Monday, February 11, 2008

The Trouble in Diyala

The LA Times provides an interesting account of the migration of AQI into the Diyala River Valley.

For the last year, U.S.-led forces have pursued the militants from one stronghold to the next in Diyala, a province of winding waterways and abundant farms stretching north and east from Baghdad to the Iranian border. They have captured or killed hundreds of people, most said to be members or affiliates of the militant group Al Qaeda in Iraq. The American-led troops have destroyed weapons caches, training bases, bomb-making factories and torture houses.

Yet the Sunni Arab militants identified by many U.S. commanders as their most lethal enemy and the greatest obstacle to stability in Iraq continue to flow into the province and farther north to the regions of Mosul and Kirkuk. This is not the only place that the militants have established a haven, but the U.S. deems success here as crucial to its efforts to consolidate recent security gains as American troops begin to draw down.

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