There have been two major developments in the war this weekend. The Status of Forces talks to legalize continued US presence in Iraq are "dead in the water" and the Iraqi Islamic party(the Vice Prez's party!) has cut off all contact with the occupiers after a raid on Friday killed one of their key people.
Iraq's leading Sunni party said Saturday that it is cutting contact with the U.S. to protest against an operation targeting its members in the Anbar province.
The Iraqi Islamic Party, headed by Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, said in a statement that it has decided to suspend all formal contact with American civilian or military personnel until it receives an explanation along with a formal apology.
The Friday operation at a village near the city of Falluja led to the death of people and arrests of five -- all senior members of the party in Falluja, according to the statement.
The party demands the release of the arrested people and compensation.
The US State Department has summoned Massoud al-Barzani, President of Iraqi Kurdistan, as part of a delegation to Washington DC later this week to discuss ways to rescue the Status of Forces Agreement between the US and Iraq, which top officials are saying is all but dead at this point.
Two weeks ago the deal appeared completed, but with increasing popular and political opposition to the deal, the ruling coalition began demanding amendments to the deal. At least 300 Shiite protesters in Basra marched against the proposed "security pact" in Basra Saturday.
Now Prime Minister Maliki reportedly sees the agreement as political suicide, and an informal poll suggests that the deal would lose by a wide margin if put to a vote in the Iraqi parliament. The deal took a further hit yesterday with the announcement that the top Iraqi Sunni party is severing all ties with the United States after the killing of one of its most senior members.
Without this deal, the UN "mandate" allowing foreign troops in Iraq expires at the end of the year, making the occupation illetal in yet another way!
At least 21 Iraqis were killed and 17 more were wounded in a number of small attacks across Iraq on Oct 25. Also, one American soldier died from a non-combat-related illness.
One man was killed and five were detained during a joint U.S-Iraqi raid in tribal areas near Fallujah Friday. The men were apparently senior members of the Iraqi Islamic Party, which headed by Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi. The party has since broken off ties with U.S personnel, and hundreds of followers demonstrated in the city. Separately, Iraqi soldiers killed a man and detained another believed to be homemade bomb instructors. Also, gunmen killed two men, one an imam, in a drive-by shooting.
In Baghdad, clashes between gunmen and Iraqis soldier left one person dead and five civilians wounded in Shabb. In Karrada, a bomb attached to an Iraqi general's car wounded the general and a civilian; the driver was killed. A roadside bomb blast killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded three more on Palestine Street. One man was killed and two more were wounded by a blast in Andalus Square.
In Mosul, two policemen were killed in a small arms attack. A roadside bomb wounded two women. A civilian was killed in a drive-by shooting.
Clashes in Salah ad Din province left one Iraqi soldier and three alleged resistance fighters dead. Two more soldiers were wounded. Another resistance fighter was arrested.
Two bodies were found in Madaen.
The body of a man, bearing torture marks, was found in Tobzawa.
A female body was discovered in Kirkuk.
Gunmen fired upon an Awakening Council (Sahwa) checkpoint in Jurf al-Sakhar, wounding one man.