WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. military strategists are re-examining claims many of the insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq are from other countries, as supporting evidence is slim.
Two months ago, a major offensive on the insurgent-held city of Tal Afar, close to the Syrian border resulted in 200 insurgent deaths, and the capture of nearly 1,000 suspects.
But none of them were from foreign countries, The Washington Post reported.
"Both Iraqis and coalition people often exaggerate the role of foreign infiltrators and downplay the role of Iraqi resentment in the insurgency," said Anthony Cordesman, a former Pentagon official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
In a report published in September, Cordesman and a co-author said they believed that 4 to 10 percent of the roughly 30,000 insurgents in Iraq are foreigners. From interviews with intelligence officials, they said the largest contingents are Algerians, Syrians, Yemenis, Sudanese and Egyptians.