Al Qaeda in Iraq Has Lost 75% of Civilian Leadership

An Iraqi official says that Al Qaeda has lost 75% of its civilian leadership.

A general view shows destruction at the Shiite Imam al-Askari Shrine in the restive city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, 14 June. US forces killed the mastermind of two attacks on a revered Shiite mosque at the heart of Iraq’s bitter sectarian conflict during a crackdown on Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate.(AFP/File/Dia Hamid)

The following is a translation by Iraqi-American Haider Ajina from Buratha News from August 14, 2007-08-14

Iraqi planes to protect oil pipe lines & high voltage wires

A spokesperson for the Iraqi defense ministry said, today, for the fist time Iraqi Air force planes are being used to protect oil pipe lines and high voltage power lines, from terrorist activity. The spokes person Mohamed Alaskari said in a joint, defense & Interior ministries, press conference, “For more than ten days we have been using surveillance planes to protect oil pipe lines and high voltage power lines from terrorist activities.” Alaskari warned the public, “Do not get to close to these oil and power lines. Keep a distance of at least 50 meters. Otherwise one runs the risk of coming under protective fire from planes hovering at different altitudes.”

Major Abed Alkariem Khalaf, spokes person for the defense ministry said, “Smuggling mobs from Alrumailah area have been arrested after they were spotted by these surveillance plans.” Khalaf added, “Alqaida elements have lost their offensive capabilities and have become defensive. This is because Alqaida in Iraq has lost over 75% of its civilian leadership due to daily attacks and ambushes carried out by interior ministry forces backed by the Iraqi Army.” He added that constant improvement in training of new security forces, along with continued graduation of new recruits will bring Iraqi security forces to 400,000.

Then we will be prepared to fully take over security. He added, “Police unites have taken over areas in Dialah and in surrounding areas cleared by the Iraqi army and multi national forces.”

Haider Ajina comments:

Iraqi security forces are showing tremendous progress in clearing areas of terrorists. Improvements in equipment and gear for the defense and interior ministries are allowing these forces to leverage their new capabilities. This is allowing security and stability to be maintained in cleared areas. Evidence of this is seen in Anbar province, Dialah province, many areas of Musul and many areas of Bagdad.

The surge with its clear, hold and rebuild strategy is yielding good results. Constant improvements in our training of Iraqi units and Iraqi units receiving better equipments are allowing the surge to be more effective. Now the local police are also being trained better and given more responsibilities. New police are being chosen with loyalty to the rule of law and the country instead of the tribe or sect. This reprogramming of the security apparatus in Iraq is difficult and long. Changing a thirty year long practice of oppression, abuse and submission, to one of serving and protecting is monumental task, a task we are capable of training and delivering and the Iraqis are capable of learning and internalizing.

Regards,
Haider Ajina

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds has a roundup of good Iraq news today.

This is odd… Harry Reid says Al Qaeda is only growing stronger in Iraq.
So his solution is go fight Al Qaeda in Afghanistan?

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