Iraq is in turmoil with it appearing the very costly American troop presence in the country simply having set the stage for a total destabilization of the country after their withdrawal. An Al-Qaeda force has captured Fallujah amid a rise in violence in Iraq, reported The Washington Post on Jan. 3, 2014. The Al-Qaeda force asserted control over the western Iraqi town of Fallujah on Friday, and raised its flag over government buildings.
The Al-Qaeda has declared an Islamic state in Fallujah. This was one of the most critical areas which U.S. troops fought to pacify prior to withdrawing from Iraq two years ago. Fallujah has fallen to the Al-Qaeda in a chaotic three way war between local tribes, the Iraqi security forces and al-Qaeda militants. In 2004 U.S. Marines fought the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war in Fallujah. The present situation has highlighted the growing power of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is the newly titled version of the al-Qaeda in Iraq organization.
Al-Qaeda aligned militants in Iraq have claimed Fallujah as an Independent State, reports the New York Times. Sunni militants of Al Qaeda destroyed the Fallujah police headquarters and the mayor’s office, prior to
planting their flag atop other government buildings. They have declared the western Iraqi city to be their new independent state. This situation poses a rising threat to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and his forces.
A masked Al-Qaeda fighter announced to the residents of the city, “We don’t want to hurt you. We don’t want to take any of your possessions. We want you to reopen the schools and institutions and return to your normal lives.” Meanwhile, the Iraqi army fired shells into Fallujah from bases outside the town, with apparent plans to try to take Fallujah back under their control.
And so the situation in Fallujah is tense at this time with the future of Iraq uncertain. Clearly, there must be a great many bitter American families who lost loved ones to the fighting in Iraq and who want to know why American troops were in Iraq in the first place, in view of these developments. There are also clearly many Iraqis who may be feeling the American lead invasion of their country years ago has ruined their country.
Prior to the invasion under the Bush administration, there were reports past President Saddam Hussein, who has since been executed, warned that the United States and its allies did not understand his country and if an invasion occurred the nation would be completely splintered and turned into a bloody mess, which is what has happened.