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What led to the rise of IS in Iraq?

Iraqi sunnis protest against the Maliki government in Anbar province
Iraqi sunnis protest against the Maliki government in Anbar province

In 2003 the US invaded Iraq in response to the attacks of 11 September 2001. The threat of Iraq’s possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and alleged attempts to create a link between Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda terrorists— both of which were untrue—were the reasons given for the invasion. An important cause of the later rise of the Islamic State was the decision of the new American governor, Paul Bremer, to distribute governmental positions according to the proportional division of the various sects. Shiites formed a majority of 60 percent, so they were given 60 percent of government and other important positions. They used their new power to marginalize the Sunni minority that had dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

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