After fighting in a bloody three-day war, Al Qaeda-affiliated militants raised its flag over government building in the western city of Fallujah, the city previously secured by U.S. forces before withdrawing from the country two years later, The Washington Post reported.
At least eight people were killed and dozens injured Friday night as the Iraqi army tries to regain control of the city. The army, which lobbed mortar bombs in its response, has been joined in the fray by tribesmen from Ramadi, a Sunni stronghold.
Major Sunni tribes turned against Al Qaeda before the American withdrawal at the end of 2011, but also do not support the Shiite-led government in Iraq, creating an odd alliance in the battle against militants. The total death toll from the violence, which began earlier in the week, is not yet known.
On Friday, Al Qaeda gunman sought to win over the population in Fallujah with a militant commander appearing among worshippers holding Friday prayers in the main city street, proclaiming that his fighters were there to defend Sunnis from the government, a resident said.
"We are your brothers from the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant," militants shouted through the city using a stolen police car. "We are here to protect you from the government. We call on you to cooperate."
The overrunning of Fallujah and Ramadi, another Sunni stronghold, by Al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch in the Sunni heartland of western Anbar provinces is a blow to the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister al-Malik. His government has been struggling to contain discontent among the Sunni minority over Shiite political domination that has flared into increased violence for the past year.Fallujah was a stronghold of al-Queda insurgency in 2004, where their radical leader al-Zarqawi kidnapped and videotaped beheadings of Americans and others who were captured by his band of terrorists. US and coalition forces led attacks on the al-queda strongholds there in late 2004, at the cost of 51 US troops and 425 wounded.
While our troops were engaging in this bloody fighting, several Democrats, including Barbara "Call Me Senator" Boxer, Raul "Reconquista" Grijalva, Dennis Kookcinich and Henry "Nostrillitus" Waxman helped the anti-American skanks known as Code Pinko ship $600,000 in "humanitarian aid" to the terrorist scum who fought against our troops.
Obama failed to negotiate a new status of forces agreement in 2011 which led to what liberals wanted all along--abandoning Iraq to terrorists, just like what they did with the "war that should be fought" in Afghanistan.