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Speaking of my old friend Bill Roggio, this report is interesting:
Clashes between the Mahdi Army and US and Iraqi forces broke out in Sadr City in Baghdad late Friday after a senior aide to Muqtada al Sadr was murdered in the city of Najaf. US and Iraqi forces confirmed killing 13 Mahdi Army fighters in eastern Baghdad after a series of complex attacks.But that characterization of events is somewhat at odds with this LA Times report from two days ago - which implies that heavy combat has been ongoing there all week, and that there has been no cessation of hostilities since the "Iranian brokered/Sadr declared" (chose one or both) cease fire:
Thousands of Sadr City residents have fled for the relative safety of other neighborhoods. Prices in local markets were soaring as supplies dwindled, a result of suppliers' inability to bring in goods. Iraqi and U.S. forces appeared to be penetrating deeper into the district, one local journalist said.Meanwhile, Major John sends another cryptic dispatch.
There were no signs that Prime Minister Nouri Maliki was pulling back on his offensive against Shiite militias, which has sparked fighting between Iraqi and U.S. forces and militiamen loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr. Maliki's deadline for fighters to hand in heavy weapons passed Tuesday, but the latest clashes showed that rocket-propelled grenades, mortars shells, and rockets remained in militia hands.
Mookie is/was wanted for murder a few years ago. Maybe he just eleminated more of his competition.Posted by Scrapiron at April 13, 2008 01:17 AM
What's up with this column? I hadn't heard this number.
Posted by Ali at April 13, 2008 02:07 AM
More Than 200 Dead as Battle Rages in Baghdad
I would be a lot less cryptic if it weren't for this darned OPSEC :)
Let us just say that certain BAD things are now in the possession of the IA and not the JAM, certain other things have been recovered from the JAM, and at least one particular highly placed person now is a guest of the IA...oh, and I haven't had any rockets shot at me since Round II started, heh heh.Posted by Major John at April 13, 2008 03:57 PM
John, our thoughts and prayers are with you. (Some of which are Old Testament style...)Posted by Greyhawk at April 13, 2008 10:07 PM
Ali, I can neither dismiss nor believe accounts from doctors in Iraqi hospitals during battles. Traditionally, "militants" take over those hospitals, use them for planning/staging attacks, and pretty much control communications. This happened in Fallujah in April, 2004 - and publicity from "reports" from hospitals there helped increase demands for a cessation of hostilities (that would ultimately cost unknown numbers of Iraqis their lives in the al Qaeda bloodbath over the following months).
That's one reason the hospital was among the first points secured by US troops when they finally finished the battle in November that year. It could then function as a hospital, accessible to reporters, and free of al Qaeda's little ministers of information.
I can't state with certainty that the report you link is bogus - but the authors of that report acknowledge the possibility: "The reports from Sadr City hospitals suggest far higher casualty figures than previously reported, although they cannot be independently verified."
There's no doubt in my mind that civilians will be killed and injured in any urban combat. I wish that weren't so. I know that Americans strive to minimize that, but I don't know who is leading the charge in Sadr City.Posted by Greyhawk at April 13, 2008 11:54 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)