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New battle in Iraq after the IS is gone

Posted July. 01, 2017 07:21,   

Updated July. 01, 2017 07:54

Liberated from the Islamic State after a three-year long battle, the Iraqi city of Mosul, with population of 2 million, is seeking a revival as the second biggest city in Iraq with people voluntarily participating in reconstruction of the city. People are busy removing the remains of bombing and restoring buildings in the city that was destroyed during bloody battles against the IS.

After Mosul was retaken, roads to nearby Iraqi cities and Turkey opened again, reconnecting the supply chain. Price of construction materials, including cement and steel, fell significantly. According to the Reuters, the price of cement decreased 25 percent from 300 U.S. dollars per one ton after the city was taken back.

However, the IS still controls few neighborhoods in the west of the city, despite of the official declaration of liberation on Thursday by the Iraqi forces. It would take quite a time for the Iraqi government to restore the city.

A fight between the Iraqi government and the Kurdish forces in the absence of the IS seems plausible. The Iraqi government and the Kurdish Peshmerga fought together against the IS to liberate Mosul.

Analysts say another protester group will rise though the IS is eventually forced out of Iraq. The IS is an extreme terrorist group established by the Sunni Arab community, which had been expelled after a war in 2003, against too much oppression from the Shia-led government.

Though the IS disappears in Iraq, the stand-off between the Sunni and the Shia will continue. It remains questionable if the Iraqi government will be capable enough to control armed protesters nationwide after the official withdrawal of the U.S. forces that can utilize overwhelming amount of military resources for regional stabilization.

Dong-Joo Cho djc@donga.com · Su-Yeon Kim sykim@donga.com