Islamic State in retreat in Iraq?

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Good news? Reports out of Iraq strongly suggest that the Islamic State is in retreat there.

The most encouraging part of the above report is this however:

[I]n the face of a host of problems, Iraq is continuing the democratic process. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, for all his faults (some of which contributed to the rise of Islamic State), relinquished power peacefully. He didn’t give in to the self-fulfilling spiral of paranoia that infects so many Middle Eastern rulers, where you ruthlessly hold on to power in order to keep yourself from being killed by your political opponents. Flawed as Maliki was, he’s been nowhere near as bad as Saddam Hussein, or Bashar Assad, or Ayatollah Khamenei. While Islamic State has rampaged north and west, the Iraqi parliament has investigated the fall of Mosul, pushed back against government corruption, and passed a budget. They’ve plodded along like a normal country, despite their abnormal circumstances

There actually may be cause for some hope in at least this one corner of the Middle East.


  • Maurice

    And the band on the titanic played until the list became too much. Proves little.
    Right now, IS is concentrating around Deir-Ezzoz to kill off the easternmost vestige of the syrian regime. If that town of 200,000 falls, 20,000 hardened fighters are released and the entire balance can change. The all-but-in-name independent kurdish area has hit steady state, and other than small areas around the Yezidi region isn’t likely to want to extend its already overextended front lines.
    Unless the iraqi golden brigade/division/whatever they call it today can pull a miracle out of the hat, the road to mosul is not about to open. If Tikrit was the proving ground, then the only working strategy the Iraqi regime has is to create depopulated buffer zones around destroyed cities in the Sunni-majority areas and hope their irregular proxies won’t turn their weaponry to the green zone in Bagdad any time soon.

  • wodun

    It is good news that the long promised offensive to retake these towns is finally underway but it isn’t going to be quick because of all the time ISIS has had to boobytrap everything. Notice the Afghans launched a counteroffensive in Kunduz before the Taliban had time to plant IEDs everywhere.

    Also, ISIS losing territory shouldn’t be viewed as success per se. They expand and contract as a strategy. So if Ramadi is retaken without Iraq losing some other city and they begin to take on Mosul, we could be a little more confident speaking of success.

    What this shows is that the fate of Iraq is not predetermined, that the military is part of the solution, and that aiding Iraq isn’t a waste. It would have been nice if the USA played a bigger role as I worry about what Iran has planned for Iraq.

  • Phill O

    The USA might be finding it harder to fight global terrorist groups as other countries move to a liberal base. Canada has now moved to the left as had Australia, two of the US’s best allies for war. The only thing that could help is that the Obama administration hard ball Truedeaux. Fat chance! My biggest fear is that Israel will be left to it’s own defenses solely. Antisemitism is strong on the left. Considering the wish of the left to legislate opposition to the CO2 model, we could be seeing a rise in leftist Fascism. My only hope is that the GOP nominates a truly conservative candidate. Even then, the going will be very tough. The number of elected officials with a Muslim tendency has grown significantly here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *