Isolating Al Qaeda

A rift is growing between Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda, which Coalition commanders are using to their advantage:

Insurgent leaders and Sunni Arab politicians say divisions between insurgent groups and Al Qaeda in Iraq have widened and have led to combat in some areas of the country, a schism that U.S. officials hope to exploit.

The Sunni Arab insurgent leaders said they disagreed with the leadership of Al Qaeda in Iraq over tactics, including attacks on civilians, as well as over command of the movement.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, on his last day in Iraq, said Monday that American officials were actively pursuing negotiations with the Sunni factions in an effort to further isolate Al Qaeda.

“Iraqis are uniting against Al Qaeda,” Khalilzad said. “Coalition commanders have been able to engage some insurgents to explore ways to collaborate in fighting the terrorists.”

Insurgent leaders from two of the prominent groups fighting U.S. troops said the divisions between their forces and Al Qaeda were serious. They have led to skirmishes in Al Anbar province, in western Iraq, and have stopped short of combat in Diyala, east of Baghdad, they said in interviews with the Los Angeles Times.

How are the Democrats going to explain the continuing improvements in Iraq? They virulently opposed the surge, yet the longer it goes on, the better things get. This is not good news for them.

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