Countries that are predominantly
Shia and countries that are predominantly Sunni – the intensifying civil war in
Iraq with the Sunni militant outfit ISIS/ISIL (Islamic State in Syria and
al-Sham/the Levant) rapidly gaining grounds and threatening the Shia-dominated
government of Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad – and the major Shia and Sunni powers
engaged in reacting on and influencing the future course of action in the
predominantly Shia Iraq – it is to worsen even more.
Iraq is staring at the real
chances of its borders redrawn in the near future – on the ethnic lines – the
Shia dominated areas – the Sunni dominated areas – the Kurd dominated areas –
but what about the areas having the mix populations – the bloodbath is spilling
over with ISIS marching ahead carrying out the ethnic cleansing of killing
Shias in the towns captured – it is expected to continue until some
‘arrangement’ is reached.
Until the help comes – from
inside, aided by Iran, with military and advisory support and aided by the
different Shia militias (including suicide bombers), like the one by Moqtada
al-Sadr, the radical cleric, whom no ‘civilized army’ would like to be on its
side – or from outside, explicitly by Iran, in the name of protecting the
religious Shia shrines in cities like Najaf and Karbala, ISIS has been vocal
about – or from outside, the US-led strategic and targeted attacks on ISIS, but
the US needs a new government in Iraq before that.
These are the possibilities that
need escalation and quick implementation and in the prevailing geopolitical
scenarios, one or more of them are bound to happen, and bound to happen soon,
given the pace of ISIS rapid advances. They are on the way to rout the largest
Iraqi province Anbar with its fourth city Rutba, a strategic win, falling to
the Sunni militants today. Anbar is predominantly Sunni and the whole province
is expected to fall soon.
ISIS has three strategic border
crossings at Syrian border and Jordanian borders already under its control, the
BBC says – also, Rutba is 150 Kms from the Jordanian border and is
strategically placed between Jordan and Baghdad according to the BBC – so,
their Iraq game-plan is moving along with the ‘Levant’ game-plan – and they are
proving sturdy because they are getting support from the local Sunni
populations, from the tribal leaders and from the countries that are
predominantly Sunni, like Saudi Arabia’s strong objection to the external
interference in the ongoing Iraqi affairs – and Iraq’s Shiite leadership is to owe
the blame for it.
The US is right in asking for
Maliki’s head – ‘reconciliation’ (used by the US President Barack Obama – a key
word of US intent on its proposed roadmap in Iraq) may be a soft and outrightly
misplaced word here given the ISIS brutality – but it is true the current
dispensation governing Iraq from Baghdad is to share the blame – by turning
Iraq, with a sizeable Sunni population, into a Shiite hegemony – the unrest was
brewing and the ‘backfired acts’ by Iraq’s Shia government targeting the Sunni
population and the areas made elements fall in place for ISIS to take over.
And it is on now – inviting more,
sucking more – asking for blood – killing families – destroying neighbourhoods
- mutilating humanity – but who cares for such words in a war – and it is worse
- it is a war on religious lines – where fighters not only follow the orders
blindly – they follow it with a zeal of inhuman excesses.