How Are Things In Iraq?

Annie

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The change in tactics that began when 'the surge' was announced, have been underway nearly from the beginning. While violence is still unacceptable, it seems that the impact is being felt where it matters:

http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

As we noted more than once before, Operation “Imposing Law” is an escalating effort with military and political components. After the troops fixed their feet on the streets of Baghdad, PM Maliki and the troops are pushing forward with both components.

Politically, Maliki put an end to speculations about his real intentions of a cabinet reshuffle and announced that the reshuffle is going to happen within two weeks from now.
In his press conference this morning, Maliki also announced that the Supreme Judicial Council will be issuing warrants against a number of politicians and members of parliament who have connections to militant groups that are involved in attacks on civilians and security forces.

Meanwhile Iraqi and American forces are increasing their presence in and around Sadr city. Today hundreds of American and Iraqi solders swept through Jamila district just north of Sadr city. They searched homes and shops without meeting any resistance.

The Mehdi army is not responding to the raids with fire, but they are trying to undermine the security plan by spreading rumors about alleged crimes committed by US soldiers, specifically against the Shia. The latest of these rumors was a ridiculous one I heard yesterday from a taxi driver from Sadr city. His story, quite similar to one told by a Sadr city council member, is that US soldiers are raiding Shia homes, arresting innocent civilians, and then dumping them at night near strongholds of Sunni insurgents, blindfolded and handcuffed so that the insurgents would find them defenseless and slaughter them!

***

Violent incidents are still decreasing in number and impact in Baghdad. Yesterday for instance the only reported incident was the abduction of an adviser to the minister of defense by gunmen in western Baghdad. It was less than 24 hours until the security forces succeeded in freeing the abducted general and arresting 4 of his captors.
...
 
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Annie

Annie

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There is a whole lot more behind this to be found here, really long with several articles from 'around the world':

http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/008023.html

Coalition Forces Move Into Sadr City
Greyhawk

(And other news from the first four days of March in Iraq)

A new phase in the Baghdad security plan begins:

Hundreds of U.S. soldiers entered the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City on Sunday in the first major push into the area since an American-led security sweep began last month around Baghdad.

Soldiers conducted house-to-house searches, but met no resistance in a district firmly in the hands of the Mahdi Army militia led by radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said Lt. Col. David Oclander.

The move into Sadr City came following negotiations with political leaders in the neighborhood.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman, told Al-Arabiya television U.S. officials have had daily dialogue with community leaders in Sadr City.​

Perhaps unintentionally the AP headline slights the Iraqi troops involved in the joint effort.

The Chicago Tribune offers a more complete account:

U.S. troops to live in Sadr City
Soldiers will join Iraqi forces inside militia stronghold

By Liz Sly
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published March 4, 2007


BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military has reached an agreement with representatives of the Shiite community in Baghdad's Sadr City enclave that will allow American forces to maintain a permanent presence in the militia stronghold for the first time since 2004, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Saturday.

Under the agreement, the U.S. will open one of the joint security stations that are a prominent feature of the new Baghdad security plan, with American soldiers living alongside Iraqi forces in a police station just inside the impoverished neighborhood, said Rahim al-Daraji, one of Sadr City's two mayors.​

MNF-I has deeper background:

...
 
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Annie

Annie

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and in the Anbar province, Iraqi police succeed as the first line:

http://billroggio.com/archives/2007/03/the_amiriya_battle.php

...But the full story, according to an American military officer and an American intelligence source, is that al-Qaeda in Iraq, under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq, assembled several hundred fighters to attack a prominent leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, the grouping of local tribes and Baathists, and former insurgents who now oppose al-Qaeda in Iraqi. The leader of the Anbar Salvation Council was to attend the funeral of one of those killed in last week's suicide bombing in Habbaniyah.

The Iraqi police in Amiriya held off the attack, and radioed for backup from Iraqi Army, police and members of the Thurwa al-Anbar, the tribal militias assembled by the Anbar Salvation Council. U.S. air support was called in to help fend off the attack. The Anbar Salvation Council leader escaped as Army, police and tribal fighters poured into the village and routed the al-Qaeda force, which was estimated to be several hundred fighters. Once intelligence source claims the figure of 50 al-Qaeda killed is low, and the number is likely over 100.

The New York Times claims "two groups that have had ties to insurgents, the Islamic Party Fighters and forces of the 20th Revolution brigade, counterattacked in support of the local residents." The proper name for the insurgent groups are the Islamic Army in Iraq, and the 1920s Revolution Brigades. And they also fought with Iraqi Army and police units.

