Al-Qaeda controls western Iraq, US intelligence report News -

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US forces can not eliminate the insurgency in western Iraq and can not reduce the growing popularity of al Qaeda in the region, the Washington Post quoted a confidential intelligence report as saying. The five-page report, drafted in August, focuses on the Sunni province of Anbar in western Iraq, the paper said. A senior US intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the paper that since mid-November the problems were still the same. "The main problems of lack of control and growing insurgency and criminality" are still the same. "The social and political situation has deteriorated to the point where US and Iraqi forces are no longer militarily capable of defeating the insurgency in Anbar," according to the report. The report was written by Peter Devlin, a senior military intelligence officer working in the region. According to the newspaper, the Iraqi army was not informed of the report. The report said Sunni Iraqis were "fighting a daily battle for survival", fearing "massacres" by the Shiite majority and increasingly relying on al Qaeda in Iraq as the only threat to growing Iranian hegemony in Baghdad. "From the Sunni point of view, their great fear has been achieved: Iran controls Baghdad and the Anbar people have been marginalized," the report said. The report describes al Qaeda in Iraq as a "dominant and influential organization" in the province more important than local authorities, the Iraqi government and US forces "in their ability to control the daily lives of ordinary Sunnis." (AFP)

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