The Day the Yankees Leave . . .
The study by the Gulf Research Center found 92 confirmed suicide attacks against civilian targets [in Iraq] in February and March compared with 62 in the last two months of 2006.
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Favored "soft" targets included cafes, weddings, funerals, markets and Shiite Muslim religious sites — all of which are far less protected than "hard" targets like U.S. military bases and Iraqi government offices.
About 60 percent of Iraq's suicide attacks were carried out with explosives-rigged vehicles. Attacks using multiple bombs are also on the rise. . .
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"The success of suicide bombing in Iraq is having an effect everywhere," said Mustafa Alani, a military analyst at the Gulf Research Center.
Suicide bombers are especially effective largely because they can switch targets or change routes, the report said. While bombs carried by individuals in vests or backpacks can kill victims as far as 30 yards away, a car bomb's kill zone stretches as far as 400 yards.
This means that one truck bomb attack equals or comes close to the impact produced by one ballistic missile, and in this sense Baghdad is a city that is hit by a few ballistic missiles almost daily. Yet even more devastating than the physical impact of the attacks is their toll in psychological terms and in this regard most people in Baghdad probably went total psychos long time ago. There is no warning or sirens going on before, in a split second, one finds oneself scattered over a wide area covering a few neighborhoods.
The truck bombers were largely unable to penetrate areas under the Kurdish control (Kirkuk is outside Kurdish areas) which points to the logistic and other support the bombers receive from the local Sunni population in mixed areas. Actually the very fact that until now the Sunni insurgents were able to stage so many attacks involving dozens of trucks and tons of explosives means that they have a huge network of supplies and factories where truck bombs are assembled.
At the main hospital in the city, the courtyard was filled with injured children in bloodstained blue uniforms, a Washington Post special correspondent reported from the scene. Many had their heads and arms wrapped in bandages. Some clutched bloodstained books. A baby girl lay dead in the emergency room from shrapnel that had torn through her body. Doctors and nurses broke into tears because they couldn't save her.
The incident in Tal Afar may signal a new stage in the conflict. Following a particularly deadly attack on a local Shia market, Shia militiamen and, by some reports, former policemen invaded Sunni neighborhoods in the bright daylight, dragging dozens of people out of their homes and shooting them on the street. Such outright massacres are just waiting for Al Jazeera and the global Jihad cinema industry to set the Sunni street on fire all around the Arab world.
With the experience of hundreds and hundreds of years of living under discrimination and oppression by their Sunni neighbors, many Shia minorities in the region feature an elevated capacity for eating huge amounts of shit without saying a word. Yet if massacres such as Tal Afar repeat themselves the Shia may soon find themselves facing abuse and provocations they will find very hard to ignore.
The significance of the Sunni Shia split is lost on some people because of statistics that present the Shia as a marginalized sect that makes barely for 15% of the Muslim world. Yet the statistics are misleading in the context of this region as this region has the biggest concentration of Shia in the world. The Shia block in the region includes Iran, Irak and Shia minorities in the Gulf and elsewhere. In terms of territory many Shia minorities in the region are natural extensions of their mother bloque penetrating into neighboring Sunni countries. The Shia may not be 50% but they are certainly more than 15% of all Muslims here.
And on top of this, with Baghdad now falling into the Shia hands, the Shia bloque has wrestled from the Sunnis the very heart of the region, positioning itself right in the center. And another fact worth mentioning is that Shia minorities are sitting on top of the largest oil fields in the Gulf, dominating oil rich areas in Saudi Arabia and other countries.
Iraq's top ayatollah is reported to have rejected yesterday the draft aimed at reversing the de-De-Baathification campaign:
Ahmed Chalabi, a former deputy prime minister who heads the Supreme National Commission for De-Baathification, said he met with Sistani and other senior Shiite clerics Sunday in Najaf.
"The grand ayatollahs said it is dangerous for the criminals to return to leading posts in the state,'' Chalabi told reporters in Najaf on Monday.
The day the Yankees leave . . .
And even if they don't . . .
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:) :) :D
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The [Iraqi] Interior Ministry, meanwhile, raised the death toll in Tuesday's suicide truck bombing of a Shiite market in Tal Afar to 152 (!!! NB), which would make it the deadliest single strike since the war started four years ago.
A spokesman for the Shiite-dominated ministry, Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, said the toll nearly doubled after more bodies were pulled from the rubble in the northwestern city.
The U.S. military and the mayor of Tal Afar kept the death toll at 83. But they acknowledged the figure could rise.
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The number of wounded is put at 347 people. 500 dead and wounded in a single truck bomb attack !!!
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