Five people were killed and seven others were wounded when gunmen dressed in Iraqi army uniforms stormed the home of a Sahwa member in Abu Ghraib. The man’s wife, daughter, two sons and a fifth relative were killed. Seven other family members were wounded. He was not present.
Because military uniforms are easy to come by in Iraq, it is unknown if the gunmen were actual soldiers or disguised insurgents. Al-Qaeda has asked the Sahwa members to rejoin the insurgency and said it would attack those who reject the invitation. The Sahwa Movement (A.K.A. the Sons of Iraq or Awakening Council) formed in 2005 and aligned itself with U.S. forces to combat violence.
However, the relationship between the Sahwa and the Shi’ite-led central government has been, at best, uneasy too. Many Sahwa have been harassed, arrested, demoted and left unpaid by Baghdad over the years. Also, a deadly massacre of Shi’ite pilgrims and subsequent arrest of Sunnis in Anbar province has heightened sectarian tensions in recent weeks, so this being an extra-military operation should not be immediately ruled out.
Last 5 posts by Margaret Griffis
- Bombers Strike Southern Iraq; 85 Killed, 189 Wounded - June 2nd, 2014
- Over 1700 Killed in February Iraq Bloodshed - March 1st, 2014
- IBO: 162,000 Reported Deaths in Iraq War - January 2nd, 2012
- Turkish Tanks Move Deep into Iraq, Maybe - October 25th, 2011
- Amid Own Tensions, Turkey and Iran Pledge Mutual Aid Against Kurdish Rebels - October 21st, 2011