Updated at 8:37 p.m. EDT, July 20, 2009
Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr met with Syrian leader President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, where Assad urged the cleric to press forward with reconciliation efforts. Back home, at least 15 Iraqis were killed and 19 more were wounded in violent attacks. Meanwhile, a brigade commander in Baghdad spoke on the current relationship between U.S. troops and security forces in the capital.
Col. Ali Fadhil said that his brigade in Baghdad has refused several requests from U.S. troops to move about the city or conduct raids. He likened the situation to being under house arrest. Outside Iraqi cities, however, U.S. troops are free to move about without permission. This new relationship stems from a security pact signed by the two countries last year.
In Mosul, gunmen killed two traffic policemen in separate incidents in the Karraj al-Shimal and Jadida neighborhoods. A bomb in al-Thaqafiya killed a policeman and wounded a second one. In Bab al-Toub gunmen killed a policeman and a civilian. Another policeman was shot dead at his home. A sniper killed an Iraqi soldier. Also, gunmen killed a young girl in the Palestine district; her father was wounded. Later, gunmen killed a resident of Majmoua.
A sticky bomb placed on a vehicle belonging to an oil protection services official exploded in Taji, injuring two people, including the target.
A passports director and his driver were wounded in a sticky bomb attack in Kirkuk.
A bomb exploded in Jalawla, killing a farmer.
The body of a policeman was discovered on a highway between Arbil and Makhmour. He was stabbed to death.
A suspect accused of launching an overnight Katyusha rocket attack on Amara was captured.
A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. convoy returning to a base near Karbala left no casualties.
Two Katyusha rockets landed on a U.S. base in Diwaniya. No casualties were reported.
U.S. forces released 29 detainees in Fallujah. Under last year’s security agreement, the U.S. must release all detainees in their custody or hand them over to Iraqi authorities if there is any evidence against them.