Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

AQI Close To Defeat

Nothing would make us happier going into Memorial Day tomorrow if al-Qaeda in Iraq simply surrendered, and got the long process of getting their butts kicked in Iraq over and done with. Ambassador Crocker says they are close, but not yet defeated totally:

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq said Saturday that al-Qaida's network in the country has never been closer to defeat, and he praised Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for his moves to rein in Shiite and Sunni militant groups.

Ryan Crocker's comments came as Iraqi forces have been conducting crackdowns on al-Qaida militants in the northern city of Mosul and on Shiite militiamen in the southern city of Basra. Thousands of Iraqi forces also moved into the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad last week imposing control for the first time in years. ...

Al-Qaida fighters or other Sunni insurgents struck back in Mosul on Saturday. A roadside bomb in the city's Sumer neighborhood hit an Iraqi army patrol, destroying a vehicle and killing four soldiers, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Near Baqouba — where a U.S. offensive last year targeted al-Qaida in Iraq — gunmen assassinated a member of the local Awakening Council, a U.S.-backed group of Sunni tribesmen who are fighting al-Qaida. The attack occurred in the village of Had, north of Baghdad, police said. ...

"There is important progress for the Iraqi forces in confronting the Sunni and Shiite militias," he said, speaking Arabic to reporters. "The government, the prime minister are showing a clear determination to take on extremist armed elements that challenge the government's authority ... no matter who these elements are."

"You are not going to hear me say that al-Qaida is defeated, but they've never been closer to defeat than they are now," Crocker said.

The U.S. military says attacks have dropped dramatically — down to an average of 41 a day across the country, the lowest rate since 2004 — amid the crackdowns and truces. The U.S. military, backed by Sunni Arab tribal fighters, have scored successes in battling al-Qaida in Iraq and other Sunni insurgents in western parts of the country.

The Mosul sweep aims to dislodge the terror network from its most prominent remaining urban stronghold. The operation has met little opposition, suggesting that many al-Qaida militants fled, intending to regroup elsewhere as they have in past crackdowns.

As we can see, AQI is still a danger there, but as they have been cornered in Mosul, they are gulping for their last gasps. US forces and Iraqi forces have been doing a phenomenal job in containing and destroying their networks and cells. dri @ AoSHQ picks up a story from the Telegraph about a classified report obtained stating that Iran was paying Iraqi insurgents to target and kill British troops:

The allegations are contained in a confidential "field report" written by a British officer who served in Basra during one of the most dangerous periods of the conflict. The report, which has never been made public, shows the full level of Iran's involvement in the insurgency for the first time.

The document states that the Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) – also known as the Mahdi Army – one of the most violent insurgent groups operating in Basra, used money from Iran to recruit and pay young unemployed men up to $300 (£150) a month to carry out attacks against the British. The findings have been passed to the highest levels in the military.

The leak comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and the international community, as Tehran continues to stonewall UN inquiries into allegations that it has carried out research to develop a nuclear weapon. ...

In an attempt to discover who was behind the attacks, the officer says he established a network of informers, who supplied him with detailed intelligence on the actions of the insurgents and who was behind their funding.

The officer states that the reports of Iran's involvement came from a network of 25 sources, which included a former Iraqi army general, prominent businessmen, local sheikhs and council leaders.

He writes: "We learnt from a number of our Key Leadership Engagements [local contacts] that the source of the problem was the level of unemployment in Basra.
"JAM, using funding from Iran, paid the unemployed youths in the region of $300 per month to attack Multi National Forces. We also learnt that JAM had a drugs culture and that youths literally got hooked on being associated with JAM." ...

A senior British officer who has recently returned from southern Iraq said that the existence of "Iranian finance teams" in Basra was widely known by the British military and Foreign Office, although always officially denied.

No one said that this mission would be easy, having to engage al-Qaeda in Iraq, but it is clear that the insurgents, and even some elements of al-Qaeda, have received assistance from the Iranian government. Hopefully, as things continue to grow darker for AQI, Iran's interference will be exposed and it, too, will backfire on them.

The good news is that we are winning, still, after the surge was initiated. Iraqi forces are engaging the enemy on levels which surprise and please our military commanders and advisers. As Allah noted @ Hot Air recently Michael Yon has been saying the same thing for months: We are winning, and AQI is on the run. The "quagmire" that the media continually hyped is over. It is gone. And with a little luck, a lot of heart, and the tenacity of our soldiers, AQI will be gone soon, too.



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