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Across a range of editions in 2012-2013, the Inside Iraqi Politics team documented and tracked the tight relationship between the Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi (JRTN) movement and the Free Iraq ntifada protest group, which was eventually publicized by both parties.
Passions were ignited recently after a raid by Shi'ite forces on a Sunni protest camp in the KRG-claimed Kirkuk province's town of Hawija, a JRTN base, left 60 dead and over 100 wounded.
The JRTN has capitalized on the unpopularity of Qaeda and its foreign fighters, whose brutal tactics and enforcement of a strict version of Islam out of kilter with local traditions has alienated the region's population.
There are solid indications that the Islamic State was still actively fighting Ansar al-Sunna and JRTN elements in the summer of 2014, (18) even as these groups maintained uneasy truces with the Islamic State or were defecting to the Islamic State in other provinces.
These groups include the 1920 Revolution Brigades, the Islamic Army of Iraq, and, most prominently, the Naqshabandi Order--known by its Arabic acronym "JRTN." (11) The JRTN is based primarily in Nineveh Province and has been designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
The withering wave of suicide bombings and assassinations were mostly the work of Al Qaeda and other Sunni groups such as the Jaish Rijal Al Tariqah Al Naqshabandi, the JRTN, or Men of the Army of the Naqshahbandia Order.
(g) Having pushed aside the now former Syrian al-Qa'ida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra in swaths of Syria and the neo-Ba'athist Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi (JRTN) in Iraq, the Islamic State does not tolerate regional challengers it may have once collaborated with in its previous incarnation as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI).
"JRTN." (11) It is based primarily in Nineveh Province and has
(58) Existing Salafist groups, along with General Military Council forces associated with Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi (JRTN) and other militants, contribute the core defensive manpower in ISIL-dominated areas.
Withdraws Armed Sunni Groups Al Qaeda in Iraq/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Naqshabandi Order (JRTN) and Ex-Saddam Military Commanders Sunni Tribal Leaders/Sons of Iraq Fighters The Sadr Faction and Shiite Militias Sadrist Offshoots and Other Shiite Militias The Kurds and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Kirkuk Territorial Dispute KRG Oil Exports KRG Elections and Intra-Kurdish Divisions Post-U.S.
(20) Although a major armed conflict between the two sides on what is essentially a front line has thus far failed to materialize, keeping an eye on one another along the Green Line makes the prospect of robustly collaborating on stemming their common foes in the ISIL and the Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi (JRTN) movement more problematic.
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