Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Treading water in Iraq

Gradual progress in Ramadi. Increased security in Baghdad, though it might be a temporary gain. Increased tensions between Sadr's movement and the government, which has eased today. Kurdish PKK terrorists attacking tourist locations in Turkey.


Stars and Stripes:
As U.S. and Iraqi army troops wage a renewed campaign to rid Ramadi of insurgents, fortified checkpoints like ECP-8 have become critical weapons in the monthslong battle. By securing major thoroughfares into and out of Ramadi, U.S. and Iraqi army commanders say they have been able to isolate insurgents within the city by cutting off or substantially reducing their supply of weapons, as well as their freedom of movement.

“This has been one of the single most detrimental moves we’ve made against the enemy,” said Lt. Col. Ronald Clark, commander of the Fort Campbell, Ky.-based 1-506th — a unit of the 101st Airborne Division. “He can’t get fighters and supplies into the city. We’ve isolated him.”

The checkpoints, along with daily combat patrols, raids and other operations, have significantly reduced insurgent attacks in eastern Ramadi, which until recently had been one of the worst areas of the violent Sunni Arab city.
USA Today:
Stabilizing Ramadi is going to take time. MacFarland says that even if he had more troops, he would take a deliberate approach to driving insurgents out and wouldn't replicate the Fallujah offensive, which left much of that city in ruins. His troops are establishing combat outposts in the city in a classic counterinsurgency strategy of creating secure areas and expanding them slowly. The outposts are manned by U.S. and Iraqi forces and serve to protect neighborhoods and launch reconstruction projects. There are six such outposts in the city now; about four more are planned.

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Calm returned to a southern city Tuesday after a deal between Shiite militiamen loyal to a powerful cleric and Iraqi government forces ended a fierce 12-hour street battle that killed 40 people.
Securing the capital

The Los Angeles Times (yesterday):
BAGHDAD — An ambitious military sweep appears to be dramatically reducing Baghdad's homicide rate, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Sunday — even as violence nationwide killed at least 80 people, including six U.S. soldiers in and around the capital.
CNN (today):
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi police found 26 bodies Tuesday in different neighborhoods of Baghdad, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.

Eleven bodies were discovered near a school in southwestern Baghdad's Turah neighborhood, the ministry said.

Six bodies were found dumped in the Um al-Maalif district, also in the southwestern part of the capital, the ministry said.

The men were blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs. Some showed signs of torture.
The Kurds

The Times of London:
Police hunting the group that has carried out a wave of bombings in Turkey believe they have foiled another attack, after they found plastic explosives and bomb-making equipment during a raid in the resort of Izmir.

Today's raid in the Aegean port city also led to the arrest of a suspected Kurdish rebel, who, it is claimed, had crossed into Turkey from northern Iraq in order to carry out bombings, the state-owned Anatolia news agency reported.

Police searching his home found 2.5 kg of plastic explosives, the report said.

A militant Kurdish group has claimed responsibility for two of the recent spate of attacks against tourists, which have left three dead and up to 50 injured. The group warned tourists not to come to Turkey. Last year Turkey had twenty one million tourists, which brought in some US$18 billion of revenue.

The worst blasts occurred in the resort of Antalya yesterday afternoon, where at least three people died when there was an explosion in a marketplace.

In the early hours ten Britons were among 20 tourists and local people injured in Marmaris, when the minibus they were on was blown up. Eight of the Britons are still being treated in hospital for injuries that include broken bones and burns. None is said to be in a critical condition.

"Turkey is not a safe country. Tourists should not come to Turkey," the Teyre Azadiye Kurdistan (TAK), also known as the Kurdish Liberation Hawks, warned.


Post a Comment

<< Home