Pro-Government Militias

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Awakening groups/Sahwa (Iraq)

Name assigned by coder: no
PGM ID Number: 234
Country: Iraq
Date formed: Sept. 1, 2005
Details of Formation: 2005 with Abu Mahal tribe near Syrian border. Tribe offered alliance with US in order to deal with rivals. 'Weapons and training flowed to the tribe, the extremists were pushed back on their heels -- and the Awakening was born.'NYT23.12.07
Date dissolved: Unknown
Details of Termination: 'American and Iraqi officials have said ..that the groups eventually should be disbanded to avoid competition with the Iraqi Army and the police..some of the Awakening groups would be integrated into the security forces while members of a larger portion would get civilian jobs from the government or private industry.'NYT 27.12.07 US stopped paying Awakening groups in early 2009. Responsibility shifted to Iraqi government, who did not provide promised benefits. Evidence suggests awakening groups becoming anti-govenment again in 2009. [The Times 04.04.2009]
Successor group(s): none
Private Military Company? no
Government Relation: type1
Government Link(s): state/military institution
Training and Equipment yes
Shared Information and Joint Operations no information
Shared personnel no information
Types of Material Support: Foreign government
State Sponsor(s): United States
Other Connection(s):
Membership: ethnic; religious
Location: Anbar province
Force Strength: [unknown, 72000]
Target(s): rebels, insurgents, or other armed group
Purpose(s): protect state, national or religious institutions; fight insurgents
Other Information: Also known as 'sahwa' and 'concerned local citizens.' In 2007, 300 groups in 12 provinces. Predominantly Sunni, paid $300 a month.