So the violence continues.
National Iraqi News Agency reports Major General Mohammed al-Dulaimi states the 12th Division killed 6 suspects in Albu Assaf, an armed clash in Falluja left 1 rebel dead, a Saqlawiyah suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 7 Iraqi soldiers (four more were left injured), an armed clash in Ramadi ended when rebels set fire to a police station, Iraqi security forces say they shot dead 6 suspects in eastern Ramadi, Dijlah Operations Command announced they shot dead 10 suspects, an armed conflict in Kirkuk left 1 police member dead (one civilian and two more police were left injured), police say there was a rocket attack on Alhurriyah military air base in Kirkuk, Iraqi military bombed Falluja General Teaching Hospital doing substantial damage and this is "the third bombing of the hospital during the last 24" hours, a Sahwa leader's home in Mosul was blown up, and the Iraqi military's bombing of Falluja residential neighborhoods left 3 dead (including Mufti Rafi Rifal) and eleven injured.
Iraqi Spring MC notes the military's bombing in Falluja killed Sheikh Khalil al-Qubaisi Nada as well.
Iraqi Spring MC also reports Sheikh Ahmed Khaz'al was shot dead in Falluja by one of Nouri al-Maliki's snipers and that a woman in Falluja had to have her leg amputated as a result of wounds from today's military bombings.
All Iraq News adds security forces shot dead 3 suspects "near Mahaweel and Musaiyb districts."
Check my math, that's 41 dead and eighteen injured.
AFP notes, "Iraqi forces fought on Friday to retake part of a northern town and nearby areas seized by gunmen, the latest instance of authorities losing ground to militants, an official said." This is success?
Yesterday, Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) observed, "militants took over a northern Iraq town in Salah ad Din province. Militants have tried to take over the town as recently as last year, but considering the events in Anbar, this attempt could be more serious. Far from Anbar province, militants have taken over Suleiman Bek, where they are still in control."
Nouri can boast and beat his puny chest all he wants, but that's not success. It is failure, it is exposed weaknesses, it is future targets should another round start up months from now.
What his assault on Anbar has demonstrated is how weak he is, how ineffective and how quickly Iraq could splinter at any given moment.
Brute force did not keep Iraq together but it may be the way to fragment the nation into a loosely held federation -- or to fragment it into a series of independent countries.
Nouri is a failure as prime minister and that was clear before his idiotic assault on Anbar but the assault has exposed just how weak he is and how his leadership has weakened the country, not strengthened it.
Yesterday, All Iraq News reported, the government banks in central Baghdad were closed and the employees evacuated by security forces. This is success?
There is no success in Iraq, there is no success under Nouri.
That should be the key lesson of his assault that has displaced hundreds of thousands, destroyed the electricity towers in Falluja, used hospitals as targets (which is a War Crime), destroyed the public infrastructure of Anbar Province and used collective punishment on the people of the province (which is also a War Crime).
The following community sites -- plus Jake Tapper, Susan's On the Edge, War News Radio, Antiwar.com and Chocolate City -- updated last night and today: