Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville peace talks suspended

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

Read more

  • Live: Pro-Palestinian protest staged in Paris under tight security

    Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

Supporting US troops - best of the worst options

Video by Lucas MENGET

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2008-11-04

American troops have managed to complete many missions successfully due to assistance provided by al Sahwa militia. These former anti-American Sunni fighters changed sides one year ago to help US troops fight al Qaeda.

One year ago, few anti-American fighters chose to change sides. Since then, the al-Sahwa militia members, who are under little control of the Iraqi government, have been working more for the Americans.

 

Sunni militia
A commander of the al-Sahwa Sunni militia on November 1, 2008. Those men have been wearing the Iraqi uniform for only one month.

 

“They continue to work with us, they are the ones who renewed our badge. The Iraqi Army doesn’t do anything for us. It came once to note down our names and that’s it”, a member of the militia told FRANCE 24.

These militia men and their chief fear an alliance between the Iraqi government and their powerful neighbour Iran.

 

Sunni militia
Al-Sawha Sunni fighters patrol the streets of Adhamiyah on November 1, 2008.
Sunni militia

“Our government doesn’t budge without Iran’s approval. I prefer spying for the Americans rather than the Iranians because the Americans will leave one day. The Iranians are embedded in our system”, says Abu Omar, chief of the Al Sahwa militia in Adhamiyah.

For the militia the Americans are less of a problem: they are seen a rampart against the Al Qaida and Shiite militia helped by Iran.

 

Sunni militia
Those women are finding it hard to supply their household with water in the Sunni neighbourhood of Adhamiyah, where the Shiite government does little to help.

 

Sunni militia
Illegal wires connect the nieghbourhood’s homes to an electricity pole.

 

Date created : 2008-11-03

COMMENT(S)