An update on the mass arrest of members of the Sunni Awakening Council who launched an uprising in Baghdad’s Fadhil neighborhood reveals that as many as 25-30% of those who took part in the clashes have gone missing, apparently having escaped with their weapons.
The Awakening forces had been protesting against the Maliki government for a week ahead of the uprising, complaining that the Shi’ite majority government had failed to live up to its promise to provide jobs for the nearly 100,000 members of the US-backed Sunni militia.
After the protests, the government arrested one of the top Awakening leaders, sparking a violent gunbattle between the two US-allied factions. The US praised the arrest, and Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin says he believes the Iraqi government is committed to supporting the forces, in spite of the arrests.
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