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Post-IS Politics in Iraq Division, Conflict and the Power of Execution -By Abdur Rahman Fuad

International

The operation against the IShad been terminated in their main land Mosulafter the Iraqi security forces co-ordination with the international coalition forces.The official declaration of Mosulwas on 9th July 2017 that’s free from the Baghdadi declared ‘Caliphate’ was in October 17, 2016 and whereIraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the city and made a victory speech.Although IS attacks and conflicts continue in Mosul whereas Iraqi security forces have dominated all points of the city.
After the Mosul operation, Ninawa province where the military headquarters of Mosul in Iraq,firstly it will controlthe Tal Afar with the south-western desert areas and secondly,the territory of South-eastern Anatolia as well as Qaim, Rutba and Hit,these areconnected with the Anbar and the Hawija of Kirkuk, will be focused on operations to evacuate these from the IS or IS. However, at least an important path has been taken for fighting against the IS in Iraqbut the efforts of local actors who wants to create its permanent power and authority both politically and administratively post-IS period and these efforts also continuing at full speed. At this point, the position of Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and the Turkmans in Iraq mostly depended on future political and social structures of Iraq.
The front foot achievements against the IS
The fight with the IS in Iraq, two actors gave them some advantages. The Shiite and Kurdish groups realize that if IS operate their actions in densely inhabited Sunni areas, they can dominatetheir identity process that will appeared and rise in Iraq easily. The loyalist groups to the Iraqi central government had the scarcity of fighting weapons andKurdish peshmerga and Shiite militia groupshave taken this chance in the name of fighting against the IS to ensure that the significant progress being shownby giving their support to the Iraqi security forces and their offshoots. By the time,they are obtaining their political, military and administrative achievements from this.
The Kurds after 2003, expressedas a disputed territoryincluding Kirkuk in primarilyand Mosul’s east minorities who are living inTall-kayf, Hamdaniyah, Ajra, Bartella, Sinjar as well as the region of Diyala including Khanik and Jalawlalike to Salah-ad-Dinthat connected with Tuzkhurma Provided an important activity for the settlements.
In this perspective, it is seen that the Kurds have taken most of the lands controlas they have targeted outside of Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Duhok after 2003. As a matter of fact, Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government’s(IKBY) flag hanging on the public buildings by the Kurdish members in the Kirkuk,is a sign for controlling area. Another fact gives us clear picture thatthe Kirkuk Governor Nezmettin Karim also have a plan for 25 September 2017 IKBY’s referendum for independence where he wants to keepthe Kirkuk under the upcomingreferendum areaand this steps also a concrete decision for Kirkuk to be tied to IKBY.
On the other hand, the Shiite militia groups emerged in Iraq as an effective actor again with the fight against IS. Shiites in Iraq, known as the largest religious authorityunder theAyatollah Ali Sistani and by the following of his fatwa, resurgent of Shiite militias embodiments that seems to ownership of executive power against the ISfighting process. At this point, militia groups who have gained power of excess both political and administrative efficiency throughout the Iraq and in the Iraqi central government authority. The Iraqi central government is trying to unite and legalize the militia structuresunderthe leading of HasdiShabi who are beginning to become an uncontrolled force, follow a different agenda from the government and react in the regions as government control areas. Despite of this efforts, however, Shiite militia groups outside of the HasdiShabi groups,also continue their existence and move in accordance with their own plans. This poses a serious problem for the Iraqi central government that increasing the risk of conflicts especially in the areas where IShad beenwithdrawn and creating new grounds for conflict. As a matter of fact, the areas where the militia groupsand peshmergas beingappeared, especially Tuzkhurma andJalawla, have come into conflict. The possibilities of confronting HasdiShabi and Peshmerga during and after the operations of Tal afar and Khawizato take from ISare highlytough in upcoming time.
On the other hand, HasdiShabi and Shiite militia groups conflicts in their control areas or provide operational support to Iraqi security forces also be possible. The regionsof Tikrit, Diyala and Anbarare mostly Sunnibased area. Although post-IS situation in this province have faced serious problems concerning the return of the migrating population from these regions. The same example for Mosul, what was taken from IS in the last operation. From other side, the militia groups particularly have destroyed the population imbalances in the above regionswhere they have controlled and they do not allow the people to return to the newly controlled area. So, we can see the demographic structuresof these regions has been deliberately altered even Iraqi government cannot protect the population balance in the regions. Various groups can take its positions against the radical tendencies such a situation will not only increase the conflict but also open the space for terrorist organizations like as IS. Because terrorist organizations or radical structures will want to take advantages from the power’s gap. So, may be this newly demographical area be implemented by another terrorist organization like as ‘Al-Qaeda’ if have not taken any steps against this newly groups. On the other hand, it seems that the terrorist organization PKK and related offshoots are in search of power vacancy as it is in Syria, for obtaining space in various regions of Iraq, especially in Sinjar, Kirkuk and the Tuzkhurma.

