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Members of more than 25 prominent Sunni tribes took up arms against jihadists and their allies west of the Iraqi capital on Friday, a tribal leader and officers said.
The uprising in Anbar province, where jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) group and insurgent allies hold major areas, came a day after Nuri al-Maliki, the incumbent premier who is widely reviled by Iraqi Sunni Arabs, abandoned his bid for a third term.
Anbar was the birthplace of a 2006 US-backed uprising against extremist militants that helped bring about a sharp reduction in violence.
The current effort could potentially be a major turning point in Iraq's two-month conflict against an IS-led offensive.
"This popular revolution was agreed on with all the tribes that want to fight IS, which spilled our blood," Sheikh Abduljabbar Abu Risha, one of the leaders of the uprising, told AFP.