A prominent figure in the military council formed in April 2013 after the Hawija massacre and including fighters from Sunni groups and tribes admits that the differences between Sunni fighters and ISIS may explode. However, the essence of these differences is not ideological but related to the objectives of the latest military move. According to observers, the Sunni groups, though in agreement on the need to impose change by force, have many different aims:
ISIS seeks to establish a state stretching from Iraq to Syria. It will not allow any political solution that preserves the borders of present-day Iraq, nor will it allow armed and political parties to take over the Sunni areas of Iraq. ISIS will be ready to fight a bloody war to defend its interests, a war no different from the one being fought against Syrian Sunni factions such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army.
Salafist factions such as the Mujahideen Army and the Ansar al-Sunna may agree with ISIS’ goals but are closer to adopting a Sunni solution inside Iraq that doesn’t involve expanding into Syrian territory. The Salafists may support a solution that ensures the establishment of an independent Sunni state.
Groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood (the Iraqi Hamas) have close ties to the Islamic Party and support forming a Sunni province, like the Kurdistan Region, linked to the central government in Baghdad but independent from it in terms of the military, laws and managing the economy.
Mixed factions, which include Salafists, nationalists and former officers of the previous military (such as the Islamic Army, the “1920 Revolution Brigades” and tribal fighters), reject Iraq’s division and the formation of a Sunni province. They want a political change in Iraq that ensures the identity of the Sunni areas.