I fear this won't get a response, but the UN is urgently warning that halfof humanitarian operations in Iraq will shut down without a quick infusion of $500 million.
4 June 2015 – Critical aid operations supporting millions of people affected by the conflict in Iraq are at risk of shutting down unless funds are made available immediately, senior United Nations warned today as they joined an international appeal for nearly $500 million to cover the immediate needs of 5.6 million Iraqis for the next six months. . . .It doesn't help that having gained control of the Ramadi dam, IS has cut off water to areas of Anbar it does not control.
The implications of this, Ms. Gr ande said, would be “catastrophic” in what is already one of the most complex and volatile crisis anywhere in the world. Humanitarian needs in Iraq are huge and growing. More than 8 million people require immediate life-saving support, a number that could reach 10 million by the end of 2015.
IRIN traces the displacement of 2.9 million Iraqis in the past 18 months.
Malcolm Nance explains (once again) that the real force behind IS is Baathist revanchism. We should not be misled into thinking that what is really at stake is the 12th vs. the 21st Century:
In light of this history, it is reasonable to surmise that the ex-Baathists flying the ISIS flag today are covertly working to undermine ISIS’s caliphate and eventually achieve their own political goals. The FRLs [Former Regime Loyalists] may be allowing ISIS to do the hard work of fighting and carving out a Sunni-dominated tribal nation from Damascus to Fallujah to Mosul. Once that geographic goal has been achieved, it should not take much to depose the caliph and eliminate ISIS.
The FRLs and Sunni tribal leadership have clearly demonstrated that the personal aspirations of 7 million Iraqi Sunnis can be a serious political cudgel. If the central government doesn’t play ball, ISIS can march on Baghdad until a deal is made for regional autonomy, money or independence. If the Shiite government defeats ISIS (or if the Sunni community turns against it), the FRLs can just step away and continue to wield power in their communities. Either way, they win.
On the other hand, ISIS did make the FRLs swear oaths of loyalty to the caliphate, and they will certainly take a dim, beheading-filled view of any covert plans to undermine their reign. The FRLs will proceed cautiously. Both ideologies can coexist as long as there is a Shiite-Iranian-American axis to rally against. Baathists are still Muslims, and they have shown that they can feign piety as long as it’s convenient.