In an interview, a member of the Islamic Army of Iraq speaks of his group's long-term goals.
He arrived on March 27, just before a three-day curfew cleared city streets during fighting with the Mahdi Army in Sadr City. His aim, he said over a recent lunch of mazgouf, or grilled fish, was to make it out alive and return to western Anbar Province to rearm his compatriots in the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI), a powerful Sunni insurgent group formed shortly after the US invasion.
This week, Gen. David Petraeus and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker told Congress of two main threats to Iraq's stability: Iran-backed Shiite militias and Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Little was said about the broader state of the Sunni insurgency, other than a fleeting mention by General Petraeus of the IAI in the northern city of Mosul and Mr. Crocker's reference to Syria "harboring individuals who finance and support the Iraqi insurgency." .
But homegrown Sunni insurgent groups not directly tied to AQI remain committed to fighting US forces and driving Iraq's Shiite led-government from power. While they have assumed a lower profile, they benefit from the support of former regime figures and militant Sunnis abroad as well as the proliferation of weapons and ammunition flowing from Iran and Syria.
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