3 US Troops Killed, 4 Wounded
Guerrillas near Samarra detonated a roadside bomb as a US convoy passed on Sunday, killing two US soldiers and wounding 3 others.
In Mosul, guerrillas set off another roadside bomb, killing one US soldier and injuring another, along with an Iraqi civilian. US troops killed one guerrilla in response.
BBC monitoring reports that Dar Al-Salam radio says the Iraqi Islamic Party HQ in Baghdad suffered huge damage in an explosion, apparently from an explosive charge, on Sunday. No one seems to have been wounded. The IIR of Muhsin Abdul Hamid has cooperated with the Americans, but it is close ideologically to the Muslim Brotherhood and one wonders who had a motive to blow up its HQ. Perhaps Abdul Hamid is being punished by Iraqi nationalists for serving on the Interim Governing Council?
The hostage crises continued, with a Filipino hostage in particular danger. The Philippines will not renew its troop commitment beyond August.
The gradual peeling away of the Coalition of the willing in Iraq has been little reported because it is happening piecemeal. But after the Spanish left several of the Central American contingents did as well, and the Norwegians are gone, too. It would be interesting to tally up the number of countries that left or are leaving Iraq May-September this summer. The hostage taking probably is not responsible, but the poor security situation explains both the hostage taking and the reluctance of small peace keeping countries to remain involved.
Junichiro Koizumi of Japan appears to have been punished by the Japanese electorate for his strong pro-Bush stance on Iraq. He won’t be forced to resign after a poor showing in Sunday’s Senate elections, but he has been weakened and humiliated.
Bush’s Iraq war may be the biggest setback for the international Right in decades.