Iraq Sunnis Revolt Against al-Qaeda
An encouraging headline: “Sunnis revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq.”
U.S. troops battled al-Qaida in west Baghdad on Thursday after Sunni Arab residents challenged the militants and called for American help to end furious gunfire that kept students from final exams and forced people in the neighborhood to huddle indoors. Backed by helicopter gunships, U.S. troops joined the two-day battle in the Amariyah district, according to a councilman and other residents of the Sunni district.
The fight reflects a trend that U.S. and Iraqi officials have been trumpeting recently to the west in Anbar province, once considered the heartland of the Sunni insurgency. Many Sunni tribes in the province have banded together to fight al-Qaida, claiming the terrorist group is more dangerous than American forces.
An interesting development, to say the least. Still, we’ve seen numerous signs over the past couple of years that Iraqi Sunnis are at odds with al Qaeda and other radical elements and it hasn’t mattered. There are so many radical groups in Iraq, Sunni and Shiite, that even the removal of al Qaeda from the equation would not curb the violence.
It would be far more encouraging if there were a strong Sunni-Shia alliance against the radicals. So far, that doesn’t seem to be happening.