Report: U.S. will not quit Iraq

Thursday, August 28, 2003

CAIRO The United States will not abandon Iraq despite the intensifying Sunni insurgency war, a think tank here has concluded.

The Cairo-based Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies has projected that the United States will not be signficantly affected by the Sunni attacks. The center said in a study that despite U.S. casualties the war remains limited to the Sunni Triangle and has not affected the Shi'ite majority or the Kurds in the north.

The study appears to contrast with warnings from Arab analysts that the U.S. military will be unable to confront insurgents in Iraq, Middle East Newsline reported. The Sunni insurgency is said to be comprised of supporters of the deposed regime of Saddam Hussein, Al Qaida operatives and volunteers from Arab states.

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Al Ahram said most of the insurgency comprises Saddam supporters as well as Arab volunteers. The Arab volunteers have been unable to leave the country and instead have chosen to fight the U.S. military, the report said. The study said the U.S. military could see an increase in casualties.

But this would not be enough to force the coalition out of Iraq.

Moreover, the study said, the insurgency war would not expand outside of the Sunni Triangle. Al Ahram said it did not envision the insurgency turning into a nationwide movement.

One reason cited is that few Iraqis outside of Saddam's strongholds would choose to fight for the deposed president. Al Ahram said Saddam remains loathed throughout the country.

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