Zarqawi's Successor

IRAQ NEWS

4 Iraqis and the Syrian Abu Al Ghadeya are Competing for the Succession of Zarqawi

Jordanian sources from his hometown of Zarqa and from the town of Salat say Zarqawi was severely wounded 2 weeks during the battle in Al Qaem. The sources say that the 2 most probable successors are Abu Maseera al Iraqi and Abu Darda'a. Both men were part of Saddam's army and led " operation Faith," which aimed at creating a salafi movement within the ex-Iraqi army and the former Republican Guard. They then were in charge of training the " Al Quds army" and the Arab volunteers. Other contenders are: Abu Al Ghadeya, a Syrian national who met Zarqawi in Afghanistan, Abu Azam al Iraqi and Abu Saad al Duliemi both of who are leaders of Al qaeda in Al Anbar. (ABC News)

Reports: Zarqawi Shot in Lung

Insurgents said Wednesday in interviews and statements on the Internet that the leader of the group al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi, was struggling with a gunshot wound to the lung. One of Zarqawi's commanders said the Jordanian guerrilla was receiving oxygen, heightening suspicion that the groundwork was being laid for an announcement of his replacement or death. (Washington Post)

10 Insurgents Are Killed in New Round of Battles in Iraqi City

American and Iraqi military forces swept into Haditha, in western Iraq, before dawn on Wednesday, fighting street battles with insurgents in a new offensive to stamp out the violence that has plagued the restive west. (NY Times)

Shiites Offer to Give Sunnis Larger Role on Broader Panel Writing a Constitution

Under American pressure to draw Sunni Arabs into the drafting of Iraq's constitution, the Shiite religious parties that dominate the transitional government agreed Wednesday to re-establish a constitutional commission with as many as 15 of the 101 seats reserved for Sunni Arabs. (NY Times)

U.S. Troops Pour Into Rebel-Held Iraqi Town

U.S. forces Wednesday launched another sweep through an insurgent stronghold in western Iraq, deploying more than 1,000 troops to flush out foreign fighters and Iraqi extremists from Haditha, a reservoir town where a third of Iraq's electricity is produced. (LA Times)

Iraqi Government to Launch New Baghdad Security Ring

The government announced Thursday that a security cordon of 40,000 Iraqi soldiers and police will ring Baghdad starting next week to try to halt a spree of insurgent violence that has killed more than 620 people this month. (Washington Post)

Unarmed Iraqi Cooperated, Soldier Testifies

An unarmed Iraqi cooperated with American troops searching his house and said "USA good" minutes before he was shot to death, a former U.S. soldier testified Wednesday at his onetime squad leader's murder trial. (Washington Post)

Capital Punishment Returns to Iraq

Public Welcomes Practice Suspended After U.S. Invasion. Three men convicted of murder, rape and kidnapping sat before the judge, awaiting their fates. But first they had to face their victims' seething families. (Washington Post)

Glass Salesmen Take Home Uneasy Profits in Shattered Baghdad

At midday, the stores and sidewalks of Sadoun Street, Baghdad's once-bustling commercial center, were nearly deserted.A pharmacy's double doors were held closed by a rusty chain. The manager of a family restaurant had no patrons to feed. And a dealer in Swiss watches mused about moving to a city where wealthy customers would not be afraid to shop downtown. (Washington Post)

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