Of Iron Fists and Oil Sabotage
Marine Killed in Anbar
Guerrillas in Anbar Province killed a Marine on Thursday.
US forces clashed with guerrillas in Samarra, signalling a breakdown of the truce earlier worked out between city elders and US commanders, which would have provided extensive reconstruction aid in return for the city’s acceptance of US patrols. The US forces called in strikes by helicopter gunships on the guerrillas.
Operation Iron Fist 2 against the Mahdi Army in Sadr City continued on Thursday. The US employed tanks, helicopter gunships, and aerial bombardment by warplane in its assault on the militia (except that these are blunt instruments, which must inevitably harm civilians in the teeming East Baghdad slum). The fighting left one Iraqi dead and 12 wounded, many of them children.
Earlier on Thursday, guerrillas in Sadr City detonated a roadside bomb, wounding 3 US troops.
The guerrillas’ attempt to sabotage Iraq’s oil economy continued on Thursday. The Detroit Free Press notes,
“Oil official killed: Gunmen killed a senior official of Iraq’s North Oil Co. in the northeastern city of Mosul on Thursday, less than two weeks after his boss escaped an assassination attempt. Also, saboteurs attacked an oil well near Baghdad and a pipeline in the south, officials said.
An official with the South Oil Co. said on condition of anonymity that the attack on the pipeline in the city of Najaf will not affect oil exports from the south, Iraq’s main port for oil shipments.”