At least two Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by Iraqi insurgents in Baghdad. Others have been forced to flee after insurgents passed their details to US and Iraqi commanders. Fierce fighting has broken out between insurgent groups and Al Qaeda in Anbar province, west of Baghdad.
Some senior Sunni insurgents believe that Al-Qaeda in Iraq shares the agenda of Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias to plunge the country into ever more violent sectarian conflict rather than concentrating on the fight against the US led coalition.
"Both Al-Qaeda and Iran seem to have an identical agenda to try to widen the sectarian split between Sunnis and Shi'ites, maintaining instability," Abu Baker, a commander in the 20th Revolutionary Brigade, told The Sunday Times last week. "They stepped up their attacks on innocent Iraqi people and we could not accept that.""
A senior commander in the Islamic Army said Zubaie had promised not only to help to unify the Sunni groups but also to provide them with financial and logistical support to stop Iranian infiltration.
The insurgent groups set out to "cleanse" parts of Baghdad of Al-Qaeda influence. Shaker Zuwaini, an Al Qaeda emir, was assassinated by the 20th Revolutionary Brigade in the Adel district of Baghdad. The emir of the Amiriya district was also killed and another commander was chased away from the Khadra district.