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Resurgence of insurgency in Iraq: The major players
Since the beginning of year 2014, the revival of Sunni insurgency in Iraq has been causing flutters in the Arab and rest of the world too.

In the first week of June, 2014 a Sunni militant group in Iraq viz; Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched successful military offensives against the Shia dominated regime and since than its swift advances in the north of the country and capturing the second the largest city Mosul, of Iraq took the Arab and rest of of the world by surprise. Although ISIS is presently in the limelight internationally, there are some other prominent active pro-Sunni jihadi groups also exist in Iraq. Some of such major militant groups are, Jamat Ansar Al-Islam, Jaysh Al-Mujahideen , Jaysh Rijal al Tariqa al Naqshbanhi, The Islamic Army of Iraq and Jaysh al-Izza wa al-Karama.

After three years of death Osama bin Laden ,founder and  Chief of al-Qaeda and the Grand Master of international terrorism, of late, the fierce military offensives launched in northwest areas of Iraq  by armed Islamic fundamentalists of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria(ISIS) now known as Islamic State(IS)  has once again alerted the entire world about the  relative lethality of religious frenzy   to achieve political ends by a band of religious fanatics. ISIS is being led by Abu Bakar al-Bagdhadi an ex-leader of the Al-Qaeda in Iraq, who carries reward of US$10 million on his head, announced by the USA in October 2011.

At present, ISIS is predominantly the single armed group comprising of about 7,000 combat troops which is militarily active in Iraq to achieve its ends of establishing a Sunni state carved out from Iraq and Syria. . Formed on 8 April 2013, after publically disobeying its mentors of Al-Qaeda by Baghdadi on ideological issues, ISIS has an ambitious plan to establish a caliphate that is an Islamic state, led by a supreme religious and political leader known as a caliph and  to be located in western Iraq and north-eastern Syria.

ISIS  is opposing  the American supported the  empowerment of the Shia majority in Iraq. ISIS on its ongoing assaults on Syria and Iraq, has also been joined by jihadis of other nationalities, including Saudi Arabia and the Arab World, Germany, France, USA and the Caucasus. While ISIS is getting monetary support from some Saudis and some sympathiesers   of the Arab world, of late, it has started selling crude oil to smugglers and successfully created its own kitty to fight against Iraq and Syria.  This crude oil is being extracted mainly from the captured oil fields located at northern city of Mosul and Baiji in  Iraq and Syria's largest oil field, al-Omar and being refined in Kurdistan region. Since oil is an easiest mean to collect revenue, the ISIS is trying its  hard to get control of maximum oil fields in its on goring armed assaults in Iraq and Syria to achieve its goal of establishing an Islamic State in the region. According to some estimates ISIS is extracting about $1 million worth of oil per day .  The rise of ISIS is being considered as fall of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Jamat Ansar Al-Islam(JAI), an anti-Shia militant group in Iraq projects itself as a protector of the country's Sunnis. Active since 2007 JAI considers itself an arch rival of ISIS and mainly based in Nineveh (particularly Mosul), Kirkuk and Salahuddin provinces.   Despite having  ideological similarities with ISIS it does not have congenial consanguinity with the latter. JAI claims to have meaningful presence and carries anti regime and Shia operations in Ninawa,Mosul,Salah ad-Din and Diyala provinces and even in the Baghdad area. However, in the recent past, JAI's operations were overshadowed by ISIS's successful military onslaughts in the country but JAI refused to accept hegemony of ISIS in its successful operations in Syria and Iraq. JAI opposes ISIS considering itself a 'state' rather than a Sunni group against Shias. This has been resulting into frequent clashes between  armed jihadis of JAI and ISIS primarily in the Kirkuk and Mosul areas.JAI even claims that during last nine months ISIS had killed around 40 members of JAI without any serious provocations.

Jaysh Al-Mujahideen (JAM) is another Sunni  jihadi resistance  group in Iraq dating back 2003.Its ideology is similar to other Sunni jihadi groups in Iraq. This group was active in Iraq  during American occupation of Iraq between  2003 and 2009. Known to be a conformed anti-USA Sunni jihadi group, it remained active against American forces in Baghdad and some other places in the country including  Mosul and  Fallujah where JAM had established and run terrorist cells. Abd al Hakim al-Nuaimi, a prominent leader of the JAM has confessed of having differences and  armed clashes with ISIS inside bordering areas of Syria. JAM also maintains special relationship with JAI as a counter to ISIS,


Another anti Shia regime and Sunny jihadi group in Iraq is Jaysh Rijal al Tariqa al Naqshbanhi (JRTN). JRTN, the second largest insurgent grouping in Iraq after ISIS is headed by Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who was Saddam's right-hand man. The group believes and propagates the Naqshbandi 0rder, the spiritual order of Sunni Islam Sufism. JRTN is Iraq's main Ba'athist insurgent group, which actively opposed the presences of American forces in the Iraq after assassination of Saddam Hussain. JRTN has also  its   political activist wing namely, Intifada Ahrar al-Iraq. JRTN is considered to be mix of Islamic and pan-Arab nationalistic ideas operating mainly in  Kirkuk   and other parts of northern Iraq and basically follows  the guerrilla tactics. Although JRTN has ideological differences with ISIS , it is not engaged in any armed conflict with the latter.JRTN   a front  Baathists, which is  unified under the "General Military Council for Iraq's Revolutionaries" (GMC).

Regarding The Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI), it  is a traditional Sunny insurgent group.IAI was established in  2003 mainly to fight coalition forces. However, after the US withdrawal at the end of 2011, IAI was formally demolished and it turned towards political activism. It had also  was set up  a political activist wing namely, the Sunni Popular Movement to push for a Sunni Arab federal region.   In early this year, IAI once again resorted to the armed activities against the Iraqi regime and mainly remained active in  Diyala and Salahuddin provinces. The IAI is engaged in achieving its    objectives by means of political activism as well as the continued use of violence in Iraq.

Jaysh al-Izza wa al-Karama also known as Army of Pride and Dignity (ADP) came into existence in last of year 2013 at Anbar, Iraq, under the leadership of Dr. Mohammed Naser al-Abdallah. Subsequently the group opened its branches in several placesin the country, including in Ramadi,al-Karma, Samarra and Fallujah. Earlier the group was active in the year 2012-13 in launching   protests against the Iraqi regime. The group follows the ideology of "defensive jihad" against the Iraqi government to protect Sunnis and their legitimate rights. It forms the tribal militias to counter military offensives against Sunni population The group members call themselves as "Mujahedeen from the sons of Mosul" against the aggression of Mailki and his militias.

Since recent revival of insurgency in Iraq , the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq(UNAMI)  has recently estimated , only in June this year,a record  2,417 Iraqis were killed and another 2,287 were injured in acts of terrorism and violence. The dead included 1,531 civilians and 886 members of Iraq's security forces. However, according the statistic relased by the the Iraqi government 1,922 people killed in June, including 1,393 civilians, 380 soldiers and 149 police officers.But the   figures released by the government for the injured are higher than those indicated by the  UN, saying that   the total of 2,610 people were wounded in June, which included  1,745 civilians, 644 soldiers and 221 police officers. Casualties of insurgents and security forces  are likely to increase in days to come to maintain and regain control of oil fields by them, respectively.

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