A stronghold of the takfiris and the Baathists, the Iraqi city of Fallujah has always been a source of rise of terrorism and spark of violence in Iraq. Taking the city back from the terrorists is a key step towards entry to the also ISIS-held city of Mosul and even could be an ending point to the terrorism in the country.
But not only the Iraqi government but also many of Western players which claim launching anti-terror campaigns have failed so far to seriously make a move to stem the terrorism in this city.
Even after invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the US has declined, due to Washington’s awareness of the costs, to ultimately terminate the terrorists' presence in Fallujah, and so the case of terror remained unsettled in Fallujah to the date.
The US failure to dry out the roots of terrorism in Fallujah has left the city, especially in past few years, a hotbed for the Ba'athist and the takfiri groups.
The Ba'ath Party, the party of the former dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein, to restore power in the country has taken advantage of the potentials of the takfiri militants present in the city, and finally it ended up coalescing with the terror group ISIS.
Such an alliance along with the Western intelligence services' assistance has created an insurgency power that in a short time has seized nearly one third of the Iraqi territory from the control of the central government of Iraq.
The operations of the terrorists were so fast and surprising that without the neighboring Iran's support and formation of the voluntary force known as Public Mobilization Forces (PMF) and the subsequent strategic victories, both Erbil and Baghdad could go under the seizure of the terrorists of ISIS.
These developments took place while the US just against the terms of the security agreement signed between Washington and Baghdad has refrained from offering any help to the Iraqis. In fact, Washington was only an onlooker of the fast developments of Iraq.
On the other side, however, the PMF, which has advisory and spiritual support of Tehran, has proven successful in curbing the ISIS' advances in the country's battlefields.
Meanwhile, the US and its allies first severely sought start of Mosul liberation operation without participation of the PMF, in a bid to destroy the popularity and influence of the voluntary forces among the Iraqi people.
But due to significance of Fallujah and an insistence by the PMF and a consent of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraq mobilized its strength to liberate the eastern city, leaving Washington actionless and so failed to implement its plan in Mosul.
The liberation of such towns as Al-Karamah and Saqlawiyah in the vicinity of Fallujah by PMF with a backup from the central government, the army, Al Anbar province's tribal forces and security forces sent the US concerned over growing triumphs of the popular forces. So, having in mind that once PMF got into Fallujah, the ISIS terrorists had no chance of survival, the US has gone to great lengths to block them from entry to the center of the terrorists-held city. The Americans are well aware that recapture of Fallujah not only leads to retaking of other ISIS-held regions of Iraq like Mosul but also it could seriously jeopardize the US strategy of keeping Iraq immersed in insecurity and chaos — a plan that has been followed by the White House for several years to allow return of the US to Iraq.
All these factors have made the US to put strains on PM al-Abadi to cease the operation for the time being to prevent more advances of the army and PMF units towards the center of Fallujah. But the government, the voluntary forces and other forces are resolved to, as soon as possible, reclaim the Fallujah center from the terrorists.
The PMF are presently waiting a full evacuation of the civilians from the city to assure minimized civilian fatalities. Then it would start the major and sensitive phase of anti-terror assault.
It is notable that Fallujah is of more significance and sensitivity in comparison to Mosul and western Al Anbar because the city is a major command post for the ISIS terrorists in Iraq, Syria and even Libya. Majorly, the offensive and defensive assaults of the terrorist group are mostly guided from Fallujah. Furthermore, suicide attacks, as in line with needs of the terrorist group, are planned in Fallujah and distributed in an array of fronts from western Al Anbar in Euphrates River's banks to Salahaddin province, southern gates of Mosul and the margins of Tigris River.
Therefore, the Saudi Arabian and American concerns over liberation of Fallujah from ISIS and the influences on others fronts are natural.
Additionally, recapturing Fallujah could obliterate ISIS command post in the country and deal a substantial blow to the terrorism in both Iraq and the region. It could even substantially subject the remains of the dissolved Ba'ath Party, which used Fallujah as a base for launching anti-government attacks after 2003, to serious damages.
By conclusion of liberating operation of Fallujah, the same offensive would be started to take back Mosul, foiling the US plans to exclude PMF from later operation to recapture the center of Salahaddin. In fact, back to back victories would make participation of PMF in the battlefields a public demand.
Destroying ISIS at the hands of PMF would question the weak performance of the US-led anti-terror military coalition in Iraq and thwart the scenario of the White House for return to the Iraqi scene, not to mention consolidation of the country unity in the future.
Finally, it is necessary to note that liberation of Fallujah not only marks a decisive gain for Iraq against terrorism but also in the long run would bolster the role of the PMF in the country which means decline of US influence in Iraq.
Such a continuous process would raise the popular forces as the major players in Iraq and even in the region which with a support from people and the Iraqi clergy have undertaken the major burden of anti-terror fight. This would kill another US excuse for returning to Iraq— an issue considered as the main reason behind US disruption of Fallujah recapture assault.