Sunni forces receive military training near Mosul.

Understanding Iraq’s Sunni tribes

  • Iraq’s Sunni tribes wield significant influence in the country
  • They can prove an effective force in fighting terrorist organizations
  • Alienating them was a big mistake on the part of the United States
  • The U.S. will need to enlist more of them on its side in order to defeat Daesh in Iraq

Bloodline-based groupings have been a force to be reckoned with in Iraq since time immemorial. In the 19th century, when the Ottomans regained control over Iraq, they went to great lengths to weaken the large tribal federations and even the sheikhs of the smaller tribes. When the British established the Iraqi state in 1920, they based their rule mainly on a cooperative king and his Sunni court politicians, as well as on Sunni and Shia tribal sheikhs. Their calculation was that it would be easier to control the hinterland outside the large cities with the sheikhs’ help.

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Professor Dr. Amatzia Baram
Controlling the countryside could not be achieved without the cooperation of the tribal sheikhs
read more about it in the report
What's inside
  • Iraq’s Sunni tribes wield significant influence in the country
  • They can prove an effective force in fighting terrorist organizations
  • Alienating them was a big mistake on the part of the United States
  • The U.S. will need to enlist more of them on its side in order to defeat Daesh in Iraq
Who will benefit?
  • Report is targeted to the decision makers in cross country manufacturing – suppliers, manufacturers, logistics.
  • Also considered useful for the administrative university facilities, to better understand the possibe effects of current decisions.
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