IS plays on tribal marginalization in Iraq

Analysis, posted 12.03.2014, from Iraq, in:
An Iraqi Sunni Muslim Remains Calm during a Clash with IS in Anbar (REUTERS)

The Islamic State (IS) is battling numerous groups, defining all of them as heathens: Shiites, Yazidis, Alawites and Sunnis with whom they ideologically disagree. But on closer inspection of IS statements, it is evident that they have a more prominent enemy: the Sahwa, or Sunni tribal fighters. Since US Gen. David Petraeus persuaded Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar province to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq — the group from which IS sprung — the Sahwa have become the organization’s main enemy.

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