The Role of Iraqi Security Forces in Defeating the Islamic State

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Michael Knights - Last week saw Iraqi security forces (ISF) entering the northwestern quadrant of Mosul, the last quarter of the city still under Islamic State control. The main forces fighting ISIS in Iraq are the central government's ISF, which include the Counter-Terrorism Service, the army, and the Federal Police. Next are the Kurdish forces: the Kurdistan Regional Government's Peshmerga military units and their police counterparts, the Zerevani. Third are the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), Shiite volunteer militias that include some Iranian-backed Shiites who had fought the Iraqi government in prior years. Iraqis and Kurds have largely liberated themselves in this conflict, doing the vast majority of the actual fighting on the ground (with powerful and indispensable assistance from the coalition). The pervasive misunderstanding that the Kurds have carried a disproportionate burden in the fighting was exacerbated by the relative ease of reporting from KRG territory. In fact, the ISF fought more battles and liberated more cities than other forces.

2017-03-30 00:00:00

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