Shiite Militia Attacks on US and British Troops;
The Kurds and the Kirkuk Crisis
Remember that spate of newspaper stories about July seeing the lowest number of US military deaths in Iraq since November? Darrel Plant points out that the stories began before the month was over and before the final tally was even in. It now stands at 81, the same as March. Moreover, as I pointed out, the number was double the usual toll for July, when even guerrillas are too hot to move around much, so this was not a sign of improvement.
Ladies and gentlemen, you and your news sources have been very effectively spun.
A senior member of the Shiite al-Da`wa Party of PM Nuri al-Maliki in the Iraqi parliament, Ali Dabbagh, says that no petroleum law should be passed while the country is under foreign military occupation.
The BBC measures the success of the “surge” or US troop escalation of this spring and summer.
Has the outcome of the Turkish elections and the strong Kurdish presence in parliament caused tensions between Ankara and Irbil to ease? The LA Times raises the question. James Martin reports on the tensions around Kirkuk and its possible annexation by the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Another aide to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani was killed in a drive-by shooting on Friday.
On Thursday, a roadside bomb killed 3 US troops in East Baghdad and wounded another.
I would estimate that 95 percent of all attacks on US troops are done by Sunni Arab guerrillas. The attacks in East Baghdad or Basra, however, are likely the work of Shiite guerrillas. The USG Open Source Center reports on al-Manar footage of the latter. Al-Manar is the television station of the Lebanese Hizbullah Party.
“OSC Observation: Hizballah TV Airs Exclusive Clips of Shiite ‘Resistance’ in Iraq
Lebanon — OSC Report
Friday, August 3, 2007
OSC Observation: Hizballah TV Shows Exclusive Footage of Shiite “Resistance” Groups in Iraq
Beirut Al-Manar Television in Arabic — Affiliated with the pro-Iranian Hizballah — has been observed to carry within its newscasts exclusive footage of armed operations claimed by Shiite armed groups against US and British forces in Iraq, which is apparently intended to highlight the role of Shiite “resistance” in fighting the US and British “occupation” forces in Iraq.
Since June 2007, the station has carried five reports with “exclusive footage” of armed attacks on US and British forces. The attacks were claimed by the Leagues of the People of Right in Iraq (Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq Fi al-Iraq); the Abi-al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigades; the Holy Karbala Brigades; and the Zayd Bin-Ali Brigades, which — according to Al-Manar Television — is affiliated with the Abu-al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigades
On 7 June, the station showed footage of an attack claimed by the Leagues of the People of Right in Iraq on a US Hummer. The station said that the footage was sent to Al-Manar TV on a CD.
On 15 June, the station showed footage of bombings claimed by the Leagues of the People of Right in Iraq targeting a US tank and footage of a US soldier being hit by a sniper fire.
On 6 July, the station carried what it termed as new footage of operations carried out by “the Iraqi resistance against the US and British occupation forces in Iraq.” The attacks were claimed by Abi-al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigades, Holy Karbala Brigades, and the Leagues of the People of Right in Iraq.
On 26 July, the station said that it “received a new series of videotaped operations against the US occupation forces in Iraq.” The operations were claimed by the Leagues of the People of Right in Iraq and the Zayd Bin-Ali Brigades which, according to Al-Manar Television, is affiliated with the Abu-al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigades.
On 1 August, Al-Manar Television said it received a new videotape of a number of operations against the US and British “occupation forces in Iraq.” It said that Abu-al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigades, Zayd Bin-Abi-Ali Brigades, and the Holy Karbala Brigades have claimed responsibility for these operations.”