Thursday, June 12, 2014

ISIS in Fallujah

Raed el-Hamed has interesting information on ISIS's political position in Fallujah:
Following a successful entry into Fallujah in January 2014, which ISIS wanted as a stepping stone for attacks against Baghdad, the group formed an implicit agreement with tribal insurgents and the local military council, which includes armed former opposition factions and some former army officers. According to this agreement, ISIS can be present in Fallujah proper but may not launch revenge attacks against public property, former officials, party leaders, or former Awakening members, while also refraining from labeling any others as infidels (takfir), raising its flag, or forcing others to swear allegiance. The agreement also dictates that ISIS is to act in full coordination with the military council and the tribal insurgents in everything related to military action or civil administration, and cannot unilaterally claim credit for any attack on government troops.
ISIS prospers in Iraq only because it has convinced Sunni Arabs that it can be an effective partner against the Maliki government.  This suggests to me its allies could easily turn on it if it becomes too aggressive in trying to dominate the territory it occupies.  That said, I don't think pushing for shari'a law will matter to religiously conservative tribes.  ISIS needs to let them control economic resources.

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