18 April, 2007

Problems looming for Iraq from North Waziristan

Last week, following a "turf war" in South Waziristan in which the Taliban killed some 300 al-Qaeda Uzbeks, many Uzbeks were reported to be fleeing to North Waziristan. Now it seems the circumspect amongst the Uzbeks are beginning to leave North Waziristan. The Pakistani Daily Times reports that:

“Around 50 families of foreigners have departed for their respective countries in the last month,” the spokesman, Gohar Ayub, told NNI from North Waziristan. He said he was speaking on behalf of local Taliban spokesmen Abdullah Farhad and Tariq Jamil. President Gen Pervez Musharraf informed army generals from 22 countries on Friday that tribesmen had killed 300 foreigners in South Waziristan and that he expected similar action in North Waziristan. ““The foreigners decided to leave North Waziristan after the tribal operation against the Uzbeks in South Waziristan. The foreigners said they did not want their women and children to become targets,” the Taliban spokesman said. He said that around 50 families, including Chechens, Turks, Tajiks and Arabs, had returned to their countries.

Ayub said that most of the families were returning to their homelands through Afghanistan and Iran. He said the Arabs were planning on returning to Iraq. It is difficult to verify the claim independently, reports NNI. Ayub said it was possible that they were relocating to Afghanistan for “jihad” but he added that this was their decision and had nothing to do with the tribal leaders in North Waziristan.

The spokesman said the foreigners were leaving the area through their own decision because of the fights between tribesmen and foreigners in South Waziristan. He said the tribal elders had not advised them on this matter. He said the foreigners had told their local supporters that they would make future strategy after leaving their women and children behind in their home countries.

Ayub said that the local Taliban were strictly following the September 5 peace agreement with the government. He said that as long as the government didn’t violate it, the local Taliban wouldn’t either. He said that no one entered Afghanistan through North Waziristan and combatants were coming from different parts of Afghanistan.
It could be bad news for coalition forces in Iraq.

No comments: