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Battle is focused on Anbar and Baghdad provinces

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It’s Still a Struggle for the Sunni Triangle

Battle is focused on Anbar and Baghdad provinces

In the nine months that have passed since Iraq held its first parliamentary election under its new constitution, the Shiite parties that dominated the election have been able to form a coalition government which includes some prominent Sunni ministers.

Nonetheless, the U.S. war on the ground in Iraq remains almost exclusively a struggle for control of the so-called Sunni Triangle, which emanates from Baghdad to the North and West. The battle is particularly focused on Anbar and Baghdad provinces. Of the 362 U.S. service personnel killed by enemy action in Iraq since Dec. 15, 2005, according to a HUMAN EVENTS analysis of information released by the Defense Department, 280 (or about 77%) were killed in those two provinces alone. In three Kurdish provinces to the North (Dohuk, Irbil and Sulaimaniya) and four Shiite provinces to the South (Maysan, Basrah, Muthanna, and Karbala), no U.S. casualties were reported.

In May, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed that Iraqi forces would take responsibility for securing 16 of Iraq’s 18 provinces by the end of this year. The two he left out: Anbar and Baghdad. But even those, he said, would be secured by Iraqis within 18 months.

As the chart and map on this page demonstrate, the task for al-Maliki and his government is as much political as military. They must persuade their country’s Sunni population to give up its insurgency and accept the government that Maliki, a Shiite, was elected to lead. The map below highlights the eight Iraqi cities where six or more Americans have been killed since Dec. 15.

LOCATION CASUALTIES
ANBAR (Sunni Arab)

163

Anbar Province (No city specified.)

81

Ar Ramadi

42

Fallujah

9

Al Qaim

4

Habbaniyah

4

Hit

4

Rawah

4

Al Taqaddum

3

Al Siniyah

3

Khalidiyah

2

Al Karmah

2

Haqlaniyah

2

Rutbah

1

Tammin

1

Al Asad

1

BAGHDAD (Mixed Sunni and Shia)

117

Baghdad

111

Al Husayniyah

2

Abu Ghraib

1

Ferris

1

Qasr Ar Riyy

1

SALAHHUDDIN (Largely Sunni Arab)

35

Taji

12

Balad

7

Bayji

6

Tikrit

5

Samarra

2

Al Abayach

1

Rustamiyah

1

DIYALA (Slim Sunni Arab Majority)

12

Al Hawijah

9

Ashraf

1

Buritz

1

Al Muqdadiyah

1

NINAVAH (Slim Sunni Arab Majority)

13

Mosul

12

Tel Afar

1

TAMEEM (Mixed Sunni and Shiite)

3

Kirkuk

3

BABIL (Mostly Shiite)

8

Misiab

4

Yusufiyah

2

Al Hillah

1

Al Iskandariyah

1

NAJAF (Shiite)

5

Najaf

5

QADISIYAH (Shiite)

4

Ad Diwaniyah

4

WASIT (Shiite)

2

Al Kut

1

Al Numani

1

DHI QAR (Shiite)

1

Tallil

1

Written By

Miss Carpenter was formerly a congressional correspondent & assistant editor for HUMAN EVENTS. She is the author of "The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's Dossier on Hillary Rodham Clinton," published by Regnery (a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

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