Iranian-backed Shia militias are preparing to launch an operation to retake Fallujah, a Sunni-dominated city in Iraq, from the Islamic State terror group, Loveday Morris of the Washington Post reports. And it looks like it’s going to get messy. While Fallujah’s proximity to Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, makes it strategically important for the Iraqi government, sending in militias that have been known to burn down Sunni villages might not pay off in the long run.

Eissa al-Issawi, the head of Fallujah’s local council, told the Post that if the Shia militias are allowed to lead the charge to retake the city from Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, Daesh), “there would be much destruction, and much blood.” US Marines fought the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war in Fallujah in 2004. “Then fighting the Islamic State’s predecessor, the group known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, Marines fought street to street, contending with sniper fire, roadside bombs and booby-trapped buildings,” Morris notes. FULL REPORT