Friday, November 12, 2004

As predicted....

It now seems that, just as predicted, the insurgents have been slipping out of Fallujah. As predicted, they headed north towards Kurdistan....where the state of emergency doesn't apply. And, as predicted, they created mayhem. The Guardian reports on the eruption of fighting in Mosul, where rebels have apparently gained control of the streets at least for a time. Importantly, the paper quotes a "senior Kurdish official" as saying specifically that they had arrived several days before from Fallujah and Samarra. Another key point in the report is the mention of bringing Kurdish-manned ING units into these cities - it is crucial to understand that the Kurdish ING are effectively complete Peshmerga units rebadged as Iraqi National Guards, and their use in Kirkuk (say) would be seen as a Kurdish anti-Arab drive.

No doubt the men who moved up north from Fallujah were well aware of this. Mosul, especially, has been a little-reported front in the last few months, where despite the perception of it as a Kurdish-run quiet sector some serious fighting has gone on. Adding that to the ethnic tinderbox of Kirkuk while the US reserves are committed to a long fight in Fallujah would be a major insurgent success.

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