posted on Apr, 8 2004 @ 09:02 AM
Fighting continues in the fourth day of "Operation Vigilant Resolve",
and the death toll rises. The death counts since the start of this operation stands at 35 Americans and 459 Iraqis. Almost 300 Iraqi deaths were from
the city of Fallujah alone. Shiite militiamen loyal to Al-Sadr have control of the larger parts of 3 cities. The U.S. is holding back in some areas
since this weekend marks the end of a mourning period for a 7th-century martyred Shiite saint and thousands of pilgrims have gathered in Shiite
cities. Rumsfeld discredited the al-Mahdi Army saying "There's nothing like an army, You have a small number of terrorists and militias coupled with
FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) - Militiaman loyal to an anti-U.S. Shiite cleric controlled large swaths of three Iraqi cities Thursday after clashes with
coalition forces, while U.S. Marines fought insurgents for the second day around a mosque in the Sunni Muslim stronghold of Fallujah.
Fighting this week has left 35 Americans and at least 459 Iraqis dead. This includes more than 280 Iraqis killed since the Marines' siege against
insurgents in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, began early Monday said Taher Al-Issawi, the director of the city's hospital.
In yesterdays fighting we saw the Abdel-Aziz al-Samarrai mosque bombed and fired on with missiles by U.S. forces. The mosque building itself was not
bombed, but a perimeter wall that the Iraqi insurgents were using for cover to fire on U.S. troops. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the deputy chief of
military operations in Iraq, said that once the militants were inside the mosque using it for cover for attacks, it nullified it the site's
protection under the Geneva Convention.
Al-Sadr made a statement, copying earlier remarks by Senator Ted Kennedy, that Iraq would be another Vietnam for the United States. Al-Sadar is
unpopular in the south with many Shiite Muslims, so the large uprising he is calling for will not happen. Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, Iraq's most
respected Shiite leader, called for an end to fighting and condemned any acts that prevented officials from carrying out their duties.
The al-Mahdi Army is seriously outnumbered. The U.S. estimates their numbers to be at about 3,000 while the U.S. has 135,000 in Iraq. Yesterdays show
of force at the mosque in Fallujah showed that when the U.S. stops pulling punches, the opposition falls like toy a house of cards.
[Edited on 8-4-2004 by Banshee]