Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has extended the deadline for Shia fighters in Amara to surrender themselves. This is becoming something of a habit. Amnesty was also offered to militants in Mosul after a much-advertised government crackdown failed to produce results. Today, the terrorists are back with a vengeance.
Here’s a tight and precise update from NYT’s Oppel:
Iraqi troops have fanned out in force in Mosul to try to quell the insurgency there led by Baathist fighters and Sunni extremist guerrillas. Violence has dropped in the city in recent months, but according to officials knowledgeable about the fighting, many of Mosul’s most fearsome guerrillas have been pursued by U.S. special operations forces operating in secret rather than Iraqi troops. It remains to be seen whether the Iraqi forces can keep the Mosul insurgency in check, or whether the guerrillas will reassert their presence, as they have in the past.
And, going against the “al-Qaeda” meme:
The [U.S. military] statement said the blast had been caused by a car bomb and carried out by Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the largely homegrown Sunni insurgent group. The statement offered no explanation of why the military believed Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia had been responsible for the attack, and not any of the other Sunni extremist and pro-Saddam groups that still operate in the city.