Monday, August 20, 2007

2nd governor of a southern province assassinated

In Iraq today, Mohammed Ali al-Hassani is dead. Bushra Juhi (AP) reports the governor of the Muthanna province was in a SUV "en route to his office in the provincial capital of Samawah" which his driver (Al-Hassani), three bodyguards and an officer manager -- Al-Hassani and one bodyguard were killed -- when they encountered a roadside bomb. The Belfast Telegraph notes he is the second governor of a southern province killed this month and that "Both governors were members of the Surpreme Islamic Iraqi Council, a Shi'ite group that has been fighting the Mahdi Army militia for control of oil-rich southern Iraq." The other governor, Khalil Jalil Hamza, was killed August 11th and, from Friday's snapshot:

Among the Shi'ite militias Sunnis have called "death squads" is the Badr Brigade. Last week, the governor of the Qadasiyah province was assassinated. CBS News and AP report today that Sheik Hamid al-Khudhan, "secretary-general of the Badr Brigade" has just been elected the new govenor "by a narrow majority" of council members. With these and other actions, the puppet's cry of "We must unite" seems less like a slogan and more like a threat.

Khalil Jalil Hamza, like Mohammed Ali al-Hassani, was a governor of a southern province, they both opposed the Badr Brigade, they both died in roadside bombings, last week the Badr Brigade installed one of their own to fill Khalil Jalil Hamza's spot as governor.

In the New York Times this morning, Stephen Farrell's "French Official’s Iraq Visit Offers Lift, U.S. Says" deals with the visit of the French foreign minister to the Green Zone and US Major General Rick Lynch's claim "that 50 memembers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps were operating in the area, training Shiite militias". Farrell goes on to observe:

General Lynch conceded that no Revolutionary Guard members had been captured in his region but said that 217 weapons with Iranian markings had been seized since April. The accusations came days after United States officials said the White House might list the Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

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