Ramadi has fallen

(21 Posts)
alteredimages Mon 18-May-15 10:22:52

Islamic State have taken Ramadi, the regional command centre for al Anbar province. The Iraqi Armed Forces abandoned their posts and fled. IS now have a lot of new military hardware.

Saudi Arabia has also rested air strikes on Yemen, IS have been making gains again in Syria. Libya is as chaotic as ever and apparently IS fighters are being smuggled into Europe on the migrant boats, or at least IS are turning a good profit from the smugglers.

Three judges were murdered on Saturday in Sinai.

It feels like the Middle East is on fire. Syria, Iraq, Lybia. These were all very stable, albeit autocratic and unfair, states until recently.

Anyone else scared for the future?

alteredimages Mon 18-May-15 10:23:23

Rested air strikes? I meant resumed.

sebsmummy1 Mon 18-May-15 10:25:56

I didn't want to leave this unanswered as I think it's extremely important news and yes it's very very worrying.

Am I scared? No. Am I concerned? Yes very.

Lweji Mon 18-May-15 10:29:44

These were all very stable, albeit autocratic and unfair, states until recently.

That's the problem. Autocracy and unfairness are recipes for unrest at some point.

It is worrying, yes. And mostly because the international community has no idea what/if to do about it. Most interventions so far have messed it up even more in the Middle East.

chocolateyay Mon 18-May-15 10:30:51

Its feels all very old testament end of days.

However, they will eventually go the way of all tyrants - destroyed by their own violence and lack of support from their 'subjects'. Rather fitting for a regime who seems to detest history.

It will take time though, and something worse may come along.

And yes, I am very worried.

Pagwatch Mon 18-May-15 10:31:20

Yes, concerned too.

alteredimages Mon 18-May-15 11:03:02

You are right Lweji. I meant that as a statement of fact, not as one of tacit support.

In fact I live in Egypt and was here through the "two revolutions" or more accurately the revolution and the counter revolution. The old guard are firmly back and there is a very very tight grip on security. I am concerned for the medium to long term future, once that grip slips a little. There is a lot of pent up anger here and even government supporters are not happy, just worried about something worse coming along.

There is an entire generation coming along which has no faith in government (nothing new there), but also in the justice system, the education system, the security system, or indeed any aspect of the state. They are locked out of work by priority being given to seniority and old men not wanting to retire, locked out of an independent life by strict social mores that see children staying with parents until they marry and at the same time housing being so inaffordable as to prevent setting up a home, if you are one of the lucky ones with a job anyway. It is not at all unusual to still be living with your parents well into your thirties, especially for men. This new generation aren't going to tolerate this, and indeed already aren't.

There is a false dichotomy of security/human rights that has been the predominant narrative here for a while, completely forgetting that security is one of the most fundamental human rights and that as security is essential for the full exercise of human rights so are human rights essential to ensure security.

Human rights is still a dirty word here though. sad

MyBeloved Mon 18-May-15 13:02:30

It is very worrying. I think many people are underestimating how well funded and organised IS are and this may come as a shock to them.

alteredimages Mon 18-May-15 13:13:53

It is scary MyBeloved. I am trying to think of a ME country where they don't have any sort of presence and struggling. Maybe Morocco, and Kuwait, the Emirates, Bahrain, Oman are clear? In any case, not good.

MyBeloved Mon 18-May-15 13:25:03

Israel is clear of IS. As you say though, hard to think of any other ME country that first have some kind of presence.

MyBeloved Mon 18-May-15 13:25:42

*doesn't, not first.

derxa Mon 18-May-15 19:10:23

Very concerned

alteredimages Mon 18-May-15 19:19:23

I forgot about Israel, I suppose because it is a given that IS would not have any real strength there.

I think Israel's borders were penetrated from Sinai a few times by militants in the not too distant past. Did they finish constructing the wall along the border?

