Tribal Leaders Join Forces To Fight Al-Qaeda
July 27, 2007
People in Iraq are quickly becoming tired of their communities being terrorized by the al-Qaeda insurgents and more and more, they’re standing up to them and saying in effect… NO MORE! That was never more in evidence, than on July 23rd when approximately 75 tribal sheiks and local leaders met at the Iraqi Army Headquarters in Khalis, Iraq to discuss problems they had amongst themselves and come up with solutions for security and services to their areas. But more importantly, they came together to unite to defeat al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in the Khalis area.
“Our goal is to be united and cooperate between us to stand between any force that wishes to challenge our unity,” said one tribal sheik. “We have to show the people that we are honest and serious about fighting against al-Qaeda.”
The meeting, which was headed by Staff Maj. General Abdul Kareem, commander of Iraqi Security Forces in Diyala province, Staff Maj. General Ghanem Abass Ibraham al-Qureshy, the Provincial Director of Police and Col. David Sutherland, commander of Coalition Forces in Diyala province, was highlighted by the signing of a peace agreement between 18 of the tribal leaders who were in attendance.
“The sheiks are the backbone of Diyala,” said Sutherland. “We are not 25 major tribes with 100 sub-tribes; we are one tribe - the tribe of Diyala.”
Tribal leaders used examples from the Quran, explaining why they felt it important that they join together to ensure the safety of their communities. One example, taken from the Quran was this - “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God stretches out for you, and be not divided among yourselves.” The sheiks agreed to eight conditions in the agreement that they signed.
“Here, right now, I am denouncing the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Qaeda,” said one sheik, who later swore on the Quran to uphold the conditions of the peace agreement.
Portions of the agreement include cooperating with the Iraqi Security Forces, stopping tribal conflicts such as kidnappings and murders; reporting and removing IEDs, assisting in the recruitment for the Iraqi Security Forces, dissolving illegal militias and solving disputes among tribes by holding local meetings with the government and other tribal sheiks. Following the meeting and signing of the peace agreement, the tribal leaders enjoyed a feast and agreed to meet again in the near future to continue efforts to unite and solve the issues of their people.
News such as this, only emphasizes the fact that the people of Iraq are serious about obtaining peace and stability to their country and that they are willing to put aside their differences, to join together in standing up against insurgent groups who wish nothing more than to wreak havoc and terror into the lives of their people. This is not only another great success that our Troops have accomplished, but even more importantly, it’s a huge step on the road towards peace and stability for the Iraq people.