Iraqi Insurgents Turn Guns on Al Qaeda

US delight as Iraqi rebels turn their guns on al-Qa’eda (London Daily Telegraph)

American troops on the Syrian border are enjoying a battle they have long waited to see – a clash between foreign al-Qa’eda fighters and Iraqi insurgents. Tribal leaders in Husaybah are attacking followers of Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born terrorist who established the town as an entry point for al-Qa’eda jihadists being smuggled into the country. The reason, the US military believes, is frustration at the heavy-handed approach of the foreigners, who have kidnapped and assassinated local leaders and imposed a strict Islamic code.

Fighting, which could be clearly heard at night over the weekend, first broke out in May when as many as 50 mortar rounds were fired across the city. But, to the surprise of the American garrison, this time it was not the target. If a shell landed near the US base, “they’d adjust their fire and not shoot at us”, Lt Col Tim Mundy said. “They shot at each other.”

I’ve been expecting to see this for more than a year. The irony of Iraqis fighting “foreign occupiers” whose goal is a democratic, prosperous Iraqi in alliance with foreign terrorists whos goal is a destabilized, chaotic Iraq seemed too much.

We’ll have to wait and see if this is an isolated local phenomenon are a trend before getting too terribly excited. Still, even Iraqis who hate Americans and Sunnis who hate the idea of being governed by the majority Shia should be able to unite against foreign terrorists who are killing their own.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Terrorism, , ,
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.


  1. John Thacker says:

    This is one of the advantages of fighting some truly insane nutballs. Anywhere that they actually take over, they massively oppress and offend the populace.

  2. Sgt Fluffy says:

    Good News for the troops, but I’m sure somehow it will be blamed on the US because we invaded.

  3. Jim Henley says:

    Yes, why do the America-haters keep claiming we invaded Iraq?

  4. Bruce says:

    This sure looks like good news for our troops. You’d think the locals would have a decided advantage in this one.

    why do the America-haters keep claiming we invaded Iraq?

    What did we do then? Did we not invade? And why does that make them America haters? or… umm… that’s just dumb.