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And in Iraq

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Well-known member
Jul 4, 2005
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Excerpts; my emphasis; link below

"A senior U.S. Marine commander said Monday that insurgents loyal to militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had taken over at least five key western Iraqi towns on the border with Syria and were forcing local residents to flee."

"Two weeks ago, Marine spokesmen denied initial reports that insurgents had taken control of the area and were enforcing strict Islamic law, whipping men accused of drinking alcohol, burning a beauty parlor and shops that sold CDs and executing government workers for collaboration with the Iraqi government.

But Alford told The Chronicle that fighters linked to al-Zarqawi had been in complete control of these ancient smuggling communities for at least the past month, and that neither U.S. nor Iraqi forces held any sway over the swath of land that abuts Iraq's desolate, porous 450-mile border with Syria. Washington has repeatedly accused Syria of providing a safe transit route for foreign fighters headed for Iraq.

He estimated that between 300 and 400 insurgents were operating in the area. Most of them, he said, are foreign fighters who have crossed into Iraq through the border with Syria.

"For the time being, they run these towns," Alford said."


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