ISIS Almost Gone in Syria, Still Holds Parts of Iraq

US led coalition forces have nearly driven ISIS out of Syria. Mosul, Iraq is almost completely liberated. Efforts now will be turning to the rest of Iraq in the quest to destroy and defeat ISIS. However, fighting ISIS in Iraq may prove more difficult than it was in Syria. ISIS is composed largely of Sunni Muslims and so are areas in Iraq. It will be difficult fighting ISIS in many of those Sunni dominated areas.

The liberation of Mosul from ISIS is nearly complete, but the Islamic State remains a formidable presence in Iraq, and numerous obstacles remain in the way of Iraqi Security forces totally eradicating the ruthless terror group.

Which pockets of the Sunni-dominated terror group the government sets its sights on next will depend on numerous factors: Which ISIS-controlled areas of Baghdad pose the greatest threat, which communities are in most urgent need of liberation and the outcome of a debate about whether to include Iranian forces, which were excluded from the Mosul fight.

One obscure but strategically important area in need of liberation is the Sunni-majority district of Hawija, which is 100 miles south of Mosul and 30 miles west of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The location of the district, which had a pre-ISIS population of around 450,000, enables the jihadists to attack the two cities as well as areas in north Tikrit. Also, Hawija’s proximity to mountainous areas has also provided cover for ISIS cells…

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Fighting ISIS in Iraq will be as difficult as it has been fighting al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Iraq, along with many of the other Muslim controlled nations have been occupied by warring tribes and ethnic groups for centuries. Believing that the US can walk in, defeat ISIS and restore peace to the region is going to be like trying to stop the ocean tides with pale of sand, impossible.

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