One thing that has the Iraqi and U.S. military worried is the use of women and mentally retarded people in a series of recent attacks carried out by al-Qaida in Iraq.
Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a U.S. military spokesman, said Wednesday that two women used as suicide bombers in attacks against two pet markets in Baghdad earlier this month had undergone psychiatric treatment, though nothing in their records showed they had Down syndrome, as initially suggested.
He said the women had been positively identified as residents from the northeastern outskirts of Baghdad who were in their late 20s or early 30s.
The Iraqi claim that mentally disabled women were used in the Feb. 1 pet market bombings that killed nearly 100 people was met initially with skepticism.
The mainstream media in the United States continues to ignore the FACT that attacks are increasing in Iraq, especially those aimed at the United States Marines and United States Army.
The Marine Corps Times http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2008/02/ap_Iraq_ceasefire_080220/
is reporting there is a great deal of concern among military commanders in Iraq that the bottom is falling out of the calm that has established by "the surge" in Iraq.
Also, firebrand anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr raised the possibility Wednesday that he may not renew a six-month cease-fire widely credited for helping slash violence.
Earlier on Wednesday rockets were fired into U.S. positions around Baghdad injuring four U.S. Army soldiers and killing an Iraqi police chief and 15 Iraqi policemen.
The Bush Administration and their puppet mouthpiece are not doing the American public justice, nor are they being honest with the 160,000 American men and women stationed in Iraq, when they continually insist that Iraq is becoming more and more peaceful.
Suicide bombings are on the increase in Baghdad and all across Iraq and bodies of Iraqi citizens are found everyday in parts of Iraq.
Adding to the instability of Iraq is the fact the Iraqi government can't seen to come to any progress with the benchmarks that were putdown by the Bush administration and the Iraqi government, such as it is.
Commentary by Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE, http://corksphere.blogspot.com/, the blog that captures what is REALLY happening in Iraq and Afghanistan and not "pep talks" by the Bush administration and FOX NEWS.
ATTACKS IN IRAQ ARE INCREASING ACCORDING TO THE MARINE CORPS TIMES
By Patrick Quinn - The Associated PressPosted : Wednesday Feb 20, 2008 14:31:40 EST
BAGHDAD — With deadly attacks against American targets increasing around Baghdad, firebrand anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr raised the possibility Wednesday that he may not renew a six-month cease-fire widely credited for helping slash violence.
Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a U.S. military spokesman, blamed a flurry of rocket attacks on Iranian-backed Shiites — including one on Monday against an Iraqi housing complex near the country’s main U.S. military base that killed at least five people and wounded 16, including two U.S. soldiers.
“These criminals launched 16 rockets in the direction of Baghdad International Airport, West Rashid and the Victory Base Complex,” he said, adding that they were “apparently unconcerned where these rockets would land and explode.”
He said that attack and others were carried out by “Iranian-backed Special Group criminals,” a term often used to describe groups that have either splintered away from al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army or refused to respect the cease-fire he declared last August.
Iraqi police held funerals for 14 officers killed Tuesday night as they responded to a rocket attack launched from a predominantly Shiite neighborhood against U.S. posts in the capital.
The U.S. military has angered some Sadrist factions by carrying out raids against what it describes as Iranian-backed breakaway factions of the Mahdi Army militia. There have been numerous calls from within the militia and its political wing to call off the cease-fire.
The cease-fire has been a key element in a three-piece puzzle that has come together to help reduce violence around by more than 60 percent since June — and by nearly 80 percent in Baghdad. The other two elements are the influx of thousands of U.S. troops last summer, and the creation of a Sunni-dominated force funded by the U.S. military to fight al-Qaida in Iraq.
“Al-Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr’s cease-fire has been helpful in reducing violence and has led to improved security in Iraq. We would welcome the extension of the cease-fire as a positive step,” Smith told The Associated Press, using an honorific reserved for descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.
Sheik Salah al-Obeidi, a spokesman for al-Sadr in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, said that if the cleric failed to issue a statement by Saturday saying the cease-fire was extended, “then that means the freeze is over.”
On an Internet site representing al-Sadr, al-Obeidi said that al-Sadr “either will announce the extension or will stay silent and not announce anything. If stays silent, that means that the freeze is over.”
Al-Obeidi told The AP that message “has been conveyed to all Mahdi Army members nationwide.”
There are fears, especially among Sunnis, that any return to active service by the Mahdi Army could put Iraq back where it was just a year ago — in chaos and on the brink of a civil war.
“The drop in violence and the quiet which Baghdad witnesses is a clear evidence that this militia was behind all the chaos in the past,” Sunni parliament member, Asmaa al-Dulaimi, told the AP.
She said a lifting the cease-fire “will affect national reconciliation and will further deteriorate the security situation nationwide. Resuming their activities, whether against the government or civilians, will lead to a new confrontation with them.”
Smith said that under current conditions, violence was still dropping. He said the number of civilian deaths in Baghdad had fallen from 1,087 men, women and children killed in February 2007 to 178 in the first month of this year.
