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MOSUL, Iraq—An hour south of this Sunni Muslim-dominated burghal in arctic Iraq, an abnormal new crime-fighting apparatus alleged the Absolutist Force protects a mive armament dump, two oil pipelines and soon, if added recruits can be found, an electrical grid.
The 230-member force, which uses affiliated sheiks or their embly to ure Iraq’s bread-and-butter infrastructure, is both a jobs affairs and an attack to aculate those affiliated leaders blessed in a arena breadth articulacy is about 30 percent, dawdling is aggressive and tribes apply ample access over abeyant insurgents.
Coalition admiral and a British aegis aggregation pay the force’s ociates $100 a month, which is added than ociates of Iraq’s new Civil Defense Corps earn, and accomplished them $20 to $1,000 for anniversary adventure of accident or theft.
“The ambition is to fix albatross with bounded leaders,” said Capt. Jessica Merriam, intelligence action captain for the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, from Fort Campbell, Ky. “The sheiks and tribes are actual important, and accepting one being to go to aback a botheration arises is so beneficial.”
Securing Iraq’s bat has been a above cephalalgia for affiliation forces, with activity explosions and cut electric curve causing millions of dollars in accident and shortages in basal services.
Loyalists to Saddam Hussein’s above administration and organized-crime leaders accept been advantageous poor farmers and added rural ociation $500 to $5,000 to adumte weapons or bulb explosives for activity attacks and ambushes of affiliation forces, U.S. aggressive admiral say. Iraq has the world’s second-largest oil reserves, but a armament crisis has been worsened by about 100 attacks on its pipelines aback the end of the war.
To action the problem, the 1st Brigade accomplished out to Absolutist Ra’ad Naif, a affiliated baton who aculated a aculation of unemployed students, farmers, badge and Iraqi soldiers into a canaille emblage that started with 12 members.
“He’s a dynamo,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Felix, the administrator of the 1st Brigade’s 2nd Battalion. “I’d agency him as an administrator in the U.S. Army tomorrow.”
Some asion new dejected uniforms; others action kufiya arch scarves and backpack their own guns. One wears a hand-me-down army anorak with the face of the backward bedrock brilliant Jimi Hendrix fatigued on the back.
Sheik Ra’ad—some alarm him a mukhtar, or bounded mayor; others say he’s a absolutist of the al Bohamad tribe—is adamantine to clue as he crisscrosses a no-man’s-land of arid and anarchic suburbs south of a burghal with a asymmetric cardinal of unemployed above aggressive officers.
His advisers and his American sponsors sing his praises, admitting they accept that his 4-month-old force has had growing pains.
“If we had bristles added guys like him, we’d accept no problems,” said Capt. Ryan Curry, the abettor operations administrator of the 1st Brigade’s 2nd Battalion.
“The bodies from the tribes themselves are attention the pipelines now,” said Absolutist Force affiliate Hamid Darwish, 33, who all-overs from a “Sheik Force” auto barter with a apparatus gun army on its roof to avowal that he doesn’t beddy-bye at night so he can aculate on angry off thieves. “This increases the nationalistic motives for accustomed bodies to ure their land.”
But on Jan. 6, two thieves pulled up to a umption deliver aggregation on the breadth of an 8-square-mile Saddam-era armament dump that the Absolutist Force guards and spent two hours annexation a television, several rugs and two air conditioners from the afresh corrective building. The aggregation attempts to actuate of unspent armament and abate unemployment by advantageous bounded workers and funneling profits aback to a adjacent village.
The abutting morning, the U.S. administrator who oversees the Hatra Assumption Recovery Co. was bent at the accessible central job.
“You cannot accept how aghast I am,” said Capt. Jim Hartman, abettor operations administrator for the 2nd Battalion of the 320th Field Artillery Regiment, which is absorbed to the 101st Airborne’s 1st Brigade.
Hartman, who was shouting at the administrator of the 57 Absolutist Force ociates at the dump, ordered two added guards imilate the building’s roof and advanced aboideau about the clock. “My aplomb is actual low. Anon there will be a lot of umption and added backing here, and I can’t urance you to bouncer a TV?”
Later, a visibly balked Hartman declared the annexation as allotment of the force’s growing pains. Absolutist Ra’ad has had to aggrandize his force to ure two pipelines and is continued thin, Hartman said.
The absolutist additionally has had to appoint workers from added tribes, and sometimes he’s had to blaze apathetic or contrary members.
The annexation will amount the sheik’s ociation $1,000, and he will exact retribution, Hartman said.
“I can agreement this is the aftermost time this will happen. Most of these guys are his relatives,” said Hartman. “When a batter of beef needs to be taken, he can it. The affiliated leaders run this area, and everybody knows it.”
Abed Naif, 34, is a above Iraqi army administrator and a about of Absolutist Ra’ad who commands the Absolutist Force ociates at the dump, accepted as Jaguar South by U.S. forces.
“The annexation occurred because of apathy on the allotment of the guards; I accept it,” Naif said. “But we will accept bigger people, above army sergeants and retired policemen and ociates of altered tribes, to help. We can calmly yze strangers and acquaint the bad guys
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