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IS Massacres 70 More Tribesmen In Iraqi Revenge Attack


While Sunni tribes in Anbar are willing to fight IS, they have complained that they are seriously under-resourced and that the Iraqi government and army have failed to provide them with sufficient arms or ammunition.

While Sunni tribes in Anbar are willing to fight IS, they have complained that they are seriously under-resourced and that the Iraqi government and army have failed to provide them with sufficient arms or ammunition.

Tribal sources say that Islamic State (IS) gunmen have carried out a mass killing of over 70 members of the Sunni Albu Nimr tribe near Hit in Iraq's western Anbar Province.

According to an RFE/RL correspondent in Iraq, IS carried out the executions in a revenge attack on November 9 after Iraqi security forces attempted to penetrate into Hit on November 8. The tribal sources said that over 300 more tribesmen were missing. It is thought that IS militants are holding the 300 men in prisons inside Hit.

The news of the latest executions comes after reports that IS gunmen have killed hundreds of members of the Albu Nimr tribe in a number of mass killings that an Iraqi deputy and son of the tribe's leader has called "tantamount to genocide."

The Albu Nimr tribe, many of whose members belonged to the Awakening (Sahwa) movements fighting IS, managed to hold the extremist militants back until IS overran the western part of Anbar in October.

Tribal leaders have said that IS militants have killed more than 630 members of the Albu Nimr tribe in the past two weeks. Sheikh Naim al-Gaoud of the Albu Nimr tribe told the BBC that women and children were among those killed by IS.

The mass killings by IS gunmen of the Albu Nimr tribe in Anbar has agitated Sunni tribesmen in the province against IS, according to a report by Erem News.

While IS had originally tried to co-opt local Sunnis in the areas under its control, its attempts backfired after IS gunmen began killing Sunnis and religious minorities in Mosul, Salah al-Din, Anbar, and other parts of the country that the group had overran. In those areas, Sunni tribes began to form armed groups to combat IS.

While Sunni tribes in Anbar are willing to fight IS, they have complained that they are seriously under-resourced and that the Iraqi government and army have failed to provide them with sufficient arms or ammunition.

Tribal leaders have blamed the Iraqi government, saying that corruption is partly to blame. Tribal leader Sheikh al-Gaoud told "The Washington Post" on November 10 that the tribe felt "abandoned and neglected."

"There is corruption -- those that are meant to be delivering us ammunition are selling it on the black market and we instead are forced to buy it," he said.

-- Joanna Paraszczuk

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena

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