The U.S. military has lost control over the volatile al-Anbar province, Iraqi police and residents say.
The area to the west of Baghdad includes Fallujah, Ramadi and other towns that have seen the worst of military occupation, and the strongest resistance.
Despite massive military operations which destroyed most of Fallujah and much of cities like Haditha and al-Qa’im in Ramadi, real control of the city now seems to be in the hands of local resistance.
In losing control of this province, the U.S. would have lost control over much of Iraq.
“We are talking about nearly a third of the area of Iraq,” Ahmed Salman, a historian from Fallujah told IPS. “Al-Anbar borders Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and the resistance there will never stop as long as there are American soldiers on the ground.”
Salman said the U.S. military is working against itself. “Their actions ruin their goal because they use these huge, violent military operations which kill so many civilians, and make it impossible to calm down the people of al-Anbar.”