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Iraq Watch: September 6, 2004


BAGHDAD -- Iraqi National Guard forces and Multi-National Force personnel continue to conduct joint operations in the suburbs of Fallujah. As the proficiency of the Iraqi forces grows and they become more capable, MNF personnel will increase its transition to more of a supporting role in Iraqi security.

As evident by today’s attack on ING and MNF personnel, the duty of bringing security to the Al Anbar province is inherently dangerous. This desperate act of inhumanity will only serve to strengthen our commitment to the Iraqi people. MNF stands with Iraqis who continue to brave intimidation and terror tactics in quest of a better life. Our forces will continue to stay the course in order to ensure Iraqi security forces have everything necessary to set the conditions required to foster rule of law and revitalization of Iraq.

The vehicle-borne improvised explosive device which killed both Iraqi National Guard personnel and Marines was detonated late this morning near Fallujah. The explosion killed seven Marines who were assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force and three Iraqi National Guard Soldiers.

Names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Lsa Anaconda, Balad, Iraq – Two 13th COSCOM Soldiers are dead and 16 are injured as the result of a mortar attack on a multi-national force base near Baghdad around 6 p.m. September 5.

Eight of the injured were evacuated by air to the 31st Combat Support Hospital (Baghdad) where the two later died of their injuries.

The remaining 10 injured were evacuated by ground ambulance to multi-national force medical facilities.

One Soldier is listed in critical condition, four of the injured have returned to duty.

Names of the dead are being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.

The attack is under investigation.

Car Bomb Kills Seven Marines in Iraq (9-6-04)

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide attacker sped up to a U.S. military convoy outside Fallujah and detonated an explosives-packed vehicle on Monday, killing seven Marines and three Iraqi soldiers, U.S. military officials said. It was the deadliest day for American forces in four months.

The force of the blast on a dusty stretch of wasteland nine miles north of Fallujah, a hotbed of Sunni insurgents, wrecked two Humvee vehicles and hurled the suicide car's engine far from the site, witnesses and military officials said.

The bombing underscored the challenges U.S. commanders face in securing Fallujah and surrounding Anbar province, the heartland of a Sunni Muslim insurgency bent on driving coalition forces from the country.

U.S. forces have not patrolled in Fallujah since ending a three-week siege of the city in April that had been aimed at rooting out militiaman. Insurgents have only strengthened their hold on Fallujah since then.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry said medical tests confirmed that Iraqi authorities had once again mistakenly reported the capture of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein's deputy, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, putting a stop to two days of conflicting statements about his purported arrest.

Ministry spokesman Sabah Kadhim said unspecified tests had shown that a man being held in Iraqi custody was actually a relative of al-Douri who played only a minor role in Saddam's regime but was nevertheless wanted by authorities.

The reports on al-Douri — the most wanted Saddam-era henchman still at large — came as an embarrassment to interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's government and exposed a lack of coordination among ministers competing for influence ahead of January elections.

With Monday's deaths, 990 U.S. service members have died since the beginning of military operations in Iraq in March 2003, according to a count by The Associated Press based on Defense Department figures.

Three soldiers were wounded Monday in a roadside bombing in eastern Baghdad.

After the suicide blast outside Fallujah, west of the capital, medical teams in helicopters ferried away the injured from the blazing wreckage and troops sealed off the area.

Fallujah hospital officials said four Iraqis were wounded by gunfire from U.S. troops near the site of the bombing, but the U.S. military had no confirmation.

The military condemned the bombing as "a desperate act of inhumanity" but insisted American troops will stay the course in Iraq until local forces are in a position to take over security operations. The slain Americans belonged to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Hours after the attack, an unmanned U.S. spy plane crashed in Fallujah. Afterward, jubilant residents picked up pieces of debris and danced in the streets, displaying pieces of the aircraft to reporters, witnesses said.

Since the Marine siege ended, gunmen have been using the city a base to manufacture car bombs and launch attacks on U.S. and Iraqi government forces. Fallujah has become a virtual no-go zone for U.S. troops, though American warplanes have repeatedly carried out airstrikes against alleged militant safe houses there.

On Sunday, both Iraqi Minister of State Qassim Dawoud and a Defense Ministry spokesman publicly proclaimed al-Douri's capture. Later in the day, Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan said word of his arrest was "baseless."

Kadhim, the Interior Ministry spokesman, did not, however, identify the al-Douri relative in custody, nor did he say when or where he was captured.

"This will make the government lose credibility after its ministers and top officials appeared to be either liars or foolish," said Abdel Amir, an Iraqi political analyst and former editor of "Baghdad," the mouthpiece of Allawi's Iraqi National Accord party.

Amir said the conflicting claims reflected the rivalry within the government between ministers from different ethnic, religious and political groups, each keen to showcase his own achievements or embarrass rivals.

"It proved that they are very inexperienced and lack coordination on such important issues," added Mohammed Abdel Jabar al-Shabout, editor of Baghdad's Al-Sabah newspaper.

Also Monday, a Turkish driver taken hostage in Iraq was released by his captors, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said. The release came a day after the driver's company announced it would withdraw from Iraq in line with his captors' demands.

Militants have already forced more than a half a dozen firms to quit Iraq through a spree of kidnappings and beheadings of foreigners working in the country.

