2 US GIs Killed, 8 Wounded; Turkish Air Strikes against Kurds; Bombs in Baghdad Kill 8; Basra Police Chief Escapes Attempt on his Life

Turkish war planes and helicopter gunships attacked Kurdish guerrillas in eastern Anatolia on Wednesday, making at least one raid into Iraq according to wire services. An Iraqi delegation is going to Ankara to try to resolve the crisis, which may eventuate in a Turkish incursion into Iraqi territory.

A bombing of the Shiite Diyala Bridge district killed 8 persons and wounded 20 in the Iraqi capital.

A day after Basra security forces clashed with the militia of Muqtada al-Sadr, gunmen attempted but failed to assassinate the city’s police chief. The police chief is from the Islamic Virtue Party (Fadhila) which is nominally in charge of the province. The party is opposed by the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and by Sadrists, among others.

Muqtada al-Sadr insists that his Mahdi Army paramilitary continue the 6-month freeze on its activities.

It should be remembered that the JAM laid low in fall of 2004, as well, but eventually reemerged to engage in violence. It is a mass movement; it cannot be summarily decommissioned, and is likely to show back up eventually.

An Iraqi commission found Blackwater security guards guilty of killing 17 Iraqis in cold blood and the Iraqi government is determined to see the company expelled from the country and wants substantial reparations paid to the families of the victims.

Fred Kaplan on how the new air strike policy of dealing with Iraqi guerrillas is bad counter-insurgency and guaranteed to alienate the Iraqi population further from the US. See also my comments of yesterday.

John Judis on the way Bush’s Iraq War is of a piece with the history of imperialism.

Reuters reports civil war violence in Iraq for Wednesday. Major incidents (in addition to the bombing in Baghdad mentioned above):

‘ BAIJI – Insurgents killed a U.S. soldier and wounded five others near the northern Iraqi town of Baiji, 180 km (112 miles), the U.S. military said. . .

TIKRIT – A U.S. soldier was killed and three others wounded when a mine exploded while they were conducting security operations in Salahuddin province, the U.S. military said. . .

BAGHDAD – Iraqi security forces found six bodies across Baghdad on Wednesday, police said. . .

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb exploded near a police commando patrol, wounding three people, including two policemen, in the Qadissiya district of southwestern Baghdad, police said. . .

BAGHDAD – Iraqi soldiers killed five gunmen and arrested 48 others during the last 24 hours in different parts of Iraq, the Defence Ministry said.

BAGHDAD – Clashes erupted between insurgents and police in the capital Baghdad, leaving two policemen and two insurgents dead and one insurgent wounded on Tuesday, police said.

HIB HIB – Three mortar rounds killed three people and wounded 24 others when they landed on the village of Hib Hib, 8 km (5 miles) northwest of Baquba, police said. . .

DIWANIYA – Iraqi police arrested Sulaiman al-Edami, a member of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s political movement, when they raided his house in a town near Diwaniya, 180 km (110 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Four bodies, including a woman and a girl, were found shot in separate attacks on Tuesday in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. ‘

McClatcy has more. A warm congratulations to the six Iraqi women journalists of McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau on their ‘Courage in Journalism’ award. Well deserved!

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