Conflict & Justice

Violence in Mosul

The Americans were looking for a wanted man, and they went to a house in an area of Mosul known to still be a stronghold of Al Qaeda in Iraq. When they arrived they came under fire from people in the house and then there was a gunfight and during the gunfight, someone detonated a suicide bomb and 11 civilians died. (Mosul is identified as one of the last insurgency strongholds, is that your feeling as well?) I think that's an exaggeration. Mosul is a difficult place and there are many raids there every day against suspected insurgents. But Diyala Province and the town of Baquba in Diyala has heavier Al Qaeda activity. American and Iraqi forces believe Al Qaeda is on the run and Awakening Councils have been of huge help in that process. But the battle is not finished yet. (These Awakening Councils are now on the Iraqi payroll so how has that transition from the American payroll gone?) The Awakening Councils are not exclusively Sunni, and some Sunni and Shiite Awakening Councils are participating with each other. So people are coming back again, but this transition is difficult and it's not just about the money. But if money continues to be paid, that should help. But the plan is to absorb only about 20% of the Awakening Councils into the army and police forces which will leave about 80,000 men armed and with nothing to do. The authorities hope they'll accept training for civilians jobs. But in communities that are protected by their Awakening Councils, these men are unlikely to accept civilian jobs. Then Al Qaeda could have a chance of recruiting them back.

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