Saturday, April 28, 2007

Perspective: On This Day In Iraq -- April 28th edition

April 28, 2006: An Iraqi army soldier with the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, gives thumbs up before entering the city of Ramadi

April 28, 2002:

Bush preparing Iraq attack plan

The Bush administration, in developing a potential approach for toppling President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, is concentrating its attention on a major air campaign and ground invasion, with initial estimates contemplating the use of 70,000 to 250,000 troops.

The administration is turning to that approach after concluding that a coup in Iraq would be unlikely to succeed and that a proxy battle using local forces there would be insufficient to bring a change in power.

But senior officials now acknowledge that any offensive would probably be delayed until early next year, allowing time to create the right military, economic and diplomatic conditions. These include avoiding summer combat in bulky chemical suits, preparing for a global oil price shock and waiting until there is progress toward ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Until recently, the administration had contemplated a possible confrontation with Hussein this fall, after building a case at the United Nations that the Iraqi leader is unwilling to allow the kind of highly intrusive inspections needed to prove he has no weapons of mass destruction.

Read the rest at the SF Chronicle

April 28, 2003:

US, former Iraqi officials discuss restoration of vital services

US administrators in Iraq met former Baghdad officials on Sunday to orchestrate the restoration of vital services to the battered city, essential if the Americans are to cub mounting resentment among the population.

Barbara Bodine, the coordinator under US general Jay Garner, met with Iraqi municipality officials in an effort to return normality to the Iraqi capital following the US-­led war on Iraq. Both sides discussed basic, but pressing issues in the Iraqi capital, such as garbage collection, trash removal, as well as the supply of water and electricity.

Bodine also announced a second round of meetings to discuss an "emerging leadership" in Iraq. She said the Baghdad session would be more broad-­based than the previous meeting held on April 15 in the southern city of Ur. She added that between 300 and 400 representatives are expected to attend the all-meeting.

Meanwhile, the US military said unknown attackers fired an incendiary device into an Iraqi munitions dump in Zaafaraniya, on the capital's southern outskirts. But local residents have turned their anger over the resulting deaths on American forces.

Anti-­US protests broke out later in Baghdad and the incident seemed sure to fuel mounting opposition to a continued US military occupation of Iraq.

Read the rest at CCTV

April 28, 2004:

Insurgents in Iraq show signs of acting as a network

WASHINGTON - Far from limited to a small group of "dead-enders" and Saddam "thugs" as Pentagon officials claim, the armed opposition to the US occupation in Iraq has reached the point where some experts say it threatens to become a full-fledged nationalist insurgency.

Bolstered by former Iraqi military and security personnel, today's insurgents are at the least conducting increasingly sophisticated coordinated attacks. In addition, they have built networks to recruit fighters, make weapons, and funnel funds from Iraqi businesses and charitable groups, military experts say.

Perhaps most important, insurgents are now motivated primarily by nationalism and Islam, rather than by loyalty to Saddam Hussein, they say.

US commanders are weighing moving tens of thousands more US troops into Iraq - as well as additional tanks and other armor - in an effort to curb unrest expected to surround the planned June 30 transfer of power to Iraqi authorities.

"The insurgency has worsened immeasurably," says Ahmed Hashim, an Iraq expert and professor of strategic studies at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. For example, "the new insurgents showed a dramatic improvement in small-unit fighting skills" during recent violence in Sunni towns such as Fallujah, he said, testifying before Congress as a private citizen.

Coordinated attacks on convoys and troops, such as a devastating ambush in Ramadi this month that killed 12 US Marines, show insurgents in some areas are striking virtually as military units and withdrawing under covering fire, he says. "They have shown an ability to stand and fight, rather than merely to 'shoot and scoot' or 'pray and spray' as in the past."

Coupled with urban uprisings by Shiite militia that have also recruited former Iraqi enlisted soldiers and are now stockpiling weapons in mosques, the Iraqi insurgency has emerged as a multifront war for US forces nearly a year after Mr. Bush declared major combat over last May 1.

Read the rest at the Christian Science Monitor

April 28, 2005:

Iraq insurgency gathers pace

The Pentagon has said that Iraq's insurgents have lost none of their ability to inflict devastating attacks over the past year, further deflating hopes for a post-election respite.

In recent weeks the pace of attacks has approached the violence of last spring, undermining claims by Washington that the US was making progress in Iraq.

"In terms of the number of incidents, it's right about where it was a year ago," said General Richard Myers, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, at a press conference on Tuesday.

"Weeks will differ, and months will differ a little bit. But if you look at the scope of this, over time since May of 2003, that's the conclusion you draw."

Read the rest at the Guardian

April 28, 2006:

April Deadliest This Year for GIs in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An American soldier was killed in a roadside bombing north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Friday, making April the deadliest month for American forces in Iraq this year.

Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader issued a video saying that hundreds of suicide bombings in Iraq have "broken the back" of the U.S. military _ the latest in a volley of messages by the terror network's most prominent figures...

The latest American death, which occurred Thursday evening, brought the number of U.S. troops who have died this month in Iraq to at least 69.

Although that figure is well below some of the bloodiest months of the Iraq conflict, it marks a sharp increase over March, when 31 American service members were killed. January's death toll stood at 62 and February's at 55. In December 2005, 68 Americans died.

Read the rest at the Washington Post