Election Results; Iraqis Fight al-Qaeda
The much anticipated results from the December 15th election are now available. Iraq the Model provides a full breakdown of the apportionment of seats in the new Iraqi parliament. The Shiite-dominated UIA has fallen ten votes short needed to independently form a government. They will now be required to reach out to an outside party to create a coalition government. The Kurdish Alliance netted 55 votes, the Sunni led Accord Front 44, Allawi’s Iraqi List 25 and al-Mutlaq’s Dialogue Front 11.
Coalition forces anticipated attacks would coincide with the release of the election results, in an attempt to hijack the news cycle. The cities of “Ramadi, Najaf, Tikrit, Samarra and Baquba were… sealed off for 48 hours .” The insurgents struck in Ramadi, and the attack was repelled by Iraqi soldiers and U.S. forces “within an hour using a combination of small arms fire, medium and heavy weapons and preplanned aviation assets.” According to Captain Jeffery Pool, “Today’s attacks in Ramadi resulted in no serious damage and only a couple of minor injuries to US Forces who have already been treated and returned to duty.” The attack was inneffective.
Gateway Pundit provides additional details on the high level meeting in Ramadi, where the future security situation was discussed. The region tribal leaders are cooperating with the government to assist with the removal of al-Qaeda. The foreign terrorists appear to have overstayed their welcome in Ramadi, Samarra and elsewhere.
This [security] agreement resulted from requests of Anbar tribal leaders (including the Dulaimi tribe) for government, monetary, political and social aid to defy and get rid of Zarqawi’s organization. These leaders said that al-Zarqwi’s organization is forcing local support with violence and most of the organization is non-Iraqis… Families and tribal leaders in the Alkhalediah, Alfelahat and Alkermeh areas (south of Fallujah) have formed local councils. Council members are Local Imams and educated individuals who will educate locals to reject violence and terror.
Sources close to armed Iraqi groups said that al-Zarqawi’s organization is trying to gain favor with Iraqi resistance groups by shooting down three U.S. helicopters. But local fighters in Ramadi have labeled Zarqawi and his organization terrorist and have had armed clashes with them. These sources also said that the local resistance in Ramadi and the tribal leaders are trying to force Zarqawi out of Iraq and are looking for any means to get rid of Zarqawi. Some local families have asked for Zarqawi and his follower’s heads, after locals were killed in bombings while enlisting at police recruiting stations. Theses bombings have lead to armed clashes against al-Zarqawi’s group, which resulted in the death a tribal leader.Samara is not far from all the developments in Ramadi. Samara has also formed local committees to chase and keep away foreign fighters and reestablish the local council. Albubaz family of Samara was able to kill four and chase away 11 foreign fighters in joint operation with Iraqi security and other tribes. Tribes of Samarra have asked to reopen military and police recruiting centers, government offices and promised to guard the city from attacks.
al-Qaeda is not taking rejection sitting down, and is conducting a terror campaign in an attempt to intimidate the Iraqis. Since the beginning of the new year, four sheihks have been assassinated by al-Qaeda in Iraq; Dr. Hamid Al-Faysal, January 4; Sheikh ‘Abd Al-Razzaq, January 14; Sheikh Nasser Abd Al-Karim Mukhlif, January 16; and Sheikh Mohammed Sadaq Bata Al, January 18. These sheihks were working for a solution to the security situation in Ramadi and opposed al-Qaeda’s presence.