Officials said the biggest increase has come from Sunni residents of
Baghdad, Middle East Newsline reported. Long intimidated by Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein loyalists, Sunni
residents of Baghdad have phoned in a record number of tips over the last
"We have received 34 tips that have led to the arrest of 91 insurgents
in the last 90 days," Griner, whose unit is part of the U.S. Army's 3rd
Infantry Division, said.
The U.S. military has been wooing Iraqi Sunnis, particularly those in
the Anbar and Baghdad provinces. The military has helped organize a Sunni
auxiliary force comprised of members who patrol neighborhoods in
cooperation with the Iraq Army and police.
Sunni tribal sheiks in Baghdad have also been organized to help improve
security. On Oct. 4, officials met with more than 300 sheiks from
the Mada'in county in Baghdad to discuss reconciliation as well as a plan
to recruit Sunnis in the Iraqi security forces.
"When this many sheiks attend a meeting such as this, it is an indicator
that the people are tired of the violence and have a desire to return to
normalcy," Maj. Dave Fivecoat, the operations officer of 3rd BCT, said.
Officials said the increase in Sunni security cooperation has marked a
major element in the stabilization of Anbar and Baghdad. A U.S. military
plan envisions the recruitment of thousands of Sunnis into the police and
"We are optimistic that their inclusion will ultimately enable the ISF
[Iraqi security forces] to accurately represent and effectively secure the
local populace," Maj. Jeremy Moore, the 3rd BCT liasion to the Iraqi
security force, said.
Officials said Shi'ites have also volunteered to patrol neighborhoods
and identify insurgents. They said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has
been meeting Sunni and Shi'ite leaders of volunteer citizen networks.
"You'll see Shia concerned local citizens and you'll see Sunni concerned
local citizens in the hundreds," U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. Kevin
Bergner said on Wednesday. "There actually is a significant amount of
outreach under way, and it has crossed sectarian lines."