Saturday, March 17, 2007

Iraq Upate 3/17

After a successful start with over 80% drop in violence, anti-government forces are fighting back.

There are two big pieces of news today. First a chemical weapon, a chlorine dirty bomb, was detonated in Sunni Ramadi. It appears to be the work of al Qaeda which is currently fighting against both the government and local tribes. The use of chemical weapons has been outlawed by various countries under the Geneva Protocol. The Islamic State of Iraq, al-Qaeda's political organ in Iraq, refuses to recognize any treaty not based under Islamic law.

Things in Sadr City are also heating up. Moqtada al-Sadr earlier fled his stronghold to Iran. This left a power vacuum which the United States has exploited and has therefore been allowed to enter Sadr City peacefully. The mayor of Sadr City who allowed Americans to enter the ciy has recently come under an assassination attempt. Now one of Sadr's clerics is calling for the Americans to leave or be kicked out of Sadr City. With Sadr's power lagging and his lieutenants taking over more operations it is important for Sadr to show he has sway still in the city. The only way for him to appear powerful is by following his old play book of causing serious trouble for the Coalition. Look for more open calls for violence from him in the near future.

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