One of the major problems in Anbar is how porous the long border between Iraq and Syria is. “We’ve been appealing to the federal government to control the borders here for the last nine months,” says council member Suhaib al-Rawi, who is on the local security committee. “But members of these extremist groups continue to cross over every day and nobody seems to be able to stop them.”
“The security forces here in Anbar have acted too slowly and the Iraqi army is also weak,” al-Rawi told NIQASH. “The result is that today members of Al Qaeda are crossing into Iraq, living with us, resting in their desert camps and then killing us.”
From the beginning of this wave of activity in Iraq, ISIS’ strategy seems to have had two major goals. Firstly the rehabilitation of military-style camps in Iraq in places like the Anbar desert region, northern parts of Salahaddin province, eastern parts of Mosul and northern parts of Babel. The groups had these camps previously but had been driven out over the past decade. Now however they are returning.
Secondly, the organisation has continued to wage a kind of guerrilla war on the streets of Iraq’s cities – it’s been successful in launching simultaneous waves of suicide bombings.
(Gun image via Shutterstock)
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