Posted by Joshua on Friday, June 22nd, 2007
Transcript of The Times interview with General Petraeus (Excerpt on Syria's role)
From Times Online
June 20, 2007
What about al-Qaeda?
As they were run out of Euphrates river valley they moved east. There will be big fights in some of these areas. An awful lot of their foreign fighters come through Syria. Eighty or so foreign fighters come through a month. That does not sound like much but every one of those is a potential suicide bomber. We think that 80 to 90 per cent of suicide bombers are foreign fighters.
What about the leadership in Iraq?
"It is still led by foreigners called al-Qaeda Senior Leadership (AQSL). Our assessment is that this is the central front for al-Qaeda. They have a global war of terror, and Iraq is the central front. Whether you like it or not. That is something that the leaders of the intelligence community in the West and our joint special operations commander agree on and that is why he is here two thirds or three quarters of his time. It is certainly one very important consideration in looking at Iraq."
Fath el Islam: fighters have seen action in Iraq, and some, of Saudi origin, thought they were fighting Israel. Read this Le Monde article (in French) here. (Via GPC)