Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Iraq Rebels Battling Foreign Terrorists

There's some very postitive news on the situation in Iraq, and, oddly enough, it's from the New York Times. (H/T Best of the Web). The bad guys are fighting each other.
Marines See Signs Iraq Rebels Are Battling Foreign Fighters - New York Times: "Marines patrolling this desert region near the Syrian border have for months been seeing a strange new trend in the already complex Iraqi insurgency. Insurgents, they say, have been fighting each other in towns along the Euphrates from Husayba, on the border, to Qaim, farther west. The observations offer a new clue in the hidden world of the insurgency and suggest that there may have been, as American commanders suggest, a split between Islamic militants and local rebels. A United Nations official who served in Iraq last year and who consulted widely with militant groups said in a telephone interview that there has been a split for some time.

'There is a rift,' said the official, who requested anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the talks he had held. 'I'm certain that the nationalist Iraqi part of the insurgency is very much fed up with the Jihadists grabbing the headlines and carrying out the sort of violence that they don't want against innocent civilians.

'The nationalist insurgent groups, 'are giving a lot of signals implying that there should be a settlement with the Americans,' while the Jihadists have a purely ideological agenda, he added. The insurgency is largely hidden, making such trends difficult to discern. But marines in this western outpost have noticed a change. For Matthew Orth, a Marine sniper, the difference came this spring, when his unit was conducting an operation in Husayba. Mortar shells flew over the unit, hitting a different target.

'The thought was, 'They're coming for us. But then we saw they were fighting each other,' he recalled during a break in Monday's operation. 'We were kind of wondering what happened. We were getting mortared twice a day, and then all of a sudden it stopped.'"
This could be a hugely positive development. At the very least they are doing the work of the coalition and the ING/IP forces for us. Obviously, the foreign jihadis are not interested in a peaceful, democratic Iraq, but perhaps that is starting to look good to local insurgents.

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