ISIS on the march. What’s next for Iraq and the region

Read few comments.

Questions:

1. Iraq foreign ministers Hoshyar Zebari said that the fall of Mosul poses a mortal threat to country. Do you agree or maybe not, and why?

2. Regarding current development in Iraq what kind of consequences do you expect for the broader region?

Answers:

David RomanoAssociate Professor, Missouri State University

1. I agree. Mosul is the second largest city of Iraq and a major trade route to Syria and Turkey. Islamist militants have already reportedly confiscated the Iraqi central bank holding in Mosul to the tune of more than 400 million dollars, which would make them richer than some small countries. One could assume that they will use this windfall, in addition to abandoned weapons and supplies that the Iraqi army left behind, to grow their movement.

2. In the short term, I think this will work to the advantage of the Kurds. Islamist threats to Iraq and Syria have already served to push Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish movements closer together, and the Iraqi Kurds seem to have the only military force in Iraq with any real effectiveness and willingness to fight. If Baghdad and the Americans want the Kurds to help them with Mosul, the Kurds will demand a high price . The Maliki government is probably the biggest loser in this scenario, as its legitimacy and stature have suffered a huge blow.

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