Co­ex­is­tence be­tween IS and Iraq

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port pub­lished by Asharq Al-Awsat there is a form of power shar­ing be­tween ISIS and the Iraqi gov­ern­ment

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

One Fal­lu­jah res­i­dent, speak­ing to Asharq AlAwsat un­der the as­sumed name of Abu Hamam, said that although Iraqi forces have lib­er­ated other ar­eas of An­bar from ISIS con­trol, in­clud­ing parts of the provin­cial cap­i­tal Ra­madi, Bagh­dad does not ap­pear se­ri­ous about re­tak­ing Fal­lu­jah at this time.

Abu Hamam crit­i­cized the “state of co­ex­is­tence” be­tween ISIS and the Iraqi gov­ern­ment in and around the city. “The least that we can say is that there is a form of power shar­ing be­tween ISIS and the Iraqi gov­ern­ment [in Fal­lu­jah] which has no choice but to deal with the [ter­ror­ist] or- ga­ni­za­tion on some level,” he said.

The Fal­lu­jah-na­tive pointed to a num­ber of state-run ser­vices that con­tinue to op­er­ate in Fal­lu­jah, such as hos­pi­tals and clin­ics. “There is a form of un­pub­li­cized un­der­stand­ing be­tween the two sides, with doc­tors and phar­ma­cists con­tin­u­ing their work in hos­pi­tals in the city with­out be­ing sub­ject to ha­rass­ment while also con­tin­u­ing to re­ceive their gov­ern­ment salaries.”

Abu Hamam said that while ISIS had com­pletely driven out gov­ern­ment se­cu­rity and po­lice forces from Fal­lu­jah, other gov­ern­ment work­ers and civil ser­vants, par­tic­u­larly those af­fil­i­ated to the elec­tric­ity and wa­ter de­part­ments, are al­lowed to con­tinue to op­er­ate with­out in­ter­fer­ence from ei­ther side.

Maj. Tahsin Al-Mushrif, an Iraqi of­fi­cer over­see­ing a check­point out­side of the city of Fal­lu­jah, said, “There is a kind of strange co­ex­is­tence be­tween ISIS and the gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties.” He cited the ex­am­ple of check­ing pa­pers at check­points: “ISIS has set up cus­toms check­points and is im­pos­ing cus­toms du­ties on trucks rang­ing be­tween 50 and 300 US dol­lars, de­pend­ing on the type of goods the truck is trans­port­ing. Iraqi se­cu­rity forces check th­ese doc­u­ments and if the money was not paid, this raises the pos­si­bil­ity that the driver is ‘col­lab­o­rat­ing’ with ISIS.”

While it is per­haps not so sur­pris­ing that Bagh­dad would have to deal with ISIS in one form or another due to the pres­ence of Iraqi cit­i­zens liv­ing in ISIS-con­trolled ar­eas, but it is sur­pris­ing that ISIS would deal with a cen­tral gov­ern­ment that it views as il­le­git­i­mate.

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