Abdallah Suleiman Ali writes: Many of the armed factions in Iraq participated in the formation of the Sunni Awakening [movement], which under direct guidance from the leadership of the American occupation forces fought against ISIS. These included the Islamic Army, the Mujahideen Army, the 1920 Revolution Brigade, Hamas of Iraq and many other factions. These groups were mushrooming on Iraqi territory in the wake of the US occupation and the ensuing chaos and instability.
It is worth noting that two of the armed factions back then, Ansar al-Islam and the Naqshbandi Army, did not fight against ISIS under the umbrella of the Sunni Awakening nor any other wider movement. Ansar al-Islam started fighting ISIS independently in 2004, through the establishment of the Hamzah Battalion and then the Anbar Revolutionaries Brigade in 2005.
Three factors enabled ISIS to regain its power after the severe blows it had been dealt by the Awakening forces that almost toppled it. [Continue reading…]