Splits Seen in Iraqi Insurgency

(International Herald Tribune) Sabrina Tavernise - U.S. marines patrolling near the Syrian border say insurgents have been fighting one another, suggesting a split between Islamic militants and local rebels. A UN official who served in Iraq last year said, "I'm certain that the nationalist Iraqi part of the insurgency is very much fed up with the jihadists' grabbing the headlines and carrying out the sort of violence that they don't want against innocent civilians." The nationalist insurgent groups "are giving a lot of signals implying that there should be a settlement with the Americans," while the jihadists have a purely ideological agenda, he added. Access for foreign fighters is easy through the porous border with Syria. "Clearly there are foreign fighters here, and quite clearly they are coming in from Syria," said Col. Stephen Davis. Captain Chris Ieva said he could tell whether an area was controlled by foreign insurgents or locals based on whether families had cellphones or guns. Foreign fighters do not allow local residents to have cellphones for fear they will spy on them.

2005-06-23 00:00:00

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