BAGHDAD GOES TO HELL
MARKET ATTACK DEATH TOLL SOARS PAST 270
CLAIM : WORSHIPPERS DOUSED IN PETROL, BURNED ALIVE IN REVENGE ATTACKS
Earlier this year, there was heated debate about whether or not the sectarian violence in Iraq amounted to a civil war. Today, it hardly seems worth bothering with vague such descriptives in an attempt to place historical perspectives on the savagery engulfing the city once defined as one of the world's greatest.
After the mutiple car bomb attacks in the Sadr City main market on Thursday that killed more than 270 Shiites, and injured another 22o more, Shiite and Sunnis death squads, insurgents, militiamen and lone vigilantes are now engaged in a storm of revenge killings. Revenging the revenge attacks that avenged the revenge attacks.
Baghdad is under as much of a total curfew as 20,000 to 30,000 Iraqi and American troops can enforce, but clearly those who intend to kill are moving about the city, and in particular, Sunni neighbourhoods unfettered.
One of the least reported results of the car bombings that led to the Baghdad curfew is the fact that Iraq's president has cancelled his weekened summit with the presidents of Iran and Syria. American military controlling the Baghdad international airport have closed down the runways to all incoming and outgoing flights.
One of the more horrific stories of the past 24 hours have been the reports that Sunni worshippers leaving a mosque were drenched in petrol and then burned alive, but as wire reporters are only able to gather information by telephone, these reports remain unconfirmed. Some news wires say they torchings occured, others say they are only terrible rumours.
The key lines below do not tell the full story of the horrorstorm engulfing Baghdad, and other large population centres of Iraq tonight, but they will lead you to more information, if that's what you require.
21 Shiite men were executed in front of their families by gunmen raiding homes in village 45 miles outside of Baghdad.
Shiite miliitamen drove through Sunni neighbourhoods in Baghdad, shooting at mosques with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades. At least two mosques were completely destroyed. Four or five more Sunni mosques were damaged. Guards and locals were gunned down outside mosques.
American helicopters fired missiles into buildings from which Shiite militiamen, loyal to powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, were launching rockets into Sunni neighbourhoods; more than 18 people were killed, dozens more injured in Shiite revenge attacks on Sunni mosques during the holy day of prayer; Moqtada al-Sadr was reported as claiming he would withdraw all support for the Iraqi government if prime minister al-Maliki meets with US President Bush in Jordan on Thursday; Shiite gunmen overran one Sunni mosque and then declared it was now a Shiite mosque, before postering images of al-Sadr.
In the United States, Democrats are calling for a phased four-to-six month withdrawal of American forces ahead of Bush's upcoming meeting with the controversial Iraq Study Group, which is expected to recommend a similiar plan. Key Democrats are now saying Iraqis must understand the US commitment of troops to Iraq is not "open-ended".
The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, on November 14, said he was in favour of entering"talks" with Syria and Iran, a strategy backed by British PM Tony Blair. Bush, however, does not yet favour this option.
Bizarrely, President Bush actually believes he is in a position to negotiate with Iran and for the Iranians to make concessions. Bush is notorious for putting positive spins on ultimately dire situations because he believes to do otherwise will show a dangerous weakness which will encourage terrorists and anti-American militias and fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iraq PM Hails Iranian Assistance In Reconstruction Efforts
In Iraq "There Are No Voices Of Moderation. The Calls For National Unity Are Lost Among The Cries For Sectarian War."
Powerful Shiite Legislator Blames US For Sadr City Market Car Bombings, Calls For US Troops Withdrawal,
Mocqtada al-Sadr Demands PM Maliki Cancel Summit With President Bush - "There Is No Reason To Meet With The Criminal Who Is Behind Terrorism In Iraq"
Claim : Documents Reveal US Already Negotiating With Sunni "Reistance" In Iraq - US May Help Turn Control Of Iraq Back Over To Sunnis To Stop Iran From Claiming Country As Victory Prize
Turkey And Iran Warn Against The Partitioning Of Iraq