Guerrillas Kill 5 GIs
Bombings, Attacks, Kill 44 Iraqis
UN: Nearly 1 Million Displaced since US Invasion
5 US GIs were killed or announced killed on Sunday in Iraq and guerrillas killed some 44 persons in political violence.
83 US military personnel have been killed by guerrillas in Iraq since October 1.
AP’s intrepid Hamza Hendawi reports on how the violence has ruined the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast (Id al-Fitr) for most Iraqi Muslims.
*Guerrillas near Baquba northeast of Baghdad ambushed a bus full of police recruits, killing 15 and wounding 25.
*Several bombers targeted Shurjah Market in Baghdad, killing 9 persons and injuring dozens. It was crowded with shoppers picking up gifts and food for the holy day.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports [Ar.] in southeast Baghdad, clashes broke out between a Shiite clan and a Sunni Arab clan that left 9 persons dead.
‘ Sunday’s killings raised to at least 950 the number of Iraqis who have died in war-related violence this month, an average of more than 40 a day. The toll is on course to make October the deadliest month for Iraqis since April 2005, when the AP began tracking the deaths. Until this month, the daily average had been about 27. The AP count includes civilians, government officials and police and security forces, and is considered a minimum based on AP reporting. The actual number is likely higher, as many killings go unreported. ‘
Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that [Ar.] Salih al-Maliki, and adviser to the Ministry of Defense, has laid the blame for the failure of the current Battle of Baghdad on fifth columnists inside the Iraqi security forces.
He seems to be arguing that guerrillas and militiamen are getting tipped off when the sweep will come to their neighborhood. Also, he said, the security forces are still very badly equipped.
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees estimates that 3 million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes during the past 36 years.
About 1 million have been displaced since the US invasion a little over 3 years ago.
*1.5 million have been internally displaced to other parts of Iraq. About half of these have been forced from their homes since the US invasion in 2003.
*1.6 million have been displaced abroad, mainly to Jordan and Syria. Of these:
*About 800,000 are in Syria
*About 700,000 are in Jordan (over 10% of the population!)
*100,000 are elsewhere in the region.
Some of those forced abroad have been there for years.
But the proportion of recent arrivals is rising quickly. Another 40,000 Iraqis arrive in Syria every month! That is half a million a year.
Syria only has 19 million people, so 800,000 is nearly 5 percent! Jordan, with 700,000, is over 10 percent Iraqi now. Iraqis are to Jordan as the Latino wave of immigration has been to the US. One problem: The US is an advanced economy and is growing. Jordan and Syria are both economically messes and there is no way they can absorb such a big influx economically without help. But the budget of the UNHCR for Iraqi refugees has actually been falling rapidly in the past 2 years.
AP reports on the Iraqis in Syria.
John Amato at “Crooks and Liars” points out that Bush actually peddled to George Stephanopolous the line that “we’ve never been ‘stay the course'”!