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Middle East and North Africa

ISIS in Iraq: A Regional Crisis With Global Implications

The active sectarian rivalry and conflict in Iraq – long exploited by successive governments in Bagdad – has reached crisis proportions. Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and a primary oil centre, was overrun and occupied June 12th 2014 by the Sunni militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) (ISIS) which formerly fought under the al-Qaeda banner. ISIS are making gains on their previous successes in taking large parts of the central city of Fallujah in December 2013

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After the fall: Restoring Security to Iraq

The initial step in assessing the potential military response to recent events in Iraq is to seek to understand how the security situation in the country degenerated so quickly. The most obvious and urgent question that needs to be answered is how as few as 800 ISIS militants (out of a total of around 6,000 in Iraq), were able to overrun a garrison of around 25,000 Iraqi troops.

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The Three Faces of ISIS: Who is Behind the War in Iraq?

The fall of Mosul, allegedly to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is not the military victory it has been made out to be. For a start, as the New York Times and Agence France-Presse report, ISIS gunmen (who faced an army outnumbering them fifty-to-one) were able to occupy strategic positions around the city only after Iraqi commanders ordered their troops to stand down and retreat.

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Back to the Quagmire: Beyond Diplomacy in Syria

Whilst there is reason to be positive about the ongoing Geneva negotiations between the Assad government and the opposition, the general consensus is that there is little chance of these talks leading to any substantial progress. The reason for this underlying feeling is as clear as it is familiar, the rebels ultimately demand Assad goes, Assad refuses to do so.

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