RealNews

Magnet for Iraq Insurgents Is a Crucial Test of New U.S. Strategy

Nine months ago the American military laid siege to this city in northwestern Iraq and proclaimed it freed from the grip of insurgents. Last month, the Americans returned in force – to reclaim it once again. After the battle here in September the military left behind fewer than 500 troops to patrol a region twice the size of Connecticut. With so few troops and the local police force in shambles, insurgents came back and turned Tal Afar, a dusty, agrarian city of about 200,000 people, into a way station for the trafficking of arms and insurgent fighters from nearby Syria – and a ghost town of terrorized residents afraid to open their stores, walk the streets or send their children to school. Full Story

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