The Financial Times quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Ramzy Mardini on the role of Shia militants in Iraq:

Iraq is seeing the deterioration of the security institutions of the state and the re-emergence of sectarian and Iranian-backed militias to fill the void,” said Ramzy Mardini, an analyst at the Washington-based Atlantic Council think-tank. “This is going to be very difficult to backpedal, and perhaps impossible.”

Youths in Sunni districts and mixed areas say Shia militia activity has encouraged greater sympathy for the Isis-led advance backed by Sunni tribesmen and Ba’athist loyalists.

“The rise of Shia militias will make it easier for Sunni insurgent groups to expand and recruit,” Mr Mardini said. “Fear is in the driver’s seat on all sides and it is perpetuating a logic that underpins a sectarian civil war.”


“The closer the fight comes to Baghdad, the greater the threat the Sunni will face at the hands of Shia militias,” Mr Mardini said.

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