Death toll mounts in clashes across Iraq + Pepe Escobar (videos)

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

Latest spate of bombings undermines US assertion that Sunni insurgency waning

Thursday April 17th, 2008

Clashes between security forces and Shiite fighters in Baghdad’s Sadr City killed two people and injured 18 on Wednesday. In the southern port city of Basra, the British military launched an offensive after militiamen attacked an Iraqi army patrol in the Haiyaniah district.
Basra has seen some of the country’s fiercest fighting since a government offensive against militia fighters there began on March 25.Today’s violence comes after yesterday’s multiple bombings in the northern and central parts of the country, which killed at least 60 people and undermined the US’s assertion that the Sunni insurgency is waning.

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Latest Iraq bombing strikes at heart of US efforts

Pepe Escobar: Al-Qaeda in Iraq plans to target “Awakening Councils” and make deals with Sunni tribes

Friday April 18th, 2008

At least 50 people were killed and 20 injured when a suicide bomber struck the funeral of two brothers who belonged to the Sunni Awakening Council, an organization whose purpose is to turn Sunni fighters against al-Qaeda.

In Brussels, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pleaded with NATO to provide more training and equipment to the Iraqi army, a request that The Real News analyst Pepe Escobar calls an “absolutely ludicrous proposition.” Escobar also reports on a new statement from al-Qaeda in Iraq, which suggests that the group plans to target the Awakening Council that is siphoning away their support.

Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pepe Escobar writes The Roving Eye for Asia Times Online. He has reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China. He is the author of the recently published Red Zone Blues. Pepe is a regular analyst for The Real News Network.