Guerrilla violence left at least 57 dead in Iraq on Tuesday, with 22 killed in two truck bombings in the northern
refinery city of Baiji. The violence left nearly 120 wounded. (The attacks in Baiji appear to have targeted a tribal sheikh allied with the US.) Guerrillas set off three major bombs in Baghdad. A private security firm based in Kuwait killed two women in a car, which apparently did not slow down as they had ordered. In the northern big city of Mosul, gunmen assassinated the deputy chief of police.
Gunmen kidnapped the director of Basra International Airport in south Iraq. The British are drawing down their troops in Basra on the grounds that it is now secure. (
The Institute for War and Peace Reporting recently posted a report on journalists in Basra living in an atmosphere of fear:
‘ “The red lines that no media outlet in Basra dares to cross include writing stories about militias, administrative and financial corruption by officials and the interference of some parties in government affairs,” said a local reporter who preferred no to be named. Iran is also another red line. No one dares to write directly about what Iran does in Basra.” ‘
After Kurdish guerrillas killed over a dozen Turkish troops, Turkey’s prime minister authorized a military strike against suspected guerrilla strongholds in Iraqi Kurdistan on Friday.
The US State Department immediately asked Turkey to reconsider using force in this way. Turkey’s leaders are already annoyed with the US over the looming Congressional resolution condemning Turkey for the Armenian genocide of 1915, and some politicians are suggesting that Incirlik Air Force Base could be closed to the US if the resolution passes. The base is now a major route for getting supplies to the US military in Iraq. The Armenian Lobby is behind the congressional vote and is being opposed by the Turkey Lobby.
Time asks if the US has abandoned Shiite south Iraq, and answers “yes.”
At the Napoleon’s Egypt blog: an officer complains of having been dragooned into Bonaparte’s effort without even knowing that he was headed for Egypt. He says of that country’s tribal leaders: “As soon as we were put on shore we began to fight against certain nations, known by the name of Bedouins: nations of the most barbarous kind. At first they made no prisoners. When General Bonaparte saw this, he sent them a Manifesto in their own language, informing them, that if they put their prisoners to death, he should be obliged to retaliate. Notwithstanding this, they have not altered their conduct.”