Updated at 6:30 p.m. EST, Jan. 1, 2010
Although the New Year’s holiday has tamped down casualty reports from Iraq, other news made the international media. Among them was an independent analysis of civilian deaths and the Iraqi government’s displeasure with the dismissal of a case against Backwater contractors. Also, former hostage Peter Moore returned to the United Kingdom with new details about his abduction. In violent attacks that were reported, one Iraqi was killed and four more were wounded.
In Baghdad, rockets fell on the Green Zone. Iraqi and U.S. forces backed by U.S. aircraft marched through Adil, Jihad and Hurriya, where they captured five suspects and confiscated more rockets. One policeman was wounded during a roadside bomb blast in Adhamiya.
Iraq Body Count has published a toll of Iraqi deaths that occurred during 2009. According to IBC, 4,497 civilians were killed during the year; however, the number is over 2,000 deaths higher than the official count given by Iraqi officials. IBC also noted that a reduction in violence appears to be leveling off. The toll does not include servicemembers killed. At least 67 of those killed were in Tal Afar alone.
Spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh expressed the Iraqi government’s disappointment with a U.S. federal judge’s dismissal of a case against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards. Iraq may now turn to the civil courts and sue the company, now known as Xe Services.
Although, the United Kingdom has been denying Iranian involvement in Peter Moore‘s kidnapping, the recently released computer expert believes his captors transferred him to Iran for at least part of his captivity. Gen. David Petraeus said it was difficult to ascertain if the Iranian government’s Revolutionary Guards or the Quds force took part in the abduction. Gen. David Petraeus separately warned that Iranian-backed militias could remain a threat as important election’s draw near. Peter Moore returned to the U.K. earlier today.
December was the first month since the U.S.-led invasion that no U.S. servicemembers were killed in Iraq.
U.S. Camp Echo in Diwaniya was rocketed, but no casualties were reported.
U.S. forces closed down the airport in Mosul after their contract to service it expired. The airport was not handed over to Iraqi authorities, so several flights had to be canceled.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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