BAGHDAD – Ten Iraqi insurgent groups have agreed to escalate attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces to derail the proposed U.S.-Iraqi security agreement, an Internet monitoring service said Tuesday.
The declaration against "the agreement of disgrace" was announced Nov. 4 in an audio speech by Sheik Abu Wael, a top leader of the Sunni militant Ansar al-Sunnah, who invited other insurgent groups to join, the SITE Intelligence Group said.
The security agreement would keep U.S. soldiers in Iraq until 2012.
"Such kinds of agreements are not negated by mere statements of condemnation and denunciation," the sheik said. "Rather, there is necessity for work, jihad, fighting those forces the enemy and those who are loyal to them to recant this agreement"
In his speech, the sheik invited over 15 factions to join. Most of them posted statements accepting the invitation, SITE said.
Those groups also include the Jihad and Change Front, Islamic Army in Iraq, Hamas-Iraq, and the Mujahedeen Army in Iraq, SITE said.
Ansar al-Sunnah was established in September 2003 and is believed to have links to Al Qaeda in Iraq. It claimed responsibility for the Dec. 21, 2004 suicide bombing of a U.S. dining hall in Mosul which killed 24 people, including 14 U.S. soldiers.
Parliament must approve the security deal by the end of the year when the U.N. mandate authorizing the U.S. presence expires.
But the proposed agreement has drawn sharp criticism, especially within the majority Shiite community. Without an agreement or a new mandate, the U.S. military would have to cease operations in Iraq.