After initially accepting al Qaeda in Iraq due to a shared anti-occupation and anti-Shiite agenda, Sunni Arabs chafed under AQI’s violently fanatic religious program.
AQI terrorized those who opposed it, eventually prompting Sunnis to partner with U.S. forces to rid their communities of AQI. The collaboration successfully tested in al-Anbar province – once Iraq’s most violent – was adopted in other AQI-plagued regions, contributing to a dramatic neutralization of the insurgency.
Not a uniform organization, the Awakening was composed of numerous local elements roused to action by a wide array of cultural, political, and economic considerations, while their Coalition counterparts similarly adopted a variety of methods to support them.
From August to December 2006, the Anbar Province of Iraq was occupied by Al Qaeda (AQI). Much of the stronghold of AQI was in Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province. The sheikhs and officials were Sunni by sect, so they initially cooperated with AQI to counterbalance the Shiite government and the Shiite insurgents. But later, the terrorism which AQI promoted was not in line with the Sheik's interests. They then joined forces with the US troops in the area, the Iraqi Police and the Provisional Army. They strengthened the city council and dubbed their movement the "awakening". The US and the Iraqi people later gained control of Fallujah and Ramadi. This movement was one of the shining symbols of counterinsurgency policy - rhetoric of the New Way forward was met here. The six points which Bush outlined were met; the people were united to save their city and the US forced gained support of both the officials and citizens.
The Awakening coincided with the United States led coalition's surge of troops that instituted a counter insurgency strategy and largely ended the ongoing insurgency.
- Klein, Joe (23 May 2007). "Is al-Qaeda on the Run in Iraq?". Time. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
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