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The man who might save Iraq

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passing on an article about one Sunni leader


The man who might save Iraq

By Pepe Escobar


BAGHDAD - He is a former Sunni Arab mujahid from Ramadi who until recently was fighting the US occupation. He has only a secondary education and is married with two wives. Now he is praised even by urban, secular, highly educated Shi'ites as a "conscious man", or "the kind of man we need now in Iraq". Sheikh Abdul Satter Abu Risha is the leader of the Anbar Sovereignty Council, a powerful coalition of Anbar tribes, including at least 200 sheikhs, that is fighting the Salafi jihadis of al-Qaeda in Iraq/the Islamic




Emirate of Iraq in the volatile province.


Abu Risha set up the council after his father and two brothers were killed by al-Qaeda's extreme methods last autumn. In an exclusive telephone interview with Asia Times Online, he stated, unambiguously, that al-Qaeda "has abused our traditions and generosity" and, he alleged, they even "take drugs" - a mortal sin in conservative Islam.


Sheikh Ali Hattan al-Suleiman, also from the council, was even more direct: "I'd like to see an al-Qaeda bomber e-mail me or telephone me and talk about his education. They just came here with money. They gave money to the unemployed. They are not Iraqis - only Arabs. They are bastards. And the people who follow them are also bastards."


Abu Risha totally dismissed rumors that the Anbar council is forcing families in the region to give their sons to the cause, or is engaged in summary execution of captured jihadis. "We only accept volunteers. And we work by ourselves, like a team, by shifts. When we arrest people from al-Qaeda or Iraqis working for al-Qaeda, we take them to the Iraqi Army or the Ministry of Interior."


It's fair to assume, though, that once these jihadis end up in the hands of the ministry's death squads, torture and death are inevitable. Resistance to capture also means jihadis are killed on the spot. And when the going gets really rough, "sometimes we call for American air strikes".






What people do know and have started to notice is the increasingly high profile of Sheikh Abu Risha. He may not be Iraq's savior, but as the larger-than-life tragedy of Iraq stands, a Sunni sheikh leading a tribal coalition fighting alongside a predominantly Shi'ite Iraqi government against Salafi jihadist terror is better news than any "international community" rhetorical flourishes emanating from Sharm al-Sheikh, where the international community was debating Iraq's future.




much more at the link. I am not sure of the news source or how reliable it is.


other recent headline stories in the west;


Sunnis revolt against al-Qaida

BAGHDAD - U.S. troops battled al-Qaida in west Baghdad on Thursday after Sunni residents challenged the militants and called for American help to end furious gunfire that kept students from final exams and forced people in the neighborhood to huddle indoors.


Backed by helicopter gunships, American forces joined the two-day battle in the Amariyah district, according to a councilman and other residents of the Sunni district.


The fight reflects a trend that U.S. and Iraqi officials have been trumpeting recently to the west in Anbar province, once considered the headquarters of the Sunni insurgency. Many Sunni tribes in the province have banded together to fight al-Qaida, claiming the terrorist group is more dangerous than American forces.




They said the fighters drove through the streets using loudspeakers to claim that Amariyah was under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida front group.


Armed residents were said to have resisted, set some of the al-Qaida gunmen's cars on fire and called the Americans for help.




Cease-Fire Eyed to Stop Violence in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. military commanders are talking with Iraqi militants about cease- fires and other arrangements to try to stop the violence, the No. 2 American commander said Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said he has authorized commanders to reach out to militants, tribes, religious leaders and others in the country that has been gripped by violence from a range of fronts including insurgents, sectarian rivals and common criminals.








Erbil, 30 May (AKI) - Contacts are underway between Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Baathist faction of Izzat al-Douri, former vice president during the Saddam era, according to a report on Kurdish language daily Aso. The scope of the contacts is "for reconciliation between the government and this political wing"








A recent article written in Arabic on a possible split with al Queda from a Sot al-Iraq report news source





I am not sure of the source or even how to copy/paste it correctly;;


معارك عنيفة ومستمرة بين الجماعات المسلحة في العامرية


(صوت العراق) - 31-05-2007

ارسل هذا الموضوع لصديق





I hope the link works and maybe somebody could loosely translate the actual article into English.


