US Helicopter Shot Down, 2 Soldiers Dead
PM Jaafari launches a Campaign around Baghdad
Guerrillas shot down a US helicopter near Baqubah on Thursday, killing two US soldiers.
Stephen Kamarow explains the reservations many Iraqis have about what strikes them as an indecisive leadership style in Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari.
His Minister of Defense, Saadoun Dulaimi, and his Interior Minister, Bayan Jabr, announced Thursday that they intended to deploy 40,000 troops and police around Baghdad in what they called “Operation Lightning” in a bid to stop the deadly campaign of suicide bombings launched so effectively by the guerrillas since the naming of the new government.
Reuters reports that Humam Hamoudi, the chair of the constitution drafting committee in parliament, is attempting to find ways of expanding Sunni representation on that body beyond the two current members of parliament (out of 55 total). He says that the Sunnis may hold elections for the positions.
The Christian Science Monitor reports on the situation in Iraq’s universities, where as many as 100 professors have been assassinated and the poor security environment has slowed progress in restoring Iraq’s higher education establishments.
Syria revealed on Thursday that it had arrested 1200 persons who were trying to pass through its territory on the way to iraq. Syria has been annoyed at US claims it is not doing enought to stop infiltration of radical Muslim militants from Syria into Iraq. Syria has been arresting such persons all along, but is now making the fact public as part of its tiff with Washington. The Bush administration appears to believe that it can get cooperation from the Syrian government at the same time that it is openly dedicated to overthrowing it. That time has passed.
Guerrillas attempted to deploy a dog with a bomb belt against a convoy of Iraq troops, but the only victim was the unfortunate animal.
Kevin Zeese analyzes the Congressional debate on May 25 on setting a timetable for US withdrawal from Iraq, introduced by Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). The motion lost 300 to 128 with 5 not voting.