3 US Troops Killed; 25 Slaughtered in Car Bomb Spree Iraq Refugees in Syria Face Hunger, Cold

Four major bombings around Iraq left at least 25 dead and dozens more wounded on Wednesday.

Al-Hayat says that a car bomber detonated his payload near the Abd al-Rasul Shiite religious center (Husayniya) in Karrada. It is expected that the count of 15 killed will rise, given the size of the explosion and how crowded the street was. In Kirkuk, a car bomber targeted the cavalcade of the provincial official in charge of security in Kirkuk, Kakman Kakarish, killing instead 3 civilians and wounding 7. In Baquba to the northeast of Baghdad, a car bomb killed 5 and wounded 13.

Sunni leader in parliament Adnan Dulaimi has been cleared of involvement in constructing and deploying car bombs. Many of his bodyguards, however, remain in US custody and are suspected of involvement in a terror cell.

About 1/3 or over 400,000 Iraqis taking refuge in Syria skip at least one meal a day, according to McClatchy. The threat of widespread hunger among the refugees has increased in seriousness as winter approaches and fuel prices remain high. Some refugees may have a choice of eating or keeping warm. There are about 1.4 million Iraqi refugees in Syria. The American press has made a big deal out of 25,000 or so of them returning in recent months (informal polling does not suggest they are returning, for the most part, because the security situation has improved.) Since some Iraqis still are streaming out of the country, moreover, and the returnees are a tiny number, it is difficult to see this small population movement as significant. The significant numbers are 2 million displaced abroad and 2 million displaced internally.

Obviously, the United States Congress should be contributing money to feed these displaced Iraqis. They are displaced because of our actions. Can’t we get up a campaign for this purpose? Couldn’t they slip it into the defense budget? It is not right that Iraqi children should be going hungry in Damascus and Aleppo because of our actions, and yet we should just go ‘tut, tut,’ and ignore it all. It is not right.

The intrepid Nancy Youssef explores the limits of Bush’s troop escalation and dependence on tribal levels, finding that neither is having any effect in the largely Sunni city of Samarra north of Baghdad.

The US will finally give the Iraqi air force a small capability of striking targets from the air next year. The only way to understand why the capability will be given so late, and why so little of it will be given, is that the US intends to retain control for some time to come.

Attempts to restore south Iraq’s marshlands are not going well. Upstream damming has made it difficult to get water levels up. The water is stagnant and there is not enough of it.

A radical Shiite group has taken a handful of Britons hostage and is threatening to kill them unless the British withdraw their troops.

Reuters reports political violence in Iraq for Wednesday. Significant incidents:

‘ BAGHDAD – A car bomb near a Shi’ite mosque in central Baghdad’s Karrada district killed 15 people and wounded 33, police said.

BAGHDAD – Four bodies were found in different areas of Baghdad, police said. . .

BAGHDAD – Two policemen were wounded by a roadside bomb targeting their patrol in Baghdad’s western Yarmouk district, police said. . .

SULAIMANIYA – Bombs destroyed a shop selling alcohol in the town of Sayyid Sadiq near the Iranian border southeast of Sulaimaniya, 330 km (205 miles) northeast of Baghdad, on Tuesday, police said.

KIRKUK – A parked car bomb killed two people in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police and hospital sources said. The bomb targeted the convoy of a police commander, Brigadier-General Kakamen Hameed, who was among 10 people wounded. One of his bodyguards was among the two killed.

MOSUL – A parked car bomb killed one civilian and wounded seven others, including a policeman, in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. . .

BAQUBA – A parked car bomb killed five people and wounded 13 on a road near a number of government offices in the city of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

SALAHUDDIN PROVINCE – Two U.S. soldiers were killed and two others wounded when gunmen opened fire after a roadside bomb exploded in Salahuddin province on Tuesday, the U.S. military said. . .

ANBAR PROVINCE – One U.S. soldier was killed and two injured by an explosion in Anbar province in western Iraq on Monday, the U.S. military said. . .

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