Iraq Insurgents Unite To Fight U.S.
10/04/07 "CBS/AP" -- -- Nearly two dozen previously unknown
Iraqi insurgent groups announced a new coalition to fight
foreign occupation but it also set conditions for talks with the
U.S. in a statement on a Web site affiliated with the country's
deposed Baath party.
The 22 groups said their leader is Izzat al-Douri, the highest
ranking member of Saddam Hussein's former ruling party still at
In the nearly half hour video message, an unidentified man, face
blurred, was shown sitting behind a table with an Iraqi flag on
his right side reading a statement announcing the formation of
the new alliance called "The Jihad and Liberation."
According to the speaker in the video, downloaded by CBS News,
the newly established umbrella group came into being during a
conference held in Baghdad.
The group declared itself open to "all those who carry arms to
fight the occupiers."
The new alliance laid down a series of conditions for talks with
the U.S. It demanded an unconditional withdrawal of foreign
forces from Iraq, immediately or within a short timetable, the
release of all detainees, return of the security forces to their
status before the occupation and a halt to all operations
against the people.
"If the enemy wants to withdraw and save face, they should sit
down and speak directly with the resistance to discuss
implementing these sacred principles. Otherwise, the only
alternative is their collapse and flight," the statement said.
Ayad Allawi, Iraq's first post-Saddam prime minister, has
recently said he held talks with members of the Baath party
loyal to al-Douri, for which he was severely criticized by
Iraq's current prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.
The statement made no mention of al Qaeda in Iraq, but it
contained slogans praising Arab nationalism and the Arab
nation's great past. Al Qaeda's extremist ideology does not
recognize nationalism, but calls for an Islamic state.
There have been reports of clashes in Iraq between the more
nationalist and secular elements of the insurgency with groups
following al Qaeda.
The coalition is led by a group linked to al-Douri, who in his
later years ascribed to a moderate, mystic Sufi form of Islam.
An Islamic Web site linked to extremist groups such as al Qaeda
also carried the announcement, but ridiculed al-Douri and the
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