Al Qaeda Flag Now Flies Over Major Iraq Battleground; Good Job America!
This is not the same al Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11, but suffice it to say that our years in Iraq and the thousands of lives lost and ruined have made things worse, not better.
The capture of Fallujah came amid an explosion of violence across the western desert province of Anbar in which local tribes, the Iraqi security forces and al-Qaeda militants have been fighting one another for days in a confusingly chaotic three- way war.
Elsewhere in the province, local tribal militias claimed they were gaining ground against the al-Qaeda militants who surged into urban areas from their desert strongholds earlier this week after clashes erupted between local residents and the Iraqi security forces.
But in Fallujah, where Marines fought the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war in 2004, the militants appeared to have the upper hand, underscoring the extent to which the Iraqi security forces have struggled to sustain the gains made by U.S. troops before they withdrew in December 2011.
The upheaval also affirmed the soaring capabilities of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the rebranded version of the al-Qaeda in Iraq organization that formed a decade ago to confront U.S. troops and expanded into Syria last year while also escalating its activities in Iraq.
“At the moment, there is no presence of the Iraqi state in Fallujah,” said a local journalist who asked not to be named because he fears for his safety. “The police and the army have abandoned the city, al-Qaeda has taken down all the Iraqi flags and burned them, and it has raised its own flag on all the buildings.”