Abu Abd and Baghdad Security US Soldier Killed, dozens of Iraqis Killed or Wounded

Al-Hayat writing in Arabic profiles Sa’d Uraibi al-Ubaidi, known as “Abu Abd”, the ‘tribal awakening’ leader who, it claims, now controls most of the Sunni Arab neighborhoods of Baghdad. Al-Ubaidi, 35, had served as an officer in the Baath Army. He joined the guerrilla movement against the Americans, being active in the “Islamic Army.” He then joined a ‘tribal council’ and allied with the Americans against the Salafi radicals, some of whom style themselves ‘al-Qaeda.’ He told al-Hayat that he had had no choice but to ally with the Americans once “al-Qaeda” turned into Iraq’s ‘biggest enemy.’ He said he and his companions had once fought the Americans “honorably,” but that they now conclude 3-month-long security agreements with them, which can be renewed.

Six months ago, Abu Abd formed and began heading the Awakening Council of the Knights of Mesopotamia, most of the 600 members of which had earlier belonged to the ‘Islamic Army.’ It is based in the Baghdad districts of al-Amiriya, al-Khadra, al-Jami’a, and al-Adhamiya. He said that the US needs “resistance units” to control hot districts so as to establish security in them, something that Iraqis, he said, need as well. Al-Hayat maintains that his 600 fighters receive a monthly salary of $360 from the US, and that recently 300 of them were regularized as members of the al-Amiriya district police force after they passed medical exams. He maintains that there should be further such integration of his men with government institutions. Abu Abd says that in addition to salaries, the US provides logistical support and advanced weapons, as well as targeted help in case they get into a major firefight with the Salafi Jihadis. Abu Abd says that 70 Shiite families have now been enabled to return to mainly Sunni Arab al-Amiriya, because of the improved security his men provide.

Reuters reports civil war violence in Iraq for Wednesday. Excerpts:

‘ BAGHDAD – A U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were killed when a roadside bomb detonated near their patrol in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, the U.S. military said. Three U.S. soldiers were wounded. . .

DIWANIYA – Police arrested 30 people, accused of assassinations and other attacks against Iraqi security forces, in the city of Diwaniya, 180 km (110 miles) south of Baghdad, over the past 48 hours, police said.

RAMADI – At least six people were killed when a car exploded outside a courthouse being guarded by police in the city of Ramadi, 110 km (70 miles) west of Baghdad, one police officer said. Another police source put the death toll at four, with 15 wounded.

BAGHDAD – Three policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in Mansour district of western Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – The Iraqi army found six decomposed bodies buried in the gardens of two abandoned houses in the Saidiya district of southern Baghdad, the Iraqi army said.

LONDON – Two British military personnel were killed in Iraq on Tuesday when their Puma helicopter crashed near Baghdad, the Ministry of Defence said. The ministry said it was too early to speculate on the cause of the crash. ‘

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