First Published: 2003-06-21

New rebel group vows to keep attacking US forces until they leave Iraq

’The Iraqis have returned from your great lie to free Iraq’.


Middle East Online


BEIRUT- A previously unknown group, the National Front of Fedayeen, vowed Friday to keep attacking US soldiers in Iraq until the occupying forces leave the country.

A man, his face hidden in a checkered red and white headscarf, delivered the warning to US President George W. "Bush and his henchmen" in a video-taped message broadcast on Lebanon's LBCI satellite channel.

But he strongly denied any links to the regime of ousted Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein.

Three young men, also masked, stood behind him, gripping rocket-propelled grenades during the video which lasted 90 seconds.

"We swear to deliver one strike after another in retaliation for the terrorist and inflammatory acts carried out by their barbarous forces, including arbitrary killings and various humiliations of the population," the man said, reading from a statement.

"Before God, we are committed to strike them even harder and more cruelly than in previous attacks," he said.

"Also, we tell them if they wish that their soldiers are healthy and safe they must immediately leave our pure land, otherwise we will avenge every Iraqi who has been killed, humiliated, or whose house has been robbed," the masked spokesman said.

"The Iraqis have returned from your great lie to free Iraq."

The fiery message came after three US soldiers were killed in guerrilla attacks this week, including a rocket attack Thursday, a drive-by shooting on Wednesday and a sniper attack on Monday.

Other groups have stepped out of the shadows this week to take credit for the hit-and-run attacks that have bedeviled US forces since they ousted Saddam in April.

One faction calling itself the Iraqi Resistance Brigades claimed responsibility for "all" attacks against US-led occupation forces in Iraq, in a statement read on the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news channel.

Coalition forces have blamed diehard Hussein loyalists for the repeated attacks on US troops in Sunni-populated regions extending from Baghdad to the north and west of the country that have prompted the US army to launch major operations to root out resistance.

A total of 52 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq -- 16 of them in attacks -- since US President George Bush declared the war there effectively over on May 1, according to a count from US military statements.


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