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June 13, 2005

The Iraqi Civil War Approaches...

Eric Umansky writes:

Eric Umansky: Ugly in Iraq: This from Today's Papers:

A former member of the Wolf Brigade, an elite Iraqi commando unit, entered the brigade headquarters in eastern Baghdad and detonated explosives strapped to his body, killing three soldiers and one other person.

Here how the Times described the Brigade in a recent Q&A:

The most feared and effective commando unit in Iraq, experts say. Formed last October by a former three-star Shiite general and SCIRI member who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Walid, the Wolf Brigade is composed of roughly 2,000 fighters, mostly young, poor Shiites from Sadr City. Members of the group reportedly earn as much as 700,000 Iraqi dinars, or $400, per month, a large sum in Iraqi terms. They dress in garb--olive uniform and red beret--redolent of Saddam Hussein's elite guard; their logo is a menacing-looking wolf.

Meanwhile, it looks like Iraqi government forces can get some things done, such as moving sectarian violence moving toward a boil. From the NYT:

Also in the morning, the police found the bodies of three Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, the Interior Ministry said. The men, who belonged to the Sunni-dominated Dulaim tribe in rebellious western Iraq, had been handcuffed and blindfolded, and there were signs of torture on their bodies, a ministry official said. The victims were Saadi Khalaf, an Oil Ministry employee; Muhammad Khalaf, a reporter for Al Majd, a newspaper; and Esam Fadhil, their cousin. The three men were taken from their homes in southern Baghdad on Friday night, reportedly by men wearing police uniforms and riding in Interior Ministry vehicles, the official said. Their kidnappers told people in those houses that they were intelligence officers with the Interior Ministry, the official added.

Posted by DeLong at June 13, 2005 08:40 PM