Iraqis Losing Love for al-Qaeda

Insurgents reeling from citizen backlash, troop surge
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2008 6:56 PM CDT
Detainees sit at an Iraqi army base. US and Iraqi forces have reclaimed large swathes of the country from insurgents and completed the %u201Cclearing%u201D of many cities.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Outsmarted and overwhelmed by allied forces in Iraq, al-Qaeda is getting desperate, Marie Colvin writes for the London Times. The insurgents, masters of organized resistance, are now resorting to small-scale hit-and-run attacks amidst waning support from Iraqis. “Al-Qaeda in Mosul is pretty much not able to do the attacks that they could do previously,” said an Iraqi commander.

Attacks have fallen by 80%, and even military officials are surprised by how fast the militants have fallen. The US troop surge led to the quick turnaround, Colvin says; al-Qaeda has also begun to alienate Iraqis with its steady campaign of kidnapping and extortion. “We need jobs,” insisted one citizen. “We’re all very tired of this insurgency.”