Updated at 8:30 p.m. EST, Dec. 13, 2009
At least eight Iraqis were killed and 43 more were wounded as fallout from Bloody Tuesday continues to vex security officials and perhaps perpetrators in Baghdad. In the United Kingdom, sources revealed that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will give his Chilcot Inquiry testimony in secret, perhaps undermining the authority of the inquiry. A separate investigation, this one in the United States, ended in favor of the military defendant. Also, one U.S. soldier died from non-combat injuries.
Tony Blair will give secret testimony about his role in bringing the United Kingdom into the Iraq War. Many believe this secrecy will undermine the truth. The Iraq Inquiry (commonly called the Chilcot Inquiry) was to have been held in secret in the first place, but public outrage forced the investigation out into the open.
A U.S. military panel faulted Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani for substandard performance but did not demote him for failing to properly investigate killings in Haditha. In that attack, Marines killed as many a two-dozen Iraqis, including women and children, and then blamed the deaths on a roadside bomb attack.
Thirteen al-Qaeda suspects were arrested in connection with Tuesday’s massive bombing in Baghdad. Little information about the men was revealed, but Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani promises they will be executed. Meanwhile, security officials also face a harsh investigation about their failures to prevent the attack. Some of them are being detained for negligence or sacked from their jobs. During his testimony, Defense Minister Abdel Qader Obeid iasked parliament to fund informers so that security personnel are not caught short again.
The attack left 127 dead in the capital and hundreds more wounded even though the U.S. military had warned security forces of a possible attack just hours beforehand. The former head of Baghdad Operations Command claimed however that he received the information just minutes before the bombings. Lt. General Abboud Qanbar was fired after the attack. When Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki assigned Qanbar to the post in 2007, the appointment was greeted with skepticism.
Separately, the head of Baghdad provincial police warned that kidnappings in Baghdad are now motivated by money and conducted with the help of friends and relatives. Today, gunmen killed an off-duty police officer in Salchiya. Four shells struck the Green Zone but no casualties were reported.
A bomb targeting the head of Garma police, who was traveling in Fallujah, did not harm Col. Saad al-Shimari, but it did kill two bodyguards and wounded 15 others. Another source reported that Shimari was among the wounded and an eight-year-old girl was killed instead. Security was tightened in the city after this attack and two others nearby in Ameriya. Seven suspets were arrested.
One person was killed and four others were wounded in a blast in Ameriya. The bomb was planted at a policeman’s home. Later, another bomb left no casualties.
A bomb blast wounded a civilian in Zarka.
Gunmen wounded a Sahwa fighter in Zab.
In Tikrit, a bomb wounded a security guard.
Three Naqshabandiya Army suspects were detained in Karkh.
A suspected Naqshabandiya leader was arrested in Mukayshifah.
Twelve suspects were arrested across Basra province.
In Kirkuk, U.S. forces released 10 detainees for lack of evidence.
A large weapons cache was found in Ninewa province.
Residents of Halabja are demanding the execution of Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known as Chemical Ali. Although Majid, who is Saddam Hussein’s cousin, was handed a death penalty for the deaths of thousands of Kurds there in 1988, other trials have prevented authorities from carrying out his punishment.
U.S. forces have partnered with Iraqi security to prevent smugglers from using the Syrian border to move arms. The border is porous, but many of the smugglers are Iraqis and armaments are just a small part of the items smuggled in.