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October 13, 2004
Insurgency Cracking In Iraq

In a sign that the joint Iraqi-American initiative to pursue the terrorists of the Sunni Triangle has paid off, the insurgency appears to be turning in on itself. The Washington Post reports that a deadly rift has been created between foreign terrorists and the native Ba'athist remnants in Fallujah and elsewhere which promises to help bring a swift end to their campaign:

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.

What has caused the alliance between foreign terrorists and local insurgents to collapse? The brutal methods of the Islamofascists have opened eyes, even among the Fallujans, of what an al-Qaeda-dominated future would bring to Iraq. The beheadings in particular have disgusted the locals, even those involved in fighting against what they see as an occupation by infidels:

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.

One of the foreign guerrillas killed by local fighters was Abu Abdallah Suri, a Syrian and a prominent member of Zarqawi's group. Suri's body was discovered Sunday. He was shot in the head and chest while being chased by a carload of tribesmen, according to a security guard who said he witnessed the killing.

Pressure from American airstrikes in Fallujah have caused locals to shut their doors to foreigners, fearful that if their homes become known to the joint Iraqi-American forces as meeting places for Islamofascists, they will become the next targets. Make no mistake about it -- the US action encourages such thinking, as the psy-op strategies in place have been designed with this result in mind.

One insurgency commander interviewed by Karl Vick complained that what Americans refer to as an insurgency really comprises three different movements, and Americans willfully distort all three into one terrorist offensive. Those complaints, however, are exactly what the Americans want to hear. US forces want Fallujans to know that while they harbor the foreigners who plant bombs and behead captives, they will be considered no different than Zarqawi's animals.

And it appears to be working, as the locals have tired of American attacks and watch with increased desperation as we roll up insurgency hotbeds like Samarra, Najaf, and a "string of towns south of Baghdad" which the Islamofascists controlled until this past month. Momentum has shifted to the Iraqi-American efforts to free Iraq from the grip of terrorists, and Iraqis know that places like Fallujah and Hit will be the next targets. They no longer buy the argument from Islamofascists that they come to free Iraq:

A woman in Hit said one fighter had said they had come to liberate Hit as they had Fallujah.

"We don't want to be another Fallujah," said the woman, 45, who gave her name as Umm Hussein. "Ramadan is coming, and we don't have any will to lose a father, a son, a relative or even a friend. Let them leave in peace and fight in a desert away from houses and people."

Unfortunately, unless the locals can drive out the foreigners, the streets of Hit will likely be one of the last battlegrounds. And the people of Hit know it.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 13, 2004 5:58 AM

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