Harriet Agerholm (INDEPENDENT) notes a dissenting voice:
Theresa May has warned that Isis is ”not yet defeated” after Iraq declared an end to its fight against the jihadi group.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday declared the country’s war against Isis officially over, saying the group no longer occupied significant territory in the country.
I remember when IS were rampaging across Iraq in 2013, and it looked like they wouldn't be stopped. IS group aren't finished, but for Iraq, this is quite a moment. Iraq declares war with Islamic State is over
Hayder is insisting it's all over.
Alexandra Zavis and Nabih Bulos (LOS ANGELES TIMES) explain that Hayder is insisting the 'win' doesn't mean that US troops should leave because he needs some to say on for "training, intelligence and logistical support." They further note:
“Victories over terrorists have been precipitously declared countless numbers of times before only to have proven illusionary,” said Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University in Washington. “Groups like ISIS always leave behind a subversive cadre that has the capability, the motivation and the intention of becoming the nucleus of either the group’s next iteration or even its rebirth.”
ISIS is a common acronym for Islamic State, which is an offshoot of an Al Qaeda affiliate in Iraq that many U.S. commanders believed had been defeated nearly a decade ago. Even as Iraq’s Shiite-led government celebrates its latest victory, deep-seated grievances among minority Sunni Arabs who dominated under the late strongman Saddam Hussein remain unaddressed.
“Fear of Iran, fear of Shia domination, fear now of becoming victims themselves has produced a witch’s brew that certainly surviving elements of ISIS could take advantage of and exploit, or that a successor could build upon,” Hoffman said.
On the issue of 'training,' Jack Detsch (AL-MONITOR) reports:
The United States and its allies failed to train any new members of Iraq’s elite counterterrorism force in the aftermath of the battle for Mosul, a potential blow to efforts to rebuild the country’s premier fighting unit after the fall of the Islamic State (IS).Between July and October, according to the Pentagon’s Inspector General (IG), the 73-nation coalition combating IS in Iraq and Syria did not train a single new recruit for the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), which spearheaded nearly nine months of block-by-block combat to reclaim Iraq’s second-largest city from IS. The admission raises concerns about the Pentagon’s ability to meet its goal of having 20,000 fighters in the elite unit within the next three years, especially after they suffered a 40% casualty rate in the battle for Mosul.
“I think it’s questionable whether that’s a realistic goal,” retired Lt. Gen. James Dubik, who led the training of Iraqi forces for NATO during the surge of 2007-2008, told Al-Monitor. “The country probably has some thinking to do, because the CTS forces were originally envisioned to be just that — more of a special forces capacity. They were able to be very selective in the kind of training and material and intelligence force they provided.”
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