Monday, February 05, 2007

Security Crackdown In Capital Takes Shape As Attacks Kill Dozens

picture by KavkazCenter

By Joshua PartlowWashington Post Foreign Service

BAGHDAD, Feb. 5 -- Bombs and mortar shells killed more than 37 people in Baghdad on Monday, as U.S. officials said that the command structure for the new security crackdown in the capital was ready.
In the deadliest attack, a small truck rigged with explosives was detonated near a gas station in the Bayya neighborhood, killing 15 people and wounding 58, according to Col. Fakher Hussein of the Interior Ministry. A car bomb that exploded in an industrial area of central Baghdad took the lives of 13 people, he said.

The U.S. and Iraqi militaries have for months been preparing a massive security initiative aimed at quelling the daily killing in the capital.
Informed sources said about 8,000 US soldiers were expected to transfer into Baghdad or
nearby regions, joining about 15,000 US soldiers already in the capital and its suburbs.

"Maybe it'll work. Maybe it won't. It's gonna be much more than this city has ever seen and it's gonna be a rolling surge," Hechman said.

Iraqis have said they will take the lead in the operation, but US officers say they would retain oversight, at least initially.

American and Iraqi commanders are pulling together a force of about 90,000 troops, for what many see as a last-chance drive to curb the sectarian violence that has turned the city of six million people into a battlefield.

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