Last modified: 2005-08-06 by joe mcmillan
Keywords: militia |
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An article in The Observer (UK) on 9 February 2003 gives a description of what may be the flag of
Ansar al-Islam. This was the militant Iraqi group cited by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell as a possible
link between the militant group al-Qaeda and the government of Iraq in Baghdad. The reporter for The Observer
was allowed a chaperoned visit to territory controlled by Ansar in the Kurdish-held section of northern Iraq,
where Ansar is at war with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
The relevant passage of the article is as follows:
We drove past an Ansar checkpoint, marked with a black flag and the Islamic militia's logo--the Koran, a sheaf of wheat and a sword. We kept going. The landscape was littered with the ruins of demolished houses, destroyed during Saddam's infamous Anfal campaign against the Kurds in 1988. At the corner of the valley we passed a pink mosque, with sandbagging on the roof. Washing hung from a courtyard. A group of Ansar fighters--in green military fatigues--smiled and waved us on. Several of their comrades were in the graveyard across the road. There were numerous fresh plots, each marked with a black flag. After 20 minutes' drive along a twisting mountain track we arrived in Serget--the village identified from space by American satellite as a haven of terrorist activity.It's unclear how official the flag being used is. However, given that Ansar al-Islam is in reality an armed camp of less than one thousand men involved in a daily conflict in a small mountainous territory in northern Iraq, it is unlikely that a more official flag will be announced.