by Florian Flade
U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq used to call the Al-Anbar Province the „Wild West“ of the country. A desert region reaching from central Iraq all the way to the Syrian, Jordanian and the Saudi-Arabian border, ruled by local Sunni tribes, huge family clans with ties to the surrounding countries. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 Al-Anbar became a hotspot of the insurgency. Various local groups, armed militias as well as foreign fighters allied to Al-Qaida were present in Al-Anbar, turning the province in one of the most dangerous places for U.S. troops and their Iraqi allies.
A new propaganda video released by „Al-Furqaan“, the media wing of the „Islamic State of Iraq“ (ISI) (which is de facto Al-Qaida) sets focus on Al-Anbar and the Jihadi activities there. Titled „The Spring of Al-Anbar“, the new video shows Al-Qaida fighters training in the Iraqi desert, carrying out attacks on convoys and barracks U.S. and Iraqi troops and patrolling the streets of the Al-Anbar towns and villages.
Among other militants the video features a high-ranking Al-Qaida commander named „Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani“ and two suicide bombers named „Abu Usama al-Ansari“ and „Abu Jafar al-Ansari“.
Al-Qaida´s message is clear: the Mujahidin of the organization are still present in the province, still fighting Jihad and still causing harm to coalition forces and the Iraqi troops as well as the Sunni militias who have formed the so-called „Awakening Council“ (basically U.S. paid militias to fight Al-Qaida).