35 Security Forces Killed in Ambush Near Baquba

Iraqi police and members of the Awakening Council fighters conducting a raid in a village south of Baquba in Diyala Province were ambushed by gunmen, and 35 have been reported killed. At least three of the dead were high-ranking officers, according to one report. The raid was reportedly aimed at tracking down “al-Qaeda operatives” in the area.

This come just one week after a high ranking official in the Iraqi Interior Ministry declared violence in Diyala Province at “their lowest level in five years,” and credited the success on Operation Bashaer al-Kheir, which the government launched in late July.

One Iraqi MP condemned the government’s operation yesterday, which he said he could prove led to the detention of 800 people “in violation of constitutional principles.” The MP, from the Arab Bloc for National Dialogue, blamed the continuing trouble in Diyala on Iranian Quds forces and Kurdish militias, a charge which brought condemnation from a Kurdish Alliance spokesman who accused the MP of aiming to create ethnic and religious tensions in the province.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.