Updated at 11:21 p.m. EDT, June 24, 2010 The formation of the new government came across a new roadblock, this one over the failure of two large Shi’ite groups to compromise on the selection of the next prime minister. This new delay could mean further destabilization of Iraq’s fragile security gains. At least 24 Iraqis were killed and 33 more were wounded in attacks that targeted security personnel. Also, Gen. David Petraeus, who once commanded American forces in Iraq, is now in charge of operations in Afghanistan.
Updated at 7:54 p.m. EDT, June 9, 2010 At least 16 Iraqis were killed and 36 more were wounded in a string of attacks across the country. Also, the D.O.D. reported that an American soldier was killed in a vehicle rollower near Kuwait City. Meanwhile, a study from the Walter Reed Institute has revealed that mental health problems are common in soldiers returning to Iraq, with as many as 10 percent displaying the effects of war.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says al-Qaeda’s power base in Iraq has been squeezed by a lack of funds and a power vacuum at the top. Despite al-Qaeda weakening, attacks continue to vex Iraq. At least 21 Iraqis were killed and 72 more were wounded in new violence. Also, Iraq lodged complaints with Iran over reports that Iranian troops have crossed the border and started to erect a new fort as part of their operations against Kurdish rebels.
Updated at 7:55 p.m. EST, June 5, 2010 At least 10 Iraqis were killed and 14 more were wounded in attacks that included two political assassinations of Iraqiya candidates. In Diyala province, meanwhile, relations between Sunni fighters and the Shi’ite council deteriorated after a call to disarm them. Also, Kurdish officials reported another armed incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan by Iranian troops chasing Party For A Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) rebels.
Updated at 8:54 p.m. EDT, May 25, 2010 Gunmen at a Baghdad gold market staged a bold robbery that left over a dozen merchants and bystanders dead. At least 19 Iraqis were killed and 20 more were wounded in that attack and other violence across Baghdad and northern Iraq. Meanwhile, Army Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin III has been tapped to lead U.S. forces in Iraq.
Updated at 6:06 p.m. EDT, April 20, 2010 A partial but controversial ballot recount ordered for Baghdad province is raising concerns over election manipulation and pushing Iraq towards instability at a time when politicians should be creating the next government. At least 11 Iraqis were killed and 29 more were wounded in violence across Iraq. Also, a third high-ranking al-Qaeda leader was killed during a raid this morning in northern Iraq.
Updated at 9:51 p.m. EDT, March 30, 2010 At least six Iraqis were killed and seven were wounded in light attacks. While violence may have taken a breather today, haggling and complaining over creating the new Iraqi government has not. Neither has the debate over the De-Ba’athification laws. Also, a Dutch-Iraqi man convicted of conspiracy to kill Americans has returned to serve out his time in a Dutch prison.
An increase in violence targeting Shi’ite pilgrims added to today’s casualty figures. At least five Iraqis were killed and 41 more were wounded in sectarian and other assaults. Hundreds of thousands of Shi’ites are now traveling to Karbala for Arbaeen observances. Many are on foot, making them more vulnerable; however, the worst attack that occurred was against security personnel in Samarra. Meanwhile, a second prominent Iraqi leader is now threatening to declare a boycott of upcoming elections and perhaps throw the entire country into disarray. Also, the Islamic State in Iraq claimed responsibility for a blast at a crime lab on Tuesday.
U.S. President Joe Biden met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discuss pre-election tensions. Elsewhere, al least five Iraqis were killed and six more were wounded in light violence. Some attacks occurred yesterday but were left unreported until today.
No reports of violence escaped Iraq today; however, there were other important news stories. Among them, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill promises that he is not in Arbil to encourage Kurds to make concessions to the Arab-led central government. Meanwhile, Iraq is cracking down on shops that sell military and police uniforms. Also, Amnesty International has asked for a halt the increasing passage of death sentences.