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Money, power draw young Iraqis to IS

Many young people from Jurf al-Sakhar in Iraq are volunteering to join the Islamic State (IS) to secure a monthly income.
Iraqi soldiers fire artillery during clashes with Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the town of Jurf al-Sakhar, south of Baghdad June 30, 2014. Iraqi troops battled to dislodge the al Qaeda splinter group from the city of Tikrit on Monday after its leader was declared caliph of a new Islamic state in lands seized this month across a swathe of Iraq and Syria. Alarming regional and world powers, the ISIL claimed universal authority when it dropped the local element in its nam

Since 2003, Jurf al-Sakhar (60 kilometers, or about 37 miles, southwest of Baghdad) has been a city whose people volunteer in the Iraqi army, join the Sahwa security forces, conduct bombings or join armed groups, most recently the Islamic State (IS).

Imad Farouq, 22, told Al-Monitor about the region’s population: “The people have been loyal to two contradictory sides, but recently, they are tending toward joining IS.” Farouq quit the government’s Sahwa forces and fled to Latifiyah, south of Baghdad, because he fears, “like many others, the tyranny of IS, which has the support of some in the region for ideological reasons.”

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