Did these Iraqi tribesmen pledge support to Daesh before Ramadi even happened?
Tensions between the Iraqi government and tribesmen in Anbar have been simmering since the days of former Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki. Now they appear to be pledging allegiance to Daesh. (YouTube)
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The Anbar governorate capital Ramadi was overtaken by Daesh last month after several days of clashes with the Iraqi army and the US-led air coalition backing it, raising big questions about the Iraqi army's effectiveness on the battlefield.
But a video that appeared on YouTube last week showing Iraqi tribesmen from Anbar pledging allegiance to Daesh suggests locals may have been against the Iraqi government — and the army — long before the takeover.
The ten-minute video was uploaded to this YouTube channel on June 3, but purports to be shot over a month before, on April 30. If this is the case, it mean Iraqi tribesmen were pledging support for the militants and against the US coalition and Iraqi army over two weeks before Ramadi even happened, on May 17.
Some 100 tribesmen gather behind a podium, where a tribal leader reads out a statement. In it, he congratulates the people of Anbar for becoming part of Daesh territory, and the militants for overtaking it. He tells families who fled the fighting to return and live under the ‘caliphate.’ He also condemn the Iraqi government, decry sectarian killings against Sunnis in Iraq, and say Daesh will soon overtake Baghdad.
As Al Jazeera points out, tensions over what they see as exclusion by the Iraqi government has led to increasing mistrust among Anbar's Sunni tribesmen regarding the leadership in Baghdad.
Watch it below.
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