Anbar al Qaeda roundup doubted

Bill Roggio:

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Omar at Iraq The Model translates and reprints a spectacular claim by Arabic newspaper Dar al-Hayat which purports a massive operation to purge the al-Qaim region by local tribal groups is currently underway. According to Sheikh Usama Jad’aan, the leader of Karabila tribes in Qaim, “the operation will continue to eliminate terror elements according to a quality plan… 270 Arab and foreign intruders have been arrested, in addition to some Iraqis who were providing them shelter… the operation is conducted in coordination between the tribes and the minister of defense Sa’doun al-Dulaimi and since we arrested hundreds of terrorists, I don’t expect the operation to take a lot of time”.

While the news would be a positive development, it appears this story has little basis in fact. An inquiry to Lieutenant Colonel Dale Alford, the Battalion Commander of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, whose unit is parked in the al-Qaim region and would be aware of such a massive operation, denies the report, “We have caught a number of foreign insurgents over the past couple of months and the tribes are providing us information and working with us, but nothing like the report [referenced]. The Marines of 3/6 and the Iraqi Army Brigade are still taking it to the bad guys, all while helping the people of this region rebuild there lives.” According to Captain Christopher O’Connor, the Operations Officer for the 3/6, the battalion captured five foreign fighters several nights ago.

The round up of such a large number of al-Qaeda could not occur without the knowledge of the U.S. and Iraqi military stationed in the region....

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