Tag Archives: Iraq Sunnis

Sunni Attacks Rise In Abu Ghraib Area

There has been a modest but ever increasing rise in the number of attacks on U.S. troops in the Abu Ghraib area of Iraq. Although al-Qaeda has been driven away, a large Sunni resistance remains and is active. Many Sunnis have joined Sons of Iraq, an American sponsored group which is paid to maintain law and order. According to a Stars & Stripes reporter, “moreover, a pair of recent bomb attacks–one of which killed four U.S. soldiers– occurred within a few hundred yards of checkpoints manned by Sons of Iraq forces. Lt. Coplonel Mario Diaz, commander of the infantry battalion in the area, noted:”there’s a latent insurency that is capable of rearing its head.” He has been told by Sons of Iraq leaders about a growing frustration among Sunnis who distrust the Iraq government.

Preesident Bush and General Petraeus insist the surge has been successful in reducing attacks. Colonel Diaz says roadside bombs and small-arms fire are down from the previous year, but they have risen from November and December. Sunnis do not feel a sense of belonging to the Iraq government, and it is a matter of time before they turn toward insurgency. Of course, now they have arms supplied by the Americans to conduct a new series of militant attacks.

Al-Qaeda Escalates Violence in Iraq

Just as expected, the level of violence took a surge in the past several days as al-Qaeda altered its approach to confronting US forces. An explosion in central Baghdad resulted in the death or wounding of at least 70 people. US Army intelligence claims Iran is behind the latest bombings. Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, leader of the Higher Islamic Council in iraq said the US must produce more evidence to support their allegations against Iran. He just returned from cancer treatment in Iran. Al-Qaeda is reportedly switching to infiltration of the Awakening Councils which have taken a more aggressive role in fighting insurgents. Prime Minister Mailiki came under attack from Sadr supporters who claim he is attempting to crush their organization under orders from the United States. Meanwhile the Iraqi Parliament and arguing about whether to change the law and allow former Sunni members of the Saddam Hussein government to serve in governmental positions.

The Bush administration emphasizes the importance of the “Surge” as curbing violence. There is no question it has reduced the level of violence in major cities, but it may well be that insurgents will alter their approach by focusing more upon outlying areas and engage more actively in guerrilla war activities. In the meantime, there is scant evidence the Iraq government is able to be an inclusive institution which brings together people from disparate backgrounds and organizations.