Sunday, September 30, 2012


As the month of September winds down, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) notes Iraq witnesses its second deadliest day of the month (September 9th was the deadliest day).   BBC (link is text and video) offers, "Civilians were among those killed and injured in the attacks around the capital, but the aim of the attackers seems to have been to kill as many security personnel as possible, wherever they could reach them, says the BBC's Rami Ruhayem in Baghdad."  Jamal Hashim (Xinhua) counts 34 dead and 85 injured while explaining, "In and near the Iraqi capital, eight car bomb explosions and gunfire attacks killed up to 25 people and wounded 59 others, according to the police reports." Kareem Raheem, Suadad al-Salhy and Sophie Hares (Reuters) adds, "Two more policemen were killed when a car bomb went off in the town of Balad Ruz, 90 km (55 miles) northeast of Baghdad, and bomb planted in a parked car in al Qaeda stronghold Mosul killed a civilian."

 Most reports float al Qaeda in Iraq as the culprit.  The Irish Examiner quotes MP Hakim al-Zamili who sits on the Security and Defense Committee stating, "Al-Qaida leaders have no intention of leaving this country or letting Iraqis live in peace.  Thus, we should expect more attacks in the near future. The situation in Iraq is still unstable ... and repetition of such attacks shows that our security forces are still unqualified to deal with the terrorists." If the series of assaults were part of the Islamic State of Iraq's Breaking The Walls campaign, they will no doubt claim credit in the next few days.    July 22nd, the Islamic State of Iraq released an audio recording announcing a new campaign of violence entitled Breaking The Walls which would include prison breaks and killing "judges and investigators and their guards."  (They also threatened to attack America on US soil.)  They are only one group in Iraq resorting to violence.  On the continued violence, Mohammed Tawfeeq offers this framework, "The violence comes just days after dozens of prisoners broke out of a jail in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit. Among those who got out Thursday were several al Qaeda members on death row, according to authorities. The jailbreak occurred when armed men detonated two car bombs at the gates of Tasfirat jail. The explosions triggered clashes with security forces."

The Associated Press observes, "The blasts brought September's death toll from sectarian violence to nearly 200 people -- a grim, above-average monthly total for the period since U.S. troops left last year. The steady pace of attacks has worked to undermine confidence in the government."  AFP's tally for the month is 253 killed.  Counting through Saturday, Iraq Body Count tabulates 320 deaths in September.

The continued violence is probably among the reasons Nouri is negotiating with the White House to bring large amounts of US troops back into Iraq.  (A small number never left.)  And the threat that he could be overthrown is probably another reason.  Baghdad was under crackdown recently -- obviously not today -- after informers called security forces last weekend to inform them there were multiple bombs already set up in Baghdad. 

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.

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