Another Helicopter Downed 5 Americans

Another Helicopter Downed, 5 Americans Dead
Mahdi Army Pledges not to Respond to US Arrests

Sunni Arab guerrillas used some sort of surface to air rocket or missile a heavy PKC machine gun of a sort the US has trained the Iraqi Army in to shoot down a Blackwater helicopter guarding a high-level US ground convoy.* This downing of a helicopter is the second such attack in the past few days. See Today in Iraq.

Guerrillas (probably Shiite militiamen) wounded 7 British troops in Basra on Tuesday with bombings or mortar attacks.

In Baghdad and Mosul, a further 45 persons were killed by new violence or showed up dead in the streets, and US forces killed a further 16 in clashes. Guerrillas detonated five car bombs in the capital, including one in the Karrada district. Some districts of Mosul, according to al-Zaman, witnessed pitched battles most of the afternoon on Tuesday. Al-Sharq al-Awsat says that guerrillas in Mosul killed 5 policemen and wounded 3.

US and Iraqi troops launched an operation in the Sunni Adhamiya district of Baghdad.

Reuters reports a US firefight with guerrillas at Ramadi, guerrilla attacks in the supposedly pacified cities of Fallujah and Tal Afar, and killings and assassinations in a wide number of Iraqi cities.

US forces have captured some 600 Mahdi Army militiamen since the current push against guerrilla violence began.

Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that leaders of the Mahdi Army are saying they will not retaliate for the arrests. Baha’ al-A’raji, a Sadrist MP, said that the followers of young Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr would not stand against the Baghdad security plan.

Oh, great. Now Bush’s Iraq War is in danger of destabilizing Pakistan, too.

Representative Walter Jones (R-NC) will introduce a bill forbidding Bush from undertaking military action against Iran without Congressional authorization. Good for him! Maybe someday we’ll get our Constitition back.

—–

*Thanks to readers who corrected this point and provided additional information.