Divisions for the group and the Turkman situation
The main two factors that’s all these conflicts negatively affect over on the Sunnis and the Turkman. The Sunni sect has already been turned into a ‘scapegoat’in Iraq because of the IS. Although it is impossible to deny that some of Sunni have been supporting to ISwho have been exposed to post-occupationperiod and largely excluded from the administration. So, it is not wrong to say that in the present case there is a collective punishment being waited against the Sunnis.
On the other hand, the Turkman who live in with Baghdadfrom where it is connected from north Iraq to the south Iraq, that have been made an easiest target in Iraq.Particularly, the majority conflict areas with the IS in the regions where the Turkman lives. In the post-IS period, the Turkman regions such as Tall-Afar, Tuzkhurma, Kirkuk and Jalawla are also the part of domination. Within this struggle for domination, the Turkman regions are faced multilateral conflicts. In addition to the war against IS, the tensions between theIraqi central government and the peshmerga, the Shia militia groups and the IKBY with the sectarian-based conflicts for the Turkman who are separated from each other are in tough situation.
On the other side, in Iraq, there are different conflict dynamics as well as struggles between the groups. In particular, HasdiShabi and other militia structures have led to an upsurge between the Iraqi people. Among Shia militia groups, there is a potential risk for conflict, which has not yet been opened. At this point it can be said that a struggle can be emerged between theIran-backed Shiite militia group and the Iraq nationals Shiite militia group. In addition, some of the Shiite population in Iraq even some politicians are reacting to the existence of militia groups and they have gained strength as a result of fuelling sectarianism. As a matter of fact, the cracks in the ruling Dawa Party in Iraq are now in well-definedwith the most important signs of discomfort towards sectarianism. It also matters of factthe left party of Ammar al-Hakim, the president of the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council, known as one of the oldest and largest Shiite party in Iraq, and the son of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the founder of the party at the same time. For this reason, it would not be wrong to say that the post-IS period of the Shiite division among themselvesare gradually increasing.

What is waiting for Iraq
The divisionfor Sunni streams in Iraq are continues. In the aftermath of 2003, we cannot create any place where the Sunnis would be lived in togetherness. But after theIS factor,made it distinctions between these extreme groups. Some groups that have been radicalizing with the organization and have also caused serious discomfort for the Sunnis in Iraq.
The Kurds are having in difficulty with the internal conflicts and ambiguity of IKBY’s domestic politics. Mesut Barzani is faced with an unexpected reaction from the referendum for independencewhereas he had put him as an arbitrator for his position and hispower in the IKBY. But Barzani has not been able to provide the foreign supportsthat he has been waiting for togetherness policy in the IKBY. While we see thecompete between the KDP and the PUK in continue, then at least some of the Goran’s or Islamist parties will appear to take a stand against the current political process in the IKBY.
On the other side, the Turkman, who are the most fragile groups in social segments in Iraq, struggle to protect their identities and assets. While the Turkman who were at the top of IS’s most damaged sections, are trying to return in Kurdish area, but at the same time they want to evacuation of Tal afar from the IS that was one of the main centres as a homeland of the Turkmans. The Turkman of Kirkuk who have struggled to exist against Kurdish groups and also trying to survive in the shadow of conflicts in Salahuddin and Diyala regions without any means.
At the end of that IS is a conflict factor for all and it seems that different clash dynamics in different regions will determine on their agenda in Iraq until new balances are achieved. Although Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced that there is no election on his agenda until the ISis fully remove from the Iraq but the parties in Iraq take preparation for 2018 election. If the real balancewould not be kept both demographically and administratively between the different ethnic and sectarian groups, the uncontrollable environment more be increased.n

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