Concerned Local Citizens

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Al-Qaeda in Iraq Plots Comeback as US Departs

Disgruntled Awakening forces offered raises to switch sides again

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda in Iraq is trying to make a comeback, by luring Awakening Council fighters to defect. Awakening leaders tell the Guardian that the terrorist group is offering to pay its fighters more than the $300 a month militia members get from the government. One says he believes 100 of his... More »

US Air Strike Kills 6 Sunni Allies

Tensions already high with Awakening

(Newser) - US helicopters opened fire on two checkpoints manned by a pro-American group today, killing six members of the Sons of Iraq and injuring two civilians. The attack could exacerbate already strained tensions between the US and the Awakening Councils it employs, CNN reports. The US said that its helicopter opened... More »

Female Bomber Kills Anti-Qaeda Sunni Sheik

Diyala-area Awakening leader hit in attack

(Newser) - A female suicide bomber assassinated a Sunni Awakening leader in his Diyala province home today, the AP reports, killing the sheik’s bodyguard, cousin, and 5-year-old niece along with him. The woman had come to see the sheik yesterday, saying her husband had been kidnapped and was begging for help.... More »

Sunni Fighters Growing Tired of US Neglect

Disputed killings, lack of support weakens plan to reduce violence

(Newser) - The mostly Sunni volunteer forces that have drastically improved Iraq’s security are losing patience with US handlers, the Washington Post reports. Desertions are under way in key provinces over lack of resources, political disagreements, and disputed accounts of US troops killing members of the so-called Sunni Awakening. “Now,... More »

US Pushes for Sunni-Shiite Reconciliation

New strategy aims to integrate 'concerned' locals into government

(Newser) - Convincing Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government to embrace the former Sunni insurgents known as “Concerned Local Citizens” is the key priority for US leaders in Iraq, the LA Times reports. The US-funded CLCs have been vital to Iraq’s improving security, patrolling areas without a regular police presence. But Iraqi... More »

Iraq Seeks to Break Up Sunni Fighter Units

Shiite-led gov't fears US-backed militias will become rival force

(Newser) - Iraq's Shiite-dominated government is demanding that Sunni militias who are helping fight Islamic extremists eventually disband, fearing they will otherwise turn into their own military force. The militias, called Awakening Councils, or Concerned Local Citizens, comprise more than 70,000 Iraqis, including former insurgents, and are funded by the United... More »

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