government, which is keen to hold national elections in April. The test for the regime will be whether it can push back AQI and coopt the anti-government tribal elements into state structures or at least work to ensure their neutrality and compliance to Iraqi government authority. To achieve these goals, Maliki will need to adopt a strong military hand and negotiate through offering state jobs, position and possible payments to senior tribal leaders. Furthermore, the Sunni polities view on the Shiite dominated government could harden further and serve to stoke sectarian tensions further. The Sunni community have been largely disunited up until now, split as they are along tribal and political lines. The sense that the regime of Maliki is targeting them unfairly may push groups that had otherwise not thought of cooperation closer together. Maliki needs to address this as a matter of urgency.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Manfred Phesto
Interview With an Iranian Spy-Han...

I have always found them suspicious, especially since I discovered what appeared to be a listening device of some sort attached to the corner of one of their carpets and cleverly disguised as a security-tag. Read more...

1 comments 203 views
Submitted by
Reggie Makgoba
On the job

Universities must emphasise ‘on-the-job’ practical learning when teaching creative courses Read more...

2 comments 83 views
Submitted by
David van Tonder974
An uphill battle

While we might differ in many way we all share many more common similarities. Our shared humanity being at the centre. Read more...

5 comments 117 views
Submitted by
Vusi KaMshayisa Pablo
Food Fraud a global problem

When you hear about fraud food is probably not the first subject that comes to mind. From the melamine in milk to the horse meat or sea food scandals, food fraud continues to be a global food problem.  Read more...

1 comments 210 views
Submitted by
Anton Dekker
What happened to the word "servic...

I am at the end of my tether! Is there one proper internet service provider in South Africa?  Read more...

13 comments 937 views
Submitted by
Lee Grandmaison
Kinky sex and checklists

Something useful for both those interested in getting into kink, and those experienced in kink. Read more...

9 comments 874 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 1 725 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 1 725 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.