Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Your tax dollars at work (With an update on "participation", "fostering" and "safety")

Here is part of the Azzaman account of events yesterday (Tuesday March 25) in Sadr City, including eyewitness accounts of American planes firing on residential areas*; and of American forces being used to try and protect the local office of the Badr organization (the military wing of Hakim's Supreme Council, main supporter of the Maliki government). The journalist also highlights the point that the Maliki government announced it will be using an anti-terror law to deal with the general strike campaign.

Tension prevailed yesterday in Baghdad when hundreds of Sadrist members demonstrated for an end to the targeting of members of the Sadrist movement, simultaneously with a general strike in those neighborhoods. The Sadrist bloc said it is undertaking a withdrawal of confidence in the Maliki government, in response to the the government's announcement that it would apply the Law against Terror [dating from 2005] to deal with those implementing civil disobedience.

And there was an outbreak of violence at Hamza Square in Sadr City between followers of the Sadrist movement and [those of] the Supreme Council, according to eyewitnesses who also said American planes fired on [or bombed] locations in the city. Witnesses said the whole of Sadr City was shut down by the general strike with commercial locations having shut their doors, and the streets empty of people. Eyewitnesses said American planes fired on [or bombed] the residential concentration in Al-Habibiya. Azzaman was unable to obtain any comment from the multinational forces with respect to this.

Also, the American forces put up a security cordon around the offices of the Badr organization in Hamza Square. An eyewitness said he saw a child with a gunshot wound to the stomach. A source in the Sadr office denied there were any armed clashes between members of the Mahdi Army and government security forces in Baghdad or the suburbs. Sources told Azzaman that joint forces conducted arrest operations targeting members of the Mahdi Army...

*VOI got confirmation from a US Army spokesperson who confirmed that US helicopters "participated in targeting areas" in connection with these operations, and that US forces "fostered" the blockade checkpoints. He isn't reported to have said anything about US forces protecting the Supreme Council offices. Luckily, however, everything is all right now: "Despite some terrorist activities in the city on Tuesday, citizens are safe," he explained.


Anonymous Steve said...

Meanwhile, in Hilla.....

"U.S. copters bombed sites used by gunmen in Hilla's neighborhoods of al-Askari, Ahmed Nader and Muhaizem, killing more than 60 militants and destroying some houses," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq- (VOI).
From his part, Abdellatif Rayan, an MNF-Iraq media adviser told VOI that the operation was carried out as Iraqi forces requested an air support while clashing with gunmen in central Hilla.
Hilla, capital city of Babel, has been a scene of clashes that erupted between security forces and fighters of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia.

From VOI:

3:07 PM  
Blogger badger said...

yeah. No mnf announcement. I didn't know outlaws liked to clump together like that. We'll see what the papers have to say ...

5:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home