What’s next for Anbar after Liberation from IS

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.

As the armed conflict with Islamic State (IS) in Anbar province ended with the liberation of Fallujah, a political conflict emerged there over posts, influence and economic interests. This started even prior to the reconstruction of destroyed Anbar cities and the return of the displaced.

Iraqi forces announced June 17 that the government complex in Fallujah, which was the last IS stronghold in Anbar, had been liberated.

Yet a conflict was triggered in the Anbar provincial council between the Islamic Party — with which Anbar Gov. Suhaib al-Rawi is affiliated and which is backed by the Solution (al-Hall) bloc and led by Jamal Karbouli — and the Reform bloc, which consists of 17 out of 30 members of the Anbar provincial council.

These 17 members are of the Loyalty to Anbar bloc and the Arabic Coalition and are backed by the leader of the Sunni Endowment Establishment, Abdul Latif Hamayem, and by the head of the Sahwa Party, Ahmed Abu Risha.

Deputy head of the Anbar provincial council Faleh al-Issawi told Al-Monitor that the Loyalty to Anbar bloc and the Arabic Coalition are supported by Abu Risha and seek to interrogate the leader of the provincial council, Sabah Karhout, whom they accuse of corruption. They also demand that Rawi be dismissed as governor, which prompted the Solution bloc and the Islamic Party to demand that the Iraqi parliament dissolve the Anbar provincial council and hold an early local election.

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