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Iraq Situation Report: October 30-31, 2014. By: Sinan Adnan and Brian Fisher

Key Takeaway: 

Tribal dynamics in Anbar are evolving as ISIS pursues its Euphrates offensive. ISIS is targeting members of the Albu Nimr tribe in Hit district in retaliation for their anti-ISIS stance.

This targeting has ranged from the execution of anti-ISIS male members of the tribe to the displacement of large numbers of families from the district, creating a humanitarian crisis as families fled through the desert. This has prompted the local police and members of the Ubaid tribe to launch an operation against ISIS in response. The participation of elements from the Ubaid tribe in sheltering the families of Albu Nimr in Barwana indicates cooperation between anti-ISIS Iraqi Sunni tribes. It is important to watch for signs of Sunni tribal resistance against ISIS as a result of this development. Such resistance is critical in the fight against ISIS for both the Iraqi and U.S. governments and should be capitalized on to generate anti-ISIS tribal momentum similar to that of the first “Awakening” of 2005-2006. It is unclear if the Albu Assaf tribe is supportive of ISIS, as alleged by the tribal Sheikh, or a representation of inter- or intra-tribal rivalry. This is especially the case given that Albu Nimr tribal leader and CoR member Sheikh Ghazi al-Gaud accused another tribal leader of the same tribe of allowing ISIS to enter the Furat sub-district of Hit. Meanwhile, the assault of the ISF and the militias on Baiji is of strategic importance given the geographical importance of the area for both the ISF and ISIS. If this assault succeeds, it would be the first major urban center the ISF and militias succeed in retaking from ISIS since the fall of Fallujah from government control in the beginning of 2014. Tribal dynamics in Anbar are evolving as ISIS pursues its Euphrates offensive.                                        

 Source: Institute for the Study of War Iraq Updates,+2014&utm_campaign=ISW+New+Iraq+update&utm_medium=email#!/

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