RAMADI, Iraq, March 2 (Xinhuanet) -- An influential Iraqi Sunni religious
body brokered a peace deal between the US forces and insurgents in one of the
country's most volatile areas, a source from the Sunni body said on Wednesday.
"The Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) held clandestine negotiations with the leaders of
the Iraqi resistance on a possibleceasefire in the Anbar province," a source in
the AMS told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
"We all agreed that the situation in Ramadi would be calmed by replacing
Iraqi security forces selected from people of Anbar instead of the US troops,Ħħ
the source said.
"Another agreement was to prevent the US troops from conducting search
campaigns in the cities and to leave such missions to the Iraqi forces," he
It has been reported recently that the US diplomats in Baghdad were holding
peace talks with representatives allegedly close to the insurgent groups.
The AMS has rejected to take part in the country's first post-Saddam
elections and submitted harsh conditions for joining the political process.
Assisted by Iraqi troops, US marines were stepping up military operations
around Ramadi and other cities along the Euphrates Riverthat runs across the
vast desert province.
While the forces claimed that they had seized large weapon caches and
captured dozens of suspects, they came under bolder attacks from the insurgents.
Witnesses said a US base east of Ramadi was attacked Tuesday night by 20
Katyusha rockets, and flames of fire and smoke was seenover the base. Enditem