Insurgent Alliance Is Fraying In Fallujah

Insurgent Alliance Is Fraying In Fallujah (WaPo, A01)

Local insurgents in the city of Fallujah are turning against the foreign fighters who have been their allies in the rebellion that has held the U.S. military at bay in parts of Iraq’s Sunni Muslim heartland, according to Fallujah residents, insurgent leaders and Iraqi and U.S. officials. Relations are deteriorating as local fighters negotiate to avoid a U.S.-led military offensive against Fallujah, while foreign fighters press to attack Americans and their Iraqi supporters. The disputes have spilled over into harsh words and sporadic violence, with Fallujans killing at least five foreign Arabs in recent weeks, according to witnesses. “If the Arabs will not leave willingly, we will make them leave by force,” said Jamal Adnan, a taxi driver who left his house in Fallujah’s Shurta neighborhood a month ago after the house next door was bombed by U.S. aircraft targeting foreign insurgents.

Located 35 miles west of Baghdad in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle, Fallujah has been outside the control of Iraqi authorities and U.S. military forces since April, when a siege by U.S. Marines was lifted and Iraqi security forces were given responsibility for the city’s security. Local and foreign insurgents gradually gained control, and Iraqi and U.S. officials say Fallujah has become a principal source of instability in the country.

U.S. and Iraqi authorities together have insisted that if Fallujah is to avoid an all-out assault aimed at regaining control of the city, foreign fighters must be ejected. Several local leaders of the insurgency say they, too, want to expel the foreigners, whom they scorn as terrorists. They heap particular contempt on Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Jordanian whose Monotheism and Jihad group has asserted responsibility for many of the deadliest attacks across Iraq, including videotaped beheadings. “He is mentally deranged, has distorted the image of the resistance and defamed it. I believe his end is near,” Abu Abdalla Dulaimy, military commander of the First Army of Mohammad, said.

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Residents said the overwhelming majority of Fallujah’s people also have been repulsed by the atrocities that Zarqawi and other extremists have made commonplace in Iraq. The foreign militants are thought to produce the car bombs that now explode around Iraq several times a day, and Zarqawi’s organization has asserted responsibility for the slayings of several Westerners, some of which were shown in videos posted on the Internet.

Great news. There has been a steady stream of good news in Iraq over the last couple of weeks, even though it’s still interspersed with car bombings, kidnappings, and beheadings. If the terrorists are turning the locals against the insurgency, though, their acts are signs of desperation rather than evidence that we’re losing.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. JC says:

    This is clear evidence that given he chance, liberty will prevail. Unfortunately the Kerry Edwards transcription service (formerly known as ABC, NBC, CBS, AP, et al) will not be doing any analysis pieces on the success of liberty in Falluja. It is once again up to the Blogs to insure these stories get circulation. Kudos to WP for putting this story up front.

  2. DC Loser says:

    You should read the entire article. Note that what was left out was that the Fallujians, while loathing the foreigners, still were intent on attacking US occupiers. If that’s what you meant by liberty, then you are correct.

  3. LJD says:

    If Fallujians are smart, they will expel the foreign terrorists, and cooperate in the Iraqi government. That would be the least path of resistance for a U.S. exit from Iraq.

    Any alternative includes foreign terrorists killing more innocent Iraqis, more airstrikes, and probably a full military assault by the U.S.

    They can be patient, function like civilized human beings, and elect a government to ask the U.S. to leave, or they can die trying to fight us.

  4. Attila Girl says:

    As time goes by there’s going to be less and less to eject.

  5. LJD says:

    heh heh, or should I say HA! HA! Funny!

    If that represents American foreign policy in Iraq, or elsewhere, then pick up your bongo drum, douse yourself in patchouli, and stand on the street corner with an outrageous costume, holding a sign that says “I’m ashamed to be an American”.
    Then move to Cananda…