New Guard Force Finds Welcome on Streets of Baghdad

(Washington Post) Edward Cody- Iraqi guardsmen from the 35,000-man paramilitary force designed to bring internal security - venturing out for the last several days in their own vehicles and flying the Iraqi flag conspicuously - have found a warm welcome from most residents. Baghdadis seem relieved to see their own soldiers taking over from U.S. troops. Replacing U.S. soldiers with Iraqis could go a long way toward reducing popular resentment directed at the U.S. military presence here. For many Iraqis, including influential Islamic spiritual leaders, the killing of fellow Iraqis by insurgents has gone too far, particularly since many attacks were carried out in the name of al-Qaeda. One militantly anti-U.S. Shiite Muslim leader, Moqtada Sadr, specifically called on his followers to cooperate with Iraqi police to prevent a recurrence of what he termed foreign terrorism. Since then, the attacks have dropped sharply in number and effectiveness. U.S. security officials have warned that intelligence shows spectacular new attacks are still being planned, including more kidnappings of foreigners.

2004-07-02 00:00:00

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