Sunni Chiefs Target al Qaeda in Iraq
The Washington Post reports that Sunni tribal leaders in al Anbar province and near Kirkuk have killed more than fifty al Qaeda terrorists and sympathizers. This is in response to a campaign by AQ in Iraq leader Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi to assassinate Sunni leaders who cooperate in the democratic process in Iraq:
Last month at a briefing in Baghdad, Maj. Gen Rick Lynch, a U.S. military spokesman, said Zarqawi "finds these tribal leaders who have opted to embrace the democratic process . . . and he works to assassinate" them.The Sunnis are not in love with America or Americans, this is realpolitik at work:
"What we're finding is indeed the people of al-Anbar -- Fallujah and Ramadi, specifically -- have decided to turn against terrorists and foreign fighters," he said. "The tribal leaders, if you will, said, 'Okay, that's enough, let's take out Zarqawi and his network and get them out of our cities.' " Lynch said "local insurgents" had killed six Zarqawi deputies in Ramadi since September.
"We are a group of the Anbar people who want to get rid of Zarqawi . . . because this is the only way to make the Americans withdraw from Ramadi or Iraq in general," said Ahmed Abu Ilaf, 30, a welder and member of the new Anbar militia from Ramadi, about 60 miles west of the capital.
"We are against Zarqawi and his followers because they aim to extend the presence of the occupation and hurt our forces to make them weak," said Hussein Ali al-Jubouri, a Sunni tribal leader and Hawijah city council member.