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Jacob Siegel Michael Pregent, Daily Beast: Why Does Baghdad Let ISIS Keep Winning?

Ramadi may have fallen to ISIS on Sunday, but the city has been under attack for over a year. Sectarian politics kept the government from defending it—and could empower ISIS further.

The road to Baghdad runs through Ramadi. So why hasn’t the Iraqi government done more to reinforce the city, which has been under siege from ISIS forces since early 2014, even before the fall of Mosul?

The answer is politics: Ramadi is predominantly Sunni, and powerful elements of Baghdad’s Shia ruling class fear empowering Iraq’s Sunnis more than they fear allowing ISIS to continue attacking and bleeding the country’s Sunni regions.

“Ramadi is very close to Baghdad,” said Gen. Najim Abed al-Jabouri was recently appointed Nineveh operations commander for the Iraqi army. “If the terrorists control Ramadi, Baghdad is under a bigger threat.”

The general is planning and eventually will lead the effort to retake Mosul. But that can’t happen until Ramadi is pacified.

WNU Editor: A sobering analysis on how Iraq's sectarianism and political disunity is crippling their strategy to defeat the Islamic State

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