brief battle for Tal Afar was named 'The Gates of Hell' by some Iraqi
commanders. Yet, defying even their expectations, the ISIS remnants were driven
from the city.
Ex Iraqi ambassador to the US, Lukman Faily, said that the rapid victory was a 'morale booster.' The question is, for whom does this undoubted victory serve? And what now?
Iraq is still riven by sectarian strife. Iran has established an iron grip with its militias and advisors. Large swathes of the country are completely wrecked. Iraq is country rich in natural resources. It should be the jewel of the region. Its people are industrious and many are well educated.
Yet decades of war, foreign intervention and corruption have bled the country white of its wealth and cultural artefacts. No one knows the true tallies of the dead and maimed. No one knows exactly how many refugees have been created.
ISIS is a monstrous, medieval death cult and the world should rejoice that it is being extirpated (if it truly is). But the world and Iraqis of all persuasions will judge how the eventual peace is made.
Iraq has been in Hell. Let the gates of Tal Afar lead to a road to a better life for all Iraqis.