Tuesday, January 29, 2008

5 US service members killed on Monday

An American military convoy came under a barrage of gunfire in the northern city of Mosul on Monday and then was hit by a roadside bomb that killed five U.S. soldiers. It was a particularly bloody day for the U.S. military in a city that has become a gathering point for the Sunni insurgency, and where Iraq's prime minister vowed to have the "final" battle with the group al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The joint patrol of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers was attacked at about 12:40 p.m. in the Somer neighborhood of southeastern Mosul, when insurgents began shooting at the convoy from a mosque. Amid the gunfire, a roadside bomb exploded, killing the five soldiers, said Maj. Gary Dangerfield, a U.S. military spokesman in Mosul.

The above, noted by Lloyd, is from Joshua Partlow and Ann Scott Tyson's "Five U.S. Soldiers Are Killed When Convoy is Hit in Mosul" (Washington Post). For this entry, we're just going to focus on that aspect. The illegal war drags on and it's not to be buried in the 16th item of your dopey headlines that you still mess up and don't grasp what happened on Saturday and what happened on Friday as you rush to dispense with the illegal war and move on to the topics you just damn well know matter more. (See Mike's "War resisters, John Edwards & more " for a Friday action being turned into a Saturday one when someone can't bother to get her facts right.) It does matter. I'm looking at an e-mail from a visitor this morning, whining to the public account that we didn't address the horse race in yesterday's snapshot but "wasted 23 lines on five deaths." Idiots like that are certainly encouraged by a defocused and worthless independent media to think that the horse race and propping up a lot of do-nothing candidates is more important than what goes on -- what continues -- in Iraq. I don't know that the count of 23 is correct, that's the claim put foward in the e-mail from a Bambi supporter who's whining that South Carolina on "Saturday matters more than five deaths." I guess you would have to believe that if you've drank that Kool Aid.

From Steve Lannen and Nancy A. Youssef's "5 U.S. soldiers die in Iraq in 2nd-deadliest attack this year" (McClatchy Newspapers):

Monday's attack and a surge in violence outside Baghdad confirmed a reversal of the downward trend in the U.S. death toll, which had fallen for five previous months. According to icasualties.org, a Web site that tracks casualties in Iraq, 36 soldiers have died so far this year compared with 23 in December. In all, 3,940 American troops have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.
The soldiers in Monday's attack were on a mounted patrol in the Sumer neighborhood, southeast of Mosul. After detonating the improvised explosives, which destroyed the U.S. military vehicle, insurgents fired at other soldiers on the patrol from a nearby mosque, according to a coalition forces statement issued in Iraq.

Ned Parker and Saif Hameed (Los Angeles Times) offer "Bomb Kills 5 U.S. Soldiers in Iraq:"

Iraqi soldiers stormed the mosque, but the gunmen had fled, according to the statement. The battle lasted nearly an hour, police said. At least 3,940 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq since 2003, according to icasualties.org, a website that keeps an unofficial tally of American military deaths.
Thirty-six U.S. soldiers have died this month, up from 23 in December, but still a major decline from the first half of 2007, when more than 100 deaths were recorded monthly from April through June. Six of those killed this month died in a booby-trapped house in Diyala province, northeast of the capital.

They note the claims by puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki made over the weekend that can only be described as 'get tough' and how "Additional Iraqi tanks and aircraft arrived in Mosul" and I'll assume they think we're flat out stupid since there's no Iraqi "aircraft" to speak of and the Iraqi air force does not conduct missions and is begging for money to upgrade their air 'power.' Richard A. Oppel's "5 G.I.'s Die in Ambush in Mosul" (New York Times) also notes the comments of al-Maliki over the weekend:

He made that promise after a powerful blast shook the city last Wednesday as Iraqi soldiers entered a building packed with thousands of pounds of explosives. The Iraqi Red Crescent Organization reported that at least 60 people had been killed and 280 wounded, mostly children, women and the elderly.
The attack enraged residents, who were furious at government leaders for failing to protect them. The next morning, when the provincial police chief visited the site of the blast, he was stoned by a crowd of angry people who had been digging bodies of relatives from the rubble. As he tried to leave, he was assassinated by a suicide bomber.

We noted the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization's report in yesterday's snapshot. If you're seeing it in your morning paper, chances are you're reading Oppel. I'm not seeing it elsewhere this morning. It should be news.

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