Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How's that surge going?

By Edward Copeland

***UPDATE*** (this post has been bumped up from yesterday)

The latest version of The Washington Post story has the death toll climbing above 250 and details more specifically how the attacks were carried out:

The nearly simultaneous explosions, in three Yazidi communities near the town of Sinjar, added up to the deadliest attack in Iraq this year and one of the most lethal since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Hundreds of wounded people were flown or driven to hospitals, overwhelming every emergency room in the region, according to George Shlimon, vice mayor of the nearby city of Dahuk.

According to The Washington Post, the Yazidis are "an ancient group whose faith combines elements of many historical religions of the region. They worship a peacock archangel and are considered Satanists by some Muslims and Christians in Iraq, a characterization they reject."

However, just because the Iraqis are once again busy killing one another, it doesn't mean it was a breathe-easy days for the American military stuck in the middle of the mess:

In Baghdad, the U.S. military reported the deaths of nine American military personnel in three incidents, including the crash of a twin-rotor Chinook helicopter. ... In Anbar province Tuesday, five Americans died when the Chinook helicopter went down during a training flight, the military said. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Three other U.S. soldiers were killed Monday by a roadside bomb in the province of Nineveh, in northwestern Iraq, officials said, while one was killed in combat in western Baghdad.

Meanwhile, in Ritalin-deprived Dubyaland, they can't stop thinking about Iran, moving to designate Tehran's Revolutionary Guard, "a specially designated global terrorist":

The Bush administration has chosen to move against the Revolutionary Guard Corps because of what U.S. officials have described as its growing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as its support for extremists throughout the Middle East, the sources said. The decision follows congressional pressure on the administration to toughen its stance against Tehran, as well as U.S. frustration with the ineffectiveness of U.N. resolutions against Iran's nuclear program, officials said.

The designation of the Revolutionary Guard will be made under Executive Order 13224, which President Bush signed two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to obstruct terrorist funding. It authorizes the United States to identify individuals, businesses, charities and extremist groups engaged in terrorist activities. The Revolutionary Guard would be the first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said -- a highly unusual move because it is part of a government, rather than a typical non-state terrorist organization.

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