More than 60 Iraqi tribes and clans expressed their confidence in the ability of Iraqi forces to manage security issues in the country after the complete withdrawal of US forces.
Tribal and clan leaders of all sects met at al-Andalus Hotel Sunday (August 22nd) in Baghdad to declare their support for Iraqi forces in the war on terror and to exhibit national unity, they said.
Sheikh Hasan al-Fuzan, leader of Iraq's al-Tamayma tribe, read from a statement at the end of the gathering.
"Iraqis see the ability, confidence, and steadfastness of the Iraqi forces. They stress the need to stand by their side and support them to shorten the duration of the battle and declare the resounding victory against the remnants of terrorist groups and criminal militias," al-Fuzan said.
Iraqis from a variety of professions and sects echoed the confidence and support the tribal leaders expressed.
"Iraqis have remarkably agreed on the support of the security forces in their war on terror," said Farid Abdul Ghani, a professor of sociology at the University of Baghdad. "Everyone sees the importance of supporting Iraqi forces and providing them information on the movements of terrorists."
"[All Iraqis] believe that doing the opposite is a disgrace, an act devoid of patriotism and ethics, and is considered like involvement with the terrorists. I think this consensus will be the biggest strength for Iraqi forces in their war against terrorism -- it is more dangerous against terrorism than tanks and artillery," he said.
Soufian Khalifa, 31, a resident of Baghdad, agreed. "Standing against terrorism is the first issue that no two Iraqis differ about."
"It is extremely delightful thing to see Iraqis, whether Muslims, Christians, Arabs, or Kurds, taking pride in their forces and insisting on supporting them after the departure of US forces," he said. "We reject intervention by any neighboring or regional country in our internal affairs."
Fahd al-Bakri, 76, a worker at a zalabia bakery in Baghdad, said the strength of the army is the strength of the Iraqi people. "Defeating terrorism is decided by the people by rejecting it and clamping down on the terrorists."
"Our strength lies in our unity," al-Bakri said. "If we are united, we will not need any weapons, tanks, or armored vehicles, and this is what we are seeing these days."
"I often talk with passengers in my taxi, and these conversations lead to debates and different opinions," said Faez Issa, 51, a taxi driver in Baghdad. "However, supporting the security forces and standing by their side after the withdrawal is the only thing that everyone agrees on."
He also said he was optimistic about the capabilities of Iraqi security forces. "We see that the black cloud of terrorism that was haunting the skies of our country has cleared, and only a little of it remains."
The US military has been training Iraqi forces for several years to take over the country's security matters. In accordance with the security agreement signed between Iraq and the United States, the last US combat unit left Iraq last week.
The mission of the 50,000 remaining US troops will be to further train and advise Iraqi forces. They are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.