|I got this off "the wires" yesterday. As you might expect when you read further Al Amarah is one of the places in Iraq that any stories coming over the wire makes me sit up and take notice. Why? - Read on.|
Two British soldiers killed in Iraq blast
Two British soldiers killed in Iraq blast
(With UK-IRAQ-BLAST series) LONDON, Feb 28 (KUNA) -- Two British soldiers were killed in a bomb blast close to a playground in southern Iraq Tuesday, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
Let's see what the Scotsman has to say about it:
• New low in civilians relation with army as roadside bomb kill two soldiers
• Attack located in Al Amarah in Maysan province, scene of notorious video
• British death toll in Iraq now stands at 103, with several hundred injured
"It is with deep regret that I can confirm the death of two British soldiers, killed by a terrorist bomb as they carried out their duties in south-east Iraq this morning" - JOHN REID, DEFENCE SECRETARY
Story in full
Here's what you need to know as you read the Scotsman's excellent report:
Al Amarah, is on the river Tigris, south of Baghdad, fairly close to Iranian border. The last time I looked its recorded population was in the region of 340-35000 and it's the provincial capital. As you might expect the population is overwhelmingly Shi´ite. As you might expect from it being a border town the population is more than somewhat intensely nationalistic.
Contrary to what MOD spokespersons would have you believe the British army of occupation here have never been popular there and have been repeatedly attacked. (Bear in mind that the population are overwhelmingly Shi´ite.) As the Scotsman report notes after this particular "incident" what a lovely neutral word "incident" is. The scotsman describe the "incident" as follows:
"RELATIONS between UK forces and locals in southern Iraq reached a new low yesterday as two British soldiers were killed and another was injured by a roadside bomb.
The bomb was detonated next to a Land Rover patrol in the town of Al Amarah in Maysan province, scene of the notorious video of British soldiers beating up Iraqi rioters two years ago.
Two soldiers attached to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards battle group died in the blast and one was hurt. After the three were flown out by helicopter, British troops maintaining a cordon around the scene of the bombing came under attack from a stone-throwing mob.
One witness to the Al Amarah attack said a car bomb had been used to target the soldiers as they patrolled in Land Rovers. Other troops arriving at the scene were stoned by a mob, including young children.[emphasis added by me.]
Actually the stone throwing mob consisted almost entirely of children. Did I mention that Al Amarah's kind of an old-fashioned place and that adults there have kind of old-fashioned ideas about parental discipline?
Al Amarah's kind of an old-fashioned place, adults there have kind of old-fashioned ideas about parental discipline - you can take it that those children's parents were considerably less than disapproving of their children being part of that stone throwing mob.
"Al Amarah, on the river Tigris, south of Baghdad, has been the scene of trouble before, with both local rioting and insurgent attacks.
The fact is that from the shortly after the British arrived to "take control of Al Amarah there's been repeated rioting, shooting at troops, attempts to bomb British convoys, and attacks on their compound at Camp Abu Naji* outside the town. The invaders aren't popular, invaders rarely are.
Let's move on:
Al Amarah is close to the Iranian border and an army investigation, already under way, will analyse bomb components to see if they are traceable to Iran. British officials have previously accused Iran of supplying hi-tech devices used in a series of similar attacks on British forces, a charge denied by Tehran, which has countered by accusing Britain of training insurgents to carry out attacks on its territory.
If it weren't for the fact that we're talking about two young men death's being added to the total of the carnage caused by President Bush and The Right Honourable Member for West Texas' illegal racist corrupt and incompetent war against the people of Iraq I'd react to that with "Bwaaaahhahahahahaha" then I'd sit down and weep. They're still peddling that tired old line.
Now let's see:
Al Amarah is the capital of Maysan governorate that's same governorate that contains Basra. The same governorate where members of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment were caught by Iraqi police in Basra dressed as Arabs and carrying a large collection of weapons and bomb-making equipment. Here's some of what the Scotsman had to say at the time:
"Iraqi officials, who had dispatched a senior judge to question the pair, were insisting that the British military in Basra had confirmed that they were on an undercover mission. Mohammed al-Abadi, an official of the Basra authorities, said their cover had been blown after local police became suspicious and approached them. "A policeman approached them and then one of these guys fired at him. Then the police managed to capture them," he said. "They refused to say what their mission was. They said they were British soldiers and [suggested] to ask their commander about their mission."
Defence sources have told The Scotsman that the soldiers were part of an undercover special forces detachment set up this year to try to "bridge the intelligence void" in Basra. The detachment draws on special forces' experience in Northern Ireland and Aden, where British troops went "deep" undercover in local communities to try to break the code of silence against foreign forces.
The troops are under the jurisdiction of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment that was formed last year by the then defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, to gather so-called human intelligence during counter-terrorist missions.
The day of dramatic incident comes amid an increasingly volatile security picture in Basra, which until earlier this summer enjoyed a reputation as one of the most-trouble free cities in Iraq. Earlier this month, three British soldiers were killed in two separate roadside bomb attacks, thought to be the work of a newly-arrived insurgent unit that specialises in targeting coalition personnel. [emphasis added by me - mfi]
There have also been increased tensions following the arrest of the local leader of the al-Mahdi army, a heavily armed street gang loyal to the outlawed Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Members of al-Mahdi are thought to have been behind the violent protests that took place outside the city's main Felony Crimes Department, where a crowd of around 200 people gathered when news spread that the soldiers were being held inside.
The al-Mahdi army are still strong in Al Amarah as is SCIRI's Badr Brigade. Saying it was the Iranians as the war drums beat ever louder just won't wash. As I said on my other site about the last lot of finger British pointing at the Iranians (and as you probably came here from there) I'll just do a copy and paste:
It was a coherent reasonable sounding explanation. There’s just one problem, it was manifestly untrue:
Iran was working through the pro-occupation SCIRI? Really? The Iranians were working their nefarious magic through “The reactionary and collaborationist Islamic Supreme Council (SCIRI)“ and their Badr Corps?
The fact is that SCIRI’s militia was fighting Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, and nobody else at that time..The “Iranian” cover story simply won’t wash and Iraqis knew it then, and know it now:
Well if you've got this far I admire your perseverance. Here's my summary:
Iraq is in turmoil following the Samarra bombing. Iraqis are tired of tyrannny and they're furious at the way in which the armies of occupation have treated them. They believe that the bombing at Samarra was the work of the invaders:
“My brothers this is no coincidence consider that in the space of a few days we have:
- The Danish cartoons.
- More photos of the evil the crusaders do in and are still doing in Abu Ghraib.
- We have the British army assaulting Muslim children.
- We have an “incident” at the jail.
- Our brother Shiite’s mosques in Pakistan have been bombed just yesterday.
- Just yesterday the massacre of Shiites and now;
This most heinous act of desecration.
No reasonable person can believe that any of these acts are random, they were all planned and co-ordinated by the Americans and the Danes and the English to plunge us to war so they can continue to rape our land.”
They're taking their revenge. This was "just" two more deaths, two families plunged into grief, somebody wounded, a tiny fraction of the "collateral damage" caused by George W. Bush and Anthony Blair masturbating their messiah complexes.
* The camp has soldiers and a goat named Ben. Ben** is needed to keep the grass down. The grass needs to be kept down otherwise it becomes infested with rather poisonous snakes.
** I don't actually know this but I'd be prepared to wager a considerable amount of money that "Ben" is named after Lieutenant Colonel Ben Edwards - soldiers are human too in case you hadn't noticed.