Some Arab tribes in the central and western parts of the country seem to have been fed up with the violence Al-Qaeda operatives are causing in Iraq.
At least one chieftain of the powerful Dulaimi tribe in northern Baghdad has decided to wage an open battle against al-Qaeda.
Mahmoud al-Fahdawi, head of Dulaimis in Tarmiya, Dhaloiya, Balad and Taji, some of the most violent areas in Iraq, is reported to have ordered his tribesmen to wage war on Qaeda.
Fahdawi’s men have captured three Saudi Nationals who reached the area a month ago and started setting up Islamic courts.
“The Saudi nationals sentenced innocent people to death on the pretext of cooperating with U.S. and Iraqi troops,” Fahdawi said.
He said he surrendered the three Saudis to U.S. troops when it became clear that they were Qaeda members.
It is the first time an Iraqi tribal leader in the so-called Sunni Triangle, where most of violence takes place, speaks out against Qaeda and delivers its operatives to U.S. troops.
Previously, many tribes were afraid to take on Qaeda in their areas and several tribal leaders have been killed for opposing its presence in their areas.
It is not clear whether Fahdawi’s move is part of wide resentment of Qaeda particularly in Dulaimi areas.
The Dulaimi tribe is present in central and western parts of the country. It is one the largest and most powerful tribes in Iraq and its members are said to have been leading the fight against U.S. troops in the Anbar Province, their main stronghold and where most of U.S. casualties are incurred.
“The tribes in the areas north and west of Baghdad launched attacks on several strongholds of gunmen and managed to kill and capture scores of them,” Fahdawi said.
He said the tribes were emboldened by a new council the government has set up to rid the Province of Anbar of gunmen.