1.26.2006

Another Reason for Iraq Occupation Goes "Poof!"

Thanks to shapeshifter at GNN for the pointer to "Iraqi insurgents unite against al-Qa'ida" in The Australian. Clips:
BAGHDAD: Iraqi insurgents in the Sunni city of Ramadi have turned against their al-Qa'ida allies after a bomb attack killed 80 people, sparking tit-for-tat assassinations.

Residents yesterday said at least three prominent figures on both sides were among those killed after local insurgent groups formed an alliance against al-Qa'ida, blaming it for massacring police recruits in Ramadi on January 5.

"There was a meeting right after the bombings," one Ramadi resident said, speaking anonymously for fear of reprisals.

"Tribal leaders and political figures gathered to form the Anbar Revolutionaries to fight al-Qa'ida in Anbar and force them to leave the province.

"Since then, there has been all-out war between them." . . .

Iraqi newspapers quoted a statement from six armed groups on Monday announcing they had united to form the "People's Cell" to confront al-Qa'ida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and preserve security in the Anbar province.

The statement condemned "armed operations which target innocents" and affirmed "a halt to co-operation with al-Qa'ida".

In a further sign of the rifts emerging within Iraq's insurgency, Zarqawi has also stepped aside as the head of a new council of radical groups in favour of an Iraqi, according to a posting on a website used by al-Qa'ida.