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On April 8, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi traveled to the Habbaniya military base in east Anbar for a follow-up to the liberation of Tikrit.However, ISIS soon responded with a counteroffensive that overran two military outposts in eastern Anbar and this past weekend expelled the government entirely from Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar. The political fallout for Abadi was considerable, and former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – and his two allies the Badr Organization and Asaib Ahl al-Haq – took the opportunity to push back against his increasing authority over the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd). After becoming prime minister last September, Abadi coexisted with them, maintaining a thin veneer of state authority.Additionally, Abadi was moving to de-sectarianize the Hashd by bringing Sunnis into it. At the same time, Abadi was holding back Shiite militias from engaging in Ramadi, making it clear he intended to recruit more Sunnis.It was never likely that Maliki would return to power through a militia putsch.
The stalled effort to expel United States troops from Iraq
A fractured Iraqi Cabinet: Abdel-Mahdi facing uphill battle
Razzaz faces rough road ahead in Jordan
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