Friday, March 28, 2008

Updates from America's Stalingrad

<http://www.usatoday .com/news/ world/iraq/ 2008-03-27- security- abduction_ N.htm>Iraqi spokesman kidnapped in Baghdad 27 Mar 2008 An Interior Ministry official says the civilian spokesman for the Baghdad security operation has been kidnapped and three bodyguards killed. Sunni Tahseen Sheikhly often appeared with U.S. military and embassy officials at news conferences to tout the successes of the crackdown that began in Baghdad and surrounding areas more than a year ago.

<http://news. s/afp/20080327/ wl_mideast_ afp/iraq_ 080327111150>Key Iraq Oil Export Pipeline Blown Up By Saboteurs --105 killed in battles in Shiite areas of Iraq 27 Mar 2008 Fighting rocked two Iraq cities on Thursday as security forces battled Shiite militiamen for a third day in clashes that left 105 people dead, while saboteurs blew up a key oil export pipeline. Samir al-Maksusi, spokesman for the Southern Oil Company, said the pipeline had been blown up with a bomb. "The blast directly affects the exports," he said.

<http://www.iht. com/articles/ ap/2008/03/ 27/africa/ ME-FIN-Iraq- Pipeline- Explosion. php>Gunmen blow up another oil pipeline in southern Iraq 27 Mar 2008 A bomb struck an oil pipeline Thursday in Iraq's southern city of Basra where Iraqi security forces have been clashing with Shiite militia fighters, an oil official said, the second such attack this week.

< com/article/ ALeqM5g3yj077TBC e4pRDC9icZLe1XND KA>Oil prices surge past 107 dollars on Iraq pipeline attack 27 Mar 2008 Oil prices jumped above 107 dollars a barrel on Thursday when concern about tight supplies increased on news that saboteurs had blown up a major Iraqi export pipeline, traders said. New York's main oil contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, rose by 1.12 dollars to 107.02 dollars per barrel.

<http://news. s/afp/20080327/ wl_mideast_ afp/iraq_ 080327123656>Fighting spreads in Shiite areas of Iraq 27 Mar 2008 Iraqi security forces Thursday battled Shiite militiamen in the southern hub of Basra, where saboteurs blew up a key oil pipeline, as fierce fighting engulfed the Shiite city of Kut, police said. At least 105 people have died in clashes since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered his troops to crack down on "lawless gangs" in Basra on Tuesday, according to official reports. Some sources have put the toll at double that.

<http://news. s/nm/20080327/ ts_nm/iraq_ dc_45>Sadr followers march to demand downfall of Maliki 27 Mar 2008 Thousands of supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr marched in Baghdad on Thursday to protest against a three-day-old crackdown against his followers and call for the downfall of the U.S.-backed government. Mass demonstrations were held in the Sadr City, Kadhimiya and Shula districts. An Interior Ministry source said hundreds of thousands had taken to the streets... Saboteurs blew up one of Iraq's two main oil export pipelines from Basra, cutting off a third of the exports from the city which provides 80 percent of the government's revenue.

<http://www.telegrap main.jhtml? xml=/news/ 2008/03/26/ wiraq326. xml>Moqtada al-Sadr orders Iraq PM out of Basra 26 Mar 2008 The Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has demanded that the country's prime minister leave Basra where he is overseeing a military operation to purge the southern city of its Shi'ite militiamen.

<http://www.independ news/world/ middle-east/ iraq-implodes- as-shia-fights- shia-801214. html>Iraq implodes as Shia fights Shia --Another tragedy as the Shia majority turn on each other 27 Mar 2008 A new civil war is threatening to explode in Iraq as American-backed Iraqi government forces fight Shia militiamen for control of Basra and parts of Baghdad. Heavy fighting engulfed Iraq's two largest cities and spread to other towns yesterday as the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, gave fighters of the Mehdi Army, led by the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, 72 hours to surrender their weapons.

<http://news. s/ap/20080326/ ap_on_re_ mi_ea/iraq_ sadr_s_stronghol d_1>Shiite enclave back on edge 26 Mar 2008 The Associated Press toured Sadr City on Wednesday to observe its rapid swing from relative quiet to a return of the Mahdi Army swagger before the U.S. military troop buildup in Baghdad last year... "We are a different force than the one you saw in 2004," a senior Mahdi commander said at his Sadr City home. "We are now better organized, have better weapons, command centers and easy access to logistical and financial support," added the commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. Squatting on the floor next to two of his fighters, the commander sipped sweet black tea as a U.S. helicopter flew low overhead. A burst of gunfire rang out at one point. Another moment, he listened to the screech of a rocket. "That's going to the Green Zone," he said.

<http://www.aswatali look/english/ article.tpl? IdLanguage= 1&IdPublication= 4&NrArticle= 74346&NrIssue= 2&NrSection= 1>U.S. airstrike kills 60 gunmen in Hilla 27 Mar 2008 (VOI) More than 60 gunmen were killed on Wednesday evening as U.S. choppers fired rockets against buildings used by gunmen in central Hilla, 100 km south of Baghdad, Iraqi security source said.

<http://www.presstv. ir/detail. aspx?id=49091& sectionid= 351020201>Two US soldiers killed in Baghdad 27 Mar 2008 Two American soldiers have been killed in Baghdad during combat operations in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday, the US military has announced.

<http://www.telegrap main.jhtml? xml=/news/ 2008/03/26/ wiraq426. xml>SAS trooper shot dead in al-Qa'eda raid 26 Mar 2008 An SAS trooper has been killed during a raid on a high-level al-Qa'eda [al-CIAduh] leader in Iraq. The soldier, who under Ministry of Defence policy will never be named, died from a gunshot wound during a covert operation to detain a 'terrorist' in the Baghdad area.

Ed.--Thanks goes out to Virginia Simson for providing these links.