What’s next for Anbar?

In that context, Hamid al-Mutlaq, member of parliament for Anbar province, called for the holding of early elections in Anbar and “the formation of a new local administration, while barring the corrupt from holding office.”

In a telephone call with Al-Monitor, Mutlaq said, “Many factions, particularly the local government, bear responsibility for the security collapse in Anbar last year and its subsequent occupation by IS. They, therefore, must be held accountable.”

Since 2003, Anbar’s tribes have been divided, with some backing and working with the central government, while others remained hostile to the Iraqi political process as a whole. Furthermore, regarding the positions toward IS and al-Qaeda, some accuse certain tribes of harboring extremists or joining their ranks and liquidating pro-Iraqi government factions, as was the case in November 2014 with the infamous Albu Nimr massacre during which more than 500 members of the Albu Nimr tribe were killed by IS.

The head of Anbar’s tribal council, Sheikh Rafi al-Fahdawi, talked to Al-Monitor about the council’s opinion concerning the future of militant tribesmen. He said, “Most of Anbar’s clans have agreed to disavow and permit the killing of all tribesmen belonging to IS; any retaliation and revenge not associated therewith shall be condemned by all. The governorate does not currently need reconciliation efforts, but we do fear political squabbles as factions aim to outdo one another, steal the glory of victory and appropriate a share of the reconstruction pie.”

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