The Iraqi government is putting the ISIS-controlled city of Fallujah as next on its target list.
That’s not because of increasingly dire reports that the citizens of Fallujah are suffering from starvation and torture under ISIS’s cruel grip. Nor do Iraqi officials see the city as key to dislodging ISIS from its Iraqi stronghold, Mosul.
Rather, Iraqi officials have told their American counterparts that they suspect the restive Sunni-dominated city is sending jihadists to attack Baghdad, the Shiite-dominated capital. In the last week, there have been multiple daily bombings in Baghdad that have killed more than 200 people and wounded hundreds more. On Tuesday alone, a combination of suicide attacks and car bombings took the lives of nearly 70 people; ISIS claimed responsibility for some of those bombings.
In other words: While all eyes were on Baghdad and the deadliest spate of bombings to strike the capital in years, the Iraqi government was quietly pointing its finger at Fallujah.
Such accusations toward Fallujah, arguably, is precisely what ISIS wanted its bombings to incite, a return to the kind of sectarianism that has, in the past, threatened to tear the state apart—and was supposed to dissipate under Prime Minister Haider al Abadi.
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