Nov 16 2007

al-Qaeda In “Survival Mode” In Iraq

Published by at 9:11 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

Success begets success. And in tactical military situations success can begin an avalanche of successes. The sea change in Iraq is not only expanding and deepening, it has forced al-Qaeda to turn to simply attempting to survive. I have stated before I think the Surge is in mop-up operations and still trying to chase the terrorists into Iran (where they can be a pain to the Mad Mullahs). I am not the only one with this view. Strategy Page as a good rundown of why things are getting so quiet in Iraq:

First, there was the growing list of al Qaeda leaders that had been killed or captured. This grew from a few a month early in the year, before the surge offensive began in June, to 19 in July, 25 in August and 29 in September. These guys included provincial and city leaders, as well as the operational experts who took care of planning, equipping and exploiting (via the media) attacks. But the most important aspect of each of these captures or kills was the data found. Laptops, flash drives or just a bunch of paper documents were quickly examined. This stuff often consists only of names, addresses and other tidbits. But with the vast databases of names, addresses and such already available, typing in each item began to generate additional information, within minutes. That’s why, within hours, each take-down of a terrorist leader tended to generate dozens of additional raids, and even more killed or captured al Qaeda operatives, as well as weapons, cash and bomb making materials. With all the data coming in, a clearer picture of al Qaeda became visible, and that led to the conclusion that the terrorist organization had cleared out of Baghdad.

Add to that the fact al-Qaeda’s one time allies are now its enemies:

Within Iraq, however, capture is either a long jail sentence, or execution. Al Qaeda is the most hated organization in the country, and may have to abandon Iraq altogether if the pressure doesn’t ease up.

And that means EVERYONE in Iraq is basically hunting them. As the article notes, al-Qaeda is now in survival mode and may not survive. We can see indications this is the case in story after story of Iraqis turning in terrorists in hiding:

A former member of an insurgent group led Coalition Forces, Iraqi army and Concerned Local Citizens to a cache site near Patrol Base W-1 in the early morning hours of Nov. 13.

The citizen, who reconciled with U.S. and Iraqi troops, knew where the cache was because he helped bury it sometime ago. He said he is now helping Coalition Forces because he is tired of al-Qaeda trying to force him to work with them. He said al-Qaeda imprisoned him and tortured his friends for not joining forces with them.

The bootjack tactics of the Islamo Fascists of al-Qaeda is bearing fruit – their own rapid destruction. al-Qaeda has been chased out of all major population areas and is now trying to survive by hiding out in small villages. But the US and Iraqi forces are not letting up, they are now hunting al-Qaeda out in the rural areas:

The leader of the Obeidi tribe in the area, Sheikh Najim Adullah Sarham, told AFP that the villagers have been facing a threat from Al-Qaeda for some time.

“They come and go from the villages. They come from outside and hide here from time to time. Yes, they do have local support but now that the Americans are here we expect that they will go,” said Sarham.

“In fact we believe most of them have fled already, when they heard the helicopters coming this morning,” he said, later inviting troops in for a lunch of bread, cheese, dates and tea.

Major Jason Waggoner, one of the officers leading the operation, said the aim was to secure the villages and set up a combat outpost in Al-Awsat.

Basically we are still sweeping and clearing. But now it seems we are not charging fortified and heavily manned enclaves but simply rounding up remnants which were too small to worry about in the early parts of the Surge. We can say we are not only beating al-Qaeda, but we are on the verge of winning. And our success will destroy al-Qaeda’s credibility as a rallying point for Islam. It may even ensure their role in history as one of Islam’s greatest disasters.

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