Will the end of ISIS in Mosul end sectarian war?
There’s a heated ongoing debate in Baghdad about questioning the officials who were directly involved in the fall of Mosul. Haidar Al-Abbadi might want to root out Nuri Al-Maliki and point the finger of blame and accusation at him. But Al-Maliki on the other hand wants to blame local people of Mosul and acquit some military officials of his government of the charges.
Nuri Al-Maliki’s government is responsible for what happened in Mosul and after it. Historic mistakes would face Al-Abbadi if he would, from a Shiite point view, exonerate Al-Maliki from holding the responsibility, or if he thought he would spare his dispute with Nuri Al-Maliki through punishing some officers or government officials.
The sectarian crises don’t seem to be settled with political decision by itself. The fall and handing over Mosul to ISIS was a direct consequence of sectarian conflict and war. The US wants to confront ISIS through arming Sunni Arab tribes in Anbar then in Mosul, and Al-Abbadi has decided to arm the Sunni tribes under the pressure of the US, but neither the Sunni tribes trust Baghdad’s government (Shia) any more, nor Baghdad can trust them and arm them, because the government believes that these tribes sell their weapons to ISIS, or they might rebel against the government and support ISIS instead. Meanwhile, the volunteers and Badr militias have caused concerns and worries within Sunnis. The Sunnis will not stand idly as spectators.
The information indicates that the US is arming and training the Sunni tribes in Assad military base for fighting ISIS in Anbar Province. They’re also opening some military bases in Hawler for training 80,000 soldiers to retake Mosul. It needs time of course, and needs building trust between the Shias and Sunnis and between Al-Abbadi’s government and Sunni tribes.
The ground doesn’t seem to be prepared for reestablishing the trust between Sunnis and Shias. Driving ISIS out of Anbar, Salahadin, and fighting them in Mosul is not only related to the reorganization of the military, police and intelligence, but also related to establishing the trust between the components of Iraq, in which the Shia majority government haven’t been able to succeed and achieve equality in rights and duties in their relations with the Sunnis.
Even if Mosul and other areas were cleaned of ISIS, the hatred and revenge, sectarian and social division between Sunnis and Shias would not end and will remain as a source of threat and conflict against one another that could be used anytime for blasting the situation in Iraq. That’s why, implementing federalism, or federations is the most suitable system for eliminating inequality, tyranny, instability and war in Iraq.