How reliable is Sot al-Iraq as a source of Iraqi news?

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I hope the link works and maybe somebody could loosely translate the actual article into English.


How reliable is Sot al-Iraq as a source of Iraqi news?



The article is about heavy fighting betwen Two Sunni Militia and aLQAEDA gang in west Baghdad discret of Alameria.. According to the report ,The two groups, who had split coalition with Qaeda over the last couple months, are engaged in door to door street fighting with QAEDA personals..

Over the last months there were many such incidents , one of the main was the kill of the head of one of the groups last month by QAEDA..


As for Shikh Abo Resha, I was commenting on him couple of months ago, a very influencial Tribal shikh that had a very strong bonds with tribes in the south..He is colouring the face of the new Iraq with his great brave stands , thanks to MALIKI intiative of helping the awakening " Sahwa" council of Anbar..

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The fight in AlAmeria is setting a new flag day in Iraqis struggle. Shiekh Abo Resha confirmed that his fighters of Anbar awakening council had joint residents of Ameria in fighting back the Qaeda militia. The Islamic party spoke's man Dr. Salim Abdullah " Alhashimee vice president 's part" aslo confirmed their participation. Seesm that such call for cleansing the Sunni neighborhoods from Qaeda dirt is getting much wider popular suport. That is why different parties and groups are claiming sharing the fight .. They want to reach their fellow sunni base .

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The Ameria fight between the locals , supported by many Sunni militias including Bathists , is turning to be bigger than being another incident.. I can now say in more confident words, the big Iraqi Sunni awakening up rise is just started.. Sadamists are still trying their best to contain it and to find some ways to manage the damages. Today , the Islamic Army militia "mainly former intelligence officers" issued an announcement that they got an agreement with Alqaeda to stop fighting and have some non biased judges to look into the dispute. Another announcent by some Sadamist group accused the popular uprise against Qaeda as a plot by Anbar Awakening council " who accept to put hands with Alsader in fighting our Qaeda Mujahdeens"


Anyhow, on another Sadamist web site some one posted a letter to Bin Laden to intervene and stop the killing of Iraqis " Shia and Sunni" by Qaeda.. It is the first time such letter with such kind of clear blaming of the sectarian killing on Qaeda by these Sadamists group. The writer asked Bin Laden " You need to have a deep look to Alqaeda in Iraq actions that kill Shia and Sunni on such massive and random scale , tel us if you are in agree with it" ..


On other front, Locals in Ameria are forming their militia to protect their neighborhoods. They are still reluctant to cooperate with the Iraqi Army or the US one.. Looks to me that the big Qaeda wiping operation is on the doors, it might be a matter of time.


On a completely separate issue, In near by Alkhadraa discrete , Strangers knocked the doors of my house neighbor , asking for the keys of my empty house, they told the neighbors that they are from the "tantheem" ,the nick name to Qaeda .They wanted the keys or they would broke in to settle in the house. The Sunni Neighbors had came together to stand to that strangers.. They told me on the phone , no thing to worry about, it is our brother's house and we know how to keep it safe

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U.S. Arming Sunnis in Iraq to Battle Old Qaeda Allies





Published: June 11, 2007

Correction Appended


BAGHDAD, June 10 — With the four-month-old increase in American troops showing only modest success in curbing insurgent attacks, American commanders are turning to another strategy that they acknowledge is fraught with risk: arming Sunni Arab groups that have promised to fight militants linked with Al Qaeda who have been their allies in the past.





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Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) chairs a House Armed Services subcmte. hearing on Iraqi Security Forces Development. This oversight hearing investigates efforts to train and equip Iraqi military and police forces.




Far from NT reports, have a look and hear how much the brave men and women are commited to the new Iraq.. Both Iraqi and American sides..

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