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Iraqi Civil War
Part of Second Cold War
Iraqi military parade
Date June 2014 — June 2015
Location Northern Iraq and parts of Syria
Iraqi government victory
Flag of Iraq Republic of Iraq
Flag of Syria Syrian Arab Republic
Flag of Iran Islamic Republic of Iran

Supported by:
Flag of Russia Russia
Flag of the United States United States

ISIS flag Islamic State
Flag of Iraq Uthmaan Al-Amjad (January 2015—)
Flag of Iraq Nouri Al-Maliki (—January 2015)
Flag of Iraq Ali Ghaidan
Flag of Iraq Abboud Qanbar
Flag of Iraq Sa'ad Mi'an
Flag of Syria Issam Hallaq
ISIS flag Abu Al-Baghdadi
ISIS flag Muhammed Omar
25,000–30,000 (two army divisions)

10,000 federal police
30,000 local police
12 Syrian aircraft
2,000 Iranian Quds Force
≈300 U.S. military advisors
20 Russian pilots

15,000 insurgents
Unknown number of captured vehicles
Casualties and losses
4,000 killed or missing, 11,000 wounded 9,000 killed

The Iraqi Civil War is a conflict that began as part of the Iraqi insurgency but intensified into a full civil war war. It began in 2014 when militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) began taking large swaths of territory in northern Iraq. The response of Prime Minister Al-Maliki was unpopular and ineffective, forcing him to step down. Uthmaan Al-Amjad, an Iraqi nationalist, came to power, and forced the Islamic State out of Iraq, into neighboring Syria, where the remaining remnants were defeated by the Syrian Army. Following the war, Al-Amjad reformed Iraq, vastly improving the country.


Prior to the attack on Iraq, the radical Islamic militant group "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS, also the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL) took part in fighting against President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, on the side of the rebels. The Islamist group was known for it's brutality. In neighboring Iraq, the Prime Minister Al-Maliki was growing unpopular. ISIS decided to strike into northern Iraq from Syria, and did so in June 2014.

2014 ISIS invasion

In June 2014, ISIS forces crossed the border and invaded northern Iraq. They met little if not no resistance from the Iraqi armed forces and police, many members of which were reported to have taken off their uniforms and fled their posts. Less than a thousand ISIS militants defeated two Iraqi army divisions (around 30,000 men) and tens of thousands of policemen. They took Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, and continued going south, taking Tikrit, a city which is not far from Baghdad. The government in Baghdad, under Al-Maliki, was slow to respond, which the militants used to their advantage. The Iraqi government asked the US for help by air strikes, which they declined to provide. Russia gave the government several Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack fighters.

As the Baghdad government prepared a counteroffensive, the ISIS reorganized into the Islamic State, a regime which claimed all of Iraq and Syria. Al-Maliki had to deal with protests against his rule as the Iraqi army offensive stalled and was halted by Kirkuk in September 2014. Among the leaders of the opposition emerged a nationalist politician named Uthmaan Al-Amjad, who also had support in the Iraqi police and military forces. As the government offensive stopped, the protests grew, and in January 2015, the prime minister stepped down. He was replaced quickly with Al-Amjad, whose popularity was rising.

Government counter-offensive

Al-Amjad's reformed Iraqi Army (in which he re-hired many former Saddam era officers) had been more propagandized with patriotism and he had mixed in large numbers of different religious sects (more Sunnis, especially) in order to eliminate any idea that his Baghdad government was dominated by a particular group. He personally was formerly a Sunni Muslim, but he had stopped believing in that religion a number of years ago. The reformed army began a campaign in January 2015, and advanced to the north. The Islamic State was demoralized by a series of defeats: many small towns were retaken, by the use of better tactics (and numbers) by the Iraqi army. This resulted in the boosting of morale of the army and also boosting the confidence of the people in the government and army. The offensive finally reached the outskirts of the last IS holdout in Iraq, the second largest city, Mosul.

Liberation of Mosul