He also said the number of execution-style killings carried out by so-called sectarian death squads had dropped some 95 percent, from 800 in February 2007 to below 40 so far this month.
The number of suicide attacks, meanwhile, went from 12 a month last year to just four in January, and the number of roadside bombings was down more than 45 percent in the year since the U.S.-Iraqi operation began, he said.
“While the progress has been significant, we all know Baghdad is not safe from al-Qaida and other extremists,” Smith said.
Meanwhile, three Iraqi children were killed and seven others wounded when they were hit by an insurgent mortar attack while playing soccer outside a military supply area on Tuesday near Balad, the military said.
And in Diyala province north of Baghdad, where U.S. and Iraqi forces are working to push out al-Qaida in Iraq, a suicide bomber killed seven people and wounded 17, said an official in the provincial command operation center. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
One thing that has the Iraqi and U.S. military worried is the use of women and mentally retarded people in a series of recent attacks carried out by al-Qaida in Iraq.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 2:50 PM
The insurgents in Iraq are stepping up their attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the "Green Zone" in Baghdad and at military outposts around Baghdad.
Four U.S. soldiers have been injured in the latest wave of attacks with insurgents using rockets and mortars which they fire into the heavily fortified U.S. military positions in and around Baghdad.
The attacks also killed an Iraqi police chief and and 15 other Iraqi policemen as well as injuring 30.
Reported by Bill Corcoran, editor of this blog dedicated to the 160,000 men and women serving in the U.S. military in Iraq.
At least 15 Iraqi policemen have been killed and nearly 30 people injured after rockets that were set for launch exploded before they could be defused.
The explosions came after two rockets were fired at US outposts in Baghdad - the second such attack in as many days - injuring four US soldiers.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks but officials say they were apparently launched from Shia strongholds in the capital, raising concern about renewed activity ahead of a deadline for the anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to renew a ceasefire order.
Last august, al-Sadr ordered his al-Mahdi Army fighters to stand down for six months, but recently warned that he may not extend the ceasefire if raids against his supporters continued.
The US military has expressed hope that al-Sadr will extend the ceasefire but continues to target what it says are Iranian-backed breakaway factions in raids that have alienated his followers.
Iraqi police acting on a tip-off found the rockets primed for launch in the back of a truck in Obeidi in eastern Baghdad.
Explosives experts were trying to defuse the rockets when two of them detonated in quick succession.
Police confirmed that another two rockets had already been fired.
Iraqi government officials, police and medical workers said at least 27 people were wounded in the blast, but the US military gave a lower toll of three civilians killed and 17 wounded in the explosion.
A day earlier, at least five people were killed and more than a dozen wounded in a rocket attack on an Iraqi housing area near the Baghdad international airport and a nearby US military base.
Two US soldiers were also wounded in Monday's strikes, with US troops arresting six Iraqi suspects around the launch sites.
Iraqi police said the rockets were launched from Amil, a predominantly Shia neighbourhood southwest of the capital.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 12:14 PM
Suicide bombings in Iraq are increasing as U.S. forces battle the elements and a new wave of attacks all across Iraq, including Baghdad.
Dust storms have prevented U.S. forces from going on patrol, but it hasn't stopped the suicide bombers who use the dust storms for cover as they carry out their missions.
All across Iraq the wave of violence is escalating, but still the mainstream press in the United States looks the other way.
General David Petraeus, head of U.S. forces in Iraq, has said the drawdown of troops will be delayed because of the increased security problems all across Iraq.
Below are just a few of the incidents which took place Wednesday in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.
Bill Corcoran, editor of this blog devoted to telling the truth about the Iraq war and not Bush White House spin or propaganda from FOX NEWS.
Suicide bombing kills 7, injures 17 in Muqdadiya
Muqdadiya, Feb 20, (VOI)- At least seven civilians were killed and 17 more were wounded on Wednesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in central Muqdadiya, a security source said.
“A bomber blew up an explosive belt strapped to his body in al-Asri neighborhood in central Muqdadiya, northeast of Baaquba, killing seven and injuring 17,” the source, who asked anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq (VOI).Muqdadiya is 45 km northeast of Baaquba, the capital of Diala, which lies 57 km northeast of Baghdad.
#1: A dust storm that has gripped much of Iraq for the last two days kept police from identifying a booby trap that set off the initial explosion, he said. The storms, which shut down the capital's airport and sent dozens of Baghdad residents to hospitals with breathing difficulties, were expected to abate Thursday.Heavy sandstorms blanketed much of Iraq for a second day Wednesday, shutting down the capital's airport and sending dozens of Baghdad residents to hospitals with breathing difficulties. Southern Basra was also affected, as was the northern city of Kirkuk.
