9 Marines among 31 Killed in Iraq
The news from Iraq on the last Saturday before the US elections was truly horrible, with an orgy of death and explosions. More US troops were killed in one day than at any time since last May. The Iraqi national guards behaved in a way that demonstrates they are nowhere near ready to take over security themselves.
The shakiness of the US coalition in Iraq was underlined when tens of thousands of Italians demonstrated in downtown Rome against the Iraq war and the support Italy has given to it. Although the rightwing government of Silvio Berlusconi can easily ignore even such a large demonstration, it seems clear that Berlusconi’s government ever fell, the Italians would be out in a flash.
Associated Press reports 31 deaths in Iraq from major violence, including the killing of 9 US Marines.
Near Fallujah, guerrillas used a car bomb to kill 8 Marines. A further Marine combat death was later reported. The car bomb had also wounded 8 Marines.
Guerrillas in Baghdad targeted the Arabic satellite channel, al-Arabiyah, with a car bomb, killing 7 persons and injuring 19.
Near Latifiyah south of Baghdad, guerrillas attacked a US convoy. Iraqi national guards then showed up, furious, and began firing wildly and throwing hand grenades. They hit several civilian vehicles, killing at least 14 persons. It seemed clear that there was a lot of what the US Pentagon calls “collateral damage.” The national guards in that region have faced a lot of attacks.
Guerrillas at Fallujah subjected Marine positions outside the city to the strongest artillery barrage seen in recent weeks. The US military responded by bombing Fallujah, attempting to hit a guerrilla mortar emplacement.
Ramadi saw further fighting on Saturday, with clashes between US troops and the guerrillas there. The fighting left two policement dead and 4 Iraqis injured. Al-Jazeerah is reporting early Sunday morning Baghdad time that 3 US Marines have been wounded.