Iraq balkanization: U.S. Troops Launch Offensive in Iraq


Richard Moore

From today's article:

    BAGHDAD, Oct. 1 -- About 1,000 U.S. troops stormed through the
    western Iraqi town of Sadah near the Syrian border early
    Saturday morning, battling foreign fighters loyal to al Qaeda,
    the military said in a statement.

To this we can apply the same comments published in our posting of 
16 Sep 2005, "Dahr Jamail: Iraq Dispatches":

    While the US military claims to have killed roughly 200
    "terrorists" in the operation, reports from the ground state
    that most of the fighters inside the city had long since left
    to avoid direct confrontation with the overwhelming military
    force (a basic tenet of guerrilla warfare).
    The targets of this military operation are the Sunni Turkmen
    who are politically on the side of the Sunni Arabs. Most
    Sunnis will be voting against the constitution during the
    coming vote of October, 15th.
    Both the Cheney Administration and its current
    puppet-government in Iraq benefit from destroying the voting
    (and living) ability of the majority of people in the "Sunni
    triangle," so we have the operation in Tal-Afar, most likely
    to be followed by similar operations in Al-Qa'im, Haditha,
    Samarra, and possibly more.

In general, whenever Al Qaeda is blamed for anything, there is 
bound to be another agenda at work. 


U.S. Troops Launch Offensive in Iraq 

By Jackie Spinner 
Washington Post Foreign Service 
Saturday, October 1, 2005;  9:15 AM 

BAGHDAD, Oct. 1 -- About 1,000 U.S. troops stormed through the
western Iraqi town of Sadah near the Syrian border early
Saturday morning, battling foreign fighters loyal to al Qaeda,
the military said in a statement.

A joint force of Marines, soldiers and sailors took part in
the assault, which the military dubbed "Operation Kabda Bil
Hadid, " or Iron Fist. The operation aimed to "root out al
Qaeda in Iraq terrorists operating in the area and to disrupt
terrorist support systems in and around the city," according
to the military.

No civilian or military casualties were immediately reported
in the offensive, according to news agency reports. The U.S.
strike comes two weeks before a referendum on a new
constitution for the country.

The Al Qaeda in Iraq group is led by Jordanian-born militant
Abu Musab Zarqawi, the most feared insurgent in Iraq, whose
network is responsible for the most violent and deadliest
attacks of the insurgency that followed American-led invasion
of Iraq in 2003.

For the past several months, insurgents within Sadah, in the
Qaem region about seven miles from the Iraqi border with
Syria, have escalated their "intimidation and murder campaign"
against residents and local government officials, the U.S.
military said. That enabled the insurgents to travel more
freely within the region, which has served as a key
entry-point and base for al Qaeda fighters entering Iraq from

Qaem has replaced the western Anbar city of Fallujah as the
center for al Qaeda command and activities after American and
Iraqi forces retook control of Fallujah in November 2004.

American forces have been hitting back at insurgents
regrouping in Qaem, a critical point geographically because
supplies and fighters crossing from Syria then head to other
insurgent hotspots, including Ramadi, Mosul, Tal Afar and

The military said it hoped to stem the flow of foreign
fighters crossing the border. It also wants to secure the area
for the upcoming Oct. 15 national referendum in which Iraqis
will vote on a new constitution.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military released some 500 Iraqi detainees
from the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of
Baghdad Saturday, completing its plan to free a total of more
than 1,000 this week in honor of the Muslim holy month of
Ramadan, according to the Associated Press.

And Iraqi police announced that a Danish soldier was killed
and two others wounded in a roadside bomb attack outside Basra
Saturday in southern Iraq, according to the Reuters news
agency. Denmark has some 500 soldiers serving in and around
Basra, where British forces have overall command. The death is
the second among Danish troops serving in Iraq. The first
Danish soldier to die in Iraq was killed by friendly fire in
August 2003.

As Iraqi and American officials predicted, insurgent attacks
have increased in the weeks leading up to the referendum vote.
In two deadly attacks this week, more than 100 people died in
sectarian violence appeared aimed at Iraq's majority Shiite

This week car bombs in predominantly Shiite cities in Iraq
killed more than 100 people, most of them civilians.

On Thursday night, 85 people died in the northern city of
Balad when three bombs detonated in public places crowded with
people buying groceries and preparing for the beginning of the
two-day weekend. The next morning, a car bomb exploded in a
crowded vegetable market in Hilla, killing 14 people,
including women and children. A booby-trapped bicycle killed
five civilians at the beginning of the week, on Monday.

In a rare condemnation of the sectarian attacks, the Sunni
Iraqi Islamic Party on Saturday called the bombings "sinful
doings." The group pleaded for a stop to the fighting in
advance of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar,
which begins Monday or Tuesday, depending on the lunar

"We call for all Iraqis . . . to respect God and stop fighting
and appeal to forgiveness and solve their problems by word,
not by weapons. Otherwise, chances are lessening and whoever
plans, provokes, or perpetrates the bloodshed is responsible.

In a telephone interview, Naseer Ani, who heads the political
office of the party, said revenge killings are being committed
under the banner of sectarian violence. "We had to repeat our
position of these acts one more time," he said. "We reject all
the violent operations, in all its kinds."

A statement from the National Council for Unity and Building
of Iraq, headed by Ayham Samarraie, a former minister of
electricity under Ayad Allawi's interim government, said the
bomb attacks in Hilla and Balad "victimized dozens of innocent
sons of our country." He added, "These acts will do nothing
but increase our unity and will add another spot of shame on
the forehead of the terrorists."

Special correspondent Omar Fekeiki contributed to this report.
Staff writer Daniela Deane reported from Washington.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company 


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