While al-Qaeda in Iraq, via its political front the Islamic State of Iraq, claims the Islamic Army in Iraq and the 1920s Revolution Brigades are now part of its organization, this is only partially true. Al-Qaeda, through a campaign of intimidation and assassinations, has co opted some elements of the domestic Sunni insurgent groups, as well as at least 6 of the 31 major tribes in Anbar province. But the full contingents of the domestic insurgent groups such as the Islamic Army in Iraq and the 1920s Revolution Brigades did not go over to al-Qaeda. Some have chosen to stand up against al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Last week's suicide bombing in Habbaniyah targeted Sunni religious and insurgent leaders who have begun to speak out and act against al-Qaeda. "Senior commanders of the Islamic Army in Iraq, the Jaish Al-Mujahideen and the 1920 Revolution Brigades" were killed in the Habbaniyah mosque bombing last weekend, according to the Al-Badeel Al-Iraqi website. "Ayad Al-Dulaimi, Khalid Abdullah Al-Khalifawi and Abu Al-Waleed Al-Mar’awi from the Islamic Army and Aswad Kamil Al-Falahi and Ahmed Sabah from the 1920 Revolution Brigades were all killed in the explosion," notes IraqSlogger. "Sheikh Mohammed Al-Mar’awi, the imam of the mosque, had criticized Al-Qaeda for targeting American troops in the vicinity of civilian areas."

Elements of the Islamic Army in Iraq, Jaish Al-Mujahideen, the 1920 Revolution Brigades and other elements of the Sunni insurgency are battling al-Qaeda in Anbar, and are fighting alongside government forces. Al-Qaeda countering by assassinating as many of the leaders of the Sunni opposition as possible. Last week's bombing of the Habbaniyah mosque, as well as the assassination attempt against Shiekh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, the head of the Anbar Salvation Council, and yesterday's attack in Amiriya are part of a campaign to deprive the Sunni opposition of its leadership.
 

gabosaurus

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How are things in Iraq?

Well, let's examine the broader picture. The U.S. military escalation has made no different whatsoever. There are still more militia defending Iraq than occupying it. An increasing number of Americans continue to die. The Bush administration continues not to care.
The more Americans that end up dead or wounded, the more the Bush apologists look the other way. It's your kids, not theirs.
 

CSM

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How are things in Iraq?

Well, let's examine the broader picture. The U.S. military escalation has made no different whatsoever. There are still more militia defending Iraq than occupying it. An increasing number of Americans continue to die. The Bush administration continues not to care.
The more Americans that end up dead or wounded, the more the Bush apologists look the other way. It's your kids, not theirs.
Well hot dog! You have inside intel on exactly how many "militia" are operating in Iraq, maybe you know their disposition....I hope you are planning on sharing that info with the US military!
 
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Annie

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Read the Arab media and a few selected web sites. They will be glad to tell you.
Omar lives in Baghdad. The Mudville Gazette has several sites that are 'Arab'.
 
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Annie

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When we start rescueing the kidnapped, beaten, shot, tortured, somethings must be going right:

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2007/03/paratroopers_re.html

Paratroopers Rescue Iraqi Policemen Held Hostage
Posted By Blackfive

...and scheduled for execution.

Below is a video of the 1st Battalion, 501st Airborne Infantry (Bravo Company "Blackfoot" from Ft. Richardson) rescuing two Iraqi Policemen who were shot, beaten and going to be killed. The interviews are with the Navy doctors and nurses that attended to the hostages.
http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10376&Itemid=128

Coalition troops rescue Iraqis, discover weapons cache Print E-mail
Monday, 05 March 2007

American Forces Press Service

ARAB JABOUR — A coalition assessment following an air strike in Arab Jabour on Saturday led to the rescue of four Iraqi citizens and the uncovering of a terrorist weapons cache.

Four Iraqi citizens were liberated from a building near the site of the air strike, officials said. One of the hostages told military officials the terrorists holding them fled immediately after the air strike.

All four hostages were treated at the scene for various injuries. One of the hostages said he had been held captive for 50 days.

At the site of the air strike, ground forces also found remnants of an anti-aircraft heavy machine gun known as a DShK, as well as rocket-propelled grenades and grenade launchers. A DShK tripod was found dug into the ground along the Tigris River, along with spent ammunition cartridges.

Coalition forces called in the air strike after they began receiving small-arms fire from several armed men across the Tigris River and were unable to safely subdue enemy fire. Two precision-guided bombs destroyed a small structure and killed seven terrorists hiding inside.

A large secondary explosion was noted after the initial bombs were dropped on the target, officials said, indicating the presence of explosive material within the structure.

Elsewhere, soldiers from Task Force 1-319 and the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, detained more than 50 insurgents during three days of operations focused on terrorist cells in Abu Ajeel, Wynot, and Owja near Tikrit in Salah ad Din.

