10 US GIs Killed
44 Bodies in Baghdad
Al-Shamari Informs on Sadrists, Flees to US
Iraq had another bloody Sunday yesterday, with the US military announcing the killing of 10 US GIs.
Since last Memorial Day, nearly 1,000 US troops have died in Iraq.
Reuters reports that 44 bodies were discovered in the streets of Baghdad on Sunday, the highest number I can remember since the surge began. Reuters reports other civil war violence, including a grenade attack by guerrillas on Shorja Market in central Baghdad, which killed 2 persons and wounded 9 others. That is the market that John McCain visited with such great fanfare not so long ago. Other violence:
‘ BAGHDAD – Gunmen killed two people and wounded eight in the Bab al-Muadham area of central Baghdad, police said. . .
JURF AL-SAKHAR – A car bomb targeting an Iraqi army checkpoint killed two soldiers and wounded three near Jurf al-Sakhar, 85 km (53 miles) south of Baghdad. . .
NAHRAWAN – Gunmen killed two farmers and wounded nine others in a drive-by shooting in Nahrawan, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. . .
BASRA – British forces killed three militants during a raid in Basra against those behind a complex attack involving roadside bombs . . .’
McClatchy adds that “In a marketplace in Ramadi a car bomb Sunday killed seven and injured 12.”
Also, in Mosul, “Sunday morning, a car bomb explosion killed one person and injured five others in the Al-Dhubat neighborhood.”
US troops in Diyala found and freed 41 captives of Salafi Jihadi radicals.
Al-Zaman makes the explosive [and uncorroborated] charge that former minister of health Ali al-Shamari, a member of the Sadr Movement, has successfully sought asylum in the United States in return for providing extensive intelligence on the Mahdi Army. He is said to have gotten on an American plane and flown to this country. Al-Zaman alleges that he provided the US military with details of Iranian funding of the Mahdi Army, of its links to the Revolutionary Guards, with the identities of many heretofore undercover commanders, and with the locations of the safe houses its commanders use for meetings. (Note that al-Shamari had broken with Sadr and wanted to go to the US, so that it is difficult to know how seriously to take his allegations; he may have said what he thought Washington wanted to hear).
The US began cracking down on the Sadrist-dominated Health Ministry last February, at a time when it was alleged that Sadr was running death squads out of it.
Young Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr held a meeting with major figures in his political party on Sunday to plan out a major change in the organization and “public face” of his movement. Its reputation has been besmirched by allegations that its paramilitary, the Mahdi Army, has engaged in death squad killings of Sunni Arabs.
Al-Zaman also says that the National Iraqi List of Iyad Allawi has decided against withdrawing from the al-Maliki national unity government for now.
It also reports that the Sadrists are claiming that some death squad activity against Sunnis in Baghdad is actually carried out by the Badr Corps of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, and then falsely attributed to the Sadrists.