The U.S.-backed Iraqi Security Forces are surprised how easy it was to retake the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State. Iraqi Security Forces officially “liberated” the city on June 26, after five weeks of heavy fighting.
“It was really a heavy fight along the front line. But once they penetrated that, it seemed to go very quickly,” Pentagon Spokesman Jeff Davis told Military Times. The U.S.-backed effort took considerably shorter than the previous effort to retake the city of Ramadi. The retaking of Ramadi took nearly four months of ground combat operations, even following nearly an entire year of training and preparation.
U.S. officials reacted with near unanimous skepticism when Iraq announced it had retaken Fallujah so quickly. The Iraqi government previously claimed victory in Ramadi far too early, and needed weeks of continued U.S. air support to fully clear ISIS from the city.
Despite U.S. satisfaction, the operation raises important questions for the future of Iraq. Iranian backed forces, and even Iranian generals, were a central part of the effort to retake the predominantly Sunni city. Beyond the threat of ethnosectarian cleansing by both religious groups, the effort could make the Baghdad government turn to Iran for support over the United States.
Fallujah was the first major Iraqi city to fall to ISIS in 2014 and served as an important ISIS base to launch suicide attacks on nearby Baghdad. The city has now been “retaken” three times since the beginning of U.S. involvement in Iraq in 2003. U.S. Marines needed only nine days to retake the city in late 2004.
The U.S. backed Iraqi Forces will now turn their efforts to retaking the city of Mosul. Mosul is the last major Iraqi city held by ISIS. Mosul’s seizure by mere hundreds of ISIS terrorists in 2014 shocked the world, and helped establish ISIS as the terrorist juggernaut it is today.
Send tips to email@example.com
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.