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Iraq facing ‘biggest fight’ since Americans left

January 6th, 2014
03:18 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Iraq’s security forces are taking on their biggest fight since U.S. troops withdrew from the country at the end of 2011, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, who was national security adviser in Iraq for the five years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

Violence in Iraq is the worst in years, and part of the city of Falluja may have already fallen into the control of an al-Qaeda affiliated group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“It is a big challenge, but I am pretty sure – and there is no shadow of doubt in my mind – that Iraqi security forces will prevail,” al-Rubaie said.

There are conflicting reports about who is fighting whom in Falluja, with government forces, tribal groups, and the al-Qaeda affiliates all involved.

“Most of the Western media has got this wrong,” he said.

It is not about Sunni versus Shiite, or about the Shiite government “killing the Sunni communities.”

“This is a fight between Iraq and al-Qaeda terrorists,” he said. “This is a fight between a constitutionally elected government in Baghdad and the outlaws, the terrorists of al-Qaeda in the desert.”

He also however called on the U.S. to put pressure on the Gulf Arab countries “to reduce the sectarian polarization between Shiite and Sunnis, because that is what is translated into blood on the street of Baghdad.”

Al-Rubaie called on all Iraqis, no matter their affiliation, to stand behind the Maliki government.

“They should unite behind the Iraqi security forces to get them to win this fight and then we after that we will argue who was right, who was wrong in the economic policy, in the social policies, in security policy, and so on and so forth.”

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Fred

    why the media insist to repeat that the clashes there are between al qaida and governmental forces when the truth is there are clashes between the tribes and al maliki forces ,,,,
    i do not say there are no terrors hide in Anbar but what i want to say that al maliki uses this urge to kill the opposition of the sunnies tribes there ,, the tribes who fought shoulder by shoulder with american fighters to expel al qaida outside of Anbar ,, al malik implements Iranian policy to establish its empire ,,
    USA should not support him before survey the situation on ground because al maliki uses the phobia of terrorism to kill his politic opponents !
    please USA has no interest to be bias to al maliki who is the chief of islamic daawa party another face of terrorism

    January 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • Jesse

      Wow, you are the 1st person I have seen identify this very valid and key point. While you do have some Al Qaeda elements running around Anbar, the actual main opposition is TRIBAL. Particularly after the arrest of the Finance Minister (who was one of the few Sunni's left in the Gov't).

      The Crux of the issue isn't terrorism, it is that the Iraqi Gov't is entirely inept, wholly corrupt, and benefiting only the friends of the ruling elite while the rest of the society rots. There STILL isn't reliable electricity in Baghdad 11 years after the war. The sewage is in the street, the streets are a mess, and forget about schools and hospitals. The political leaders have their own militias and run their own hit squads targeting opponents while killing innocent bystandards. All of the Gov't contracts are solely vehicles for ministers and Maliki's friends to shamelessly rape the country of its wealth, while they label the opposition as Al Qaeda.

      Unfortunately, this is isn’t a politically convenient fact for the US Gov’t to admit that the US propped up Gov’t is in effective and corrupt . . . kind of kills the propaganda that they are spreading freedom and Iraq is better off now than before. Not to mention the current Iraqi Gov’t is ok with not nationalizing the oil fields and instead are giving multibillion USD contracts to Shell, BP and Exxon, as long as the Ministers are getting their kickbacks. All the while the US is turning a blind eye to the obvious violations “foreign corrupt practices” act, and are now allied with Iran on this issue in Anbar with both countries (US and Iran) offering military aid to the Maliki Gov’t.

      January 7, 2014 at 9:42 am | Reply
  2. Hasan

    The Shia regime of Iran announced that is willing to send troops to the Iraq to help Shia Maliki and take over the USA, The regime of Iran already had sent its troops to the Syria!

    Because Maliki claimed all the Sunni oppositions are Qaeda-linked fighters!, Kerry also supports Maliki with the USA tax payers money!!

    January 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  3. John

    The Iraqi and Sysrian People will kick out their Shia puppet dictators that get orders from Iran, even Kerry and British support them and call all oppositions Al-Quaeda linked!
    Ala Aayadi one of the Sunni opposition leaders requeted an early presidential election to get rid of scandal and dictatorship of Maliki.

    January 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  4. Meral

    Why I am not surprised about this development?

    January 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  5. Shakira

    Oh yea like I am going to believe a word out of an ally of Maliki. The Government is Shi'a dominated, they have cracked down on Sunni's, have not appointed but a token Sunni or two in the Government. This is an Iranian puppet regime and the Sunni's are fighting back.

    January 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  6. Dave

    I guest that the americans should come back to help lran (g) and syria in their war.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:53 am | Reply
  7. Ayad Allawi

    The US made billions from the first and second Gulf Wars and now they are going to make even more money selling drones and Hellfires to the Iraqi government to go to war on the terrorists. Is this the only business in which the US can make a profit – the killing business?

    January 7, 2014 at 8:27 am | Reply
  8. Prophetic Wording

    So basically the terrorist were waiting and attacked when we withdrew? 1. Why would we announce our planned withdrawal, answer...... ONLY POLITICS. 2. STOP PLAYING POLITICS WITH OUR SOLDIERS AND OUR ECONOMY!! – BOTH SIDES OF THE 'AISLE'

    January 7, 2014 at 8:54 am | Reply

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