Captain Ed reports on the capture of 131 militants near Karbala in southern Iraq by a joint US-Iraqi force. Iraqi ground troops were supported by American helicopter pilots in the assault.
This sort of thing is a sign of the times. The number of terrorists captured or killed in Iraq this month is higher than it has ever been while the number of terrorist attacks is down significantly. Iraqi popular opinion is decidedly against the terrorists (recent polling by Iraqi newspapers has found 90% popular support for action against the “insurgents”), and the terrorists have been forced to abandon urban areas and set up more isolated training facilities — facilities that don’t provide them with a civilian population for human shields.
It appears that these terrorists were training for an attack on Shi’ite pilgrims heading to Karbala for the Shi’ite Arbain commemoration — a major Shi’a day of mourning that attracts tens of thousands of travellers to the Karbala region. An attack on Arbain would have resulted in tens or potentally hundreds of casualties — no doubt that because of this coup, those plans of attack will be severely disrupted.
This is another major win for the Iraqi people, and another major loss for the terrorists, and another sign of the continuing weakness and degredation of the “insurgents” in Iraq.