Although attacks seem to have fallen noticeably since the days before the election, it still isn’t anything close to calm. And Mosul, the apparent new focal point for the terrorists and insurgency, continues to be in the news:
The US military says the fighting began when US troops responding to a mortar strike on a base were hit by rifle fire and rocket-propelled grenades from a mosque.
A US tank and a Stryker armored vehicle have been severely damaged, and several cars and parts of buildings were left burning.
There were no American casualties but nine insurgents were killed.
The fighting was described as “fierce”, which is what all fighting is.
I wonder if the damage to the tank and the Stryker was really “severe”, as no casualties were taken.
Stryker Brigade News points out a Yahoo! News photo caption also describing the incident, but it has no further info other than saying the tank and Stryker were “disabled”. That could be a broken track and a couple of flat tires, or it could be a lot more serious.
Here’s the pic:
U.S. Army 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment soldiers return fire during a four-hour running gun battle with insurgents in Mosul, Iraq Saturday Feb. 12, 2005. Nine insurgents were killed after attacking U.S. troops with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. A U.S. Army tank and Stryker combat vehicle were disabled by RPG attacks, but there were no U.S. casualties. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)
Keep an eye on Stryker Brigade News for more. MO watches and points out things here and there, but SBN is all over it.
UPDATE: Here’s a paragraph in another story on the fighting that sums it all up:
Sunni Arab extremists, fearing a loss of their privileged position, have accused the Americans of manipulating the election to install Shiites and Kurds in power. Sunni Arabs, an estimated 20 percent of the population, form the heart of the insurgency, and many of them boycotted the election.
Ignore for the moment that the Sunnis, by and large, have been the harsh overlords of the Shiites and Kurds for several decades.
The Sunnis comprise about 20% of the population. Then, due to boycotts, threats from terrorists and insurgents to abstain from voting, and the fact that many Sunni areas are still torn by violence (instigated by Sunnis and Sunni-backed foreigners), many of that 20% didn’t vote.
The Sunnis shouldn’t expect anything from this election. Their only saving grace might be that there’s another election at the end of this year. Hopefully, some will see that they’ve missed the boat on this but will take advantage of the fact that the first elections of the permanent government will come so soon. Not often do you get such a powerful second chance so soon after blowing your first opportunity.