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The Iraqi army is letting local police and tribes lead the fight against al-Qaeda in Fallujah and Ramadi. This strategy reflects concerns that a large influx of government forces could provoke backlash from the mainly Sunni cities. The tactic also raises fears that al-Qaeda militants will establish a foothold in the Iraqi cities and score a major propaganda victory before they are expelled. Former governor of Anbar province Qasim Abed said he longs for a U.S. presence because American forces are viewed as independent and efficient fighters.