Yesterday morning at exactly 05:00 AM Iraqi local time was zero hour to begin Fallujah Liberation Operation from the Islamic State. But first lets start from the beginning and let you know a bit more about the city’s history, which I only visited once in 2003 and felt the endless hate that has festered there for centuries, so I felt apprehensive about it from the very beginning. Fallujah is a city in the Iraqi province of Anbar, located roughly 69 kilometers (43 mi) west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. Fallujah was also the center of the so-called Iraqi resistance after the Liberation of Iraq in 2003 by the United States Forces and their allies.
Fallujah’s first notorious crime was the murder,burning and hanging of four American contractors who were among the American teams to rebuild Iraq. At the time they were assessing the ground to determine where to begin from when they were dragged and hung from the bridge. President George W. Bush wanted to punish Fallujah for this crime and decided to level the city to the ground and get rid of terrorism in Iraq once and for all. Unfortunately Muqtada Al-Sadr who follows Pan-Arab ideals started a war on the safe Shia part of Iraq against the Americans and their allies to distract the Americans and to save Fallujah. This was destructive to the Shia because they lost all the trust they had from the Americans, especially since the US came to liberate the Shia from the tyrant that brutally murdered millions of Shia and Kurdish civilians including babies and women. Shortly after, the US Forces were forced to stop their offensive against Fallujah. Because of this, it turned to ground zero for jihadists from all the Arab countries as well as non Arab countries such as Pakistan,Afghanistan etc…who came for two purposes, killing the Shia along with Iraqi minorities, and the Americans.
Things turned really bloody, they started kidnapping Shia truck drivers and passengers who were passing through to reach Jordan or Syria the Route 160 in Anbar had a new name, and it was “Death Route”, they get the passengers and the drivers out and if they see any Shia or non-Sunni-Muslim they kill them right the way. This went on from 2004 till 2007, after that it was much greater improvement however, there were almost daily incidents of them creating fake check points and killing a few people as well as maintaining continued attacks against both Iraqi and American Forces. Despite all this, Sunni tribes awakening emerged which decided to fight Al-Qaeda after the US Army started paying them. This was only a temporary, short-termsolution as it was proven later after things took a turn for the worse.
After the Americans left Iraq, some of the Sunni tribes started a sectarian uprising in Fallujah full of hate speech against the Shia and promised to march to Baghdad and purify it from the Safavids -one of their words to describe the Shia- so it went on and it wasn’t limited to protests they were also regularly killing Iraqi soldiers and also started making their check points, the first victims for their new terror state were three Alawite Syrian truck drivers captured in footage that took the world media by storm – step by step a few Sunni tribal leaders let the Islamic State in. IS almost took 1/3 of Iraq in June 2014 and was only 20 kilometers from the Holy Shia city of Karbala and even less kilometers from Erbil.
Grand Ayatollah Sistani issued the limited Jihad Fatwa against IS on June 11th so the Hashd (Popular Mobilization Units) was formed and they were the most reliable power on the ground to stand against the Islamic State or Da’esh as they are called in Iraq. For the first time there was a powerful and fearful but yet a very moral Shia Force, it united all the Shia from religious to non-religious people for the sacred cause of defending their ancestral homeland from the invaders that came to destroy them, not long after they Christians joined PMU, their Leader is Ryan Al-Chaldani from Babylon, in addition to the many Sunnis and Yazidis who joined the PMU. It started with the Jubour tribe who were among the first resistance force in the Sunni side. So when everything seemed lost and many people decided to ran away from Iraq or the poor people who thought they would be killed by Daesh because they will reach them after the fall of all these cities, turned to joy and knowing that they will prevail cause finally they united. Daesh was pushed back to more than a 100 kilometers away from Karbala and Babylon destroyed them in the heroic battle of Jurf Al-Sakhar, but the most important operation was Tikrit liberation, the city that Saddam was born in and they always treated the Shia as sub-humans and were part of Saddam’s killing machine, the city that seemed untouchable fell and asking for the PMU’s mercy. After the liberation of Tikrit an atrocity was found which is Speicher massacre of more than 1700 young Shia cadets who were taken out of Speicher Air Base and killed in Saddam’s presidential compound in June 2014 and they published a video showing it.
Thus IS released a new video for Speicher massacre just two days -it seems after they sensed that their end is near they are trying to terrify the Iraqi forces with other videos of their old crimes that were not published before but it’s not working- in this video the speaker was a Palestinian from Gaza, he was standing on top of the cadets in the trucks before being taken to the presidential compound, he used the worst hate speech and calling them Rawafidh and started shooting some of them while they were on the truck and he killed 200 of them himself. Speaking of the Palestinians it’s not the first time, just from 2003 till 2013 more than 1200 Palestinian suicide bombers blew themselves up in Shia markets,schools and mosques additional to the other terrorists who were fighting on the front. The Palestinian hate for the Shia though is much older than that; during Saddam’s savage era the Palestinians were given high positions in the Iraqi Army, Mukhabarat(Iraqi Intelligence), so they were really high in the Ba’ath regime. They lived like kings and enslaved the Iraqi people and tortured them in Saddam’s secret prisons. They also participated in killing the Iraqi soldiers who refused to fight the Iranians on the front during the 8 years long war between Iraq and Iran. In addition, they were part of Saddam’s revolutionary guards and were among the first who invaded Kuwait with their Arab legion, and committed countless unspeakable atrocities.
But back to our main point, as I type this now and anxiously await to see the greatest triumph for the Iraqi nation after everything they suffered, there is some good news emerging from Fallujah. The PMU will get to decide the future of Iraq after their victory and they will still give the Sunni people the choice to live peacefully among the Shia, Yazidis, Christians etc or if they keep on wanting to advocate their Caliphate path, then the only choice will be the partition of Iraq which is what Iraq is on the ground. The Shia Iraqis are sick of the mounting death toll among them while they keep on footing the bill with their oil to those who are killing them and they want to officially partition Iraq ASAP so they can live in peace among people who do not seek their annihilation and ethnic cleansing and the rest of the minorities with them including the peaceful Sunnis from whom many joined the Iraqi Army and the PMU and are fighting IS on the front now because the rest seems to be hopeless and destroying both the Shia lives and their resources.
The PMU, Iraqi Army, Federal Police, and Special Forces all surrounded terrorist occupied Fallujah for weeks now. The only reason for them to wait all this time and not go in right away is to allow the rest of the civilians to get out through the humanitarian corridors they opened for them. On the second day of the offensive, IS lost so much of their power and were freaking out due to this siege additional to both Iraqi and Coalition Air Force that are targeting the terrorists while coordinating between both Iraqi and US military Intelligence. PMU promised that the Eid prayer will be in Fallujah.
After solving the crisis in Fallujah, the civilians will be allowed to return and the responsibility will be handed to the Sunni tribes that were allied with the Iraqi Forces during this operation. What will be left after the Fallujah Op. is liberating Mosul and that is a whole different situation and it will be a bigger operation maybe with the coordination of the Shia/Kurds/Sunnis and maybe even Coalition boots on the ground.
The future of Iraq will be decided by those who gave everything for their land and people when it needed them the most, the PMU and those who lead the fight will decide what is going to happen, because the Iraqis feel that they are their only real representatives, who did not come for greed or any other agendas they have. If those who managed to liberate the land from the most evil creatures mankind knew in our era they will surly be able to rise Iraq and their people on every other aspect and restore their rights.