Good news about “Al Qaeda that doesn’t exist in Iraq”

We’ve heard it before (’cause the NY Times says it’s so) that Al Qaeda has nothing to do with Iraq. Apparently someone forgot to tell either AP or Al Qaeda:

U.S. and Iraqi forces killed more than 60 insurgent and militia fighters in intense battles over the weekend, with most of the casualties believed to have been al-Qaida fighters, officials said Sunday.

The U.S. Embassy, meanwhile, joined a broad swath of Iraqi politicians — both Shiite and Sunni — in criticizing a nonbinding Senate resolution seen here as a recipe for splitting the country along sectarian and ethnic lines.

U.S. aircraft killed more than 20 al-Qaida fighters who opened fire on an American air patrol northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. command said.

The firefight between U.S. aircraft and the insurgent fighters occurred Saturday about 17 miles northwest of the capital, the military said.

The aircraft observed about 25 al-Qaida insurgents carrying AK-47 assault rifles — one brandishing a rocket-propelled grenade — walking into a palm grove, the military said.

“Shortly after spotting the men, the aircraft were fired upon by the insurgent fighters,” it said.

The military did not say what kind of aircraft were involved but the fact that the fighters opened fire suggests they were low-flying Apache helicopters. The command said more than 20 of the group were killed and four vehicles were destroyed. No Iraqi civilians or U.S. soldiers were hurt.

“Coalition forces have dealt significant blows to Al-Qaida Iraq in recent months, including the recent killing of the Tunisian head of the foreign fighter network in Iraq and the blows struck in the past 24 hours,” military spokesman Col. Steven Boylan told The Associated Press.

Iraq’s Defense Ministry said in an e-mail Sunday afternoon that Iraqi soldiers had killed 44 “terrorists” over the past 24 hours. The operations were centered in Salahuddin and Diyala provinces and around the city of Kirkuk, where the ministry said its soldiers had killed 40 and arrested eight. It said 52 fighters were arrested altogether.

The ministry did not further identify those killed, but use of the word “terrorists” normally indicates al-Qaida.

In a separate operation, U.S. forces killed two insurgents and detained 21 others during weekend operations “to disrupt al-Qaida in Iraq networks in the Tigris River Valley.”

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  • SJBill

    I shed hardly a tear. They get their allocation of 12 six packs of Virgin “Lite” Beer at their next duty station. Too bad they can’t drink.

  • zhombre

    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.
    George S. Patton

  • T.S.

    According to official U.S documents, al Qeada was not in Iraq prior, during, or immediately following 9/11.

    The U.S. invasion of Iraq cured that, however.

  • zhombre

    So? They are there now. One can argue we should not have invaded Iraq and deposed the Baathist regime however we invaded Iraq and deposed the Baathist regime and now we fight AQ. I’d like to see U.S. troops removed in significant numbers too but I also would like to see AQ decimated in large numbers.

  • http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2007/09/28/attacks_by_taliban_increase_approach_afghanistan_capital/ Sam Francisco

    You won’t find Al Qaeda in any of the Shiite provinces because the Shiites won’t tolerate them. You will find them in Sunni provinces because they are helping to fight the Americans.

    As soon as we accepted the Sunni’s offer and started arming their militias Al Qaeda disappeared.

    The bottom line is that unless they prove themselves useful to the iraqis, al qaeda will find no safe harbor in Iraq.

  • Trimegistus

    TS:

    So effin’ what? Saddam Hussein was in Iraq prior to, during, and immediately following 9/11. Saddam had verified contacts with AQ (Zarqawi) and moreover was one evil son of a bitch who needed removing.

    Now pick a new spot for those goalposts and get to work. I’ll be up in the refreshment stand buying a corn dog.

  • Danny Lemieux

    They weren’t called Al Qaeda, then, TS. They sported names such as Ansar-al-Islam. Same thugs, different gang colors. And, yes, TS, Saddam Hussein was up to his neck in involvement in the first WTC attack-an act of war, if there ever was one. Hussein was not going to be wished away.

  • http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2007/04/03/sami-rasouli/ Mordechai

    Saddam was up to his neck in involvement in the first WTC attack? BS!

    The same goes for Zarqawi. He was in the Kurdish region helping Kurdish rebels at the time. Zarqawi was no friend of Saddam Hussein.

  • T.S.

    Pick a New Spot for the goalposts?

    I hate sports metaphors, but if you must, how’s this: I’m siding with Truth.

    Saying that al Qeada is in Iraq is the truth, for sure. But it’s disengenous to ignore WHY al Qeada is in Iraq. (In 2001 the State Department issued a map depicting al Qeada hot zones — and Iraq was 100% al Qeada free)

    You can believe what you want to believe.

    But I prefer the truth.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    The talk over Saddam Hussein is designed to divert your attention from the real threats and campaigns ongoing, Danny, such as MoveOn or Reid’s latest concoction. That and because people like to argue over the past rather than delve into the mysterious future, which they dislike precisely because of the unpredictability factor. Which, in end, means that their inability to predict the future or analyze trends also means they are unable to analyze history.

    After all, both analysis of the past and the future require each other. The truth is that people want to discard classical learning and taking responsibility for the future, and still hold themselves up to a higher standard.