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Speaking in Damascus, the spokesmen for the three groups - the 1920 Revolution Brigades, Ansar al-Sunna and Iraqi Hamas - said they planned to hold a congress to launch a united front within the next few weeks and appealed to Arab governments, other governments and the UN to help them establish a permanent political presence outside Iraq.
Seven of the most important Sunni-led insurgent organisations fighting the US occupation in Iraq have agreed to form a public political alliance with the aim of preparing for negotiations in advance of an American withdrawal, their leaders have told the Guardian.
In their first interview with the western media since the US-British invasion of 2003, leaders of three of the insurgent groups - responsible for thousands of attacks against US and Iraqi armed forces and police - made clear that they would continue their armed resistance until all foreign troops were withdrawn from Iraq, and denounced al-Qaida for sectarian killings and suicide bombings against civilians.
The insurgent groups deny support from any foreign government, including Syria, but claim they have been offered funding and arms from Iran and rejected it because of suspicion of Iranian motives. They say they have been under pressure from Saudi Arabia and Turkey to unite and claimed to have had indirect contacts with France about creating the conditions for establishing a political presence outside Iraq.
The aim of the alliance - which includes a range of Islamist and nationalist-leaning groups and is planned to be called the Political Office for the Iraqi Resistance - is to link up with other anti-occupation groups in Iraq to negotiate with the Americans in anticipation of an early US withdrawal. The programme envisages a temporary technocratic government to run the country during a transition period until free elections can be held.
All three Sunni-based resistance leaders say they are acutely aware of the threat posed by sectarian division to the future of Iraq and emphasised the importance of working with Shia groups
Abd al-Rahman al-Zubeidy, political spokesman of Ansar al-Sunna, a salafist (purist Islamic) group with a particularly violent reputation in Iraq ...
"Resistance isn't just about killing Americans without aims or goals. Our people have come to hate al-Qaida, which gives the impression to the outside world that the resistance in Iraq are terrorists. We are against indiscriminate killing, fighting should be concentrated only on the enemy," he said. He added: "A great gap has opened up between Sunni and Shia under the occupation and al-Qaida has contributed to that."
Once they are done painting their streets with the blood of the foreign occupier, they will have fought for the respect of regular Iraqi's.
" A medical doctor in his late 40s, Abd al-Rahman al-Zubeidy was imprisoned under Saddam Hussein for hiding and treating a friend who had got into a fight with an official from Saddam's Ba'athist regime. He was released in a general amnesty in the run-up to the US-British invasion."