The Battle for Iraq: Shia Militias vs. the Islamic State

Last summer, the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) swept from Syria into northern Iraq, routing Iraqi security forces and seizing the city of Mosul. Soon afterward, the group declared the establishment of a dubious “caliphate” in the area it controls and rebranded itself the Islamic State. With Iraq’s army weakened and radical militants advancing on Baghdad, the country’s Iran-backed Shia militias — which have their own history of sectarian abuses — fought back, halting the Islamic State’s progress.

The militias have successfully combated Islamic State fighters on the ground with the assistance of air strikes from a US-led military coalition. But their growing influence within Iraq’s government amid accusations that they have harmed Sunnis in areas that they control has led many to fear that the militias threaten the country’s fragile sectarian and political balance.

VICE News traveled to Iraq in December to witness firsthand how Shia militias are taking the fight to the Islamic State, and to document the fallout of their controversial rise to power.

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23 thoughts on “The Battle for Iraq: Shia Militias vs. the Islamic State

  1. Quran taught them to kill people who do not believe in Allah. But the bible says to not kill people who do not believe in God. Everybody believes in God they just want to kill each other. The quran teaches to kill people who are not muslim, I do not know what that means but some people have a problem with that.

  2. Followers of the shia faith had been oppressed by all the iraqi regimes , before saddam , we were the ones who started a revolution against the brits (sunnis ddnt) , in the iran-iraq war we were the ones fighting our shia brothers on the other side (while sunnis we’re watching and celebrating) ,and we are the ones who fought isis , and kicked them out of our country , and sunnis we’re in turkey , jordan and in the USA watching us liberating (their lands) from isis , and now they call us merciless militias …

  3. You kill your own brother and you say you've killed 200 from Islamic state, It was your own brother you killed……And only four hi want have right
    to their religion (that no one forces him and does not underestimate God)..

    Because in Euopa you have not right to go to Yummah(Friday prayer)….

    You are the ibn bin ho killed my Father Ali and Hussain, and Hassan!

    then continue, towards your downfall, continue towards the 3 of your shadow until a set time

  4. This may be am extremely naive way to think but it just bothers me so much to see such pointless war going on in those regions… so much could be accomplished out there if they united and cleansed their religion in a civilized manner. What makes it even stranger to me is they basically fight for the same god and religion. With slightly different views. I don't understand…

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