Maliki says Iraq Close to Defeating al-Qaeda


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told European lawmakers recently that his administration was closer than ever to defeating Sunni Muslim extremists allied with al-Qaeda. [ McClatchy ]

Al-Maliki’s statement followed one day after bombings attributed to al-Qaida in Iraq, that killed 60 and wounded 120.

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, speaks to media at a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki.
NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, right, gestures while talking to the media during a joint press conference with Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri alMaliki, following their meeting at NATO headquarter in Brussels, Thursday April 17, 2008.

“We are today more confident than any time before that we are close to the point where we can declare victory against al-Qaeda . . . and its allies,” Maliki said during a visit to the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

Attacks from Sunni insurgents have dropped sharply, with changes on three fronts.

  • the U.S. military sent more troops
  • recruiting Iraqi Sunnis to fight the militants
  • a cease-fire by a leading Shiite Muslim militia

    Unfortunately, it seems militants have moved from Baghdad and Anbar province, to Mosul, in the north, where more car bombings and assassinations are being carried out.

    Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, U.S. military spokesman said terrorists are using multiple methods to promote instability. The terrorists have a smart strategy, attacking key components of Iraq’s economy and weakening the government

    Yesterday, there was a car bombing in Mosul and roadside bombings in northern provinces.

    And in the south, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer

    “… the Iraqi government reassigned the army and police chiefs in the southern city of Basra to new duties, but denied the move was linked to the security forces’ questionable performance during a recent offensive against militia fighters.

    The police chief, Maj. Gen. Abdul-Jalil Khalaf, rejected suggestions that he and Army Lt. Gen. Mohan al-Fireji were removed from their posts because of problems during the offensive. At least 1,300 police and soldiers have been fired for refusing to fight during the operation, which began March 25.” [ Philadelphia Enquirer ]

  • Ros Prynn is a NewsBlaze investigative reporter and editor, who writes on a range of topics. Contact her by writing to NewsBlaze, or at her milblog