U.S. Soldiers Accidently Kill Sunni Leader in Iraq
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
BAGHDAD — American soldiers accidentally shot and killed the leader of a local American-allied Sunni group yesterday after coming under attack in a volatile area north of Baghdad, the military said.
The shooting comes a week before the Shiite-led Iraqi government begins to assume authority over the Sunni groups known as the Sons of Iraq, or Awakening Councils. The military has credited the Sunni revolt against Al Qaeda in Iraq as a key factor in the sharp decline in violence over the past year.
The head of the group in Siniyah, Jassim al-Garrout, was killed after he rushed to the site of an ambush against American forces in the area, which lies between the northern oil-hub of Beiji and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, according to witnesses and police.
One of al-Garrout’s comrades said the group would demand an apology from the Americans.
“The Awakening Councils have become targets of Al Qaeda, the government and sometimes even the U.S. forces. We do not know our fate and we are feeling lost,” Farooq Sami said.