In Iraq, US Allies Fight Each Other for Control

Arrest of Sunni leader fuels tension
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2009 9:50 AM CDT
In Iraq, US Allies Fight Each Other for Control
Iraqi soldiers kick open a door in the Fadhil neighborhood in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

A showdown this weekend between Iraqi security forces and Sunni fighters known as the Awakening, both US allies, could signal challenges facing Iraq as the US prepares to leave, the Washington Post reports. After Iraqi and US forces arrested an Awakening leader Saturday, Sunni fighters swarmed a Baghdad neighborhood. "No Awakening member would remain silent over this injustice," one group leader said. At least eight Iraqi soldiers were injured.

The next day, Iraqi and US troops had the area surrounded; they now have begun pulling out, AFP reports. Iraqi troops considered the outcome a positive sign. "This shows that we don't need the Americans and that Awakening are not stronger than the government," one soldier said. But the skirmish fueled anger among Awakening members, and some fear clashes could spring up elsewhere in the country. (More Iraq stories.)

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