Guerrillas Posing More Danger, Says U.S.
The senior American commander in the Middle East said Thursday that the Unites States-led occupation in Iraq faces no more than 5,000 guerrilla fighters, but that they are increasingly well organized and well financed, and are gradually expanding their attacks to the previously calm north and south. His estimate of the scale of the shadowy armed opposition, the most precise from a top commander, came in a broad outline of the military obstacles his forces face. The officer, Gen. John P. Abizaid of the Army, said loyalists to Saddam Hussein — not foreign terrorists, as some Bush administration officials have said — pose the greatest danger to American troops and to stability in Iraq. He said these militants were capitalizing on the political and economic turmoil to hire unemployed “angry young men” to do much of their “dirty work.” Full Story