10 years ago
The Multinational Force web site is reporting that forces conducted a raid against Shi’ite death squad leadership:
Special Iraqi Army forces, supported by Coalition advisors, conducted a raid authorized by the Government of Iraq Oct. 25 in Sadr City, Baghdad to capture a top illegal armed group commander directing widespread death-squad activity throughout eastern Baghdad.
During the raid, Iraqi Army forces came under fire and had to defend themselves. They requested support from Coalition aircraft which used precision gunfire only to eliminate the enemy threat.
The Interior Ministry said that four people were killed and twenty wounded in the attack. After several days of bluster by Maliki about taking on the death squads and other militia who are making trouble, he does another about-face and criticizes the U.S. for the attack.
Nuri al-Maliki told a press conference in Baghdad on Wednesday that he would demand clarification from the US on the raid, distancing himself from it as he has done in many previous operations in Shia areas.
“This is an issue to be revised with the multinational forces so that it would not occur again. There should be co-ordination in any military operation.”
Note that the attack was conducted by Iraqi forces rather than U.S., and U.S. air power was called in after they came under fire. For a sitting Prime Minister to opine on the details of a small military operation, and more specifically to say that the government was unaware of it, would be more than a little odd in any other country. In this instance, Maliki is tipping his hat to al Sadr who keeps him in power in the Parliamentary form of government that has been set up in Iraq. It is more politics of weakness. Also note that the Iraqi forces were not able to complete the operation without U.S. air support. While it is fortunate that air power can be used, for the Iraqi forces to be able to stand on their own, they must eventually be able to conduct operations with success and without military assets that they do not have.
Some distance away in the al Anbar Province, two more Marines have died in combat operations in what is likely still the most dangerous place on earth.