The Surrender is Working: U.S. Cedes Town to 'Al Qaeda in Iraq'

Members of al-Qaeda group have retaken a strategic town, some 70 kilometers south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, members of parliament said.

The MPs said Tuz Khormato, a predominantly Shiite town, was now in the hands of 'al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia', the group's official appellation.

The MPs gave no reason for the unexpected withdrawal of U.S. Marines from the town.

But they said the departure of U.S. troops has led to "a dangerous upsurge in insecurity" with bandits and fighters attacking travelers and vehicles on the highway to Kirkuk.

Tuz Khormato has a slight Turkmen majority. Iraqi Turkmen are predominantly Shiites.

Turkmen MPs have sent a statement to Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki's government urging him to send troops to guard the city and the highway.

The town has been the scene of devastating suicide bombings in the past. In one of them more than 100 people were killed.

Suicide bombers have even targeted the town's main Shiite Husainiya or mosque.

The statement said kidnappings had increased and the scene of headless bodies dumped on roads and the highway has returned once again.

"The tragic and horrific events in Tuz Khormato only a few days following the withdrawal of the multi-national forces (U.S. troops) is a clear indication of how ill-prepared and weak the army and security forces are," the statement said.

It said currently some of the kidnappings and crimes occur as Iraqi troops and police look on.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.