March 10, 2006


Sunni insurgents 'have al-Zarqawi running for cover' (Oliver Poole, 11/03/2006, Daily Telegraph)

Insurgent groups in one of Iraq's most violent provinces claim that they have purged the region of three quarters of al-Qa'eda's supporters after forming an alliance to force out the foreign fighters.

If true, it would mark a significant victory in the fight against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qa'eda in Iraq, and could partly explain the considerable drop in suicide bombings in Iraq recently.

"We have killed a number of the Arabs, including Saudis, Egyptians, Syrians, Kuwaitis and Jordanians," said an insurgent representative in the western province of Anbar.

The claims were partly supported by the defence ministry, which said it had evidence that Zarqawi and his followers were fleeing Anbar to cities and mountains near the Iranian border.

Q: What do you call an insurgency that can't blend into the local populace?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 10, 2006 9:22 PM

zarqawi being slaughtered like a dog, by iraqi irregulars, would be the propaganda coup that sadam's capture did. be sure to film it boys, and kick the head around a bit if you think soccer is a proper sport.

Posted by: toe at March 10, 2006 10:28 PM

They're pretty well screwed. Agree it would be a good touch if Iraqi's did the deed.

Posted by: Tom Wall at March 10, 2006 11:07 PM

A: Target practice.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at March 11, 2006 2:51 AM

Zaq's boxed in. He can't get to Syria with the US interdicting the border, and Iran's Shias aren't likely to welcome him.

Posted by: Gideon at March 11, 2006 4:12 AM

"It's a quagimire,I tells ya, a quagmire! We shoulda never gon in in the first place. Everybody there hates us,we can't so much as move without being shot at, and we're all gonna die!"

"Oh, quit gripin' Zarqawi! You think you got problems, . . . ."

Posted by: Mike Morley at March 11, 2006 8:22 AM

A: "A dark red stain".

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 11, 2006 10:44 AM

A: Short Timers. Hope it's true. I don't take anything at face value in the media.

Posted by: Genecis at March 11, 2006 2:29 PM

Gideon - He gets support from Iran, that's why he's hiding near the Iranian border. He also gets help from Syria, but that border is desert and easily monitored, and the U.S. has done a good job of taking away hiding places in Anbar. Soon he'll be pushed across the Iranian border, to rejoin his buddy Osama. Of course, the Iranians won't publicize his presence, so he'll just disappear except for the occasional video or audio tape.

Posted by: pj at March 11, 2006 9:19 PM

The Iranians aren't helping zarqawi start a war of Sunni against Shi'a. If they want one they'll wait until they haqve nukes.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2006 9:30 PM

oj - Iran has had nukes for two years at least. And for at least two years, Iran's strategy for disrupting Iraq was to create a war between Shiites and Sunnis. According to the Iraqi police, Iran supported the Sunni terrorists who blew up the mosque, and the Shiites who killed moderate Sunni politicians in the wake of the mosque bombing were almost all Mahdi Army members -- i.e., followers of Moqtada al-Sadr, son-in-law of the head of Iran's Guardian Council, brother-in-law of the head of Hezbollah, and Iran's man in Iraq. So the Sunni and Shi'ite arms of Iran in Iraq attempted to precipitate a civil war by having the Iran-backed Shi'ites kill Iran-opposing Sunnis and the Iran-backed Sunnis kill Iran-opposing Shi'ites.

Fortunately, the Iraqis saw through it, no one joined in the violence, the Iraqi military and police proved effective, and within a few days al-Sadr had to denounce the violence and join calls for peace.

It would be accurate to say that Iran doesn't want outright war with the US until it has more nukes. But it has enough nukes already to do some serious damage to our military. If we go to war with Iran, we won't cluster our invading army in a few square miles, as we did before invading Iraq.

Posted by: pj at March 12, 2006 1:06 PM

Only Neocons pretend Iran is even close to nukes or supporting attacks on Shi'ites in Iraq. Iran does support Sadr as it should.

Posted by: oj at March 12, 2006 4:11 PM

If Iran has nukes, what's the point of their pretending that they don't, yet ?

In any case, there won't be any U.S. invasion of Iran, it'll be strictly an air operation.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2006 3:36 AM