May 18 2007

Diyala Update

Published by at 3:29 pm under All General Discussions,Diyala,Iraq

Lots of news today on the effort to uproot al Qaeda from its last, large stronghold in Diyala Province, Iraq. The terrorists tried to attack a US position in Baquoba, the capitol city of Diyala and the so-called capitol of al Qaeda’ modern Caliphate:

About 50 suspected insurgents attacked a U.S. base in the center of a city north of the capital Friday, sparking a battle with U.S. soldiers and helicopters that killed at least six militants, the Iraqi army said.

At 7 a.m. Friday, the day of rest in mostly Muslim Iraq, about 50 suspected insurgents opened fire on a U.S.-Iraqi base in downtown Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, wounding two Iraqi soldiers, an Iraqi army officer said.

U.S. forces and helicopters responded at 7:30 a.m., killing at least six insurgents, the Iraqi army officer said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Residents said the fighting sent smoke billowing up from neighborhoods in the area.

One resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from militants, said he heard heavy machine gun fire and then men shouting “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great in Arabic. Others said they saw U.S. tanks and armored vehicles driving through the street, while aircraft flew overhead.

al Qaeda’s military impotence is becoming more and more apparent, and I am sure the locals are sick and tired of the claims of greatness as al Qaeda loses encounter after encounter with the US and Iraqi national forces. The SurrenderMedia could be reporting on the events in Iraq honestly and professionally – but professionalism died long ago in Western news organizations. When you staff up to create an echo chamber, you end up with biased products.

So it is left to the electronic pamphleteers and the few people able to obtain unfiltered news to get the whole story of events in Iraq. Steve Schippert has a good round up out today:

While “The Surge” has dominated discussion – be it on operational tempo within Baghdad or withdrawal timetables within the DC Beltway – progress on several vital fronts is beginning to reshape realities on the ground.
As the contentious internal American political debate continues, our leaders and the American public would do well to acknowledge the significantly changing situation.

In Baghdad, for example, the over-hyped Muqtada al-Sadr has long made tracks for the more hospitable climes of Iran. The Baker Commission’s Iraq Study Group Report estimated the Mahdi Army (Jaish al-Mahdi or JAM) to consist of 40-60 thousand armed fighters. In the absence of its leadership, Sadr’s ‘army’ has splintered into the various bands of Shia street thugs they always were.

Additional bad news for Iran is the seismic shift of Iraq’s largest political party away from Iran. The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) began to fundamentally distance itself from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameini, taking on a more nationalistic stance. It has removed ‘Revolution’ from its name – as well as historical deference to Qom – and is now looking to Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for religious guidance.

On the Sunni front, the steadily increasing membership and activities of the Anbar Salvation Council under Sheikh Abdul Sattar has given rise to a new and formidable enemy for al-Qaeda in Iraq. Sattar’s Anbar Salvation Council movement, which was joined by many Anbar tribal sheikhs in rejection of al-Qaeda’s murderous ways and oppression and intimidation of local populations, served as the catalyst that drove al-Qaeda terrorists from their relatively comfortable perches in Anbar province. The sheer will and exponentially increased intelligence capabilities that the local tribal leaders bring to their partnership with US and Iraqi government forces against the terrorists in their midst has caused al-Qaeda to lose the initiative in Anbar, most notably in their former Ramadi stronghold southwest of Baghdad.

As the situation in Anbar began to turn increasingly sour for al-Qaeda, their defacto base of terrorist operations migrated to Diyala province on the opposite side of Baghdad. As was the case in Anbar province, al-Qaeda terrorists, led by Abu Ayyub al-Masri, used brutal intimidation and violence to entrench themselves within the new province’s Sunni population, targeting reluctant or resistant tribal leaders there and terrorizing the population into submission.

But the Sunni nationalist movement is growing, most recently challenging al-Qaeda in their new stronghold in Diyala province, which stretches from northeast Baghdad to the Iranian border. As in Anbar, Diyala tribal sheikhs opposed to al-Qaeda’s murderous means and theological ends have openly announced the formation of the Diyala Salvation Council, reportedly consisting of over 280 local tribal leaders.

It is important for Americans to realize our dedication, skill and perseverence are paying off with the result being major progress. The SurrenderMedia is blind to these events because to acknowledge them is to admit they are wrong. Denial on the left has risen to the point of being ludicrous. But denial cannot change reality. We have a ways to go, but we are well on our way.

One response so far

One Response to “Diyala Update”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Four gunmen killed in fake checkpoint in Diala
    By Issam Tareq

    Baaquba, May 18, (VOI)- A joint force of Iraqi-U.S. troops killed four armed men at a fake checkpoint in Diala province, a police source said on Friday.

    “The force was patrolling the region when it discovered four gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniform. Armed clashes erupted, during which
    four gunmen were killed,” he added, noting that the clash left no casualty among the forces.

    Eyewitnesses told VOI that an armed group kidnapped 12 civilians at a fake checkpoint in al-Adhim town on Thursday and forced them at gunpoint to unknown place.

    Baaquba is the main city of Diala province. It is 57 km northeast of Baghdad.