How will Baghdad plan for liberated Fallujah?

The city is of twofold significance due to its strategic location. It is less than 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Baghdad, and the majority of the inhabitants of the nearby areas in the capital are Sunnis. This has made it a central location from which to disseminate chaos in Baghdad and provide support to the ongoing suicide bombings and car bombs in the capital. In addition, it is near important Shiite cities, such as Karbala and Hillah, allowing Salafi jihadis to provoke Shiites and pose a threat to their holy sites.

Given its location and the aforementioned factors, the Iraqi military command developed a masterful plan to liberate Fallujah quickly and without major losses. After IS suffered attrition due to the almost yearlong siege on the city, various government-backed forces — the army, the Popular Mobilization Units and Sunni tribes — were mobilized. The issue seems perfect from a military point of view. Yet the government has not prepared itself for the post-liberation phase, which is much more important than the liberation itself for some considerations.

The city was liberated in 2007 from extremist organizations, and then it fell into extremist hands again. Based on that, the government needs to prepare an integrated project to guarantee its control over the city and fortify it in the face of extremist organizations through the following procedures.

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