The liberation of this fiercely contested city in central Iraq’s volatile Anbar province should have been a high water mark in the campaign to break the Islamic State’s hold on the country and reclaim swaths of territory swallowed up in its so-called “caliphate.”

Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shiite militias, under the cover of U.S. air support, flushed the terror group also known as ISIS and ISIL out of Fallujah in June in an offensive widely praised by military commanders at the Pentagon and inside Baghdad’s “Green Zone.”

Then the dead bodies started to appear.

Reports emerged that as many as 300 Sunni Muslim civilians had survived Islamic State’s nightmarish two-year grip on their city only to be summarily executed and dumped in shallow graves by Shiite militiamen who had taken over in the terror group’s wake.

Such atrocities by the militias — officially known as the Popular Mobilization Units — underscore a crisis within the wider fight against Islamic State in Iraq, one that has vastly complicated the Obama administration’s attempt to work with Baghdad’s Shiite political leaders toward destroying the terror group without a massive influx of U.S. troops. Even in the “victory” here in Fallujah, Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic divisions are on full display.

Read More: Washington Times

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