Bombing Near Fallujah, Clashes in Najaf
The Iraqi Guerrilla War of 2003-2004 continued apace on Sunday and Monday.
Guerrillas detonated an enormous car bomb near Fallujah on Monday, killing 7 Marines and wounding a number of others, and killing 3 Iraqis. The rumors in Washington are that the Marines plan a major assault on Fallujah after the US elections on Nov. 2, and before the Iraqi elections in January.
There was a demonstration on Sunday in Najaf against the Mahdi Army militiamen, and clashes broke out on Monday as US forces searched for weapons stores of the miiitia and came under fire from the remnants still in Najaf. AP reports,
‘ Dozens of Iraqi troops surrounded the office of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the holy city of Najaf on Monday, but backed off amid pressure from Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, al-Sadr’s supporters and witnesses said. Al-Sadr’s Mahdi militia led a three-week uprising against U.S. and Iraqi forces in Najaf that left hundreds dead and much of the city devastated. The fighting ended with a peace deal more than a week ago. ‘
Patrick MacLeod presents an explanation for the disparity in August between 1100 wounded US troops and 66 dead. As I read him, he suggests that the Iraqi militiamen are learning to be better guerrilla fighters and to stop marching in straight lines.