December 28, 2015 | Quote

Is This Big ‘Win’ Over ISIS for Real?

Iraq’s security forces made their biggest advances yet against the self-proclaimed Islamic State on Monday, taking back much of the city of Sunni-dominated city of Ramadi. But the significance of the victory, and what it means for the longer-term goal of defeating ISIS, remained uncertain.

It’s the biggest win for Iraq and its U.S. military partners so far against the terror group, but in in the city that ISIS held for the least amount of time, making it hard to assess the impact of the win.

“What remains unclear is to what extent does Iraq play sectarian politics. One of the keys to long term stability is to show the population that they have a place in Iraq,” Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Daily Beast. “ISIS or not, the Sunnis grievances can empower other jihadist actors or even nationalist insurgent actors.”

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