“Fierce battles” against Al Qaeda being fought in Baghdad — but by whom?

posted at 3:17 pm on May 31, 2007 by Allahpundit

This AP story is making the rounds of righty blogs since it attributes the uprising to local residents — which, strictly speaking, might be true, but nevertheless doesn’t quite capture the “nuance” of the situation. According to Reuters, those residents are members of the Islamic Army of Iraq, a Baathist insurgent group that warned AQ two months ago to stop targeting its members and then formally broke with them (albeit maybe only temporarily) a week or so later. Here’s where they’re at now:

Sunni Muslim Iraqi insurgents fought fierce battles on Thursday with al Qaeda-led militants for control of a neighbourhood in Baghdad that has effectively been outside government control for months.

Residents said the fighting in the southwestern district of Amiriya was between the Islamic Army in Iraq, one of the largest insurgent groups fighting U.S. and Iraqi forces, and the Qaeda-led Islamic State in Iraq…

Amiriya residents said violence exploded after Islamic Army members entered the Qaeda-controlled Mulouki mosque and began a heated argument with al Qaeda militants over recent killings.

Soon after they stormed out of the mosque, the minaret’s loudspeakers blared out that Abu Teeba, believed to have been al Qaeda’s number two in the area, had been assassinated, prompting dozens of Qaeda gunmen to capture and kill at least six Islamic Army insurgents, according to residents.

Residents said al Qaeda had then gone into an Islamic Army stronghold in the disrict and set up base in empty homes.

Iraq the Model is hearing the same thing as Reuters, but they think there might be another insurgent group fighting alongside IAI, possibly the 1920 Revolutionary Brigades. They’ve had their own issues with AQ, as longtime readers might recall.

Don’t despair, though. If it’s good news about citizens rejecting Al Qaeda that you want, Roggio has something brand new.

Update: Iraqslogger says it is indeed the 1920 Brigades that’s hooked up with the IAI, and that the fighting is awfully bad.

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At what point will the RoE change so that mosques are no longer “safe zones” ?

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on May 31, 2007 at 3:22 PM


1. President Bush and GOP leadership make certain decisions leading pundits on both sides of the aisle to predict a possible Democrat win the next presidential election.

2. Democrats are vociferous about removing U.S. and coalition military forces from Iraq as quickly as possible.

3. Existing Iraqi government says it is a bad idea for coalition forces to just up and leave.

4. Factions in Iraq smell a power vacuum.

And we wonder about all this new “red on red” warfare?

Lawrence on May 31, 2007 at 3:44 PM

This is off-topic, but that headline on the front page about Europeans finding a use for their armies, e.g., Belgium sending troops to fight the war on caterpillars with blowtorches, read like something out of The Onion.

Exit question: what will the environmentalists/insect-rights people say?

CP on May 31, 2007 at 3:54 PM

We shoulda flattened those Mosques as soon as they threw harsh language outta them.

Iblis on May 31, 2007 at 3:55 PM

I defer my comments to Robert Mitchum.

Brat on May 31, 2007 at 3:57 PM

We need more of this. If we have to, we should get on the loud speakers and say “This is the 1920 Brigade! al-qaeda, you shoot like a goat herder!” This kinda stuff gets ’em all riled up, the U.S. Army was actualy saying this because it’s a HUGE insult! Haha, losers.

Tony737 on May 31, 2007 at 4:01 PM

C.P., because it was the Belgian Army (oxymoron) the tree huggers won’t say anything. But had it been us or the Israelis, they’d be all over it.

Tony737 on May 31, 2007 at 4:03 PM

Brat: Amen brother!!!

sharinlite on May 31, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Brat: Amen brother sister!!!

Corrected for you, sharinlite. :)

Brat on May 31, 2007 at 4:11 PM

This is the end for Al Qaeda in Iraq, IMHO. The surge made this possible by adding needed momentum to this process that began late in 2005 with red-on-red engagements.

This uniting of the traditional Iraqi leadership infrastructure to forcefully repudiate Al Qaeda is very, very good news indeed, especially as the bastions of Al Qaeda are rising up and tossing them out.

It is not over yet. We have to deal with the Shiites (especially Mookie) and the Iranian’s interference inside of Iraq. But if the glacial pace of reconcilliation of the post-Saddam era has been hindered by the sectarian fighting INSTIGATED by Al Qaeda’s attacks on both Shia and Sunnis, the elimination of them will bring Iraq much closer to working out a practical method of governing.

And that is a win-win for both the USA and Iraq, and a lose-lose for the left and the Democratic Party.

It took 5 years for the bitter, violent, 1920 revolt to start to ebb into “nuisance” levels. I think the 2003 revolt is about to run the same course. My personal opinion is that should the Sunnis eviscerate Al Qaeda (and their influence), and should the sheiks reach out to the Shia leadership in the government, by fall of 2008, Iraq will be much calmer and those of us who supported this war will have been proven to be right all along.

And the Democrats (Murtha, Reid, Kerry, Pelosi, Durbin, and the rest of the traitor-clan) will have been clearly proven wrong.

And the Party of Treason (i.e., the Democrats) will have been exposed — just as the election comes around — as a bunch of stupids who must never, ever, be trusted with the nation’s security again.

As I said, this is very, very good news, indeed! On a number of fronts.

georgej on June 1, 2007 at 7:50 AM