Monday, February 19, 2007

Bush's Iraq 'surge' plan leads to massive implosion of bloody turmoil.

Two days after Condalezza Rice left Baghdad, the city has come under siege.

At an American Base

A Bus in the Karradah district and cars in neighborhoods just north of Baghdad

In a separate attack, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged belt on a public bus headed for the Karradah neighborhood, police reported. Five people were killed.

There were two other bombs - both in the southeastern Shiite neighborhoods north of Baghdad, at least four were killed when a bomb-rigged cars exploded.

Family Executed

A family of 13 was slaughtered on the road to Falluja, about 12 miles northwest of Baghdad, because they were from a tribe known to oppose the actions of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, according to witnesses. The family, including an elderly woman and two small boys, was dragged out of an Akia minibus, lined up in the middle of the road and shot. The executions took place in full view of others on the road, where traffic was stopped, witnesses said.

The family’s bodies remained on the highway for hours because people were afraid they would be ambushed if they collected the dead, witnesses said.

The family that was executed on the road to Falluja was part of the Albu Farag tribe, which has publicly opposed Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and other militant groups. The tribe made an alliance with al-Anbar Salvation Council, which is working to undermine the militants.

Attempted Assassination

The head of al-Anbar Salvation Council, a tribal leader Abdul Satar Abu Risha, also came under attack today. The first explosion hit the blast walls outside the house, a second suicide bomber crashed his vehicle into the house before blowing himself up. five of Abdul Satar Abu Risha guardsw were killed but he was left alive.

Roadside attack on Iraqi police

In a another attack, a roadside bomb exploded by a police patrol, killing two people and wounding 40 bystanders, in the nearby district of Zafaraniyah, a security official said.

Bodies Found

There was also an increase in the number of bodies found around Baghdad after a brief lull, officials said. At least 20 people were found on the streets today showing signs of torture and execution.

Attacks today follow yesterdays attacks

A twin car bombing at a market in a mostly Shiite area on Sunday marked the first major blow to the U.S.-led security crackdown in the capital, where Iraqi officials had boasted that militant factions were on the run. Police said at least 62 people died in that attack.


Tens of thousands of US and Iraqi troops have been deployed in Baghdad as part of "Operation Fardh al-Qanoon" - Operation Imposing Law - which officially started last week. This is the Bush Surge plan that the House of Representatives disapproved. Currently only two of the three 'American Surge Battalions' are in place.


Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the bombing as a desperate act by ``terrorists'' and ``criminals'' who sense they are being squeezed. ``These crimes confirm the defeat of these perpetrators and their failure in confronting our armed forces, which are determined to cleanse the dens of terrorism,'' al-Maliki said in a statement.

"As displaced families return home peacefully, and hopes are raised by 'Operation Fardh al-Qanoon', criminal terrorists are not happy to see life returing to normal in Baghdad," Nuri al-Maliki, said.

"Our dear people in Baghdad and across Iraq's provinces have chosen to go ahead with the political process despite sacrifices," he added.

"They are determined to stand by our armed forces to encourage them to drive out remnants of the Saddamists and Takfiris and all outlaws," he said, blaming Sunni fighters and supporters of Saddam Hussein for the attacks and notably ignoring the fact that Shiite fighters also have been involved.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the bombings underscore the ``increasing desperation felt by criminals'' and would only serve to ``galvanize Iraqi forces and their coalition partners.''

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver
"We knew they would strike back and try to get the most damage, the most casualties and the most effect in the media," Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver, US military spokesman, said.

"We know that they try to foster the circle of sectarian violence, hoping for retaliation by the other side and trying to make it difficult for us to establish security."

Other developments today Monday February 19th 2007

1) The American military said in a statement today that soldiers captured two members of a rogue Shiite militia cell that is suspected of participating in the kidnapping, torture and murder of an Iraqi Army officer in December 2006

2) Neither the Americans nor the Iraqis would comment on the claims of woman who said she was raped by eight members of the Iraqi National Police in Baghdad. The woman made her claims on the Al Jazeera satellite television channel, but they were impossible to verify. The charges, however, threaten to further complicate the already difficult task of restoring faith in the Iraqi security forces.

Posted by Paul Grant (follower of Basho)

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