The old adage: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has played out in the warring country. Two groups, Sunnis and Shiites, have now united to drive ISIS out of Tikrit.
While ISIS has sought to divide the nation of Iraq with their incredible acts of violence, they may come to regret that in the days to come. Sunnis and Shiites, two ethnic groups that have been warring on and off since the founding of Islam, are now uniting to drive ISIS out of Tikrit, one of the largest cities in Iraq. Although these enemies have been fierce enemies in the past, they have not turned their attention towards defeating ISIS.
An Unusual Alliance
The city of Tikrit has been a battleground since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by a coalition of armed forces led by the United States. Now, it is the setting of one of a push to remove the presence of ISIS from the city and prevent them from getting a foothold that will compromise the entire country.
The negotiations to bring these two groups together to fight ISIS were extensive and it is unclear how long the alliance will even last. However, what is known is that the group has already made significant progress in their battle. Many are already beginning to worry that the Shiites or Sunnis will attempt to use this fighting as a way to leverage themselves into control of greater swaths of the country.
— mehulkamdar (@mehulkamdar) March 6, 2015
There have already been a number of videos posted onto Youtube and other video websites that show Sunnis attacking Shiites and likewise, Shiites attacking Sunnis after they have achieved victories in one another’s areas. This has led to the military leaders saying that although this effort is good in the short-term, it is simply a powder keg situation waiting to explode. They fear that when it does, it will harm individuals on both sides of the battle without prejudice.
ISIS has already achieved a great deal in their mission to conquer the Levant, including large swaths of Iraq. Right now, there are many different cities under control of the ISIS militants including Baiji, Mosul, and Ramadi. Each one of these cities now serve as staging grounds for attacks against military bases that are not equipped to fight them on their own. Now, there are fears that the attacks could spread so far as to include Baghdad. Now with nations around the world taking a stand to fight ISIS and lend support to the militias, there is hope that the tide will be turned against ISIS.