Sunni Militias Threaten Strike Over Late Pay

Unrest among key US allies could affect joint security efforts
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2008 9:53 AM CDT
In this photo released by the U.S Air Force, Sunni tribal leaders sign a security pact in Hawija, 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007.    (AP Photo/ U.S. Air Force, SSG Samuel Bendet)
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(Newser) – US-allied Sunni militias are threatening to go on strike over late pay. At least two of the 49 Awakening councils that  have been enlisted in the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq have already done so, reports the Guardian, and the dispute over their $10-a-day payments threatens the partnership that has been key to the reduction in violence in the last 6 months, say analysts.

The Sunni fighters are accusing the US military of using them to clear dangerous areas and then abandoning them. Some groups are disgruntled because their candidates have not been accepted into police or army training. "The Americans are using us to do their dirty work and kill off the resistance for them and then we get nothing for it," one bitter leader told the Guardian.