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Anbar war opens front on Facebook, Twitter

As the battles in Anbar continue and sectarian tensions rise in Iraq, citizens from both sides have set up Facebook pages to gather supporters and present their views.
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A new front has opened in the battle for control of Anbar province. The conflict, which began in late December 2013 when the Iraqi army deployed to the Anbar desert to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), has now expanded to such popular social media platforms as Facebook and Twitter. Activists backing the Iraqi army have established pages supporting the security forces, while tribal fighters battling the army as well as ISIS have created similar pages. They all provide updates of events on the ground, and some do not shy from indulging in incitement against their adversary.

The administrator of the Facebook page for Rayat Ahl al-Sunnah Fil-Iraq (Flag of the Sunnis in Iraq), which views the army as occupying Anbari cities to harass and oppress the population there, pleaded with the media to support the “battle of the people of Anbar against the army.” In an interview with Al-Monitor, he asserted, “The media has not dealt fairly with our cause. We established a page on Facebook so that we could tell the world what is happening in Anbar.”

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