The Iraqi Insurgents come from a group of disaffected extreme Muslims and outside Al Qaeda fighters supported mainly by Iran.

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Composition of the Insurgency

Tactics of the Insurgency

Counter-Insurgency in Iraq

Blackwater Incident in Fallujah

The Battle for Fallujah

Biography of al-Zarqawi

The Composition of the Iraqi Insurgents

The composition of the Insurgent movement in Iraq is mixed and has been somewhat disorganized largely due to the fact that there are many dispirate elements, sometimes as much at odds with each other as with the Iraqi Government supported by Coalition forces.

Some of the groups include:

  • Foreign volunteers have moved into Iraq, mainly to fight the U.S. and coalition forces, and in order to institute a Muslim regime. These foreigners are often from surrounding Arab countries, but might be recruited anywhere in the world. Al Qaeda in Iraq tends to direct these operatives. They enter the country through the long relatively empty spaces along the border with Saudi Arabia and Syria. Most of the suicide bombings have been carried out by this group.
  • Shi'ite militias such as the Badr Organization, the Mahdi Army, and the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr have worked to take control of the country in order to project their own brand of the Muslim faith, but also to prevent the Sunni groups from regaining power. These groups are thought to be receiving help from Iran.
  • Ba'athists are the political power thrown out of power when Saddam Hussein was deposed. They are a national socialist organization often compared to the old Nazi party of pre-World War II Germany. The Ba'athist party quickly crumbled after Saddam was captured. After the first elections of 2005, many went into politics although some drifted into other terror organizations.
  • Iraqi Nationalists opposed the coalition forces after the end of the Iraq War. However, as the presence of occupying forces has become less pronounced, so pure nationalist resistance has faced. Most of the nationalist movement was focused on the Sunni minority, who like the Ba'ath party resented the loss of power. They may have received support from Syria.
  • Sunni extremists involved in the Wahabi or Salafi movements. This faction usually receives support from elements in Saudi Arabia and Syria. Many belong to the category of foreign volunteers.

By its very nature, organizations within the Iraqi Insurgency are very secretive. It is impossible to come up with exact figures as to how many people are fighting or even to what group they belong. Estimates vary, and obviously numbers will wax an wane based on the political climate, and even the time of year.


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Iraqi Insurgency