Get out, but leave your heavy weapons behind as war booty. “Insurgents offer U.S. 30-day truce for withdrawal,” from Associated Press:
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – The purported leader of an al-Qaida-linked militant group offered U.S. troops a one-month truce for withdrawing from Iraq without being attacked, according to a speech posted on an Islamic Web site Friday.
The leader of Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, also called on former officers in Saddam Hussein’s disbanded army to join his militia, promising to provide them with a salary and house so long as they could recite three “suras,” or groups of verses, of the Quran.
The 20-minute audio tape appeared on an Islamic Web site known for displaying militant groups’ statements. In Washington, a senior U.S. intelligence official said the CIA was reviewing the tape to determine its authenticity.
The “Islamic State of Iraq” declared itself in October. It is believed to be an umbrella group for militant organizations, including al-Qaida in Iraq.
Addressing the United States, al-Baghdadi said: “We order you to withdrew [sic] your troops immediately, using troop carriers and aircraft, and taking only your personal weapons. Don’t withdraw any heavy weapons. Instead you should hand over
those and your military bases to the holy warriors of the Islamic State.”
For one month, he said, “we will allow your withdrawal to proceed without being attacked by explosives or any other form.”
Al-Baghdadi claimed that Washington had tried to negotiate with his group through the Saudi government.
“The giant has started to fall. It is looking for an escape and seeking to negotiate with all the other groups and parties,” al-Baghdadi said. He claimed he spurned the offer because “we are not ones to negotiate with those who killed our
Earlier this week, the No. 2 in the overall al-Qaida network, Ayman al-Zawahri, issued a video that congratulated the Islamic State of Iraq on its establishment and urged other Iraqi insurgents to join it. The tape was broadcast on the Qatari satellite channel Al-Jazeera.
Al-Baghdadi said his “state” had received wide support. He named four other militant groups as adherents and added that insurgents in 15 cities had pledged allegiance. He claimed that 70 percent of Sunni Muslim tribes in Iraq were supporters.
Islamic law was already being [enforced] by courts in the “state,” he said. He claimed its authorities had already executed a man and a woman who committed adultery. They were executed in a public square after Friday prayers, but he did not say where and when
this took place.