National Security Desk / July 11, 2017

Mosul Back Under Iraqi Control

ISIL is defeated in Mosul, and on top of that there’s possible confirmation of the death of self-proclaimed caliph Baghdadi.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in ousting the Islamic State from the city of Mosul, saying, “The world did not imagine that Iraqis could eliminate Daesh [ISIL]. This is all a result of the sacrifices of the heroic fighters who impressed the world with their courage.” And while the Iraqi military does indeed have control of most of the city, there is still some fighting going on in an increasingly small part of the older portion of the city. The Islamic State has been steadily beaten back over the past year and is showing signs of crumbling.

There is also news that ISIL has finally confirmed the month-long rumored death of their self-proclaimed “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Of course, “confirmation” about this has come before and been disproven, so take this latest report with a grain of salt. In any case, there now appears to be a civil war within the organization as differing factions seek to determine his successor. Sounds pretty much like the history of Islam’s earliest days.

So, the news is good but tenuous as sectarian violence may flare up again as soon as the threat of the Islamic State is deemed to be a minimal issue. It is also likely that Iraq will endure an increase in the number of suicide bombing attacks as ISIL will not give up easily.

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