Sustained U.S. support will give the Sunnis hope



by David Ignatius


Pleas to U.S. Central Command, or Centcom, and the Iraqi military on the night of Oct. 23 brought no aid, and the tribal fighters surrendered; over the next few weeks, several hundred tribesmen were killed.

Many of the tribe’s leaders were based in Amman, but U.S. policy at the time was seeking to draw Sunni fighters toward Baghdad and the new, less-polarizing prime minister, Haider al-Abadi.

The problem, the tribal leader argued, was that because the United States was working so closely with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, Sunnis in Anbar doubted there was any U.S. commitment to giving them more power.

What has begun to change over the past six months is that Sunni leaders in Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all seem willing to work with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad to back a tribal campaign against ISIS.

Sunni tribal leaders say in interviews that they want to roll back ISIS, but they’re wary allies.


Categories: Americas, Iraq, United States

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