Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hot downrange : surge of attacks on Diwaniyah

After a apparent pause at the start of July, the weekly insurgent indirect fire attacks on Camp Echo have restarted. And also ambushes, IEDs and shootouts - daily.

17 July Several shots were fired towards the base in the evening but fell short. (MoD Latvia)
19 July IED attack on Salvadoreans en route to Al Kut, 2 heavily wounded (1 of hose fatally) (MND CS)
20 July 4 rockets fired towards the base at 0130 local time, all fell short (MND CS). The enemy propaganda claims :
In a dispatch posted at 2:45pm Makkah time Friday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance forces fired four Katyusha rockets into "Camp Eko" of the Polish occupation troops located 5km south of ad-Diwaniyah – which is 120km southeast of Baghdad late on Thursday night.

The ad-Diwaniyah correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported a source in the as-Salam neighborhood puppet police as saying that the attack set a massive fire burning in the northern part of the Polish base, compelling the occupation troops, who had tried on their own for an hour to extinguish the blaze, to seek the help of Iraqi firefighters to put out the flames.

The puppet police source said that the Resistance barrage had inflicted casualties among the Poles and their Asian mercenary workers.
The number of rockets and the target coincides as usual, but the muj wildly exaggerates the results, also as usual. "Asian mercenary workers" meaning KBR contractors presumably, and will the savages ever learn to learn to spell "Echo"?
21 July Ambush on MND(CS) near An Numaniyah in Wasit province convoy wounds 6 soldiers and translator, 10 insurgents captured (MND CS)
23-24 July Latvian contingent was on QRF and was involved in some shootout near Diwaniyah on night from the 23-24th July, no-one hurt and no details available (MoD Latvia)
24-25 July two Katjusha type rockets were fired at the base on the night of July 24-25th but exploded short of the base. (MoD Latvia)

Why the upsurge of unpleasantness? At a guess it looks to be a complex of several factors
  • It just happens that the MND(CS) Polish contingent, including divisional command, changed on July 18th, and Contingent change is a favorite time for local provocations in any mission.
  • The situation was none too secure before that.
  • Iraqi forces near Diwaniyah on July 16th arrested a local sheikh "suspected of directing local terrorist-run death squads". A local sheikh bust is usually a guarantee of tribal trouble (vengeance for loss of face etc etc).
  • Its mid-summer, mid 40s centigrade and too damn hot to sleep until past midnight.
  • IDF action against Hezbollah / Lebanon is probably stirring the Arab's pot, and Iran is a supporter of the terrs in both Lebanon and Iraq.

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