Anbar: The Abu Soda Tribe vs. al Qaeda

The Albu Soda tribe fought al Qaeda in Iraq in Ramadi, Coalition forces assist

Iraq. Click map to view.

The 25 tribes of the Anbar Salvation Council and Al-Qaeda in Iraq have been battling it out since the tribes have committed to work with the Iraqi government and U.S. military in western Iraq. Over the weekend, the Abu Soda tribe, one of the members of the Anbar Salvation Council, fought alongside U.S. force against al Qaeda in Iraq in the Sofia neighborhood of Ramadi.

On November 25, al Qaeda attacked the Abu Soda tribe in the provincial capital. According to Multinational Forces Iraq, “Al Qaeda forces attacked through a tribal area check point and engaged the Abu Soda in Sofia. Al Qaeda burned homes, and killed members of the tribe using small arms fire and mortars.” The U.S. military struck back at al Qaeda in Iraq with air and artillery support.

“The Abu Soda tribe that is being led by Sheik Jassim and supported by Sheikh Abbas from the Abu Mahal have given their men to the Ministry of the Interior to serve as Iraqi Police. Al Qaeda has decided to attack the tribes due to their support. The terrorists have gone to a neighboring tribe and have brought fighters to attack the Abu Soda,” said Sheikh Ahmed of the Abu Resha tribe.

The fighting continued through the next day. On November 26, U.S. forces struck at “insurgents who were gathering in preparation to attack an Albu Soda tribal check point.” Four civilians were wounded and taken to a U.S. hospital or treatment. In a separate engagement in Sofia, “Coalition Forces conducted a precision strike on insurgent forces after observing three men loading weapons from a known cache site into a vehicle.” Two were killed and one escaped. Overall, the Abu Soda estimate 50 plus al Qaeda were killed in the fighting.

The Anbar Salvation Council was formed in September of 2006 and has made progress in working with the U.S. military in Ramadi and throughout western Iraq. Several foreign al Qaeda have been kiled and captured.

In an effort to counter the Anbar Salvation Council and Iraqify the jihad, al Qaeda formed the “Mutayibeen Coalition,” which is comprised of al Qaeda in Iraq, the Mujahideen Shura, six Anbar tribes and some minor insurgent groups.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • ECH says:

    We know the 6 tribes allied with al-Qaeda. Why don’t we start using the tribes allied with us and lots of air power and some SF like we did with the Northern Alliance to destory al-Qaeda’s support tribes in Anbar quickly much like with did in 2001 with the Nothern Alliance.
    If we can destory al-Qaeda in Anbar quickly we can bring down the attacks on the Shia in Baghdad and alleviate the biggest problem Iraq faces that al-Qaeda got started in Baghdad.

  • Anand says:

    ECH, from Bill’s reporting it appears that the US military is doing what you suggest on a smaller scale. We cannot bomb too heavily for fear of appearing to side with Sadr and the Shiite militias against Al Anbar Sunni Arabs. Most people in Al Anbar view Muqtada and Iran with hostility, and regard the Iraqi government as greatly influenced by them.
    Hear are some articles on the ISF in Al Anbar:


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