Since 2014, Republicans have constantly hammered the Obama administration over the loss of an infamous Iraqi city to ISIS. They’ve used the city as a talking point in order to illustrate what they characterize as Obama’s failed foreign policy.
But on Sunday night the Iraqi army managed to take control of the last ISIS stronghold within the city of Fallujah. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made an appearance on national TV to give a victory speech. This marks the end of the longest ISIS reign within any Iraqi city.
The victory also marked the beginning of the end for ISIS inside Iraq. Now there is just one Iraqi city under ISIS control, Mosul (the second largest city in Iraq).
And while the end of ISIS’s reign of terror will soon be coming to an end in Iraq, the government still needs to address the systemic issues which allowed ISIS to take root, to begin with. Deep sectarian tensions, along with economic instability are still present and needs to be dealt with otherwise history will most likely repeat.
Raw political sectarianism in Iraq was the main causal factor [in ISIS’s rise],” Fred Hof, who for part of 2012 served as the Obama administration’s special adviser for the transition in Syria, explained in an email.
Let’s face it: If we don’t do reconciliation, if we don’t do rebuilding properly… ISIS is going to get another shot at this in two years’ time,” said Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Iraq has a very long road ahead. The U.S. created an unnecessary war which has torn their country apart. And after billions of dollars spent on rebuilding the broken country, many Iraqis are much worse off today.
Don’t expect Republicans to talk much about ISIS’s most recent defeat, they would much rather focus on the terror group’s ties to a sexually conflicted homicidal Muslim gunman in Florida.
Featured image via video screen capture