Politics

Sunnis vs. Zarqawi

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Today’s Washington Post reports that Sunni groups have turned on Zarqawi and are fighting with his followers.

The clashes between Sunni Arab tribes and insurgents, coupled with growing vows by Iraq’s Sunni minority to turn out in force for national voting in the coming months, coincided with U.S. hopes for defusing the two-year-old insurgency. U.S. military leaders have repeatedly expressed optimism that public anger at insurgent violence would deprive insurgents of their base of support.

A tribal leader near the Syrian border, Muhammed Mahallawi, said his Albu Mahal tribe began the latest fighting against Zarqawi’s insurgents after they kidnapped and killed 31 members of his tribe to punish them for joining the Iraqi security forces.

“We decided either we force them out of the city or we kill them,” with the support of U.S. bombing…

The same article reports another Sunni related development on the political front:

In Baghdad, a Sunni Arab critic of the draft appeared alongside U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to say Sunnis should resolve their objections peacefully. “We believe the best way to solve problems is through elections,” Adnan Salman Dulaimi told reporters at a news conference.

Dulaimi pledged to work to defeat the draft charter in the October vote.

“On federalism, we reject it because it will lead to tearing up the country,” Dulaimi said. “We call on all Iraqis for unity, solidarity, closing of ranks to confront those who want to undermine the unity of Iraq. No to sectarianism, no to federalism.”

Are these isolated incidents from different factions within the Sunni community? Or, is this a wider change that could prove to be a turning point in the insurgency? Is it too late for Sunnis to effect change in the constitutional process?

Washington Post: U.S. Warplanes Target Alleged Rebel Havens Along Iraq-Syria Border