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Tribal divisions deepen Anbar battle controversy

The Islamic State will continue to move freely in Anbar province until Iraqi political parties agree on a joint force composed of the army and the Popular Mobilization Units, to lead the battles for the liberation of Anbar.
A member of the Iraqi security forces takes up position with his weapon in the desert between Anbar and Kerbala, February 24, 2015. Picture taken February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed (IRAQ - Tags - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT POLITICS MILITARY) - RTR4R3AU
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More than a year has passed since the Islamic State (IS) occupied six major towns in Anbar, stretching from Qaim to Rutbah, Anah to Rawa and Hit to Fallujah. Over the last two months and up until today, it has simultaneously opened six new fronts, including in Haditha, central Ramadi, Tharthar, al-Amiriyah, al-Karmah and al-Baghdadi, to complete its occupation of the whole of Anbar province.

The ignition of the Anbar front is a direct attempt by IS to make up for its defeat in Tikrit, but it was no surprise, particularly since Anbar has always been an open, vast and ideal geographic arena for extremist organizations over the past years. Anbar was the stronghold of al-Qaeda and a large number of armed factions, such as the Islamic Army in Iraq (AIA), the Mujahedeen Army and Hamas in Iraq. The province witnessed major military operations during the US occupation (2003-12).

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