#2: In yet more violence, Samir al-Attar, deputy minister of Iraq's Ministry of Science and Technology, was wounded Wednesday when two roadside bombs detonated near his convoy about a minute apart as he was driving through Baghdad, according to police and ministry officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't allowed to release the information.Two of al-Attar's guards and three civilian bystanders were injured, the officials said on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to release the information.
#3: Three Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers were killed at approximately 10:30 p.m. Feb. 19 when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in northwestern Baghdad.
#4: Two civilians were injured on Wednesday when an explosive charge went off in central Baghdad, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off near al-Shaab international Stadium in central Baghdad, wounding two civilians,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq
#5: Around 1 p.m., a car bomb was parked at the main street of Ghazaliyah neighborhood ( in west Baghdad) near the Kamal market. One civilian was killed and two were injured.Diyala Prv:Muqdadiyah:
#1: Ten people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a market near the restive city of Baquba north of Baghdad on Wednesday, an Iraqi army officer said. "A suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt blew himself up in the market of Muqdadiyah, killing at least 10 people and wounding 15 others," General Ragheb al-Omayri told AFP.Samarra:
#1: Two would-be suicide bombers wearing explosives vests were killed by members of a neighbourhood security patrol as they tried to approach their checkpoint on Tuesday in the city of Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.Tikrit:
#1: Two Iraqi soldiers and two civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi army patrol near the town of Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.Dalouiya:
#1: Three policemen were injured on Wednesday in a bomb explosion near their vehicle patrol east of Dalouiya, a police source said“A roadside bomb was detonated targeting a police vehicle patrol near Peshiktin village, east of Dalouiya, wounding three policemen,” the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of IraqNinevah Prv:Mosul:
#1: In other violence in Iraq, four policemen were killed while on patrol in the main northern city of Mosul, a police officer said.Gunmen killed three policemen and wounded three others when they attacked their patrol in a drive-by shooting in the city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.Tal Afar:
#1: And a suicide bomber blew up his vehicle in the town of Tal Afar, which lies west of Mosul towards the Syrian border, killing one woman and wounding eight other people, General Najim al-Juburi and doctor at the local hospital said.Al Anbar Prv:
#1: U.S. forces searching for al Qaeda in Iraq fighters on Tuesday discovered 16 bodies, most killed within the past three to six months, U.S. Army officials said. The bodies were uncovered as troops searched an abandoned industrial chemical storage site in the western Iraqi desert. A 3-day-old operation in pursuit of al Qaeda in Iraq yielded signs of insurgent activity, but no fighters. Afghanistan:
#1: Militants have abducted two staff of education department in Afghanistan's western Farah province, said a press release of Afghan Interior Ministry received here Wednesday. Two supervisors of the Education Department of Farah province, busy in visiting schools in Bakwa district, was kidnapped by armed men of militant leader Mullah Ibrahim, on Feb. 18, the ministry said.
#2: A journalist who brought news to Canadian television has been detained without charge at a U.S. base in Afghanistan for almost four months, his employer says, calling for his immediate release. Javed Yazamy, 22, earned the nickname Jojo while serving as a translator for the U.S. forces but spent the past two years working primarily for CTV News in Kandahar. He went missing in October when an unknown caller summoned him to Kandahar Air Field and foreign soldiers captured him in the dusty parking lot just outside the main gate.
Chris York injured Dec. 15 in Iraq. He shipped out to Kirkuk, Iraq, last May and expected to be there until about August serving with the U.S. Army. "All we know is he was in a turret in a Humvee," said his grandmother, Karen York. The vehicle either hit a land mine or was struck by some other kind of explosive device. "They removed his spleen, one kidney, part of his stomach, part of his intestine."
Sgt. Joshua Gutierrez of the 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, was on patrol near Osut, Iraq, searching for missing U.S. soldiers on June 18, 2006, . Around midnight, in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Gutierrez unknowingly drove over a bomb, it exploded, and his Bradley caught fire. “I was unconscious about twenty seconds,” he said. “The guys in the cargo area got out. After I came to my senses, I tried getting out too, but my leg was already pretty much amputated. There was so much going on. My gunner pulled me out, and they got me away before the ammo and fuel blew (everything) up.” Doctors completed the below-the-knee amputation of his right leg, he had a mild traumatic brain injury, and he had three broken bones in his left leg. In succession, he needed medical care in Iraq, Germany, Texas, and San Diego.
Sgt. Andrew Parmley he felt his body forced backward and his left arm go numb. His weapon remained strapped to his chest in firing position, but in a split second, Parmley’s role had shifted from fighting soldier and combat medic to battlefield casualty. He looked down at his useless left arm. “My whole sleeve was bloody,” he said. Although the pain in his arm was “off the scale” and he wondered if it would eventually need to be amputated, he remembers feeling grateful to be alive. The bullet entered his upper arm and traveled through — damaging his ulnar nerve but missing the bone. On that late December morning, Parmley and his platoon had been on a routine mission in the farming community of Arab Jabour — an area south of Baghdad plagued with pockets of Al Qaeda militants.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 7:44 AM