Thursday, June 09, 2005

The rift between the Iraqi government and hostile Sunni Arabs widened further on Wednesday as the country's leaders came out in support of ethnic and sectarian militias that Sunnis fear could be used against them. ... The announcement regarding militias was the first time the new government had publicly backed armed ethnic and sectarian groups, and it was an implicit rebuke (nyt, registration required) to American officials, who have repeatedly asked that the government disband all militias in the country. The largest militias are the Kurdish pesh merga and an Iranian-trained Shiite militia that Sunni leaders have blamed for attacks against them.

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