Maliki Condemns US Raid on Sadr City
77% of Americans Say Iraq War going Badly
77% of Americans say that the Iraq War is going badly, and 66% say we should get the troops out, in a recent CBS news poll. It shows a dramatic 7% rise since last April in the proportion who want the US to withdraw.
The LAT reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki rebuked the US military over its raid into largely Shiite Sadr City (east Baghdad) on Saturday, which appears to have caused some civilian deaths. Al-Maliki insists that the US military get permission from him before conducting such raids. He has condemned US military operations in Sadr City before. He depends for political support in part on the Sadr Movement, which is strong in east Baghdad.
Turkey is giving the US military in Iraq an ultimatum: clean out the 5,000 PKK guerrillas holing up in Iraqi Kurdistan or Turkey will invade and take care of the problem itself.
The Independent reports that there has been a security meltdown in Basra, that the British troop presence there is now only 5,500 and another 500 men may be brought out soon. The British are withdrawing to a single base, the airport, where they will apparently be under siege and lack the ability to make much of a difference in the city. Some British are asking why they should be left there. But 5,000 is the minimum for force protection, suggesting that if they go below that the British will be forced to leave altogether.’
McClatchy reports that 16 bodies were found in Baghdad on Saturday, and summarizes violent attacks around the country.
Reuters reports political violence in Iraq on Saturday; major incidents:
‘ MUQDADIYA – A suicide bomber dressed as a policeman killed at least six people when he blew himself up outside a police recruitment centre in Muqdadiya, 90 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad, an Iraqi army source said.
FALLUJA – The U.S. military said it had uncovered 35 to 40 bodies in a mass grave south of Falluja, in Iraq’s Sunni dominated Anbar province. . .
BAGHDAD – Four people were wounded when a mortar round landed in the Shi’ite neighbourhood of Abu Dshir in southern Baghdad, police said. ‘
An Egyptian newspaper took strong exception to Bush’s expressed hope that Iraq would be able to emulate Israel.