Small Wars Journal

Iraqi Shi'ite Groups Deepen Control in Strategic Sunni Areas

Iraqi Shi'ite Groups Deepen Control in Strategic Sunni Areas by John Davison – Reuters

Iraq’s second city, once a recruitment center for Sunni officers in Saddam Hussein’s army, became an al Qaeda hotbed after the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled the dictator, and later the base from where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in 2014.

Iranian-backed Shi’ite paramilitary groups that played a crucial role in driving out IS have since become dominant in the city, if less visibly than before.

But Shi’ite religious authorities are now quietly seeking to formally take over state land and property they say is historically Shi’ite - something that has incensed Sunni officials…

Read on.