Today begins Operation New Dawn, the new U.S. mission In Iraq. Despite the end of "combat operations," at least 10 Iraqis were killed and 22 more were wounded in the latest round of violence. Coincidentally, U.S. officials reported Iraq is planning to spend $13 billion on U.S. arms and military equipment.
Gen. Lloyd Austin took over from Gen. Ray Odierno as commander of operations for the new mission in Iraq. Vice President Joe Biden, who is in Iraq, says the new mission must now turn to solving the country’s economic troubles and believes senior Iraqi officials are close to forming a new government six months after national elections. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates also traveled to Iraq on a surprise visit.
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich lauded the end of formal combat operations but warned that the continued presence of nearly 50,000 troops imperils stability at a great cost to the United States. Fellow Rep. Ron Paul called the new policy "deceitful" and a "fool’s errand of endless war." A Ba’ath Party spokesman, speaking from Syria, also called the partial pullout out a lie.
In a new autobiography, former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair says he does not regret his decision to join the Iraq War even though he miscalculated how much of a "nightmare" it turned out to be. He also says he has cried for its victims and will donate his proceeds to a charity that assists wounded servicemembers.
In Baghdad, a sticky bomb in Baladiyat killed one civilian and wounded three others. A policeman was killed and two others were wounded in a Kadhimiya blast. In Sadr City, an explosion wounded two at the al-Awali market. Four officers are being investigated in connection with an attack on army volunteers.
An explosion targeting police in Tikrit wounded six people, including one civilian.
In Kirkuk, a policeman and his brother, angry at electricity rationing, attacked a power station where they killed the owner’s father and wounded another relative; the father was a Kurdish official. Eighteen suspects were captured.
The Wassit council sacked three security commanders and gave warning to 60 others, following a deadly bombing at police headquarters.
A U.S. drone crashed in Weesi village.