I didn't do much on the computer over the weekend or I would have gotten an update out sooner. This will probably not end up being as short as I'd like it to be, but I've got to cover some ground to make for lost time.
Let's start of with the status of Baqubah. Michael Yon has an update from 05 July 2007:
Standard Michael Yon warning. This one has a pretty hideous Al Qeada story related to him, via an interpreter. Other than that paragraph, he really gets you a view on what is going on there.
Michael has another update out today where he comments more on the Al Qeada reports and comments on the mainstream media not reporting what's really going on called second chances. Great story on General Petreaus in that one too.
Al Qeada had a pretty big weekend. I noticed the MSM all reported the various bombings as coming from "Some Sunni groups" which is a deceptive way to report it. Yeah, Al Qeada could be considered "a Sunni group", but in their desire to help the anti-war surrender monkey's get their loss in Iraq, they lead the reader (or TV watcher) to believe it's a possible Civil War, rather than just Al Qeada being Al Qeada. IT'S AL QEADA, STUPID! Also, with the huge truck bomb that killed over 100 in the north, Al Qeada has once again killed innocents in an effort to give their allies in our government and our media something to take and run with to promote the "surrender now!" agenda. Unfortunately, that part works, but on the other hand, the governor of the area is encouraging all the civilians to pick up arms and help what little Iraqi police they have on hand to protect their cities and to go on the attack against the terrorists. Sounds like another Anbar Salvation Council model has now been created. The Coalition can help them with ammo and then bring them into the local police force so that they can be controlled and Al Qeada will have done tons more harm to their cause than what little good their allies in our government and media can provide them.
An overall view on the ongoing operations, from Bill Roggio's The Fourth Rail, summarized by yours truly:
Phantom Thunder is still rolling strong. Coalition and Iraqi forces are still going after the Al Qeada network, and al Sadr's fractured Mahdi Army, along with some Iranian backed "secret cells". Lots of activity all over, from what I can glean. The Washington Post reported on a suicide attack in Fallujah which never happened. I've checked every source I have, and the WaPo is the only source that believes it happened. You'd think those people living in Fallujah would be paying more attention to what's going on around them...
Al Sadr has fled back to Iran. He attempted to form several protests, but had less than 10,000 show up to the first 2 and then he just canceled the last one. I think we are watching him melt off into nothingness.
Task Force 145, which is now sometimes referred to as Task Force 88, killed 4 more Al Qeada and captured 9 in Khan Bani Sa'ad, wherever that is. Somewhere in the "Baghdad Belts". Bill Roggio has the full report for those that have the time to delve deeper:
Another note on the Diyala province. There were two suicide bombings out near the Iran Iraq border. Speculation by some is that Al Qeada is trying to keep an exit door open. Al Qeada exiting into Iran is drawing some thought from me lately. Iran is Shia, and Al Qeada is Sunni. I'm convinced that Sunni and Shia can actually live together in Iraq, but I'm not real convinced that Al Qeada's version of Sunni can live side by side with Iran's version of Shia. I also saw a report where Al Qeada has given Iran 2 months to stop their operations in Iraq. That one I can understand. Al Qeada believes they, with the help of their allies in our government and media, will be the big dogs in Iraq as the U.S. will be pulling out. I'm just not understanding how, if plan A fails because we stay, plan B of relocating to Iran after telling them to keep their noses out of "Al Qeada" business is going to work all that well.