RealNews

Few Foreigners Among Insurgents

The battle for the city of Fallouja is giving U.S. military commanders some insight into this country’s insurgency, painting a portrait of a home-grown uprising dominated by Iraqis, not foreign fighters. Of the more than 1,000 men between the ages of 15 and 55 who were captured in intense fighting in the center of the insurgency over the last week, just 15 are confirmed foreign fighters, Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. ground commander in Iraq, said Monday. There was evidence that an organized force of foreign fighters was present. One dead guerrilla bore Syrian identification. A number of insurgents believed to be foreigners wore similar black “uniforms,” each with black flak vests, webbed gear and weapons superior to those of their Iraqi allies. But despite an intense focus on the network of Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab Zarqawi by U.S. and Iraqi officials, who have insisted that most Iraqis support the country’s interim government, American commanders said their best estimates of the proportion of foreigners among their enemies is about 5%. Full Story

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