The Associated Press has reported that eleven Sunni insurgent groups have offered an immediate halt on all attacks in Iraq if the United States will agree to withdraw foreign forces from the country within two years. These groups, which operate north of Baghdad, are know not for attacking Iraqi civilians, but for attacking U.S.-led coalition forces.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has reiterated George W. Bush’s conviction that a timeline for withdrawal “is not something that is useful.”
There are believed to be about two dozen insurgent groups in Iraq, so a coaltion of eleven of them is a substantial number. Their other demands include:
-An end to U.S. and Iraqi military operations against insurgent forces.
– Compensation for Iraqis killed by U.S. and government forces and reimbursement for property damage.
– An end to the ban on army officers from Saddam’s regime in the Iraqi military.
– An end to the government ban on former members of the Baath Party – which ruled the country under Saddam.
– The release of insurgent detainees.