Skip to main content

Sectarian forces fight for influence in Iraq's Diyala province

After being liberated from the Islamic State, the Diyala province is suffering from increased ethnic, sectarian and political conflicts that could turn into armed clashes at any moment.
Read in 

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee raised alarm bells Sept. 7 about the political crisis rocking Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, which stretches to the Iranian border. It warned that the Islamic State (IS) could stage a comeback in some liberated areas due to the ethnic, sectarian and political conflict in the province. Diyala province has a population of some 1.27 million people, including a majority of Arabs who are more or less equally divided between Sunni and Shiite, followed by Kurds and Turkmens.

As if to underline the prospect of an ethnic conflict, 100 fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) on Sept. 10 took over the municipality headquarters of Mandali and forcibly lowered the Kurdish flag.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.