Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A troubling new trend

Attacks in Baghdad, which initially appeared to abate in the wake of increased American troop presence, have ticked back up in recent days as the dynamic changes and the insurgency adapts their tactics.

In a daring attack west of Baghdad, two suicide truck bombers and about thirty gunmen launched an assault against an American military position. The Americans repelled the attack and killed fifteen of the insurgents, but eight Americans were wounded, and the daring nature of the attack on the post in Garna could signal a troubling new change in tactics. The Iraqis now appear to be willing to go on the offensive and attack positions, engage American forces and fight battles.

Of course this new willingness to attack Americans has not resulted in fewer Iraqi casualties. The slaughter of innocents hasn't really shown any signs of slowing down.

Seventy-seven people died in bomb blasts around Iraq on Tuesday. In a particularly insidious attack in Tal Afar, a suicide truck bomber targeted a Mosque, and lured victims to his truck under the guise of selling wheat; then detonated his charges. It was one of a pair of truck bombings in Tal Afar that killed fifty people, total, and wounded two hundred. The second bomb attack in Tal Afar targeted a used car lot.

The death toll for Tuesday is expected to rise. The attack that targeted the Mosque destroyed twenty homes and shops, and victims were still being pulled from the smouldering rubble.

Tal Afar is a diverse city near the Syrian border, home to Shi’ite, Sunni and Turkmen. Last year, president Bush extolled Tal Afar as an example of the progress the United States was making in the region.

In Ramadi, in al Anbar Province, a suicide bomber detonated a car-bomb outside a restaurant on a major street. Seventeen were killed and thirty-two were wounded in that attack according to a hospital source.


supergirlest said...

knowing that our presence is in big part responsible for this just destroys me.

i know people tend to think this will get worse if we leave, but... they said the same thing about vietnam - that it would all fade into chaos. it didn't then and if i had to guess, i'd say it wouldn't now.

opit said...

That isn't really the problem. Until it is recognized by Americans - not just Iraqis - that when it is said American presence in Iraq is much of the problem it is referring to people there on the business of the U.S. acting against Iraqi interests, the necessity of getting them out will not carry the argument. Since it's likely far too late already, that means it won't happen in time to defuse a meltdown.