RELEVANT SOURCES: ECONOMIST – FOREIGN POLICY – NY TIMES –
“The danger is that the IS caliphate is becoming a permanent part of the region. The frontiers will shift in the coming months. But with the Kurds governing themselves in the north-east, and the Shias in the south, Iraqis question the government’s resolve in reversing IS’s hold on the Sunni north-west. ‘Partition is already a reality,’ sighs a Sunni politician in exile. ‘It just has yet to be mapped,'” writes the Economist.
“Baghdadi’s caliphate, by almost every measure, is growing. Recent intelligence indicates that the Islamic State’s headquarters in Iraq and Syria have sent funds to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, fighters to Tunisia, and advice to Boko Haram militants in Nigeria. A Mideast diplomat, who refused to be identified by his nationality, said the group is now operating in as many as 16 countries, including Algeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan,” writes Lara Jakes in Foreign Policy.
“The attack on Ramadi was a sign of desperation, not strength. It took 16 months of continual clashes with tenacious Iraqi security forces and loyal Sunni tribes before the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, could take Ramadi. Before it fell, the Islamic State already controlled half of the city. Its battlefield rivals were exhausted, and it wanted to give its adherents a psychological boost. Ramadi was a ripe target. But the Islamic State is not on an unstoppable march. In Iraq, and to some extent Syria, it remains on the defensive,” writes Ahmed Ali in the New York Times.