Iraq: February 3, 2004


The 130,000 US troops in Iraq suffered 40 combat deaths during January. When pressed, coalition officials will only say that "hundreds" of Iraqis have been killed in battles with coalition troops. The number of such skirmishes has declined to about twenty a day (from a peak of nearly 50 a day in November.) But more attacks are suicide bombs and are directed at Iraqis. The suicide bombers. who appear to be foreign Islamic radicals (dozens have been captured). But the radicals have not done much to get their message out. Apparently the radicals believe that everyone understands that they are holy warriors who are working to establish a world wide Islamic state. Few Iraqis are interested in this, and most blame the Americans for letting these murderous lunatics into the country. Cash rewards offered for information on the foreigners has yielded lots of tips, but most of them have led to smugglers or other foreign criminals. Iraqi police are making most of the arrests, with US troops being called in only when heavy resistance is expected. 


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