Although the country is expecting an increase in violence this week, so far it has been relatively quiet. Today, at least seven Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded in light violence. Other news from Iraq dealt with formation of the new government, the aftermath of the drawdown and the huge waste of resources on the part of the United States.
Iraqiya spokesman Ahmad al-Dileimi today accused the Maliki government of serving foreign powers and asked neighboring countries to send peacekeeping troops. During the statement, he also criticized the Obama administration on several points, including the misleading "withdrawal." Meanwhile, several State of Law party members are threatening to align themselves with Iraqiya over Prime Minister’s Nouri al-Maliki’s insistence that he return as premier. This could help Ayad Allawi become the next prime minister.
Although the U.S. is wrapping up the first stage of its drawdown, Iraqis fear the war is not over. Indeed, many U.S. troops remain in vulnerable areas where they could still see combat condition.
By some estimates more than $5 billion has been wasted by the U.S. reconstruction team in abandoned or incomplete projects. Even more troubling, a senior Iraqi official was found to have resold almost $2 million worth donated computers meant for children for a mere $50,000. Although he claimed he had the legal right to sell "abandoned" materials, about 90% of the computers were apparently recovered.
In Mosul, gunmen attacked a police patrol with grenades and a cart bomb, killing one and wounding 12 others. At least four policemen and a woman were killed in separate incidents.
Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Abu Ghraib, where they killed one soldier and wounded three more.
A bomb wounded three people in Fallujah.
In Baghdad, a bomb attached to a Shi’ite Endowment official’s vehicle left no casualties.