By Henry Hullah
As ISIS (the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria) militants carve their way through Iraq, currently trying to take a power plant in Baiji that powers much of Baghdad, the Iraq and the U.S. governments are reeling from the fall of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
The first head of state following the fall of Saddam Hussein, Ayad Allawi, knows the lengths the country has gone in recent years to prevent events such as the current crisis. The military has been trained for years by the U.S., but many soldiers have laid down their weapons and fled in the face of the insurgents.
“They have nothing to fight for. Absolutely”, says Allawi. “They [Sunnis] have been disenfranchised, they have been oppressed, the situation has been getting out of control gradually. The forces of extremes have been thriving in Iraq, they [militants] have frankly been killing one thousand people, on average, a month and the government was unable and is still unable to do anything about it".
Amanpour asked if we are seeing the end of Iraq as we know it.
"Probably", replied Allawi. "It depends how it's going to be handled. But I think we are moving to a Syrianization kind of situation".
Are we moving in the direction of partition?
"Very possibly", said Allawi.
Is Baghdad, Iraq's capital, at risk?
"The belt of Baghdad has fallen". Allawi stated. "The outskirts are under the control of the armed people, the militants, the Sunni militants… The government of Baghdad is unable to challenge this, the government is unable to prevent explosions inside Baghdad."
This crisis, which could lead to partition in Iraq, Allawi acknowledged, seems to be crying out for intervention of some kind. Amanpour asked if Iran would intervene or if America, the country that had tried to train Iraq to avoid this very situation, would take steps.
"An American intervention would not be helpful. It will probably put oil on the fire. I think the Americans have lost their effort to, and their capability to, influence things in Iraq especially after they left and departed in 2011.”
“There are two players now in Iraq, two measured players: Iran and Turkey”, Allawi said. "But again they can't come nakedly in to Iraq".
Lakhdar Brahimi told the program earlier this week that the Syrian crisis will spread everywhere like "an infected wound." Does Ayad Allawi believe this is what has happened?
"What has happened in Syria has spilled over into Iraq and what happened in Iraq has spilled over into Syria".
Finally, the former Prime Minister put forward what he believes the leaders of Iraq need to do to prevent this crisis from cutting the country into pieces and the shocking conclusion of what he thinks will happen to the entire region if a partition of Iraq isn't prevented.
"The Iraqi players need to sit down and need to look deep and to salvage the country. If Iraq is dismembered, this will carry on to the rest of the region and it will be quite bloody".