Is al-Qaeda on the Run in Iraq?

Violence in Anbar province has plummeted. But if al-Qaeda is in retreat, says Joe Klein, the Shi'ite-Sunni split is widening

Yuri Kozyrev for TIME

Some 30 tribes in Al Anbar formed an alliance, the "Anbar Awakening," in September and pledged to fight Al Qaeda militants in the insurgency-plagued province by forming their own paramilitary units and sending recruits to the local police force.

There is good news from Iraq, believe it or not. It comes from the most unlikely place: Anbar province, home of the Sunni insurgency. The level of violence has plummeted in recent weeks. An alliance of U.S. troops and local tribes has been very effective in moving against the al-Qaeda foreign fighters. A senior U.S. military official told me—confirming reports from several other sources—that there have been "a couple of days recently during which there were zero effective attacks and less than 10 attacks overall in the province (keep in mind that an attack can be as little as one round...

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