U.S. Forces Mistakenly Arrest Sunni Chief
As reported earlier, U.S. forces arrested the leader of Iraq’s main Sunni party earlier today. It turns out that it was a mistake.
The U.S. military nearly set off a sectarian crisis Monday by mistakenly arresting the leader of Iraq’s top Sunni Muslim political party, while two suicide bombers killed about 30 police, and U.S. fighter jets destroyed insurgent strongholds near Syria’s border.
The arrest of Iraqi Islamic Party leader Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, his three sons and four guards did little to help efforts to entice Iraq’s once-dominant Sunni community back into the political fold. The Sunnis lost their influence following Saddam Hussein’s ouster two years ago.
Many believe the Sunni fall from grace, and parallel rise to power of Iraq’s majority Shiite population, is spurring the raging insurgency, driving many disenchanted Sunnis to launch attacks that have killed more than 760 people since the April 28 announcement of the Shiite-dominated new government. Bringing Sunnis back into the political fold could soothe some tensions.
Mistakes happen in war. But, my word, this could wind up being a being one.