Spiralling Towards Chaos

From Holden:

With the number of U.S. soldeirs, marines, and sailors (yes, sailors) killed in Iraq this month matching March’s deathcount of 36, today we read various reports indicating that Iraqi security forces have abandoned much of the country to the insurgents, as reported in both the Washington Post and the Independent.

Iraqi army and police units are deserting their posts after the recent escalation in insurgent attacks, according to reports from around the country yesterday.

[snip]

On the Syrian border, US troops in the Sunni city of Husaybah report mass desertions. An Iraqi unit that had once grown to 400 troops now numbers a few dozen who are “holed up” inside a local phosphate plant.

Major John Reed, of the 2nd Marine Regiment, said: “They will claim that they are ready to come back and fight but there are no more than 30 of them on duty on any given day and they are completely ineffective.”

In Mosul, which has been a hotspot since insurgents fleeing Fallujah effectively overran it last year, residents have complained to newspapers that police now rarely patrol and only appear in response to attacks.

But greatest concern has focused on Madain, the town 14 miles south of Baghdad that in the past few weeks has been at the centre of the biggest crisis amid conflicting claims of ethnic cleansing.

Residents say that since a series of tit-for-tat kidnappings began three months ago police have effectively abandoned the town.

Sunni and Shia communities say two to three people have been disappearing each day since, blaming either elements of the Shia Badr Brigade and Sunni Ba’athists for the kidnappings.

When a convoy of police did try to install order, insurgents ambushed them. Those who survived were burnt to death.