As Islamic State is defeated in Iraq and Syria, a chance for stable political future in this region is about to begin.
Mina Al-Oraibi, a senior fellow at the Institute for State Effectiveness, stated that there is no reason to think Iraq is only benefitted due to defeat of ISIS, it can provide economic boost as well as peace to the whole world.
US government is expected to provide $2 billion aid to Iraq. However, this money is required to be distributed in various industrial sectors.
Ms. Al-Oraibi, a scholar, explained that the region needs humanitarian aids to revive from post-ISIS trauma.
Liberated territories still need security forces that will be acceptable for locals, displaced populations need to return to their homes and towns have to be rebuilt. The most important thing is driving out ISIS from Mosul, an important city of Iraq.
Security forces of Iraqi government have made several attempts to drive out ISIS. The US has also given commitment to send 560 more troops to Iraq. While Iraqi and U.S. officials have not announced a date for an offensive, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi wants to enter Mosul by October. The city is “strategic” and there will be a focus on the military push to recapture it, said Ms. Al-Oraibi.
Salim Al-Jabouri, speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, stated that Iraq needs continuous aids from the world. Mr. Al-Jabouri expressed his gratitude for the aid provided to Iraq by the international community and stressed the importance of using these funds for reconstruction.
Ms. Al-Oraibi said, “Building trust and organizing communities will be the biggest challenge but the most important component for long-term success.”
The creation of jobs in liberated areas needs to be a focus along with providing stable, trustworthy security forces. The government will have to show that the politics are working and Baghdad will have to rebuild a relationship with citizens, especially those who were forced to leave their homes because of ISIS.
Bilal Wahab, assistant professor at the American University of Iraq, said that Kurdistan also needs to resolve issues in order to remain a beacon of hope in an otherwise turmoil and volatile region.
He also appreciated Kurds for ‘standing their grounds’ during fight against ISIS. Now, the region needs economic reforms for success in future.
There will need to be a reduction of Erbil’s control on the economy as well as clear division and sharing of oil revenues, said Mr. Wahab. If not, he warned that conditions will allow for the emergence of a new terrorists group — just how the Islamic State emerged after the defeat of al Qaeda.
At their strongest, the Islamic State captured 30 percent to 40 percent of Iraqi territory. While it has reduced to less than 10 percent now, radical Islamists continue to inflict damage throughout the region.
Most recently, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks in Orlando, Florida; Nice, France; and central Baghdad.
Recapturing Mosul from ISIS will be a real test for armed forces of Iraq.