An ISIS member urges citizens of Aleppo to join the organization. AFP Photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Local and international media are reporting that an anti-ISIS protest began Saturday in the Anbar province city of Rutba, along the Baghdad-Amman highway, after ISIS killed a local civil servant.
Bassem Eid Ammash, a spokesman for the Anbar provincial council, told Rudaw Sunday that after a funeral for a man killed by ISIS for allegedly killing one of the militants, mourners leaving the event began protesting against ISIS.
ISIS shot back at the protesters, he said, and 200 people were arrested. The AP reported that only 70 were arrested, but otherwise confirmed Ammash’s comments. The AP also reported that the man being buried at the funeral was Munir al-Kobeisi, a civil servant, and that he was killed for killing an ISIS fighter in part of an ongoing tribal blood feud.
The US and its allies have struggled to train and organize anti-ISIS resistance in the majority-Sunni Arab Anbar province. Attempts by Shiite-led central government troops and militias to regain territory in the ISIS stronghold have also produced few tangible results, with many fearing aggression by Shiite troops in the region would only drive ideological rifts and push locals to support ISIS.