Last week in Iraq
By TIMES WIRES
Published July 29, 2007
- Iraqi police and morgue and hospital officials reported at least 38 Iraqis were killed or found dead across the country July 22. A top aide to Iraq's Shiite spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, was stabbed to death Saturday in Najaf, officials said.
- A string of car bomb attacks left at least 17 people dead in Baghdad on Monday, many of them civilians killed by three blasts in one of the city's busiest neighborhoods. The violence occurred as the U.S. military continued to cite the success of the Baghdad security plan launched in February.
- A car bombing killed at least 24 people and injured more than 70 on Tuesday in the city of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, police said. The bomb detonated in front of a maternity hospital in the mainly Shiite town.
- Two bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday killed at least 50 people as huge crowds hit the streets of the capital and other Iraqi cities to celebrate their national soccer team's Asian Cup semifinal victory.
- A highly sophisticated simultaneous truck bombing and rocket attack devastated a Shiite market district in one of Baghdad's safest central neighborhoods Thursday, killing at least 31 people and wounding 104. South of Baghdad, a former aide to Sistani was killed in a drive-by shooting in Najaf, security officials said. Kazim Jabir al-Bidairi was the third person linked to Sistani to be killed in two months.
- A fierce gun battle broke out after a joint U.S.-Iraqi force arrested a Shiite militia leader in Karbala on Friday, leading to an airstrike and the deaths of some 17 militants, the military said. The military said no civilians were in the area, but local officials said nine people were killed, including four militiamen and five civilians, and 23 people were wounded. In other violence, at least 21 people were killed or found dead Friday.
- The commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq, Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, said on July 22 he has proposed reducing his troop levels and shifting next year to missions focused less on direct combat. Mixon's approach would not necessarily mean an overall reduction in U.S. troops. It could mean shifting several thousand troops from Mixon's area to other parts of Iraq.
- A revised U.S. military plan for Iraq envisions local authorities enforcing security by 2009 but leaves open the questions of how many U.S. troops will still be needed and how quickly Americans can begin to leave in large numbers, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
- U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., said Wednesday he would soon push legislation that would order U.S. troop withdrawals to begin in November and take about a year to complete. A vote on Murtha's proposal will come as early as this week and possibly again in September, when the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, delivers a long-anticipated assessment on the war.
- Petraeus and the top U.S. diplomat in Iraq warned on Thursday against cutting short the American troop buildup and suggested they would urge Congress to give President Bush's strategy more time. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and the general were careful not to define a time frame. Petraeus said troop reduction would be done "over time, without undermining what we've fought to achieve."
- Two powerful legislators, Mahmoud Othman, a Kurd, and Abbas al-Bayati, a Shiite Turkman, said July 22 that prospects were dim for passage of a U.S.-backed oil bill before Parliament's August vacation because political leaders have been unable to agree on a final draft of the legislation.
- President Bush cited intelligence reports Tuesday that he said showed a link between al-Qaida's operation in Iraq and the terror group that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Democrats dismissed Bush's argument.
- The United Nations asked Friday for $129-million to educate tens of thousands of Iraqi children who fled to neighboring countries to escape Iraq's violence.
As of Saturday, 3,646 U.S. troops have died in Iraq. Identifications as reported by the U.S. military and not previously published:
- Army Sgt. Shawn G. Adams, 21, Dixon, Calif.; explosion July 22; Owaset.
- Army Cpl. Rhett A. Butler, 22, Fort Worth, Texas; explosion July 20; Khan Bani Sad.
- Army Spc. Zachary R. Clouser, 19, Dover, Pa.; explosion and small-arms fire July 18; Adhamiyah.
- Army Sgt. Courtney D. Finch, 27, Leavenworth, Kan.; Tuesday of injuries from a noncombat incident; Qayyarah.
- Army Spc. Richard Gilmore III, 22, Jasper, Ala.; explosion and small-arms fire July 18; Adhamiyah.
- Army Spc. Daniel E. Gomez, 21, Warner Robbins, Ga.; explosion and small-arms fire July 18; Adhamiyah.
- Army Sgt. 1st Class Luis E. Gutierrez-Rosales, 38, Bakersfield, Calif.; explosion and small-arms fire July 18; Adhamiyah.
- Lance Cpl. Robert A. Lynch, 20, Louisville, Ky.; combat Tuesday; Diyala province.
- Army Staff Sgt. Joshua P. Mattero, 29, San Diego; explosion Tuesday; Baqubah.
- Cpl. James H. McRae, 22, Springtown, Texas; combat Tuesday; Diyala province.
- Navy Hospitalman Daniel S. Noble, 21, Whittier, Calif., enemy action Tuesday; Diyala province.
- Marine Cpl. Christopher G. Scherer, 21, East Northport, N.Y.; combat July 21; Anbar province.
- Army Sgt. Jacob S. Schmuecker, 27, Atkinson, Neb.; explosion July 21; Balad.
- Marine Lance Cpl. Bobby L. Twitty, 20, Bedias, Texas; vehicle accident July 22; Anbar province.
- Cpl. Matthew R. Zindars, 21, Watertown, Wis.; combat Tuesday; Diyala province.