Sunday, March 27, 2016


Today, the US Defense Dept announced/claimed/asserted:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Baghdadi, three strikes struck an ISIL staging facility.
-- Near Hit, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Kisik, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, suppressed an ISIL mortar position and two ISIL tactical units, and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position, an ISIL anti-air artillery piece and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL security headquarters and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes suppressed an ISIL rocket firing position and an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, destroyed three ISIL assembly areas and suppressed two ISIL mortar positions, an ISIL surface-to-air firing position, and an ISIL tactical unit.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

The ongoing bombings have been ongoing since August of 2014.  They continue to this day.

Meanwhile, Kareem Raheem and Stephen Kalin (REUTERS) report,  "Powerful Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim leader Moqtada al-Sadr entered Baghdad's Green Zone, the heavily-fortified center of the capital housing government buildings and embassies, on Sunday to keep up pressure on the government to enact reforms."

With a series of self-serving statements, Moqtada announced he would rally in the Green Zone while his supporters rallied outside.

How brave.

Within the safety of the Green Zone.

Moqtada's been desperate for days now to get some publicity.

His rallies have been covered less and less -- even by Iraqi media.

None of it really worked and, by Friday evening, really only NINA was reporting on him and his rally.

Entering the Green Zone changed that.  He is said to have met with Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and ALSUMARIA reports that Saleh al-Mutlaq joined Moqtada in the tent he's set up inside the Green Zone.

While he gets a flurry of attention (please note, Mariah Carey cancelling Brussels concert is a much bigger topic on Arabic media currently), the western media ignores Falluja.

NINA reports that Arshad al-Salhi, head of Parliament's Human Rights Committee, states "that thousands of families in the besieged district of Fallujah die of hunger and pain caused by lack of food and water availability, calling on the government to assume its responsibilities in securing the requirements of insulated people."  ALSUMARIA notes that Iraqiya head Ayad Allawi is also noting the dire conditions in Falluja and calling for the Iraqi government and the United Nations to provide assistance.

 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] 4498 (plus 10 in Operation Inherent Resolve which includes at least 1 Iraq War fatality).

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