What after the Fallujah campaign?
Efforts to spread state sovereignty and impose the law on the whole country must be supported
There is ongoing controversy about the transparency and motives of the military campaign in Fallujah, particularly given the sectarianism and barbarity of Shiite militias. Their hateful crimes are documented on videos available on YouTube.
The mere presence of Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, within this military campaign is a recipe for strife and tension.
However, all this does not negate the fact that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has occupied Fallujah for some time now, and that it is the Iraqi state’s duty to liberate it and all Iraqi cities from this evil organization.
The government’s efforts to spread state sovereignty and impose the law on the whole country must be supported. Saudi ambassador to Iraq, Thamer al-Sabhan, did well when he revealed his country’s support for liberating Fallujah. Saudi Arabia’s biggest battle is against ISIS and al-Qaeda, inside and outside the kingdom.
Bad management following the campaign, in light of the Shiite militias, will bring ISIS and perhaps even worse than ISIS back to Fallujah and other citiesMshari al-Thaydi
The Fallujah campaign will most probably succeed, especially with air cover from the international coalition. However, bad management following the campaign, in light of the Shiite militias, will bring ISIS and perhaps even worse than ISIS back to Fallujah and other cities.
This is not just the opinion of a Saudi writer whose country is at loggerheads with Iran. It is the opinion of Makram Mohammad Ahmad, a prominent Egyptian writer and former chairman of the Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate.
Ahmad wrote in Al-Ahram newspaper: “The operation to liberate Fallujah must be a chance to mend Iraq’s wounds. The Sunni tribes of Fallujah… resisted Al-Qaeda and succeeded in expelling it from all Sunni provinces. Instead of rewarding the Sunnis of Fallujah, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki marginalized all Sunni interests due to his sectarian prejudices.”
Everyone expects Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to support the logic of the state rather than that of sects and partisanship. We will follow up on developments, because what comes after the Fallujah campaign matters most.
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on May 31, 2016.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.