Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli (file photo) (RFE/RL)
September 15, 2006 -- A senior U.S. commander said today that the effort to subdue Sunni insurgents in Al-Anbar Governorate has become secondary to the "main effort" of securing Baghdad to avert civil war.
Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli, the No. 2 U.S. general in Iraq and the top operational commander, acknowledged that commanders have siphoned troops from Al-Anbar, weakening the military's strength there, to build up the U.S. presence in Baghdad.
Commanders are seeking to curb sectarian violence in Baghdad between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims.
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SUNNI, SHI'A: Iraq is riven along sectarian lines, faults that frequently produce violent clashes and are a constant source of tension. Sectarian concerns drive much of Iraqi politics and are the main threat to the country's fragile security environment.
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