Iraqi Sunni leaders in exile say the seizure of large swaths of territory in northern and western Iraq last month by Sunni-led militants was the result of a "popular revolt" against the Shi’a-dominated government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
About 300 Sunni clerics, tribal leaders, insurgent commanders, and businessmen attended a closed-door meeting in Amman, Jordan, about the situation in Iraq on July 16.
Abdelmalek al-Saadi, a senior Sunni cleric, said after the meeting that fighters from the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), were only part of a “revolt carried out by the tribes” in Sunni areas.
Ahmad Dabash, a commander of an Iraqi nationalist militant group called the Islamic Army of Iraq, emerged from the meeting with a call for Arab countries to support what he called a "legitimate revolt” in Iraq.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP