Five al Qaeda, including three Yemenis, are captured by a tribal force in Ramadi
Less than two weeks after 25 of the 31 predominately Sunni tribes in Anbar Province pledged to fight al Qaeda and support the Shiite led government of Prime Minister Maliki, the tribes have taken a shot against al Qaeda fighters. Reuters reports five al Qaeda were captured in the city of Ramadi, “including three foreign fighters from Yemen.”
“The five militants were captured without a fight in a car under a bridge in Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, police Major Salam Obeid said. Tribal leader Sheikh Sattar al-Buzayi confirmed the incident,” reports Reuters. Note that the tribal leaders are willing to go on the record about their involvement in the fight against al Qaeda. Attyia al-Jaza’ri implored Zarqawi to treat the tribal leaders and cleric with respect to avoid just such a situation.
Abu Ayyub al-Masri (a.k.a. Abu Hamza al-Muhajir), al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, recently lamented the death of 4,000 “foreign fighters” in Iraq. This figure does not include those captured, such as the three Yemenis in Ramadi.
The arrests in Ramadi may not be the opening salvo of the tribes fighting al Qaeda. The recent death of Khalid Mahal, the Emir of Anbar Province, as well as the capture of two unnamed members of the 1920s Revolution Brigades may have derived from intelligence provided by tribal sources.