Another interesting thing is that I don't remember IS targeting Israel particularly, even in their rhetoric. I might be wrong, but their focus seems to be the Arab states which they see as having abandoned Islam.

hiddenhome Mon 18-May-15 19:44:33

Heading our way in boats across the Med as we speak.

claig Mon 18-May-15 20:03:10

IS will not attack Israel, in my opinion, they are about attacking Shia and carving out Sunni enclaves independent of the states of Iraq and Syria.

I think we are seeing the end of Sykes-Picot and some of the real power forces in the world want that. There is no major military challenge to IS like there was against the Taliban and IS are essentially breaking up Syria and Iraq into Sunni enclaves which end up destroying Sykes-Picot. IS were even being helped and funded by some of our allies in the region.

I think that there will be wars across the Middle East which will bring the end of Sykes-Picot. Sykes-Picot won't end without war because no country will agree to lose control over its borders.

Assad is trying to hold Syria together but a war against Syria has been waged and funded for 4 years already and it is unlikely Syria will ever be the unitary state it was before. Iraq is also facing a sort of breakup into Sunni and Shia regions.

Here is Paddy Ashdown

"What is happening in the Middle East, like it or not, is the wholesale rewriting of the Sykes-Picot borders of 1916, in favour of an Arab world whose shapes will be arbitrated more by religious dividing lines than the old imperial conveniences of 100 years ago."

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/14/western-intervention-isis-iraq-muslim

claig Mon 18-May-15 20:24:38

I don't think the Middle East wars will lead to world war. I think they are really about ending Sykes-Picot and redrawing borders along ethnic/religious lines. Those Arab states will then be in a weaker state.

America is beginning a pivot towards Asia and it needs a Middle East that is more controllable without requiring constant intervention. The real danger of world war will be with Russia/China and a lot of the Muslim terrorists wlll probably be used and turned against Russia.

MyBeloved Mon 18-May-15 20:27:41

Not sure whether the border defences were completed or not. I believe Egypt were constructing a defence wall too?

IS are a terrible threat. They are committing the most disgusting and heinous crimes against humanity. I'm so unsure as to how all this will pan out.

claig Mon 18-May-15 20:31:09

Ramadi is Sunni and the Iraq government is sending Shia militia to take it back off Sunni Isis. But in the long run, Shia militia probably won't be able to hold a Sunni area because the Sunni population won't want it and we are witnessing the breakup of Iraq into religious uniits, a bit like Syria, I think.

FirstOfficerDouglasRichardson Mon 18-May-15 20:35:16

Very concerned. IS are committing horrific acts against humanity and are growing and spreading their filth throughout the Middle East. It's terrifying. I feel more action should be taken to deal with this spread of evil.

chocolateyay Tue 19-May-15 08:17:17

What happened with regards to the three British girls/wives who were reported recently as 'on the run' as it were from IS? The implication was that it was the school girls from Bethnal Green.

alteredimages Tue 19-May-15 09:36:41

I agree that IS are anti Shia but not that this is its raison d'etre. They are against anyone who don't fit their narrow and twisted world view, be they Shia, non Muslims, Sunni autocracies, whatever.

Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Saudi Arabia (except in the east) all have minimal Shia presence but are being targeted by IS.

I don't agree at all that a ME redrawn on ethnic and religous lines and populated by weak states will be more easily controlled. Quite the opposite. I see this as a foreign policy nightmare for the EU and US.

The fact that Ramadi can't be controlled by anyone and the complete breakdown of the Iraqi armed forces is more of a concern for me than Iranian/Shia influence, although I can see how Saudi Arabia will be having kittens about it.

I think the US-Saudi relationship is being turned on its head and I am not sure anyone has really thought enough about what this means for the future.

Qatar is looking to be in big trouble over all of this, its foreign policy adventures have gone badly wrong and it has made enemies on a regional and international level. Wondering how the World Cup pans out and whether it will be as good for them as they envisaged.

I have no idea what has happened to the three girls chocolateyay. I don't recall seeing any news stories beyond the initial one saying they were on the run. I don't fancy their chances though in a war zone with what I am guessing is poor or foreign accented Arabic.

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