To top it off It is now clear that although the initial military planning was Iraqi, US and British forces are deeply involved. In the capital's neighborhood of Sadr City, US infantry troops are fighting alongside Iraqi soldiers, to try to secure areas that were once firmly under the hold of the Mehdi Army, which is loyal to the Shia cleric, Moqtada Sadr. Reports suggest that US combat units have also been deployed at short notice to Basra from elsewhere in Iraq and the Middle East. On Monday, a US convoy in the southern city was attacked. A spokesman for the US-led coalition confirmed the bombing, but would give no further details. A Western military source has also told the BBC that significant numbers of UK and US special forces are in Basra, acting both independently and in support of Iraqi army units. Sadr offensive proves Iraq can not be self sufficient
Amidst an all out war ultimatum Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is calling on political parties to unite against armed groups in Iraq, a spokesman said Sunday, warning that "Iraq cannot be the new Somalia." "It is a clear message," al-Maliki spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said of the situation in Iraq. "We cannot accept the presence of armed groups." Somalia has been mired in chaos since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on each other. Al-Sadr on Saturday gave his "last warning" to the Iraqi government that he would "declare a war" unless U.S. and Iraqi forces stop their assaults on his followers. Iraq is the new Somalia
It isn't funny but you have to laugh because it will be Sunni against Shiite throughout the entire middle east not just in Iraq. A man claiming to be the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq vowed in an audiotape released Saturday to launch a month long offensive against U.S. troops. There was no independent confirmation that the voice belonged to Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, but it sounded exactly like the one heard on previous audiotapes. Al-Muhajir has been the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq since his predecessor Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike northeast of Baghdad in 2006. "We call on our beloved ones ... that each unit should present the head of an American as a gift to the charlatan Bush ... in addition to one of the apostate servants and slaves of the awakening (councils) during a one-month period," he said in the tape, posted on an Internet site known for its militant contents. He made clear that the 30-day period begins from the day of the audiotape's release. The release of the tape follows a series of deadly attacks that have raised fears of a possible Al Qaeda in Iraq resurgence. Militants have targeted members of the awakening councils, Sunni Arab tribesmen and former insurgents who changed sides and are now fighting Al Qaeda alongside U.S. forces. Growing Sunni and Shiite violence
We can't even secure the Green Zone and when they get rid of us they will turn on each other! Almost 700 rockets and mortar rounds were fired in Baghdad in the past month, US commanders said on Wednesday, insisting however that overall violence levels in the capital are falling. Colonel Allen Batschelet told reporters that a total of 697 rockets and mortar bombs were fired from various locations in the Iraqi capital between March 23 and April 20. Of these 114, hit the highly fortified Green Zone, also known as the International Zone (IZ), where the Iraqi government and US embassy are based, he said. "Eighty-two percent of the rockets and mortars that hit the IZ originated from Sadr City," Batschelet said referring to the east Baghdad bastion of the Mahdi Army militia of hard line Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Two US soldiers, two US embassy personnel and two Iraqi guards have been killed in the Green Zone by the rocket attacks which began with a sustained bombardment on March 23 that sent residents in the complex scurrying for cover. Scores of other people have been wounded in the attacks, while dozens of Iraqis have been killed or wounded by rocket or mortar fire in other parts of Baghdad since the volleys began, officials said. This is success 700 rockets in Baghdad in a month scores dead and wounded
Civilian casualties mounted Wednesday as clashes between Shiite gunmen and U.S. and Iraqi troops spread to Baghdad's outskirts. Police said two women were among seven people killed in fighting overnight. The U.S. military said Wednesday that 15 suspected militants were killed in separate attacks a day earlier in mainly Shiite areas. Fierce fighting broke out during a military operation late Tuesday in Husseiniyah, a mainly Shiite area that sits to the north of Baghdad's embattled Sadr City district. U.S. and Iraqi troops were backed by helicopters as they fought until Wednesday morning with suspected Shiite militiamen who dominate the area, police said. Women and children were among 20 people wounded, they said. Police and hospital officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information, also said eight civilians were killed and 44 others wounded in fighting in Sadr City, a sprawling district in northeastern Baghdad. A seriously wounded man died as an ambulance speeding him to the hospital was caught in the crossfire, police said. U.S. soldiers responded after they were attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire, killing 12 "criminals" in three separate incidents Tuesday in eastern Baghdad, the military said. A man planting a roadside bomb in northeastern Baghdad also was shot to death by American soldiers in northeastern Baghdad, while two others spotted with a mortar tube were killed in an airstrike, according to the military statement. civilian casualties mount as violence spreads around Iraq
What the hell is wrong with us? Amidst all this we have optimism? The No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq expressed hope on Wednesday that radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr would use his influence to stop his followers from attacking U.S. and Iraqi forces as clashes spread to the outskirts of Baghdad. The American military said 21 suspected gunmen were killed in Shiite militia strongholds late Tuesday, while Iraqi officials said 15 civilians were among the dead, including two women. The fighting, which began a month ago in response to an Iraqi government crackdown on militia violence, has put a severe strain on a cease-fire called in late August by al-Sadr. The anti-U.S. cleric threatened this weekend to unleash his Mahdi Army militia in an "open war" if the military operations persist. Despite heightened rhetoric by al-Sadr and his followers, U.S. commanders have been careful not to directly link the cleric to the current fighting, instead blaming Iranian-backed Shiite fighters it claims are "special groups" criminals who have broken with his movement. "We do not attribute what we've seen to JAM," said Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, using the Iraqi acronym for the Mahdi Army. But he acknowledged that al-Sadr could stop the attacks."We certainly hope that Sadr will choose the road of peace and responsibility," Austin, who commands day-to-day operations in Iraq, said Wednesday at a news conference. Optimism spreading will stop- what are they crazy
More than 5 years down the road since Bush attacked Iraq so he could get into the middle east to go after Iran and this is just beginning. There will be no peace and there will be no stopping the breakdown that will spread throughout the entire middle east thanks to bush despite any childish political rhetoric. Add this to the growing water wars, growing food wars, the worsening environment, and unstoppable growing world instability thanks to Bush and we have one hell of a future to prepare for!