Tribal leaders in Husaybah are attacking followers of Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born terrorist who established the town as an entry point for al-Qa'eda jihadists being smuggled into the country.The latest clash between the local people and the Al Qaeda foreign fighters was brought on by the Zarqawi-ordered assassination of a tribal sheikh who had invited U. S. Marine officers to a lunch.
The reason, the US military believes, is frustration at the heavy-handed approach of the foreigners, who have kidnapped and assassinated local leaders and imposed a strict Islamic code.
Marine reports say that they see evidence that Zarqawi's Al Qaeda jihadists have moved into local villages and imposed a Taliban-like lifestyle on the local residents.
Shops selling music and satellite dishes had been closed. Women were ordered to wear all-enveloping clothing and men forbidden from wearing western clothes.This is more good news for U.S. forces and more bad news for Zarqawi. The sad thing is that the local people have to suffer so long before they are finally forced to strike back.
Anyone considered to be aiding coalition forces was being killed or kidnapped. That included those with links to the government - seen as a US puppet - such as water or electricity officials. As a result local services had collapsed.
Captain Thomas Sibley, intelligence officer of 3rd battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, based in Qaim, said: "People here were committed supporters of the insurgency but you cannot now even get a marriage license.
"The tribes are the only system or organization left and they appear to have stepped in.
"In the last week our camp in the town was attacked and the attackers got ambushed on the way back by two machineguns and mortar fire. That is good news for us.
Arkan Salim, 56, who left with his wife and four children, said: "We thought they were patriotic. Now we discovered that they are sick and crazy.
"They interfered in everything, even how we raise our children. They turned the city into hell, and we cannot live in it anymore.
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