Attrition: Migrations In and Out of Iraq Since 2003


October 20, 2006: UN refugee experts believe that some 1.6 million Iraqis have fled the country in the last three years. Nearly all of these have been Sunni Arabs. At the same time, some 200,000 Shia Arabs have returned from exile in Iran, while over 100,000 Kurds and Shia Arabs have returned from exile in several other countries. Several million Shia, Sunni and Kurds have moved inside Iraq, to avoid religious and ethnic violence.

Nearly all the Sunni Arabs are fleeing retribution from the families of Kurds and Shia Arabs who were killed by Sunni Arabs during the last three decades of Sunni Arab tyranny. Those murders did not stop with the overthrow of the Sunni Arab dictatorship in early 2003. After about eight months, the Sunni Arab death squads were back in business, this time with the assistance of foreign terrorists from al Qaeda, and other anti-Shia groups. Neighboring Sunni majority nations looked the other way as Sunni Arab terror groups used their territory for bases, to support the continued Sunni Arab terrorism in Iraq. But this time, the Sunni Arab terror failed to cow the Kurdish and Shia Arab majority. Now the victims are fighting back, both officially in the form of army and police counter-terror operations, and unofficially as vengeance seeking death squads. In the last month, the Sunni Arabs have switched their efforts to American troops, hoping to influence the November elections in the United States.


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