Paratroopers from Task Force Loyalty’s Company B, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, detained more than 40 personnel in the Abu Ajeel area with assistance from an Iraqi emergency services unit and the Iraqi army.

The operation disrupted a roadside-bomb cell that has been operating in the area as well as detaining an insurgent cell leader who has been spearheading attacks against coalition and Iraqi security forces in recent months, officials said.

...
 
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Annie

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I'm getting a bit nervous at all the stuff I'm reading. From Iraq to home from the milbloggers to even the liberals, seems the surge is having a serious impact:

http://www.julescrittenden.com/2007/03/05/how-can-we-lose-if-you-insist-on-winning-2/

How Can We Lose If You Insist on Winning?

Wait a minute. He’s getting wacked for moving forward at all, and told its do or die this time. Congress is falling over itself trying to figure out to surrender. Now, he’s getting wacked with claims he has no backup plan.

Never mind that the current plan seems to be working quite well. I would like to take this article as a positive sign, that the Washington Post is trying to tell the Surrender Enthusiasts its time to get on board and demand success in Iraq. Once you’ve got your surge on, what’s next? You can’t just … leave.

However, all that this frankly idiotic “when did you stop beating your wife” article does is warm over all the handwringing and examine the problems posed by any exit plan that does not include victory. It fails to note, as mentioned above, that the current plan is working and the real problem is planning for maintenance beyond the surge. I would expect better of Ricks but he’s got a lot invested in the notion of Bush administration failure.

...
 
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Annie

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What is all this "surge" bullsh*t? It's a military escalation.
Yeah? Took you by surprise? It seems to be working, for it's not only a slight increase in troops, but a radical change in rules. The later is the ticket.
 

gabosaurus

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Yep, it is certainly working. More people are dying every day. I know the Bushies are enjoying that. They love the carnage.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — Two suicide bombers blew themselves up today in a crowd of Shiite pilgrims streaming toward the holy city of Karbala, killing up to 90 people in one of several attacks targeting the faithful ahead of a weekend holiday.

The attack came a day after U.S. forces suffered their deadliest day in nearly a month — nine American soldiers were killed in explosions north of Baghdad, the military said today.

The coordinated attack today happened on a main street in Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, said Capt. Muthana Khalid. He said up to 90 people were killed and more than 150 wounded.
 
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Annie

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So far, seems to be working:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070307/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/gates_iraq

Pentagon deploys more troops to Baghdad

By LOLITA BALDOR, AP Military Writer1 hour, 26 minutes ago

The Pentagon has approved a request by the new U.S. commander in Iraq for an extra 2,200 military police to help deal with an anticipated increase in detainees during the Baghdad security crackdown, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.

Gates also cited early indications that the Iraqi government is meeting the commitments it made to bolster security, although he cautioned that it was too early to reach any firm conclusions about the outcome.

"We're right at the very beginning," he told a Pentagon news conference. "But I would say that based in terms of whether the Iraqis are meeting the commitments that they've made to us in the security arena, I think that our view would be so far, so good." He was referring to the movement of additional Iraqi troops into the capital.

...
 

CSM

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Hard to tell but I suspect the terrorists are scurrying for cover and consolidating elsewhere. That being said, I think the change in the ROE and other measures will help immensely. I have to believe the border with Iran is under a lot closer scrutiny via UAV and satellite too.

As they say, it's early yet.
 
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Annie

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Hard to tell but I suspect the terrorists are scurrying for cover and consolidating elsewhere. That being said, I think the change in the ROE and other measures will help immensely. I have to believe the border with Iran is under a lot closer scrutiny via UAV and satellite too.

As they say, it's early yet.
That's my take. Way too early to say, 'It's working!" Not too early thought to say, "It seems to be working, I'm sure the enemy will adjust, but I hope this time we are anticipating those adjustments?"
 

CSM

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That's my take. Way too early to say, 'It's working!" Not too early thought to say, "It seems to be working, I'm sure the enemy will adjust, but I hope this time we are anticipating those adjustments?"
One can hope! Maybe we should have asked all the libs and Dems what the plan should be, since they know so much but they have been so busy helping the enemy they just can't see a way to help ensure success for the US. Too bad because they are reall good at baseless propaganda which is one front the US is sorely giving ground on.
 
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Annie

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One can hope! Maybe we should have asked all the libs and Dems what the plan should be, since they know so much but they have been so busy helping the enemy they just can't see a way to help ensure success for the US. Too bad because they are reall good at baseless propaganda which is one front the US is sorely giving ground on.
Agree again. I think there is a lot of panic that this might work.
 

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