Rebel Sunnis Escaped Baghdad Sweep With Weapons

25-30 Percent of Awakening Fighters 'Missing' After Uprising Quashed by Iraqi Forces

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.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.