Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No, it's not about mines

A large force of Iraqi government troops has moved deep into the Baghdad stronghold of the militia loyal to the anti-US Shia cleric, Moqtada Sadr.
The operation follows a truce earlier in the month to end weeks of fighting that killed hundreds of people.
Army officials say they will clear mines planted in the Sadr City area by militiamen from the Mehdi Army, and re-establish some basic services there.

The above is from the BBC's "Iraqi troops fan out in Sadr City." Reuters lies a little less than the BBC: "The Iraqi army launched an operation on Tuesday to take control of Baghdad's Sadr City slum, political and military stronghold of anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr." Take control, not clear mines. Alexandra Zavis and Caesar Ahmed's "Iraqi security forces begin crackdown on Sadr City" (Los Angeles Times) also gets that point across:

Iraqi security forces moved deep into Sadr City today to wrest control of the vast Baghdad district from militiamen loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr.
Columns of Iraqi armored Humvees and tanks, backed by helicopters, lumbered down the slum's main arteries, while soldiers fanned out over the roof tops and into narrow allies. Others set up checkpoints, searching vehicles for weapons and fighters.

UPI goes with the talking points the BBC does but does allow that in addition to ridding the area of those pesky mines, they will also be "confiscating weapons".

Meanwhile China's Xinhau reports an attack on a minibus outside of Mosul that resulted in 11 police recruits being shot to death.

In other news, Sonia Verma's "Iraq could have largest oil reserves in the world" (Times of London) notes:

Iraq dramatically increased the official size of its oil reserves yesterday after new data suggested that they could exceed Saudi Arabia’s and be the largest in the world.
The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister told The Times that new exploration showed that his country has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, with as much as 350 billion barrels. The figure is triple the country's present proven reserves and exceeds that of Saudi Arabia’s estimated 264 billion barrels of oil. Barham Salih said that the new estimate had been based on recent geological surveys and seismic data compiled by "reputable, international oil companies . . . This is a serious figure from credible sources."

Sam notes Howard Wolfson's "HUBdate: Getting Out the Vote" (HillaryClinton.com):

Getting Out the Vote in Kentucky: Hillary attends "Get Out The Vote" rallies throughout Kentucky. Tonight, she will be joined by President Clinton for rallies in Lexington, KY and Louisville, KY.
Bowling Green, KY: Yesterday, "more than a thousand people came to Western Kentucky University’s south lawn to hear Clinton speak…Kentucky Speaker of the House Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, introduced Clinton…He said, 'She has the ability to make our country great again.'" In the crowd, one supporter "said she came to the rally because she wanted to see the next president of the United States."
Read more.
Mayfield, KY: "Take a vote from the crowd that turned out in Mayfield Sunday and Senator Hillary Clinton would be the next president. She got a spirited welcome from about 600 supporters outside the Chamber of Commerce Sunday afternoon." Said one local supporter: "It definitely has changed over the years and its gotten worse and I'm looking for something better."
Read more and more.
'Honk and Wave': In Rapid City, SD, volunteers have launched a "Honk and Wave" campaign in support of Hillary. "All of us are out here and we're going to be and we're going to support her to the very bitter end, when she wins on June third," said one.
Read more.
On Tap: Hillary will spend Election Night in downtown Louisville, KY.

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