In other developments:

-- Dozens of Iraqi troops surrounded the office of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the holy city of Najaf on Monday, but backed off amid pressure from Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, al-Sadr's supporters and witnesses said. Al-Sadr's Mahdi militia led a three-week uprising against U.S. and Iraqi forces in Najaf that left hundreds dead and much of the city devastated. The fighting ended with a peace deal more than a week ago.

-- Gunmen shot and killed a Norwegian woman married to an Iraqi Kurd in the northern city of Kirkuk and slightly wounded her daughter, police said.

-- U.S. and Iraqi national guardsmen clashed with insurgents in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said. Hospital officials said three civilians were killed and nine others wounded in the fighting late Sunday.

-- Iraqi police seized a car packed with explosives in Kirkuk that authorities believed was going to be used by a suicide bomber. The seizure came two days after a suicide car bombing outside a Kirkuk police academy killed 20 people and injured 50.


U.S. soldiers collect the bodies of their colleagues, following an attack near the town of Falluja, September 6, 2004. A car bomb attack on a U.S. patrol outside the rebel-held city of Falluja killed seven American marines and three Iraqi National Guardsmen, in the deadliest single attack on U.S. forces in five months.


31,975 Posts
A little perspective

WW II Military and Civilian Deaths:

<FONT SIZE=+1><B>Axis Forces</B></FONT>

<TABLE BORDER=1><TR VALIGN=TOP><TH> Country</TH><TH>Pop.</TH><TH>Killed/Mising</TH><TH> Wounded</TH><TH>Total(Military)</TH><TH>Civilian (deaths)</TH></TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Germany</TD><TD> 78m</TD><TD> 3.5 million</TD><TD> 4.6 million</TD><TD> 8.1 million</TD><TD> 2million</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Italy </TD><TD>44m</TD><TD> 330,000</TD><TD> ?</TD><TD>  </TD><TD>70,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Japan</TD><TD> 72m </TD><TD> 1.75 million </TD><TD> ?</TD><TD> </TD><TD> 350,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Rumania</TD><TD> 20m</TD><TD> 500,000</TD><TD> 300,000</TD><TD> 800,000</TD><TD> 400,000</TD></TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Bulgaria</TD><TD> 6m</TD><TD> 10,000</TD><TD> ?</TD><TD> </TD><TD> 50,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Hungary </TD><TD>10m</TD><TD> 120,000</TD><TD> 250,000</TD><TD> 370,000</TD><TD> 200,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Finland </TD><TD> 4m</TD><TD> 100,000</TD><TD> 45,000</TD><TD> 145,000</TD><TD> 4,000</TD></TR></TABLE>

<FONT SIZE=+1><B>Allied Forces (in order of entry into the war)</B></FONT>

<TABLE BORDER=1><TR VALIGN=TOP><TH> Country</TH><TH> Pop.</TH><TH> Killed/Mising</TH><TH> Wounded</TH><TH> Total(Military)</TH><TH> Civilian (deaths)</TH></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> China</TD><TD> 450m</TD><TD> 1.3 million</TD><TD> 1.8 million</TD><TD> 3.1 million</TD><TD> 9 million</TD></TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Poland</TD><TD> 35m </TD><TD> 130,000</TD><TD> 200,000</TD><TD> 330,000</TD><TD> 2.5million</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> U.K.</TD><TD> 48m </TD><TD> 400,000 </TD><TD> 300,000 </TD><TD> 700,000 </TD><TD> 60,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> France </TD><TD> 42m </TD><TD> 250,000 </TD><TD> 350,000 </TD><TD> 600,000 </TD><TD> 270,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Australia </TD><TD> 7m </TD><TD> 30,000 </TD><TD> 40,000 </TD><TD> 70,000 </TD><TD> --</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> India </TD><TD> 360m </TD><TD> 36,000</TD><TD> 64,000 </TD><TD> 100,000 </TD><TD> --</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> New Zealand </TD><TD>2m </TD><TD> 10,000 </TD><TD> 20,000 </TD><TD> 30,000 </TD><TD> --</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> So. Africa </TD><TD> 10m </TD><TD> 9,000 </TD><TD> 14,000</TD><TD> 23,000 </TD><TD> --</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Canada </TD><TD>11m </TD><TD> 42,000 </TD><TD> 50,000 </TD><TD> 92,000</TD><TD> --</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Denmark </TD><TD> 4m </TD><TD>2,000 </TD><TD> ? </TD><TD>? </TD><TD> 1,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Norway </TD><TD>3m </TD><TD> 10,000</TD><TD> ? </TD><TD> ? </TD><TD> 6,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Belgium </TD><TD> 8m </TD><TD> 12,000 </TD><TD> 16,000 </TD><TD> 28,000 </TD><TD> 100,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Holland </TD><TD> 9m </TD><TD> 14,000 </TD><TD> 7,000 </TD><TD> 21,000 </TD><TD> 250,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Greece </TD><TD> 7m </TD><TD> 90,000 </TD><TD> ? </TD><TD> ? </TD><TD> 400,000</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> Yugoslavia</TD><TD> 15m </TD><TD> 320,000 </TD><TD> ? </TD><TD>? </TD><TD>1.3million</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> U.S.S.R.</TD><TD> 194m </TD><TD> 9 million </TD><TD> 18 million </TD><TD> 27 million </TD><TD> 19 million</TD></TR><TR VALIGN=TOP><TD> U.S.A. </TD><TD> 129m </TD><TD> 300,000 </TD><TD> 300,000 </TD><TD> 600,000 </TD><TD> --</TD></TR></TABLE>

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