Monday, November 20, 2006

Al Jazeera Story On Resistance Fighters

Iraq's Islamic army defends Baghdad
Hoda Abdel-Hamid in Iraq

Born out of occupation, the soldiers of the Islamic Army, a Sunni organisation, pride themselves on being Iraqis, and say that their main aim is to expell foreign influences from Iraq, reports Hoda Abdel-Hamid, Aljazeera's correspondent in Iraq.

Three years on since the invasion and the fighters are still waging a relentless campaign against the US troops. The campaign is carried out in and around Baghdad, but is mainly focused in Al-Anbar, an area the coalition forces are still unable to control despite several military operations.

Known to many as insurgents, or terrorists, the fighters prefer to describe themselves as a national resistance movement and guarantee that there are no foreign fighters in their ranks.

Ibrahim Al Shamary, a spokesman for the Islamic army in Iraq, talked of the problems he sees Iraq facing today.

In an exclusive interview he told Al Jazeera: "There are two occupations in Iraq. Iran on one side through the militias which they control and through direct involvement with the National guard and the intelligence services, that causes the killing and destruction of the sunnis.

"And then there is the american occupation which destroys the Iraqi people."

The world came to know the group through grizzly videos of kidnappings and attacks on foreign and Iraqi troops, a powerfull intimidation tool that led many foreign businesses to leave Iraq.

Reconstruction has since slowed down and many foreign troops have pulled out.

These fighters say they are protecting Iraqis from the brutality of a foreign occupation.

Al Shamary said: "The occupation is hiding lots of crimes; when they leave, the world will see the full picture."

With the current chaos in Iraq, there is no shortage of recruits and within two weeks a new group of fighters is ready to pick up arms to defend their country.

New recruits train in the art of war among the palmgroves on the outskirts of Baghdad. During the two week intensive course in guerilla warfare they learn the art of ambushes, kidnappings [with the help of local residents] and tactical instructions to hit american helicopters, rescue operations and heavy artillery assaults.

"The fighters sacrifice their lives to protect the people,"Al Shamary said.

Source: Al Jazeera Emphasis added

Related: AFP report on Peninsula Online

Iraq militant group tells fighters to attack govt
Web posted at: 11/19/2006 8:12:24
Source ::: AFP

DUBAI • The Islamic Army in Iraq, one of the country's main Sunni extremist groups, called on its fighters to strike at the government of Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki after it launched a probe into a leading Sunni cleric, according to an Internet statement posted yesterday.

Iraqi state television reported last week that the government had ordered the arrest of cleric Harith Sulaiman Al Dhari for "inciting sectarian violence", but a government spokesman said later that only a criminal investigation had been opened into his activities. Dhari has been criticised after telling Al Arabiya news channel that Sunnis in Iraq were being marginalised, and for his criticism of Maliki, a Shiite.


Western readers should note that although this particular group is Sunni the so-called divide is not as important as westerners like to think it is. Most Iraqis consider the American invaders to be the greatest threat to them and do not care who it is who fights them so long as those fighters kill Americans and their allies. This is what happens when your army behaves like Hulegu.

Ali

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