Monday, March 31, 2008

Report: US Embassy moving elsewhere. Sunni group claims GreenZone attacks

The Qatari paper AlArab had this on its front page this morning:
A military source lifted the veil on information that the American ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker has decided to change the location of the American Embassy [which is now] in the Green Zone in Baghdad, because it has been suject to a series of rocket attacks in recent days, that have led to the killing and injuring of a number of American employees.

General Faisal AlAsafi, commander of a Green Zone entrance-protection unit, told AlArab that American Ambassador Ryan Crocker gave the order Saturday night to move the location of the Baghdad Embassy, temporarily, from the Green Zone to an alternate location, which he didn't specify. He said a crew composed of dozens of officials and diplomats moved the contents of the embassy to another location toward the west[ern part of] Baghdad, fearing additional rocket attacks on the Green Zone, insisting that the move is a temporary one, with the aim of the success of the joint forces in stopping the rocket attacks on the Green Zone, and pointing out that the British and Australian embassies might take the same decision in the coming hours.

And Asafi said many parliamentarians and ministers have emptied their premises in the Green Zone following a series of attacks that were accurate and precise in targeting the offices of foreign embassies and the government of Iraq, and the homes of many of ministers and parliamentarians.
The AlArab reporter notes that American officials have barred his paper and others from bringing any video equipment into the Green Zone since the attacks started, and have barred the taking of any pictures of the damage.

The AlArab reporter still assumes that all the attacks have been by the Mehdi Army. But Roads to Iraq points out that there has now been a published claim of responsibility by the Sunni resistance faction Jaish al-Muslimin, part of the Jihad and Change Front, for all of the attacks on the Green Zone since Saturday March 29 and including those of this morning (Monday March 31).

[Update: A commenter points out the Jaish al-Muslimin claim is actually for a specific number of rocket-attacks--three on Saturday the 29th, another three on Sunday, and six yesterday Monday March 31--not "all" the attacks during those days. I don't know of any daily totals of total rocket and mortar attacks on the GreenZone during the last week or so, but the suggestion is that there are some attacks in these recent three days that they didn't claim. (The commenter refers to "reports all over Baghdad" that the Mahdi Army is still mortaring the Green Zone)].


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps to a relatively safe place
like New Jersey....

4:59 PM  
Blogger badger said...

I was thinking maybe Ottawa

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

they're moving "within hours?" They must really be getting pounded. Where is the media on this one? If the U.S. loses the Green Zone, they've lost Baghdad, and if they've lst Baghdad, they've lost Iraq

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So this is "victory" in Iraq. How does McCain spin this one?

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he'll just point out that this shows how desperate the terrorists are. and your average drooling rethug will nod in agreement.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is quite significant.
You don't move out now if you intend to stay for the next hundred years, and they [USA banking/oil & military-industrial complex] do intend to stay.
So what gives?
Certainly can't rely on the establishment MSM to report the truth/facts, I mean they do work/stay in the Green Zone, but obviously are not reporting the real impact of the mortar shelling.
For me this is interesting stuff, because I used to know an old soldier [now dead] who often told me about the extent & limitations of mortar attacks, and so for some time I've been waiting to see if/when the Green Zone becomes a target?
Sort of a litmus test of the efficacy of the rebellion/resistance.
Certainly, if this removal from the Green Zone is true & due to increased physical danger, then the occupiers are experiencing real problems keeping the lid on things.
A significant sign, IMHO.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Vierotchka said...

So much for the surge... The mortar attack surge is certainly working, though.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems plausible enough that the jaysh al-muslimeen would mortar the green zone, but the report about the statement that you linked makes no claims about "all" the mortar attacks on the gz, in fact the statement gives the number of shells they launched for each day.

there are also reports from all over baghdad that mahdi army are mortaring the green zone, so again, your suggestion that JAM (muslimeen, that is) launched "all" isn't warranted.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prelude to a US attack on Iran???

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Shirin said...

How are they leaving the Imperial Command and Control Center - ummm, sorry, "embassy"? Not being picked up by helicopters on the roof are they, by any chance?

11:11 PM  
Blogger Gener said...

The Embassy is only the biggest target in all of the city--a Vatican sized bull's-eye.

5:35 AM  
Blogger Joan said...

For those who write things like: Whoa - like to see the Waterbush Cheney cabal spins THIS! - or: We will see how McCranky McMachine gets around THAT! - as if such challenges are capable of straining the limits of those two organizations & the array of "conservative" reactionary enclaves on one edge of the US establishment media & the gopher warren of wingnut crypts in the blogosphere - think again. Once you've decided that truth & accuracy aren't as important as conceptions like "actionable intelligence" there are no more limits to how you can spin even things like evolution & gravity that to the number of potential parallel universes. I imagine its something like what happens with novelists who find that in the process of writing once the story kicks in it feels like its driving itself. But whereas the professional novelist knows how to control the imaginary world he or she occupies for a portion of every working day, the reality spinner is not actually engaged in a professional discipline but a belief system - such that the magical thinking pervades every value judgment. Think of their awe for the one defining characteristic of Ronald Reagan: that ability to keep up ones spirits & draw a happy face or some homely lesson reaffirming the enduring Spirit of America ever freakin' minute of every freakin' one of his two thousand seven hundred & sixty days in office [The early onslaught of senile dementia didn't hurt either].

This is my first post here - in fact my first time visiting & I've spent the last few hours enjoying all the posts over the last few months. My compliments to you Badger for this little wonder of a website - & to your great patience with some of the more shall we say reality challenging commenters. Ive added you to my unusual sources at Juan Cole's Informed Comment with Barney Rubin & Bill Polk & Tomdispatch particularly with Nir Rosen - but I think this site is way better because you not only dig it out of the dirt you show us where the dirt is to be found. The best parallel I can think of is the estimable Emptywheel on the firedoglake website. Zinde bashi.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vividly remember how the US helicopters took off from the embassy in Saigon , guess we will see the same there too !

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Shirin said...

"I vividly remember how the US helicopters took off from the embassy in Saigon , guess we will see the same there too !"

Iraqis should be so lucky!

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not the u.s. embassy.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't they move the embassy to Israel. That's who their fighting for anyway.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Carlo said...

Good Job! :)

11:52 PM  

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