Iraq’s post-ISIS outlook darkens as factions turn on themselves

Financial Times reports: The turmoil began with a Shia-led parliamentary sit-in against Iraq’s Shia-dominated government. Next, a top Sunni minister was dismissed with the help of Sunni rivals. A few weeks later, the leading Kurdish minister was sacked — thanks partly to lawmakers in his own political bloc.

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Since the 2003 US invasion fostered splits along Iraq’s three main ethno-sectarian faultlines, Iraqis have grown accustomed to the country’s raucous factionalism. But now, those blocs are not only fighting each other, they are fighting among themselves, creating new schisms that risk fragmenting the political, social and tribal forces that keep Iraq patched together.

It is happening as Baghdad battles to recapture territory from Isis, with the military preparing an offensive on the northern city of Mosul, and to overcome an economic crisis triggered by falling oil revenues.

“One of the greatest challenges this country is going to face after Isis is the Shia-Shia, Sunni-Sunni and Kurdish-Kurdish conflicts that are going to happen,” says Hanan al-Fatlawi, a Shia lawmaker and opponent of Haider al-Abadi, the prime minister. “This next struggle is coming soon.” [Continue reading…]

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