Sunni militants who fought together to capture swathes of Iraqi territory have turned their weapons on each other during clashes in Kirkuk province that cost 17 lives, sources said Saturday.
The fighting erupted on Friday evening between the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandiyah Order (JRTN) in Hawija, in Kirkuk province, said the sources.
One security official said JRTN fighters had refused an ISIS demand to give up their weapons and pledge allegiance to the jihadist force.
Witnesses, however, told AFP the two sides clashed over who would take over multiple fuel tankers in the area.
That one is much more plausible. The various Al Qaedas in Syria began shooting each other over fuel and bakeries. It’s all about the dinars.
JRTN, which sounds like a really obscure cable channel, is actually the remnants of the Baath Party under one of Saddam’s leading men. Its people played a major role in collapsing the Iraqi army and providing ISIS with some professionalism, but it looks like fuel tankers come before brotherhood.
However, a witness in Hawija said the two factions fought over control of oil tanker trucks brought by the Sunni militants from the refinery at Baiji, which they have been attacking for nearly a week.
The security official said eight Naqshabandi militants and nine Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants were killed.
Pretty even score. Slightly favoring Saddam’s boys.