View Full Version : Coalition Commander Calls Iraq Attacks 'Anomaly'

01-07-2006, 12:15 AM
6 Jan. Voice of America - Coalition Commander Calls Iraq Attacks 'Anomaly' (http://www.voanews.com/english/Coalition-Commander-Calls-Iraq-Attacks-Anomaly.cfm).

Coalition Commander Calls Iraq Attacks 'Anomaly'
By Al Pessin
06 January 2006

The coalition commander in Iraq calls this week's series of insurgent attacks in the country "an anomaly." And his top general in western Iraq, where one particularly deadly attack happened on Thursday, does not see this week's attacks as part of any new trend.

The coalition commander, General George Casey, told the Cable News Network, violence in Iraq spikes periodically, but that it should not distract attention from the progress made in the last year in developing Iraq's security forces and political system. General Casey said foreign insurgents and their Iraqi supporters are trying to foment civil war, but he does not believe they will succeed.

Also on Friday, the commander of coalition forces in western Iraq said citizens in Ramadi blame foreign al-Qaida terrorists for the attack Thursday that killed at least 67 people at a police recruiting center in the town.

In an interview via satellite with reporters at the Pentagon, General Stephen Johnson said he has no evidence to indicate who planned the attack, but he said it fits the pattern of al-Qaida suicide operations. There have been several such attacks on recruiting centers.

General Johnson says violence in western Iraq surges and recedes on a regular basis, but he sees evidence that the recent election will help turn the tide of public opinion toward support for the new Iraqi government, and away from support for the insurgents.

"We are hearing an increasingly larger number of moderate voices, who want to give the political opportunities, the political process, a chance," he said.

Still, General Johnson says the insurgency will continue, until Iraq's new government is formed and has a chance to demonstrate that it can govern.

The general also said his forces in western Iraq are part of the new effort to focus on the development and deployment of Iraqi police forces. He said the increasing number of Iraqi army troops in the area are establishing basic security, and creating the conditions in which newly formed police units can begin to operate.

01-07-2006, 12:47 AM
6 Jan. Washington Post - Insurgents Kill 140 as Iraq Clashes Escalate (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/06/AR2006010600386.html).

The residents of Ramadi had had enough. As they frantically searched the city's hospital for relatives killed and wounded in bomb blasts at a police recruiting station Thursday, they did something they had never publicly done: They blamed al Qaeda in Iraq, the insurgent movement led by Abu Musab Zarqawi.

"Neither the Americans nor the Shiites have any benefit in doing this. It is Zarqawi," said Khalid Saadi, 42, who came to the hospital looking for his brother, Muhammed. Others said they hoped that sympathies in the city, considered a hotbed of support for the Sunni Arab insurgency, would turn against Zarqawi's faction...

Saadi later learned that his brother was dead, one of more than 140 people killed in attacks Thursday in Iraq. The violence, which included a suicide bombing in Karbala, contributed to one of the bloodiest days since the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003...

Some of those killed were tribal leaders who had come to supervise the recruitment of residents into the country's police force, said Majeed Tikriti, a doctor in Ramadi's hospital. Local leaders have repeatedly demanded that U.S. and Iraqi authorities allow men from Ramadi to serve in Iraq's armed forces. They had argued that only locally recruited soldiers could bring a measure of control to the city of 400,000 on the Euphrates River, which is considered one of the key centers of the Sunni-led insurgency...

01-07-2006, 01:41 AM
I think Casey is being a bit optimistic. Id like to think he was right but it seems to me a civil war has already started, when coalition troops leave it will go out of control.

01-07-2006, 01:49 AM
6 Jan. Associated Press - Iraq Violence May Provoke Shiite Backlash (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/06/AR2006010600132.html).

A spree of bloodshed that killed nearly 200 people in two days, including 11 U.S. troops, threatened to provoke a backlash from Shiite militias. Iraq's largest religious group rallied thousands Friday against what it claimed was American backing for some Sunni Arab politicians they say have supported insurgents.

Military officials announced the deaths of six more U.S. troops in the recent violence that has swept Iraq, bringing to 11 the number of Americans killed on the same day.

In Baghdad's Sadr City slum and in its northern Kazimiyah suburb, thousands of angry Shiites rallied to condemn twin suicide attacks Thursday that killed at least 136 people, including the U.S. troops.

The protesters also denounced what they claimed was American backing for Sunni Arab politicians who have supported insurgent groups and are now protesting that last month's elections were tainted by fraud...

The rallies and threats by the Iraq's largest Shiite religious party to react with force if the militant attacks continue have renewed fears that paramilitary militias _ now thought to make up part of some elite police units_ would take to the streets and carry out reprisals...