Signs of Surrender From Tikrit?

  • Share
  • Read Later
There are preliminary indications that the leadership within Tikrit is looking for a way to avoid a coalition frontal attack. Kurdistan Democratic Party Peshmerga guerrillas who say they were operating 5 kilometers outside of Tikrit City report they were approached this afternoon by an emissary from the Sheik of the Juburi Clan, one of the largest tribes in the Tikrit area. The Sheik allegedly sent word to Massoud Basani, the leader of the KDP, that he and his supporters wished to surrender, but would only do so on personal assurances from Basani. The officer who received this message is now heading back to Kirkuk to pass this on to his leadership.

If the Juburi surrendered it would not mean that the whole of Tikrit would follow suit, but it would be an interesting indicator of deep anxiety and an unwillingness to fight coming from a fairly powerful social component of the city. The move would also be in line with the general mood in this area, which theoretically should be populated by pro-Saddam supporters.

We're just a few miles away from the home of Ali Hassan al-Majid, a.k.a. 'Chemical Ali,' the Saddam confidant who was killed in Basra a few weeks ago. The villages around here are peopled by tribes that have close ties to the Saddam regime, but nearly all of them seem to be sending out word to the Peshmerga that they want to talk — not fight.