Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Success on the Syrian Border 
The London Telegraph breaks the Omerta-like code of silence on good news from Iraq as the rennaissance in Al Anbar becomes impossible to ignore.

In a town tucked tight against the Syrian border, US Marines pass softly along a darkened street as the crack of contact rings out. Instead of a panicked rush for cover, the leader of the patrol turns to cheer.

The familiar sound was not from the barrel of gun but the baize of an upstairs pool hall.

A transformation has swept western Iraq that allows Marines to walk through areas that a year ago were judged lost to radical Islam control and hear nothing more aggressive than a late-night game of pool.

Relationships have been built by a softly-softly approach by American troops

Behind the shutters the Sunni Muslim residents of the province are enjoying the dividends of driving out al-Qa'eda fighters who had imposed an oppressive Taliban-style regime.

The popular uprising against al-Qa'eda by residents of Anbar Province turned former enemies into American allies earlier this year. The result was a dramatic restoration of stability across Iraq's Sunni heartland. Husaybah bears the scars of the "terrorist" years - 2004 and 2005 - when al-Qa'eda and its local allies controlled the town.

Buildings stand half destroyed, roads remain torn up and almost half its population has fled. Much of the physical damage was inflicted in Operation Iron Curtain last year when Marine companies fought building by building to retake the town. Amid the ruins, relationships have been built by a softly-softly approach by American troops.

Footpatrols are hailed with cries of Salaam (Peace) and Habibi (Friend) in streets that were in no-go zones for the coalition a year ago. A ten-man unit of US Marines passes nightly along Husaybah's market street and zig-zags down alleys into residential areas. As they walk out, the sounds of a town reviving fill the air.

Thanks for the link. We posted a link to you over on my site, A Soldier's Perspective.
Thanks for linking to that article. I've posted over at The Victory Caucus. Sorry I can't h/t you with how it's posted...
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