Saturday, October 6, 2007

Snapshot: Iraq, October 6

A snapshot in time of anything can't tell the whole story or firmly establish things like patterns. Yet they can give an indication of what is happening. Reuters offers a daily round-up of news from Iraq, much if not most of which doesn't get much coverage. Here is October 6:

(Reuters) - Following are security developments in Iraq at 10:00 a.m. BST on Saturday.

NEAR HAWIJA - Gunmen killed a police lieutenant and wounded a civilian when they shot at their car outside Hawija, 70 km (43 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

RIYADH - A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded two policemen and one civilian in central Riyadh, 60 km (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

KIRKUK - A car bomb targeting a police patrol wounded four policemen and a civilian in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

SAMARRA - Iraqi army, police and local groups working with U.S. forces known as "concerned citizens" killed eight gunmen, detained 37 and liberated 27 truck drivers held hostage during an operation on Thursday southwest of Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad. Four members of the Iraqi security forces and four concerned citizens were killed, U.S. military said.

FALLUJA - Iraqi police killed a gunman and detained 12 others in an operation in Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.

BAGHDAD - Four bodies were found in different districts of Baghdad on Friday, police said.

KHALIS - Iraqi and U.S. forces arrested an insurgent company commander on Friday in the town of Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, U.S. military said. Continued...

ISKANDARIYA - Beheaded body with signs of torture belonging to member of Sunni Arab tribe working with U.S. forces was found in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

MUSSAYAB - Body of a child with gunshot wounds was found in Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

MAHAWEEL - Gunmen killed an off-duty member of Iraqi special forces in Mahaweel, 75 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Three things come across clearly. One, the Iraqi police are deep in it, as targets and as actors. Two, the incident in Samarra is of a type that we wouldn't have read about since the invasion until fairly recently. Iraqi army, police, local civilians and U.S. forces kill eight hostage takers and capture another 37, while rescuing 27 hostages. Four uniformed and four civilian Iraqs died in the gunfight against the bad guys. Even as a snapshot, what does that say about where popular sentiment is leaning? Three, the last three incidents, at Iskandiriya, Mussayab and Mahaweel, all south of Baghdad, indicate a high intensity fight at the local level, with identified individual targets.

It is also worth noting, even if just in a one day snapshot - no attacks on coalition military forces or even the Iraqi military other than an individual assassination of an Iraqi Special Forces soldier. Where the Iraqi and coalition forces were involved in some numbers, they were the ones taking the attack to the enemy.

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