"Family Wiped out By US; Mosul: Rapid Downward Security Spiral

Headlines you never want to see: “Family wiped out by US.” A US air strike on suspected insurgents at Tikrit went terribly wrong Wednesday, when an American missile instead killed a family of 6, including four children aged 4 to 11. Iraqis allege that the man had come out of his house and fired a gun in the air because he was afraid that thieves were in the area. The US military apparently thought he was firing at them and called in a strike on his house.

This sort of thing is why the Iraq public wants any Status of Forces Agreement between the Iraqi government and the US to ensure that US forces can only deploy force with the agreement of the Iraqi government.

Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that the security situation has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in Mosul. Yesterday a bombing killed 2 and wounded 90 persons, and a municipal leader was assassinated; in addition, a roadside bombing killed 3 US troops and their interpreter. An informed source told the Baghdad daily that the security campaign in the northern city of 1.7 mn. led by PM Nuri al-Maliki was deeply flawed. He said that there had been no coordination between the government forces sent into Mosul with the police in their 80 local HQs, nor with the 48 offices of parties that maintain powerful militias.

Peshmerga troops of the Kurdistan Alliance in Mosul began being replaced on Wednesday by units of the Iraqi Army after severe pressure was exerted by the people of the city, tribal elders, and notables. (Mosul is about 80 percent Arab, but there is a Kurdish minority; residents fear that Kurdistan is trying to annex the city). An Iraqi Army source said that in the Waterfall District in the east of the city, a Peshmerga unit had already been switched out with an Iraqi Army one.

Al-Zaman also alleges that the Badr Corps paramilitary of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq refused to surrender their HQs in Maysan Province to the government, and that the Interior Ministry apologized for them!

Some 22 Iraqis died and over a hundred were wounded in political violence on Wednesday.

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Wednesday:

‘ Baghdad

Three civilians were killed and ten others wounded in parked car bomb near Saj al Reef restaurant in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 1:00 p.m.

Police found five unidentified bodies in Baghdad . . .

Diyala

An Iraqi soldier was killed and three others were wounded in a booby-trapped house in al Naqeeb village 15 miles south of Baquba city around 6:00 a.m.

A member of Sahwa council was killed in clashes between Sahwa members and insurgents in Khan Bani Saad town 15 miles southwest of Baquba city around 7:00 a.m.

Nineveh

Gunmen killed Mosul municipality director Khalid Mahmoud and his driver in al Baladiyat area in downtown Mosul city on Wednesday morning.

Thi Qar

Seven people were wounded in a tribal fight between two sub-tribes south of Nasiriyah city on Wednesday morning. Iraqi army got involved supported by US helicopters to control. The security forces arrested 16 people including seven wounded.

Karbala

two people were killed and 15 others were wounded when a bomb exploded inside a car near Imam Abbas holy shrine in downtown Karbala city south of Baghdad around 7:00 p.m.’

Reuters has more.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are donating $1 mn. for Iraqi refugee children. Now if only the US Congress would step up.

Nick Turse on the Pentagon’s stealth corporations.

At Napoleon’s Egypt blog, an anecdote about Bonaparte facing down an officers’ mutiny in Egypt.