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THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ: TRANSFER OF A PROVINCE; TURKISH
AIRSTRIKES

Insurgents gaining control in Iraq, says Al Qaeda's No. 2

December 17, 2007|From Reuters

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman Zawahiri, said Britain's transfer of security in southern Iraq shows that insurgents are gaining the upper hand in the country.

"Reports from Iraq point to the increasing power of the mujahedin and the deteriorating condition of the Americans," Zawahiri told an off-camera interviewer from Al Sahab, the terrorist network's media arm, in a video posted on the Internet on Sunday. The video had English subtitles.

"And the decision of the British to flee is sufficient" proof of this, he said, sitting beside shelves full of books.

"Iraq is the most important of the fields" in which Islamic militants are fighting, Zawahiri said.

The websites invited sympathizers to send in questions during the next month for Zawahiri to answer in an "open interview."

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