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February 09, 2005

Latest Estimate: 13,000-17,000 "Insurgents" in Iraq

Sounds like a big number, but it's manageable:

The U.S. military faces between 13,000 and 17,000 insurgents in Iraq, the large majority of them backers of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party, a senior military official said Tuesday.

...

The senior military official told CNN the bulk of the insurgency is made up of 12,000 to 15,000 Arab Sunni followers of Saddam's party. The Baath Party was overthrown by a U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

Of those, the source said 5,000 to 7,000 are considered "committed" fighters, with the rest considered "fence-sitters," criminals or "facilitators" who contribute material support or sanctuary to the guerrillas.

The official, who is familiar with the region, said about 500 other fighters have come from other countries to battle the U.S.-led forces in Iraq, while another group of fewer than 1,000 are believed to be followers of Jordanian-born Islamic terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

That's a lot of terrorists that need killin'. But it's a lot better than that 200,000 number which was tossed around a few weeks ago-- a number which you won't be surprised to hear caused Andrew Sullivan to hyperventilate quite a bit before absconding to Europe with your blog-donations.


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posted by Ace at 04:24 AM

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