Thursday, November 02, 2006

Self-help concept in fighting AlQaeda could be catching on

Ninawa province lies north of Al-Anbar province, and it includes Mosul. Independent newspaper Al-Mada reports interesting remarks at the recent meeting of the provincial council, by provincial governor Darbad Kashmula who is also a leader of one of the tribes of the province. He proposed that the tribes of Ninawa, on the model of those of Al-Anbar, should form a Ninawa Salvation Council in order to fight armed groups and anyone who tries to disrupt public safety and stability. He was referring in particular to recent events in Mosul, in which proponents of the "Islamic Emirate" distributed handbills and threatened in particular members of the provincial police force. Kashmula said he is disappointed that some tribes are still supporting armed groups. He said restoration of order is going to depend on all of the tribes standing together with the official law-enforcement forces.

Provincial police chief Watheq Hamdani referred to the recent incidents in Mosul including distribution of handbills by supporters of "the so-called Islamic State" and threats to the provincial police, dismissing the handbills as full of false information and "mean nothing on the ground", and repeating the readiness of the police to combat any terrorist group.

Al-Mada heads up this item: "On the model of Al-Anbar: Governor of Ninawa proposes creation of a Salvation Council to combat the armed groups".

(Separately, Al-Hayat reports on a meeting between the Al-Anbar Salvation Council with the ministers of Defence and Interior, and US ambassador Khalilzad, in order to make plans for re-taking Ramadi from AlQaeda. The distribution of tasks differs a little depending on who is talking, but at a minimum, there will be coordination with the American forces that are in Ramadi so that they don't clash, and there will be at least material support from Defence and Interior, but the main fighting force will be the provincial police and the "special forces" of the Salvation Council, regular members of the two together coming to 6300 fighters).


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