London–It seems obvious that aerial bombing is not the answer to the Islamic State and other radical jihadist groups that have taken the lead in rebellions in Syria and Iraq. Only reconciliation with the Sunni Muslims, the majority population in Syria and the minority in Iraq, can create conditions for curbing the extreme groups.
Signs that Sunnis themselves understand their own dilemma are popping up. Sunnis are feeing Raqqa to avoid ISIS repression and military draft making life even more intolerable than it already is under intensified anti-Islamic State bombing. That the cruel dictatorship of Syria’s Hafez al-Assad still has support among urban Sunnis speaks as much about fears of fundamentalism as it does about his corrupt rule.
Meanwhile, in Baghdad still yearn for some sort of political outreach from the Shiite dominated government that could begin a rollback of Islamic State control of central west Iraq and the city of Mosul. Despite Preisdent Obama’s assurance, more than a year ago, that an “inclusive” Iraq government under Abadai would resolve Sunni-Shiite differences, no coming together has occurred.
The need for political outreach is imperative–real power sharing in both Syria and Iraq. But for now, there’s plenty of violence in both countries and little effort at a political solution. That’s a recipe for a long conflict–in Iraq, it’s already a dozen years.
From The Independent, the bleak Sunni future in Baghdad.