Iraqi official slams U.S. for abandoning Fallujah

By WND Staff

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A senior Iraqi intelligence official told a Baghdad newspaper the United States allowed terrorists to gather in Fallujah by taking a hands-off approach to the city, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

The official told the Al Shira newspaper last week that the Americans paid a steep political price for pulling back without entering the city, which is now a central point for insurgents and terrorists.

Iraqi forces must now take up the job of pacifying the city.

“The Fallujah Municipal Council has been replaced with the armed groups leaders and Islamist extremists, who control the important decisions,” the Iraqi official said.

“In addition, former Baath party members use the city as an assembly point,” he continued. “Lately, these former Baathists began meeting in the city to plan a strategy aimed at spreading destruction in other cities, primarily Baghdad. They also make bombs and rig vehicles with explosives in the city and send them to Baghdad.”

The current Fallujah Brigade charged with maintaining law and order is “doing nothing,” the official said.

The 2,000 troops “disobey our orders and some of them even threaten to join the armed groups. It is difficult to tell friend from foe in the city,” the official said.

Some 70 Saudi nationals were captured in the city and were handed over to the Fallujah Brigade leader who “allowed them to leave Fallujah safely,” the officer said. “The result is that these and others moved to other cities, including Baghdad, Baqubah and Samara.”

The officer also said Iraqi security troops are monitoring the movements of Zarqawi terrorists and the intelligence was passed to U.S. military forces, which bombed their hideouts. However, the survivors also were allowed to leave the city freely.

The officer said Iraqis opposed the decision of Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to form the Fallujah Brigade, and several Iraqi leaders protested the decision.

Asked what Iraqi intelligence plans to do, the officer said: “We would prefer to enter the city with a large number of Iraqi soldiers with the possible backing of the Americans.”

Preparations for an assault on the city of 250,000 would take several months, and U.S. officials fear the deaths of civilians would trigger further unrest.

The new Iraqi government has made Fallujah a lower priority because of efforts to seal the borders of the country and stop the influx of terrorists from nearby countries, the official said.

The influx of foreign terrorists is less a problem than the terrorists already in the country, he added.

Meanwhile, a senior Iraqi security source said Saddam Hussein’s daughter, Raghad, has been funding insurgent attacks in Iraq. The source said she is living in Jordan.

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