A tribal commander battling ISIS has said he considers the rise of the extremist group a “conspiracy” against Iraq, especially Sunnis, in the most recent statement reiterating the sentiment long-held by some Iraqi Sunnis.
Abdel Rahman Ali told Reuters that ISIS was part of an elaborate plot to weaken Sunnis.
“Everyone knows ISIS will be defeated. The conspiracy was designed to hurt Iraq, especially Sunnis, after we liberate Mosul,” he told Reuters. “Our own politicians are behind it.”
Miaad Madaad, the only female member of the Lions of the Tigris, clutched an AK-47 assault rifle and vowed to defeat ISIS. “The last time they came to my house and threatened me I threw rocks at them and called them dogs,” she said proudly.
ISIS militants beheaded her father-in-law and brother-in-law. But her story illustrates the sectarian and ethnic complexities and mistrust facing Iraq.
When she and her husband fled to the relatively stable Kurdish region earlier this year, he was arrested by Kurdish fighters who suspected him of being an ISIS fighter.