Rufiz Hafizoglu, head of Near East Department of Trend
Despite the war launched by US and coalition forces in 2003 led to overthrow of Saddam Hussein regime, it provided conditions for the resistance groups from various religious trends to step up its activities.
In fact, these groups persisted until the US intervention to Iraq. However, the ruthless position of Saddam regime toward these groupings restricted their activities within the country.
The overthrow of Saddam regime prompted anarchy in the country. In its turn, it gave a rise to the livening up of various religious groupings and inflow of the arm tycoons to Iraq.
"Struggle" against occupation was imminent for Al Qaeda to prove its existence, tactics of war and for search of new supporters.
As to the reasons for Al Qaeda's stepping up its activities in Iraq, rather than in Afghanistan, it is because of the ethnic and tribal diversity of Iraqi population. The fact that part of Muslims in Iraq is Shiite Muslims, provided condition for Al Qaeda to maneuver in this country.
The war's development into the partisan war resulted in strengthening of local resistance groups who at the earlier stage were not so active under different names.
The most strong of these groups is Mahti Army and Islam Army of Iraq. During the war, these groupings strengthened more and more and could create their information blockade besides armed resistance.
At the first stage of the war US said stated that all resistance groups in Iraq are supported by Al Qaeda. The local Sunnite resistance groupings did not reject their contacts with Al Qaeda.
However, later some of these forces broke away from Al-Qaeda terrorist network either fully of partially.
The major reason for Sunnite groups breaking away from Al-Qaeda is the differences in their political and Islamic views.
The actions by Al-Qaeda cover a number of countries, but these groups - only Iraq.
Moreover, more radical approach of Al-Qaeda to the other Sunnite and Shiite groupings is the key disagreement between struggling Sunnite groupings and A-Qaeda.
The best way of coming into popularity and being distinguished from others after breaking away from Al-Qaeda terrorist network is acting under new attractive name.
Ali Naimi, spokesman for the Islamic Army of Iraq said to well-known source the following:
"Our army has not been named Islamic Army of Iraq in vain. The people understand us better by this name. The name we chose should meet our slogans and actions. The Islamic Army of Iraq is the largest army struggling against the US occupation".
Though the coalition forces and government of Maliki has repeatedly promised the local resistance groupings that if they lay down arms, they will be able to get actively involved in the policy of the government, this call did not arouse any feedback. The key reason for the absence of feedback is the distrust toward the government.
The spokesman for the Islamic Army of Iraq says the following: "The government of Iraq is unpleasant coalition which includes the political deception of US and tricks of Iranian mullahs. We have never heard that there is more expedient way than resisting invaders and making oneself sacrifice to protect one's land".
The above-mentioned strategy by the Islamic Army of Iraq yields its results. So, resistance groups including Front of Jihad and Improvement and Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance also joined Islamic Army of Iraq.
Al lot of conferences conducted by Sunnite and Shiite scholars to restore stability in the region did not yield any results. Therefore, the murder of the Sunnite and Shiite leaders organized by the "death groups" functioning secretly within the country, led to the religious confrontation. This confrontation is sometimes carried out secretly and sometimes openly.
All these factors gives ground to say that the strategy chosen by local resistance groups yielded results, that is, the resistance became stronger.