Al Qaeda in Iraq
The commander of international forces in Iraq said Nov. 1 that significant progress has been made against al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq.
“It’s clear that they no longer have significant sanctuaries and logistics capabilities to support numerous simultaneous attacks against large portions of the population,” Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters via televideo conference.
Gen. Odierno said the group still has some capability to conduct deadly and “vicious” attacks against civilians in parts of Iraq.
But he noted that “the top levels of the leadership have been taken, either killed or captured.”
“Some of them have been replaced, but those who replace them are not as good as those who were there before,” Gen. Odierno said. “And we continue to see a slow degradation in al Qaeda’s capability here in Iraq.”
He said U.S., allied and Iraqi offensive security operations contributed to the success.
“But the real change has been that the populace rejects al Qaeda,” Gen. Odierno said. “They no longer have the passive support of the community. They’ve been rejected by their actions, and the people do not want to support them. In fact, what we find for the most part is that people will do anything to keep them out of their area, and they want to work closely with us to ensure that remains.”