Why Mosul matters | The Economist

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Why does Mosul matter? Mosul stands on the brink of recapture from Islamic State fighters, but the future of the city is uncertain. With several parties jostling for control of Mosul, fragile alliances could fracture, increasing the likelihood of bloody sectarian conflict. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 Iraq is comprised of several different religious and ethnic groups. The largest are the Shia Muslims, who account for roughly two-thirds of the population, followed by a smaller group of Sunni Muslims. There is also minority of Kurds who are mainly based in an autonomous region in the north east of Iraq. Mosul is Iraq’s second biggest city. Since June 2014 its citizens have endured the oppressive rule of Islamic State. But since October 2016, a fragile alliance of Iraqi, Kurdish and American forces, together with local Sunni and Shia militias, have been battling to recapture the city. With defeat of IS now on the horizon a new question looms large – what will happen next to Mosul? The answer matters because Mosul’s future is important both to the future of Iraq and the wider region. There are a number of regional players that have a stake in what happens to Mosul: The Turks The Kurds Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority in the north And the country’s Shia Muslim majority The city sits across important trading lines to Baghdad and is seen by many as key to the delicate balance of power in northern Iraq. The Kurds would also like to hold the territory around Mosul because it would strengthen their call for a greater, independent Kurdistan - Something Turkey fears. Iraq’s Sunnis are the biggest population in the area. But they fear that the country’s Shia majority is preparing to assert control over Mosul and the surrounding province. At the moment, the Sunnis and Shias are working in coalition to defeat IS. With Mosul recaptured, the fear is that the fragile Sunni-Shia alliance could fracture, increasing the likelihood of a bloody sectarian conflict further destabilising the region. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Date: 
2017-06-30 05:22:53
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