Socialist Worker

Tensions grow in Iraq as new Caliphate declared

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2410

The militias fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) in Syria and Iraq have declared a new Islamic state, a “Caliphate”. 

It cuts across century-old borders drawn by imperialists.

Islamist groups from across the region have come out in support of the declaration. 

It makes the prospect of a sectarian divide in Iraq more likely.

Isis, now renamed the Islamic State, is made up of Sunni Muslims who targeted the pro-Shia sectarian regime in Iraq.

They grew in dominance within the opposition forces in Syria.

In Baghdad Shia militias have been mobilised and the few Sunni areas that remained after the war face pogroms.

Iraqi forces have regrouped and are fighting a fierce battle to retake cities taken by Isis.

The Iraqi regime and the depth of the divisions in Iraq are a product of the West’s invasion and occupation.

Currently the US has surveillance drones flying over the region daily and has several hundred “military advisors” on the ground. 

But the West has so far held back from air strikes. 

US president Barack Obama has proposed funnelling nearly £300 million to arm rebels in Syria who are fighting Isis within the opposition forces. 

But any intervention by the West will only make the conflict in the region more bloody.

The few remaining Syrian rebel groups have no interest in being used as pawns by the US, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi regimes.


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