"Fierce battles" against Al Qaeda being fought in Baghdad -- but by whom?

This AP story is making the rounds of righty blogs since it attributes the uprising to local residents — which, strictly speaking, might be true, but nevertheless doesn’t quite capture the “nuance” of the situation. According to Reuters, those residents are members of the Islamic Army of Iraq, a Baathist insurgent group that warned AQ two months ago to stop targeting its members and then formally broke with them (albeit maybe only temporarily) a week or so later. Here’s where they’re at now:

Sunni Muslim Iraqi insurgents fought fierce battles on Thursday with al Qaeda-led militants for control of a neighbourhood in Baghdad that has effectively been outside government control for months.

Residents said the fighting in the southwestern district of Amiriya was between the Islamic Army in Iraq, one of the largest insurgent groups fighting U.S. and Iraqi forces, and the Qaeda-led Islamic State in Iraq…

Amiriya residents said violence exploded after Islamic Army members entered the Qaeda-controlled Mulouki mosque and began a heated argument with al Qaeda militants over recent killings.

Soon after they stormed out of the mosque, the minaret’s loudspeakers blared out that Abu Teeba, believed to have been al Qaeda’s number two in the area, had been assassinated, prompting dozens of Qaeda gunmen to capture and kill at least six Islamic Army insurgents, according to residents.

Residents said al Qaeda had then gone into an Islamic Army stronghold in the disrict and set up base in empty homes.

Iraq the Model is hearing the same thing as Reuters, but they think there might be another insurgent group fighting alongside IAI, possibly the 1920 Revolutionary Brigades. They’ve had their own issues with AQ, as longtime readers might recall.

Don’t despair, though. If it’s good news about citizens rejecting Al Qaeda that you want, Roggio has something brand new.

Update: Iraqslogger says it is indeed the 1920 Brigades that’s hooked up with the IAI, and that the fighting is awfully bad.

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Jazz Shaw 1:01 PM on December 09, 2022