Sunni, Shia Iraqis join army to fight al-Qaeda

Sunni, Shia Iraqis join army to fight al-Qaeda
Sun Jan 5, 2014 08:50:04

Iraqi Sunni tribesmen and Shias have joined the army in the fight against al-Qaeda-linked militants in the western province of al-Anbar.

The leaders of Sunni tribes have reached an agreement with the Iraqi government to help the army drive the militants out of the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, Press TV reported.

Sunni groups are at odds with the Iraqi government over several issues, but their presence in the war against al-Qaeda is one of the rare fields of serious cooperation between them and the government.

The cities of Fallujah and Ramadi have been the scene of deadly clashes between security forces and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants over the past days.

The fighting left more than 100 people dead in the two flashpoint cities on Friday, security officials said.

The violence broke out on December 30, 2013, when the army removed an anti-government protest camp in Ramadi. Authorities said the camp was used as "headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda."

However, the move prompted 44 Iraqi lawmakers to announce their resignation and call for "the withdrawal of the army."

The withdrawal cleared the way for militants from the terrorist group of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which operates in Iraq and Syria.

The people of Fallujah and Ramadi soon called for the return of the army to the restive cities to restore order.

The Iraqi people blame the US for the eruption of unrest and violence in their country, because the terrorist crimes have flared up in Iraq after the US-led invasion of the Arab nation in 2003.


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