The challenges after Mosul

  • Plenty of urgent work remains in order to stabilize Iraq and Syria and counter ISIS’ insidious ideology
- The New York Times

Jul 13, 2017-Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, and Iraqi security forces deserved to celebrate after re-establishing control over Mosul. There is still plenty of urgent work to be done to stabilize Iraq and Syria while also working to counter ISIS’ insidious ideology. 

The focus among ISIS’ foes has been killing the terrorists in Iraq and in Syria, where American-backed Syrian forces are closer to recapturing ISIS headquarters, in Raqqa. The longer-term challenge will be addressing the complex factors that have created conditions for the group to thrive. 

Any satisfaction over the military success must be tempered by the high death toll, with perhaps over 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians killed in nine months of fighting. Mosul residents have been left traumatized by the psychological, sexual and physical violence suffered during three years of ISIS control. The city has been devastated. The White House is reportedly debating whether to get involved in Iraq’s long-term recovery. Iraqis bear the primary responsibility for stabilizing their country, but they cannot do it without help.

Iraq squandered one opportunity to remake itself into a stable and pluralistic country. With ISIS on the run, it should seize this second chance.

Published: 13-07-2017 07:49

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