The worst of the insurgency in Iraq is “over”, a former general who commanded US Marines and British forces in the 2003 US-led invasion said Friday, in a rare note of optimism over the crisis.
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual conference of Iran’s exiled opposition — in which he was a guest speaker — General James Conway said the insurgents who have overrun major parts of Iraq were unlikely to make any further significant gains.
The lightning offensive this month by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other militant groups has killed more than 1,000 people and displaced tens of thousands.
Until now, ISIL has primarily made inroads in Sunni Arab areas in the north of Iraq, supported by Sunni militants that loathe current Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
“The worst is over,” Conway said.
“The ISIS (as ISIL is often also called) are probably surprised themselves with their degree of success.”