What’s next for Anbar?

By Omar Sattar, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The city of Ramadi was liberated on Dec. 28, and Iraqi security troops accompanied by the Tribal Mobilization Forces, which are affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units, advanced toward the remaining cities of Anbar province that were overrun by the Islamic State (IS) in May 2015.

Despite this, fears remain that political and tribal conflicts would erupt as a result of the sharp divisions that exist between the various components of the province, leading to some political factions warning about the futility of liberating cities without instituting a plan for the post-military operations phase.

Other pressing problems exist, the solutions to which require reaching political understandings and agreements between tribes and forces with influence on the ground. These issues include the fate of volunteer tribesmen, the reconstruction of the province and the return of refugees.

As proof of these problems, political disagreements have already taken shape. Local Anbar government member Mezher al-Mulla told Al-Monitor, “Some political blocs are trying to fish in troubled waters by demanding the dissolution of the Anbar provincial council [and the holding of elections for a new provincial council] with the aim of attaining posts that they failed to reach through [past] elections.”

Comments are closed.