In Iraq, former militia program eyed for new fight
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Obama administration is reaching back to an Iraq War program as a guide to keep disgruntled Sunnis from joining a rampant new insurgency.
U.S. officials hope to persuade Sunni militiamen known as Sahwa, or Awakening Councils, to fight back against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as they did nearly 10 years ago against al-Qaida.
The Awakening Councils sided with U.S. troops and were a pivotal force in defeating al-Qaida during the war.
It’s unknown how the U.S. and its Mideast allies will urge Sunni tribes to resist ISIL without being funded, armed or assisted by U.S. troops as they once were.
It likely will require a new government in Baghdad to support the militiamen who have been sidelined by Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO’-ree ahl-MAHL’-ih-kee).