Bloomberg quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Ramzy Mardini on whether the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham is capable of overtaking Baghdad:
“Baghdad isn’t Mosul and is the hardest domino to knock over,” Ramzy Mardini, a Jordan-based non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council research group, said in an e-mailed reply to questions. “To overtake Shiite territory, especially a major city like Baghdad, the Islamic State would need far more military power than it has.”
In Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq, Islamic State can behave like a military institution, seizing territory and governing it, while in Shiite regions the bombings reflect a different set of options, Mardini said. He said that the group may select Baghdad airport as a target with “both strategic and symbolic value,” given that it probably can’t take over the whole capital.