Zawahiri: Iraqi Sunnis Should Prepare for ‘Long Guerrilla War’

Accuses ISIS of Giving Iran 'A Pretext to Eradicate the Sunnis'

In a newly distributed video centering on ISIS losing territory within Iraq, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri urged Iraq’s Sunni minority to prepare to engage in a “long guerrilla war” against the Shi’ite-dominated government as ISIS continued to lose ground.

The Sunnis of Iraq should not just surrender upon the fall of their cities into the hands of the Shi’ite Safavid Army,” Zawahiri insisted, saying they need to organize themselves to re-defeat the Shi’ites that had already been expelled from their cities before.

Iraq doesn’t have an existing al-Qaeda affiliate. The previous one, “Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” split with the group and renamed itself ISIS. Zawahiri faulted ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for being too hardline, and claimed he had given “Safavid Iran and its subservient government” a pretext to eradicate all of Iraq’s Sunnis.

Al-Qaeda appears to have hope for reasserting itself in the country. ISIS is losing ground, and the Shi’ite purges against the Sunni minority in “liberated” cities seems to ensure that there will still be sectarian unrest for them to capitalize on in those post-ISIS regions.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • shishani

    where you come up saying that the sunnies are minority, the sunnies in Iraq are the majority but with the help of US they are becoming minority and that’s the plan, divide conquer.

    • Iraq is nearly 2/3 Shiite and less than 1/3 Sunni.

      • shishani

        the Kurd’s are Sunni Muslim’s and when you add kurds with Arab’s the majority are Sunni Muslims, but when you divide them the Shiite might be equal with the Arab sunnies.

        • MahmudH

          The statisticians have always said it’s 1/3 Sunni including the Kurds. Since the Kurds are splitting themselves off, it’s going to be less than 1/3 Sunni. Anyway, not all the Kurds are Sunni. Many are secular, Yezidis and Zoroastrian.

  • GeorgyOrwell

    Zawahiri……another piece of the total Bulls–t story! How anyone can swallow any part of this nonsense is unbelieveable. 15 years since 9/11 and they are not even pretending to be trying to track this guy down……and nobody even notices or asks why? He was supposed to be bin Ladens #2 (not the countless #3’s they kept killing often more than once).

    This guy is supposed to be the global head of al Qaeda?! When was the last time you read about anything they are doing to find, capture, apprehend……..?

    Nothing, zilch, nada…………………don’t you even find that odd? How badly do you have to be lied to?

    • RD1485

      Precisely. The entire narrative is phony. In reality, the Iraqi puppet government has taken billions in bribes to stay put, while mercenary militias run rampant across Iraq and Syria. Not a bad deal for them. More money than they know what to do with, and no abillity to claim their country back either. Will the real history ever be written ?

    • Tom Aman

      Is he the guy with the expensive watch? The Arab Flavor Flav?

  • Caesar_Saladin

    Wow, that American-style democracy we exported to Iraq is really working out for them, isn’t it? Too bad they neither wanted nor asked for it, huh? Strong nations with ulterior motives always seem to know what’s best for weaker nations possessing valuable natural resources.