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Consequences of a Failing State and of Sectarianism - a Lift to the IS

The Islamic State(IS) took control of the western Iraq city of Ramadi, 60-miles west of Baghdad on Sunday, thus underscoring that the extremist group would continue being lifted in the face of a failed government in Syria and a sectarian one in Iraq.

Reports have indicated that a house-to-house purge of pro-government loyalists from Ramadi by the IS, has resulted in bodies being thrown into the nearby Euphrates River. While the United Nations(UN) warns of an impending humanitarian crisis brought to wrought by the IS siege, 25,000 residents have already taken flight, the BBC-News reported earlier today.

The fact that the IS has been able to take Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's largest province, Anbar, is indication of a prolonged sectarian fracture of the Iraqi government. Anbar, a predominantly Sunni Muslim province, witnessed Iraqi forces running from the capital as the IS attacked on Sunday. 

Now Shia militias, including the Popular Mobilization group, which was very active in retaking Tikrit from the IS in April,  are planning to retake the city. "The military operation to liberate Ramadi and Anbar will not start until all the requirements are met," said Anbar police chief Kadhim al-Fahdawi, whose troops are positioned close to Ramadi at Husaybah, "the starting point" for operations to retake the city, the policeman added. However, reports have indicated that the IS had started out from Ramadi to encounter any countering forces, including Iranian backed Shia militiamen.

Continuing insurgencies by the IS into Iraq are clearly indicative of the weakness of the sectarian character of the Iraq government, for which many Sunnis are unwilling to bear arms against the mostly Sunni IS. Moreover, IS control over a large swath of Syria, is facilitated because of a failed government in Damascus.

Thus, until a solution resolves the war in Syria and until a meaningful unity is forged in Iraq, the IS stands to continue making gains in Iraq and in Syria while causing agitations beyond the Middle East.

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