Tuesday, October 17, 2006

“People are bewildered because of the weak response by the Americans"

A bleak situation in Balad, which raises questions on what the American military should do in Iraq.

The New York Times:
BAGHDAD, Oct. 16 — The American military said today that more than 60 people were killed in four days of sectarian fighting in Balad, a rural town north of the capital, that left some residents wondering why American troops did not intervene.

In a statement issued today, the military said it provided assistance to Iraqi forces during the outbreak over the weekend “at the request of the Iraqi civic and military leaders.”

The military said that American forces are now working with Iraqi forces within the city to keep a fragile peace between Sunni and Shiite communities.
The Washington Post:
BAGHDAD, Oct. 16 -- Families fled in search of safety Monday as open warfare raged for a fourth day between Shiite militias and armed Sunni men in Tigris River towns north of Baghdad. Militias allied with Iraq's Shiite-led government held sway in Balad city, forcing out Sunni families and leaving the bodies of slain Sunni men to rot in the streets, according to police, residents and hospital officials.

The Iraqi government deployed still more reinforcements to try to calm the embattled towns and hold open the main roads, Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Kareem al-Kinani said in the capital. But local police officers accused Shiite-dominated government police forces of working alongside Shiite militias in executing Sunnis and appealed for more help.

The escalating violence in the Tigris River towns in many ways serves as a microcosm of the daily violence roiling Iraq. Sectarian attacks have increased more than tenfold since the start of the year and now claim more than 100 victims a day, according to the Iraqi government.


Blogger Chuck said...

I don't want to seem too harsh, but what do the Sunnis expect? For years under Saddam the minority Sunnis ran roughshod over the Shia while the predominately Sunni Baath Party carried out mass murder, rape, torture and other atrocities.

I find it difficult to feel any sympathy for the Sunnis. They brought it upon themselves.

I honestly don't care if the Shia and the Sunnis kill each other and wouldn't mind at all if they completely wiped each other off the face of the earth. As long as they are killing each other, they are killing fewer Americans. Let them have at it. In fact, give them guns and ammunition so they can kill each other faster.

3:27 PM  

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