Baghdad/Adhamiya, Iraq – After Al-Qa’eda controlled several places in Iraq such as Fallujah, Ramadi, and several neighborhoods in the west of Baghdad, there were many atrocities committed by Al-Qa’eda. This caused the people living in those areas to vehemently reject them. Some of the actions done by Al-Qa’eda were to ask the young men not to wear short trousers or colored T-shirts, or any other shirt with English writing. As for women in these regions, they demanded that they wear a headscarf, or a veil, and never go out of their houses without covering their head, and those who didn’t obey the strict instructions were facing the threat of being beheaded, killed, or otherwise assassinated by the several militias that were controlled by Al-Qa’eda.

The Sahwa Councils were first created in Anbar after some Iraqi tribes agreed to work together with the US forces against the actions of Al-Qa’eda, and in order to wipe out all the elements of Al-Qa’eda in their areas. The first Sahwa council was created under the leadership of Abu Risha. He claimed to organize the first Sahwa council in Anbar against Al-Qa’eda. After Abu Risha’s example, other Iraqi tribes were inspired by his work and created Sahwa councils in their areas in order to eliminate Al-Qa’eda cells in their neighborhoods. Some of the areas where Sahwa councils were formed are Mosul, Kirkuk, Diyala, Tikrit, Hawr Rajab, and several neighborhoods in Baghdad, such as Ameriya, Adhamiya, Al-Khadra’a, and Ghazaliya.

And what made those councils more dedicated to fighting Al-Qa’eda was the assassination of Abu Risha because they started to consider him a symbol of the fight Al-Qa’eda.

The Sahwa Council in Adhamiya

After assassinating a huge number of men in Adhamiya due to the things they wear or who they belong, few people agreed on creating a Sahwa council in Adhamiya in late 2007, the Sahwa council was lead by Reyad Al-Samarra’ie at the beginning, whom was assassinated by two suicide bombers in the north of Baghdad which killed 14 Sahwa members along with Reyad Al-Samarra’ie.

After the murder of Al-Samarra’ie Abu Al-Abed was took the place of A-Samarra’ie as the leader of the Sahwa Council in Adhamiya, some families claim that the situation calmed down in Adhamiya after the creation of the Sahwa council.


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