Iraq: February 15, 2004

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Yesterday's attacks in Falluja (against a police station and a civil defense force camp) left nearly 30 dead. Several of the attackers were killed and some were captured and most of these turned out to be foreigners. It's known that Iraqis have been demanding increasingly large cash payments to make attacks on American troops or Iraqi security forces. At the same time, more foreigners (mostly Arabs) have been caught crossing the borders or operating in cities. Pro Saddam Sunni Arab towns like  Falluja are among the few places where the foreign fighters can hide without being turned in by more peaceful Iraqis. The use of large groups of these fighters to attack Iraqi police bases is taking the fighting up a level. In one of these attacks, some forty masked men  arrived, guns blazing, in ten cars. But the pro-Saddam forces are still a minority even in the Sunni Arab areas. The presence of so many foreigners among the attackers confirms that. So far, the attacks on Iraqi police has angered the police more than cowed them. The "Battle of Falluja" is just getting started. 

 

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