TSR: "The Sunnis are attacking the Shia; the Shia...lashing out at the Americans."
June 25, 2009
Michael outlines the week's carnage for Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER: No letup in the rising wave of violence across Baghdad. A car bomb exploded today at a southwest Baghdad bus station, killing five more people. The spike in deadly attacks comes as U.S. troops work toward their mandated withdrawal from all Iraqi urban areas by June 30th. That's next Tuesday.
Let's go to Baghdad.
CNN's Michael Ware is joining us now -- Michael, what's really going on right now, as we get ready for this complete withdrawal of US military forces by next Tuesday?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, as we're preparing for this retreat of the forces into these pre-designated bases -- and let's bear in mind, it's already Friday here. So we're now down to four days here on the ground before this significant handover -- the end of the American-led war in Iraq and the beginning of the Iraqi-led war. Well, all being -- all taking place against a backdrop of violence.
Now, you referred to a car bomb here in Baghdad. Well, this evening there was another car bomb. This one was in the northern city of Mosul. Fortunately, it only killed one person. Now, the car bomb that you talked about was at a bus station. Just six, seven hours before that one detonated, another bomb detonated in the same place, just meters away. So the first one killed two, the second killed five people. Just in Baghdad alone, we've had nine people die today.
And let's not forget, nine U.S. soldiers have been wounded today, as well, when their patrol was hit by not one, but by two roadside bombs. We now have a confirmed report from the U.S. military that another U.S. patrol was hit by a roadside bomb. However, there was only minor damage.
Iraqis are reporting yet another attack on Americans. That, however, has yet to be confirmed.
All of the incidents involving the Americans, interestingly enough, are in eastern Baghdad or Shia-controlled areas. Conversely, all of the bombings, the assassinations, the mortar attacks, the shootings -- all of this slaughter against the Iraqi civilians is happening by Sunnis in Shia areas.
So it's like the Sunnis are attacking the Shia. The Shia, to some degree, have been lashing out at the Americans.
The intent of all of this -- it's part of a long-running campaign. There's Sunni extremist groups who are looking to bring us back to the bloodbath of the sectarian war. And it's heightening, it's intensifying on the cusp of the handover of the conflict here in Iraq -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Michael Ware, we'll check back with you tomorrow.
Thanks very much.
The countdown continuing towards next Tuesday, when all US combat missions in Iraqi cities must be over with. The dangers, though, continue.