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December 28, 2007: Al Qaeda and the Sunni Arab terrorist organizations are in very bad shape. The momentum, gained by the start of the surge offensive earlier this year, has continued, and now the senior leadership of al Qaeda is getting killed or captured faster than the terrorist organization can find and appoint replacements. This is reflected in the greatly reduced number of attacks. U.S. casualties for December are the lowest American forces have ever suffered since the 2003 invasion. Iraqi police and army losses are down as well, but not as much. Iraqi security forces are doing more of the fighting. But there's another fight brewing between the new anti-terrorist Sunni Arab militias the Americans have established. The Shia dominated government sees these guys as Saddam's henchmen and previously terrorists themselves. That's accurate in many cases, but by getting these thugs to switch sides, the death rate in Iraq has plummeted. In fact, al Qaeda has called on its remaining followers to concentrate on the Sunni Arabs now working for the government. However, the Shia Arabs know that, long term, the Sunni Arab minority expects to regain power. To counter that, some Shia Arab militias are again attacking Sunni civilians and gunmen. The government is reluctant to deal with this, but U.S. troops are not, and now there's a lot of American raids on Shia militias, including some being trained by Iranian agents.
It's going to take generations before the Kurds and Shia forget the atrocities inflicted on them by the Sunni Arabs. Don't expect a resolution on that score any time soon. It ain't gonna happen.
Meanwhile, up north, Turkish warplanes have flown hundreds of sorties against PKK targets on the Iraqi side of the bomber. Hundreds of Turkish troops have then crossed into Iraq to search the area where the bombs fell. The Turks are looking for PKK terrorists, dead or alive, as well as documents and other evidence of PKK activity. The U.S. and Iraq are asking the Turks to use restraint, and the end result appears to be letting the Turks do what they want, as long as their targets (PKK camps and villages that have tolerated the Kurdish separatists) are indeed PKK related. The Turks consider this operation long overdue, and since it's Winter, it probably won't go on for long.