Sunnis want US out of al-Anbar

A coalition of Sunni Arab parties has called for US troops to withdraw from restive Iraqi towns before the 15 December elections to encourage voting.

    The ICF urges the US to leave unstable Iraqi cities

    "We call on the American forces to leave Iraqi cities, especially the unstable ones, to allow for their residents to exercise their electoral rights in a normal fashion," the Iraqi Concord Front (ICF) said on Thursday.

    The ICF said continuing military operations in these areas, mostly north and west of Baghdad, were a "deliberate marginalisation of those who did not participate in past elections.

    "As the election approaches, an escalation can be seen in military operations in those provinces that reject the occupation," it said. 

    That was a particular reference to al-Anbar, west of the capital, which is a key area of rebel activity.

    Boycott a mistake

    The fight against the US presence in the country is largely made up of Sunni Arabs, so the most unstable towns and cities are those where Sunnis have a strong presence among the populace.

    Most Sunnis boycotted the January elections for an interim parliament, a move that many now acknowledge was a mistake since it largely sidelined them from politics over the past year.

    Sunnis protested at the time that the polls were taking place under foreign occupation and that their community faced marginalisation by the majority Shia.

    The Iraqi Concord Front is made up of the three main Sunni parties: the Conference for the People of Iraq, the Iraqi Islamic Party and the Iraqi National Dialogue.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?