Thursday, March 6, 2008

Iraq News

Muktada al Sadr is reported hospitalized in a coma. Front page reports of a major terrorist bombing in Baghdad come amid significant long term decrease in violence and costs of the war in Iraq. U.S. and Iraqi forces continue to engage al Qaeda in northern Iraq.


MEMRI has posted a Kuwaiti new story that Moqtada al-Sadr is comatose and in a hospital in Iran. Authorities are ostensibly blaming his condition on food poisoning - something normally not a serious illness unless its of the potentially fatal variety of e-coli or botulism. I have not yet seen any confirming reports. (H/T Dr. Sanity)

As to the trend in casualties and costs associated with Iraq, there is this from an exceptional post at Gateway Pundit:

Truly- The Surge Is Historic in Its Success--
The mainstream media has absolutely refused to report on the excellent news coming out of Iraq so Dean's World reported the great news today.
Here are a few charts to go with his excellent report on Iraq:

The last 4 months have seen the lowest US fatalities recorded over any 4-month period since the war began:

The last 4 months have also seen the lowest number of Iraqi civilian fatalities recorded over any 4-month period since the war began:

. . . And, the cost of this war-- something the Democrats are focusing on now that Iraq is stabilizing-- is lower than Vietnam or the Cold War:

Read the entire post.

And from the NY Times, a major terrorist bombing at a market in Iraq. According to the NYT:

Two bombs struck a bustling shopping district in the heart of Baghdad on Thursday evening, turning display windows and cabinets and glass shelves into deadly shrapnel, and killing 54 people and wounding 123, the Iraqi authorities said.

The attack, in the Karada neighborhood, was the worst here in the capital since early February, when bombings killed almost 100 people at two pet markets, and it reinforced fears that insurgents could still carry out devastating attacks in well-guarded areas. While violence has declined sharply from last year, bomb attacks in Baghdad have increased in recent weeks.

No one claimed responsibility. But the attackers used an old tactic to maximize casualties: detonating one bomb, then setting off a second blast to kill passers-by and emergency workers who rushed to the scene to aid the victims. . . .

Read the entire article. It is unclear whether this was a suicide bombing, but double bombings such as this are a common al Qaeda tactic. It is unclear whether this is an action by al Qaeda or Iranian backed special groups. In other Iraq news, this from the AP:

. . . U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 13 suspected insurgents and detained 44 others in raids targeting al-Qaida in central and northern Iraq, the U.S. military said Thursday. Three Iraqi troops were killed in one of the operations.

The Tal Afar Special Weapons and Tactics team, made up of U.S. forces and Iraqi SWAT teams, on Sunday targeted a cell responsible for assassinations and bombing attacks in the Tal Afar area in Iraq's Ninevah province, the military said in a statement.

During the raid, several fighters opened fire on the Iraqi and U.S. troops, killing the three Iraqi soldiers and wounding three others.

The U.S.-Iraqi team killed nine suspected insurgents. Three Iraqi civilians were wounded and treated at the scene and eight suspected cell members were detained for questioning, including two who were wounded and evacuated to a military hospital for treatment, the military said.

During the operation, the team found bomb-making materials, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, rifles, grenades, a land mine and ammunition, according to the statement.

The Americans and their Iraqi allies are pushing to take control of the Ninevah region, where insurgent fighters are making a stand after their influence diminished in Baghdad and other areas last year. Tal Afar is located about 260 miles northwest of Baghdad.

In another operation, U.S. soldiers shot and killed a man who drew a pistol on them and then tried to detonate a bomb-laden suicide vest. Three suspected al-Qaida members were also detained during the operation near the central city of Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad.

Another al-Qaida suspect who was also killed near Samarra was allegedly involved in racketeering and embezzlement to fund the extremist organization.

Read the entire article.

No comments: