The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.
Oh, yeah! We kickedtheir asses!
A parked car bomb struck worshippers heading to a Shiite mosque Sunday in Baghdad, killing at least nine people as Iraqis celebrated a Muslim holiday. Authorities said 18 others died the day before when a suicide truck bomber followed by a swarm of gunmen attacked a regional police station.
Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they bore the hallmarks ofal-Qaida in Iraq insurgents who had promised an offensive during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to undermine U.S.-Iraqi claims of success in quelling the violence in the capital with an 8-month-old security operation.
Al Qaida in Iraq? No longera problem!
A gun attack on Monday on a convoy of tribal leaders spearheading the fight againstAl-Qaeda in Iraq’s central Salaheddin province killed three people and wounded five, police said.
The attack occurred at the town of Hawijah, about 55 kilometres (34 miles) west of the northern oil city of Kirkuk, said Brigadier General Sarhad Qadir of the Kirkuk police.
“Three members of the Salaheddin Awakening Council were killed and five others wounded in the attack,” Qadir told AFP.
“They were making a trip to Hawija to encourage locals to fight against Al-Qaeda when they came under small arms fire,” Qadir said.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is engaged in an assassination campaign against Iraqi Sunni Arab leaders during Ramadan. The killings demonstrate how seriously the extremists take the threat from the ‘Awakening’ movement that has seen tribal leaders turn against them. However, this year’s Ramadan campaign also seems to highlight the weakening of the Sunni extremists in Iraq.