IGC sees Foreign Fighters supported by Baathists
Sources in the Interim Governing Council told al-Zaman that there is evidence that between 200 and 400 foreign fighters, from Sudan, Yemen, Palestine and even Chechnya, are responsible for suicide bombings in Iraq, and that they receive logistical support and help from a network of Baath loyalists. What I can’t understand is, if Baath loyalists have such good logistics, and given that there are thousands of them, why it is useful to put so much emphasis on a couple hundred foreign volunteers. Iraq’s 400,000 strong army had a lot of people in it who knew how to rig a bomb. It is not clear that outside volunteers would necessarily be as well trained, for the most part.
The foreign fighters thesis had cold water poured on it the day before yesterday when US military sources told the Washington Post that satellite photos and other surveillance of the border to not show any infiltration of fighters from Syria. They thereby dared contradict Bill Safire, of the New York Times, who loudly proclaimed that the resistance to the US is all Syria’s fault. But then, Safire has an axe to grind, whereas US officers on the ground have a need to gather accurate intelligence. If you put resources into patrolling the Syrian border when it is unnecessary, you leave yourself open to attacks from other quarters that really do pose a threat.