Iraqi Sunni and Shia Surge Against Al Qaeda
Shouting “Al Qaeda is the enemy of Allah!” Sunni mourners vowed to punish Al-Qaeda in Iraq for the murder of popular Pro-US tribal leader, Abu Risha, on Friday.
Sunni Arabs in Iraq’s Anbar province carry the coffin of their leader Abdul Sattar Abu Reesha at his funeral in Ramadi. Thousands of Sunni Arabs in Iraq’s Anbar province vowed on Friday to avenge the death of Reesha, a key US ally who was killed in a suspected Al-Qaeda bomb attack.(AFP)
The New York Sun wrote that the actions of Abu Risha taught Al Qaeda that its barbarity would only earn greater enmity from their new Sunni foes. That looks to be correct even more so after Abu Risha’s murder by Al Qaeda.
In response, Al-Qaeda of Iraq declared war on the Sunnis on Saturday.
Shia sheiks in southern Iraq on Saturday discussed creating a brigade of young men trained by the Americans to bolster local security as well as help patrol the border with Iran. The brigades would mirror the very successful al-Anbar model.
On Sunday, Shiite villagers in Jichan and Ghislayat fought back against the Al Qaeda killers until Iraqi security forces arrived on the scene to help them.
The AP reported:
Dozens of fighters linked to the Sunni-dominated al-Qaida in Iraq streamed into Shiite villages north of Baghdad, torching homes and killing at least 15 residents, police and army officials said.
In the raids on the villages of Jichan and Ghizlayat, the fighters arrived from several different directions and residents fought back until Iraqi security forces arrived and chased the attackers, who fled to nearby farms.
The clashes about 60 miles north of Baghdad lasted about two hours, the officials and witnesses said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals.
Jeff Emanuel has a terrific report on the action in Samarra with photos where he is embedded with the troops.
UPDATE: It sounds like they got the Anbar Sheik assassin.
Hat Tip Larwyn