Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sunni Resentment Muddles Prospect of Reunifying Iraq After ISIS

By TIM ARANGO, NYT
FEB. 12, 2016

AMIRIYAT FALLUJA, Iraq — When Iraqi ground forces and American aircraft began assaulting the city of Ramadi more than a month ago, Ghusoon Muhammed and her family fled to the government’s front line, as did many other Sunni Arab families who had been trapped for months. Soldiers sent her and the children one way, and her husband another, to be interrogated in a detention facility.

She has not seen him or heard from him since. She and her children, who will most likely not be able to go home to Ramadi for months given the destruction, have been left to wait in a ramshackle tent camp here in Anbar Province. She is desperate, and adamant: “The innocent people in jail need to be released!” she said.

Standing nearby on Sunday was another woman, Karima Nouri. Her son, an auto mechanic, was also taken away by the authorities, and she has had no word about him for weeks. Ms. Nouri said the government considered civilians who remained in Ramadi to be sympathizers of the Islamic State. “But we had no ability to leave,” she said. “We are very poor.”

The retaking of Ramadi, the provincial capital, has been held out as a vital victory by Iraqi officials and their American allies, and one of the most crucial first steps in the government’s reclaiming of Anbar Province and other Sunni Arab places.

(More here.)

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