This kind of joint effort against Qaeda, which is mushrooming in Iraq, is reminiscent of the Afghan tribal leaders turning enmasse to the US for help in fighting the Soviets. This situation is bad news for both the Pasdaran and the Saudis meddling in Iraq.
Multinational Forces Iraq described the fighting, and notes the coordination between the insurgent group, the local police, and US attack helicopters:
"In an unprecedented combined action in Diyala Province, Iraqi police and citizen volunteers defeated a coordinated attack of approximately 40-60 al-Qaeda terrorists in the southern Burhitz area of Baqubah, Wednesday, and killed an estimated 21 insurgents, wounding more. As the terrorists entered the city of Burhitz, a group of concerned local citizens, called ‘Baqubah Guardians,’ and IPs stationed in Burhitz engaged the first wave of attackers, killing seven.
"At least two suicide bombers were killed before they reached their intended targets, with the bomb vests detonating prematurely. The IP notified the Provincial Joint Coordination Center and requested Coalition Force attack helicopter support after the first engagement. Attack helicopters arrived and engaged another large group of heavily armed fighters staging near the first attack site, killing or wounding an estimated 14 terrorists."
Note that Pundita is being very diplomatic and saying Pasdaran instead of Tehran. Yes indeed, butter wouldn't melt in our mouth right now when it comes to talking about Iran.
If they were smart, they would recall the Soviet debacle in Afghanistan and say, "Hey, let's get known among the Iraqi tribes for helping the Americans!" But the Pasdaran are so busy waging a proxy war against the Saudis that they may not notice the trap door. Ditto from the Saudi side.
I suppose Tehran would retort that Iran was helpful to the US invasion of Afghanistan, and what they got in return was Iran designated a spoke in the axis of evil. But the name of the game is influence in Iraq after the US pulls back, so right now they're playing their cards wrong.
On a related subject, yesterday a US military Talking Head said, in commenting on the massive suicide bombings of Yezidi villages near Singar, that the US military couldn't be everywhere in Iraq.
True, but I think the military might want to strive to be everywhere that Qaeda is now fighting for turf in Iraq drug smuggling routes.
It's just Pundita's theory but I think there's enough evidence of Qaeda's drug operations to test the theory against Qaeda's recent pattern of land-clearing, shall we call it, in Iraq.