The U.S. troop increase and Iraqis’ rejection of insurgents are cited by the military.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published October 24, 2007
“BAGHDAD – October is on course to record the second consecutive decline in U.S. military and Iraqi civilian deaths, and Americans commanders say they know why: the U.S. troop increase and an Iraqi groundswell against al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, who commands the 3rd Infantry Division, points to what the military calls “concerned citizens” – both Shiites and Sunnis who have joined the American fight. He says he has signed up 20,000 of them in the past four months.
“I’ve never been more optimistic than I am right now with the progress we’ve made in Iraq,” Lynch said in a recent interview at a U.S. base deep in hostile territory south of Baghdad.”
This report warrants even more merit in light of Osama bin Laden’s audio tape two days ago in which he cajoles his mujahedeen to “unite and avoid extremism”, apparently intended to win over Sunnis opposed to al-Qaeda in Iraq.