Islamic State in Iraq loses the 2nd Capitol of the Caliphate
The Strata-Sphere Blog reports that the Islamic State in Iraq (Mujahadeen Shura Council) has been routed from Baqouaba, Diyala Iraq, the second of it’s self declared “Capitols” of the Iraqi Caliphate. This is in large part to the new coalition forces the Bush administrations “troop surge” has made available to theater commanders.
BAQOUBA, Iraq – Across the walls of the villas they seized in the name of their shadow government, black-masked al-Qaida militants spray-painted the words: “Property of the Islamic State of Iraq.”
They manned checkpoints and buried an elaborate network of bombs in the streets. They issued austere edicts ordering women not to work. They filmed themselves attacking Americans and slaughtered those who did not believe in their cause.
For months, al-Qaida turned a part of one Baqouba neighborhood into an insurgent fiefdom that American and Iraqi forces were too undermanned to tackle – a startling example of the terror group’s ability to thrive openly in some places outside Baghdad even as U.S.-led forces struggle to regain control in the capital.
U.S. forces, including members of a Stryker brigade from Fort Lewis, took back the entire Tahrir neighborhood during a week long operation that wrapped up Sunday in Baqouba, a city 35 miles northeast of Baghdad that al-Qaida declared last year the capital of its self-styled Islamic caliphate.
It is of note that the Al-Qaeda backed Islamic State in Iraq has been in open conflict with some Iraqi nationalist groups such as the Islamic Army in Iraq and the 1920 Revolution Brigades. This conflict is certainly note any indication that any of these groups are friendly to the Coalition but more than likely indicate a battle for control of resources and influence in the area.
The News Tribune has the following:
Although insurgents claimed many houses in the name of the Islamic State of Iraq, they tried to erase their work with splotches of white paint two months ago – realizing the proclamations might be too conspicuous.
The Islamic State is a coalition of eight insurgent groups. Late last month, it named a 10-member “Cabinet” complete with a “war minister,” an apparent attempt to present the Sunni coalition as an alternative to the U.S.-backed, Shiite-led administration of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Parsons assured each family that U.S. troops and police would stay behind to keep insurgents out after he left, and establish a new police station.
Al-Qaida “had months and months to run rampant because we didn’t have the forces available to come in here until now,” Parsons said. “They controlled this neighborhood, but they don’t anymore.”
If the Democratic Socialist Party of the United States succeeds in forcing a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq the various terrorist groups will surely return to overtake the country. Progress is being made and a any time table for withdrawal sends a clear message that the US will abandon the citizens of Iraq to death and oppression by any number of terrorist organizations. It is critical that Coalition forces stay in country until the Iraqi government is capable of protecting the interests of it’s citizenry.
The Jawa Report has a roundup of this weeks successes in the Iraqi theater here.