26 Dead in Civil War
3,000 Demonstrate in Karbala
Japan has announced that it will withdraw its 600 troops from Iraq over the next few weeks. The announcement was probably prompted by the plan to turn security in Muthanna province, where the Japanese soldiers are stationed, over to Iraq.
Japan joins Italy in this firm commitment to withdrawal. Muthanna is under the control of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and its Badr Corps militia, and presumably they will provide what security there is in the province.
The British appear to just have given up on lawless Maysan, a stronghold of the displaced Marsh Arabs, who have largely gone over to Muqtada al-Sadr. Their departure from Amara strikes me as more a surrender than a withdrawal. Amara has not been kind to British troops, ever since WW I.
The Australian troops that had been at Samawah in Muthanna will be moved to Nasiriyah, to replace the departing Italians.
Three US troops have been charged with premeditated murder for shooting Iraqi detainees.
The US military operation against Ramadi continued on Monday, though details were scarce. It is a little odd that we can have a major military operation, of great importance to the ongoing war, and yet know almost nothing of its course. Likewise, I have seen no reporting on the progress of the supposed sweep of guerrillas in Baghdad. It doesn’t in any case appear to have put a crimp in the car bomb industry, as yet.
In central Baghdad, a suicide car bomber killed 4 and wounded 10 in an attack on an Iraqi army checkpoint.
In south Baghdad, a car bomb killed 3 and wounded 3 in an attack on a police checkpoint.
Guerrillas detonated a roadside bomb near the Shiite shrine city of Najaf, south of the capital, killing one and wounding 5.
In the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, guerrillas assassinated a senior police officer and injured two of his bodyguards.
Al-Zaman/ AFP say that [Ar.] guerrillas assassinated Gen. Khudair Abdallah `Ibad, the deputy police chief of Fallujah. In Mosul, guerrillas assassinated an officer in the former Baath army.
Guerrillas assassinated Makki Mandil al-Maliki, a military commander in Amara, as well as a junior officer, while wounding a third officer. They also killed 4 policemen in the Imarat al-Sakniyah district in central Amara.
Gunmen killed 3 family members in Mada’in.
In and around Baqubah, five civilians were killed and five wounded in a firefight.
In the Kifl area south of Hilla, a roadside bomb killed a civilian and wounded 5.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat/ AFP report that some three thousand persons demonstrated in Karbala on Monday morning against the US military’s arrest of Aqil al-Zubaidi, the head of the provincial council. Al-Zubaydi, from the Shiite Fadhila [Virtue] Party (a non-Muqtada branch of the Sadr movement), is under house arrest at the center of the city and stands accused of involvement in terrorist attacks. Shaikh Muhammad al-Hasnawi warned the Americans of an explosion of popular rage if this sort of thing went on.