Low Supplies, Political Disputes In Anbar: Not Long Now Before Extremists Take Over
Last week, fighters from tribes in Anbar were forced to give up their hold on the town of Wafaa to extremists from the Islamic State because they ran out of ammunition. And they ran out because apparently the Iraqi government won’t supply them.
The steady defeat of anti-extremist tribes in Anbar and a new political dispute among them seems to be bringing the whole province closer and closer to total control by the Islamic State group.
Events over the past few weeks in Anbar have made it seem as though the province is coming closer and closer to falling completely into the hands of the extremist group known as the Islamic State, or IS. The extremists are closing in on government-controlled areas and internal power struggles between local tribes are also causing trouble.
The biggest problem in Anbar appears to be the Iraqi government’s reluctance to arm the tribal groups in the province who want to fight the IS group, but who the Iraqi government clearly does not trust.
There are a number of local Sunni Muslim tribal groups who have announced that, although they don’t like the Iraqi government, which is Shiite Muslim-led, they dislike the Sunni Muslim extremists in the IS group even more. That’s why, they say, they will fight the IS group.
The most prominent are the Abu Risheh, al-Bu Fahd, al-Bu Thiyab, al-Bu Ulwan, al-Abed, al-Bu Issa, al-Bubali and the al-Bu Nimr tribes. Some were members of the US-sponsored forces that fought Al Qaeda – of which the IS group is an offshoot – here previously.