Saturday, June 26, 2004

War News for June 25 and 26, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Seven Iraqis killed in three attacks in Baquba. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed in Baghdad ambush. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi Kurd killed, 40 wounded by car bomb in Arbil. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi policeman killed, one wounded by roadside bomb in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: US troops reported fighting insurgents in Diyala province. Bring ‘em on: One Iraqi policeman killed, one wounded in ambush near Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: Fighting and airstrikes reported in Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Explosions reported in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Five ICDC recruits wounded in mortar attack near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: Two decapitated bodies discovered near Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqi policemen killed, one wounded in RPG attack in Baquba. Bring ‘em on: US convoy ambushed in Najaf. Flowers and music. “‘Cultural training takes 10 seconds,’ he said: ‘The Iraqis hate us. They want to kill us. That's all you need to know.’ Such sentiments are now commonplace among the rank-and-file troops the Star surveyed during visits to three U.S.-led coalition bases in and around the Iraqi capital this week. Take the temperature of the average soldier, and you will find it high with frustration.” More troops. “In his confirmation hearing before the US Senate on Thursday, General George Casey - who will soon take over as the commander of coalition forces - said the US Central Command was planning for an increase in troop numbers in the face of the growing challenge. ‘The insurgency is much stronger than I certainly would have anticipated,' he told the senators.” Coalition of the Clueless. “Armitage, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz and Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators that they continue to believe that the insurgency is made up of a small minority of extremists and former members of Saddam Hussein's government who are bent on disrupting the drive for democracy in Iraq. But what was previously envisioned as a faltering insurgency has evolved into a significant security problem and a largely unknown quantity.” “We’re making good progress.” “Everything changed with the war. Her middle brother, Ali Muhammad Maarouf, 20, a soldier, was shot and killed in the first few days of the fighting in the southern port city of Basra. And a few weeks later, after major combat was declared over but when law and order had yet to be established, her husband was shot in the head one night by a business associate. Halla said that her husband was still alive when she arrived at the hospital and that he managed to tell her, ‘Halla, be a good girl,’ before he died. Halla insisted on spending the night at the morgue, hugging Walid's body and weeping. At daybreak, one of her brothers came and gently carried her away.” Iraqi casualties. “A total of 1,258 Iraqis were killed across this Arab nation between May 4 and June 17, according to a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity. During the same period, 4,317 Iraqis were wounded.” After-action report. “This is an account of the 60-day campaign as it was seen by dozens of the soldiers who fought in key battles from April 8 through June 4 and by the commanders who guided them. It is also drawn from a tour of the area. Many of the battles took place in four cities -- Kut, Karbala, Najaf and Kufa. The soldiers were led by four lieutenant colonels, all in their early forties, each seasoned by a year in the country.” Retired Marine NCO sounds off. “Retired Marine Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey is one of an increasing number of US Army veterans and families speaking out about the actions of the occupation forces in Iraq. Mr Massey will talk to the crowds from his home in North Carolina via a telephone link-up. And the ex-marine, who was honourably discharged in December after serving 12 years with the army, will detail the horrors he witnessed while on duty in Iraq.” Commentary Analysis: “Well-equipped and highly coordinated, the insurgents demonstrated a new level of strength and tactical skill that alarmed the soldiers facing them. By the end of the day, infantry and armoured patrols had driven the insurgents from the battered centre of the city. Two US soldiers were killed in the fight. 'They were definitely better than what we normally face,' said Lieutenant T.J. Grider, 25, whose platoon fought for more than 12 hours.” Analysis: “The simultaneous offensive six days before the handover of sovereignty on June 30 to the interim government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi had two political objectives. One was to cast doubt on the reality of the handover by showing that Allawi's survival depended on the presence of 140,000 U.S. troops. Without the intervention of the U.S. Air Force, things could have gone seriously wrong on Thursday. This dependence was common knowledge to officials. The insurgents staged a blockbuster to deliver the message to the whole nation. June 30 would be a sham: The Americans will still be in charge. The second aim was to demonstrate that Sunni insurgents and other militant groups -- in this case Zarqawi's al-Tawhid wa al-Jihad (Monotheism and Holy War) organization -- could work together against the common enemy.” Casualty Reports Local story: North Carolina Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Georgia Marine killed in Iraq. Local story: Wisconsin soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: California Guardsman killed in Iraq. Local story: Wisconsin soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: New Hampshire Guardsman wounded in Iraq. Local story: New Hampshire Guardsman wounded in Iraq. Local story: California soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Three Oregon Guardsmen wounded in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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