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Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Air strikes in Iraq

I've been writing recently about the lack of reporting of air strikes in Iraq, and musing on the question about whether they were actually occuring. Today we had the first confirmation in a long time:
The U.S. military said Mahdi Army militiamen fought back in the Sadr City raid and that the Americans called in an air strike and cordoned the sprawling east Baghdad region.

Late Wednesday the military said it had killed 10 suspected militia fighters and wounded two in the battle. It did not identify the wanted militia leader or say whether he was still at large. Earlier, police and hospital officials said four people were killed and at least 18 wounded.

Residents living near Sadr City said gunfire and air strikes began about 11 p.m. Tuesday and continued for hours. The neighborhood was sealed to outsiders before dawn.
This particular airstrike made it into the media for two reasons: 1) It occured in Baghdad itself; and 2) Prime Minister Maliki felt obliged to "disavow" it.

Incidentally, note the radical discrepancy between the U.S. military's claims ("an air strike") and the reports of witnesses ("air strikes continued for hours"). I'm sure you can guess which source I trust.

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