Suicide Bombings in Iraq Show Decline

December 2nd, 2005  
Team Infidel

Topic: Suicide Bombings in Iraq Show Decline

By CHRIS TOMLINSON - Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq - (AP) Suicide bombings fell in November to their
lowest level in seven months, the American military said Thursday, citing
the success of U.S.-Iraqi military operations against insurgent and foreign
fighter sanctuaries near the Syrian border.
But the trend in Iraq has not resulted in less bloodshed: 85 U.S.
troops died during the month, one of the highest tolls since the invasion.
Nevertheless, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a coalition operations officer,
warned that al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi, will likely step up attacks in the next two weeks to try to
disrupt parliamentary elections Dec. 15.
Lynch told reporters that suicide bombings declined to 23 in
November as U.S. and Iraqi forces were overrunning insurgent strongholds in
the Euphrates River valley west of the capital.
Communities along the river are believed used by foreign fighters,
who slip into the country from Syria and travel down the river highway to
Baghdad and other cities.
Lynch called suicide bombings the insurgents' "weapon of choice"
because they can inflict a high number of casualties while sacrificing only
the attacker. Classic infantry ambushes draw withering American return fire,
resulting in heavy insurgent losses.
"In the month of November: only 23 suicide attacks _ the lowest
we've seen in the last seven months, the direct result of the effectiveness
of our operations," Lynch said.
Car bombings _ parked along streets and highways and detonated
remotely _ have declined from 130 in February to 68 in November, Lynch said.

However, suicide attacks have not consistently decreased over the
past year. After more than 70 such attacks in May, the number fell in August
by nearly half and then climbed to over 50 two months later.
And despite the decline over the past month, there has been no letup
in the relentless toll of American deaths at a time of growing discontent in
the United States over the Iraq war.
The U.S. command said Thursday that four American service members
were killed the day before, three of them from hostile action and the fourth
in a traffic accident. The deaths raised the American fatality toll for
November to at least 85.
That was down from the 96 American deaths suffered in October _ the
fourth deadliest month since the war began in March 2003. But it was well
above the 49 deaths in September. U.S. monthly death tolls have hit 80 or
above during 10 of the 33 months of the war.
There also has been no decline over the past six months in the Iraqi
death toll from suicide attacks, according to an Associated Press tally. In
November, at least 290 Iraqis were killed in such attacks, more than double
the figure from the previous month. The count shows the Iraqi toll ranging
from at least 69 deaths in August to at least 356 in September.
November's suicide attacks included near-simultaneous bombings at
two Shiite mosques in Khanaqin, killing 76; a car bombing at a Shiite
funeral north of the capital, killing 36; and a car bombing near a hospital
in Mahmoudiya, killing 30.
In Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, the U.S. military played down
reports by residents and police of widespread attacks Thursday against
American and Iraqi installations in the city. The military said only one
rocket-propelled grenade was fired at an observation post, causing no
Police Lt. Mohammed al-Obaidi said at least four mortar rounds fell
near the U.S. base on the city's eastern edge. Residents also said scores of
masked gunmen, believed to be members of al-Qaida in Iraq, ran into the
streets but dispersed after launching attacks with mortars.
An AP Television News video showed masked insurgents walking down a
shuttered market street and a residential neighborhood, as well as firing
four mortar rounds. The gunmen appeared relaxed, and the U.S. command
dismissed the video as little more than a publicity stunt.
Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province, a Sunni Arab stronghold,
where clashes between insurgents and U.S. and Iraqi troops have left
hundreds of people dead over the past two years. U.S. and Iraqi troops
launched a joint operation near Ramadi on Wednesday, sweeping through an
area used to rig car bombs.
Also Thursday, the top official for human rights in the Interior
Ministry was dismissed in connection with an inquiry into allegations of
torture by government security forces.
Nouri al-Nouri, the ministry's chief inspector for corruption cases
and human rights violations, was fired on the order of Prime Minister
Ibrahim al-Jaafari, an official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity
because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
Al-Nouri, a Shiite, had been in the post since the handover of
sovereignty to Iraqis in June 2004.
Al-Jaafari, also a Shiite, ordered an investigation into the alleged
mistreatment of up to 173 detainees after U.S. forces entered an Interior
Ministry lockup Nov. 13 and found that some of those held there showed signs
of torture.
December 2nd, 2005  
yeah I saw that briefing on CNN this morning.

It is good news thou