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Last Updated: Monday, 12 April, 2004, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Arab press cheers Falluja 'victory'

Many Arab press commentators hail the ceasefire in the Iraqi town of Falluja as a victory for the "resistance" and defeat for US forces, with only a Kuwaiti paper failing to cheer what it views as a town full of "terrorists and Baathist remnants".

In Iraq itself, there is criticism of the tactics of both the US and some members of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, while Iranian papers are more concerned that the unrest among Iraq's Shia community may backfire on them.

The announcement by the American ruler in Iraq, Paul Bremer, that it was the American authorities who demanded a ceasefire agreement from the Falluja fighters is a victory for Falluja and its fighters. It is also the first defeat for the American forces and their allies since the fall of Baghdad. The Americans are not facing a Vietnam but something bigger and more dangerous. The Vietnamese... did not possess the Iraqis' Islamic and Arabic profundity in uniting their lands against US political oppression.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi - London-based

As predicted by international analysts and several Arab leaderships, the war against Iraq is no picnic and America will gradually sink into a Vietnam-style quagmire... The resistance of Falluja makes it the mother of all Iraqi towns, an example of resistance and sacrifice.

Al-Arab al-Alamiyah - London-based

The US has reached a truce with Falluja, under which the US has to withdraw its forces to their original position outside the town, while the Falluja forces are to go back to their dwellings... This is how bad the situation has become for the most powerful nation in the world, making itself weaker than a ruined town.

Al-Dustur - Jordan

The Falluja battle was an indication of the overwhelming rejection of the US by its residents and the desire of Iraqis for liberation from this occupation... Alienation between the occupation forces and the Iraqi people has increased. The best thing the occupation can do is hasten the power-transfer process and prepare to leave.

Al-Jazirah - Saudi

Falluja is the centre of Islamic extremism in Iraq and the headquarters of the Baathist remnants. It is a place full of crime and terrorism. We do not see any reason why Kuwaiti Muslims should have any sympathy for Falluja - except that of Islamic brotherhood - when the brother burns corpses, kidnaps and kills.

Al-Ra'y Al-Am - Kuwait

Do those Governing Council members who have suspended their membership believe that political manoeuvring and running away from responsibility are the right way to save the country? Do the coalition leaders who muffle Iraqi forces think they are doing the right thing? Don't they see that by resorting to a military solution as the only choice they are emptying the arena of a force capable of controlling the situation?

Al-Nahdah - Iraq

The growing appetite of Iraq's younger generation has crystallized in a young cleric like Moqtada Sadr. Although he has nothing but his father's fame and a head full of dreams, he has become a pervasive dilemma. This has pushed him to the top of the news and a place beyond his merits, although experience shows that a bright fire like him is eventually reduced to nothing but cold ashes.

Farhang-e Ashti - Iran

If Iraq is plunged into unrest, this will undoubtedly provide the Americans with a strong justification for continuing the occupation. This unrest could also be a justification for Bush's re-election or for presenting the Shia as incapable of taking power for some time... Whether the unrest in the southern Shia areas is the result of al-Qaeda bombs on Ashura or internal factors, they are not to the advantage of the Shias' position in Iraq's political future.

Iran - Iran

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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