The ninth attempted chlorine attack, 7 have been successful; Karma
Al Qaeda in Iraq continues its dirty chemical war in Anbar province. Another truck packed with explosives and chlorine cannisters was found and disarmed in Ramadi. U.S. troops from Multinational Forces West responded to the suicide bombing attack north of Ramadi, which killed one Iraqi and wounded seven. Coalition troops cordoned the area, when “local citizens provided information about a second truck bomb that may be in the area,” according to the Multinational Forces West press release. “Acting on the tip, a search was conducted and an abandoned truck was found wired with explosives and chlorine tanks.”
Al Qaeda in Iraq has conducted five successful suicide chlorine gas attacks in Anbar province since January, as well as attacks in Taji and Baghdad. Thirty-two Iraqis were killed over 600 were poisoned by the chlorine gas strikes. On March 24, a truck filled with chlorine tanks, explosives and 55 gallon drums was discovered outside a police station in Ramadi. The driver was captured before he could detonate the explosives.
On January 28, 16 were killed in the first such attack in Ramadi. On February 19, al Qaeda struck again in Ramadi, killing two members of the Iraqi security force and wounding 16. On March 17, al Qaeda hit with a three pronged attack in Ramadi, Fallujah and Amiriya. Two were killed and over 360 were poisoned in the aftermath of the attacks.
The Taji and Baghdad chlorine attacks were particularly effective. On February 20, five were killed and 140 sickened after a chlorine attack in Baghdad. On February 21, a chlorine attack in Taji killed 9 and made 150 sick.
Al Qaeda in Iraq, through its political mouthpiece the Islamic State of Iraq, has issued a denial of its involvement with chlorine suicide attacks. However the targets of the chlorine attacks, particularly in Anbar province, have been aimed at members and supporters of the Anbar Salvation Council, which is a grouping of Sunni tribes and former insurgents, including large factions of the 1920s Revolution Brigades and the Islamic Army in Iraq.
Two chlorine bomb factories were discovered in Karma and Fallujah by Coalition forces on February 21. Karma has become an al Qaeda hot spot, and was the scene of the downing of a Marine CH-46 transport helicopter, which al Qaeda in Iraq claimed credit. U.S. forces just completed a 4 day operation in Karma, which resulted in 2 insurgents killed and 10 captured. An American military source informs us the number so killed and captured will rise. U.S. forces also found and destroyed a cache “consisting of five DShK anti-aircraft heavy machine guns, 12 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, homemade rocket launchers, mortar tubes, 57mm rockets, improvised explosive devices, and multiple wired propane tanks.” On March 26, U.S. soldiers beat off a suicide and ground attack on a post just north of Karma. Thirty al Qaeda attacked after two two suicide truck bombs were employed. Fifteen al Qaeda were killed in the assault.