Thursday, January 10, 2008

The US forces invited families back to Arab Jabour only four weeks ago

Roads to Iraq calls attention to this:

Radio Sawa broadcast on December 11 the good news from the American forces that the regions of Arab Jabour and Al-Buaitha had been definitively cleared of the last vestiges of AlQaeda. Here's what their website reported that day
Joseph Inge, fourth brigade, third American infantry division, said his forces with the aid of the Awakening forces had been able to clear out the last strongholds of AlQaeda in the regions of Arab Jabour and Al-Buaitha south of Baghdad. He told Radio Sawa: "We have secured the area by freeing it from the threat of AlQaeda, with the assistance of local citizens". And Captain Inge called on the families that had fled to return to their homes in those areas, promising every type of support and assistance to those families.
On Thursday 40 "targets"--described by the miitary as "reported AlQaeda safe-havens"--were hit by a total of 40,000 pounds of bombs dropped on Arab Jabour in a 10-minute raid by the American Air Force assisted by another brigade, the second, of the same third American infantry division that had invited families back into the area only three weeks ago. The military had no information on how many people it killed.

It is the same old question that keeps coming back in so many forms: Was this incompetence, a mistaken declaration of the all-clear, followed by a slight course-correction? To believe that, you'd have to believe that there were in fact 40 AlQaeda locations where three weeks before the Americans had said there were none, in an area that they now controlled. Controlled with the assistance of their new-found local allies, that is. Or was this bombing motivated by something else, perhaps connected with the politics of the Awakenings, because certainly the scope of this bombing suggests the concept of making this area into a shock-and-awe example of something: US military spokesman later told AP that this was "one of the largest air-strikes since the onset of the war"; and the AP reporter says it "recalled the Pentagon's 'shock and awe' raids in the 2003 invasion".


Blogger anna missed said...

They probably saw Iranian speedboats moving through the area. And wanted to make an impression.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Dancewater said...

on Iraq Today blog for security incidents for Jan 10th, I included two videos made by the US military of Arab Jabour - one made on 12/27/07. they are talking about how safe the area is, and how al Qaeda was removed.

10:33 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Fascinating stuff. The link to these videos on Iraq Today is here

Note that these videos were produced by the Second Combat Brigade, which is the same unit that assisted the Air Force in the bombing raid, described by the spokesperson as one of the biggest bombing raids since the invasion.

In other words, they were celebrating control of the area with their local allies on Dec 27, and two weeks later they launched one of the biggest bombing raids since 2003. And the media weighs in on this with its silence...

11:03 AM  
Blogger Dancewater said...

It is unexplainable, but I would like to know how many people were killed and what their ages and gender were.

6:46 PM  
Blogger badger said...

There is an initial report in Al-Hayat this (Sunday) morning quoting local people to the effect a lot who didn't leave in time were killed, and AMSI is talking about "dozens", but the reporter admits the whole thing is still "murky"... There's something here we're not understanding.

7:08 PM  
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