There were two significant bombings in Iraq today but only one is attracting media and public attention, i.e. the bombing of the Iraqi parliament within the supposed safe confines of the Green Zone. Taking a backseat was the bombing of the Sarafiya bridge in Baghdad. But as time goes on we will begin to realize that the attack on the Sarafiya bridge was more important strategically and tactically then the bombing inside the Iraqi parliament building.
The bomb inside parliament is a major psychological blow to the Bush policy and will heighten anxiety inside the Green Zone. However, it will also lead to a short term improvement in security practices and procedures controlling access to the Green Zone. It will be tougher to get any work done inside the security ghetto over the next month. Not so with the Sarafiya bridge. The downed bridge is a downer on most counts.
There are eleven major bridges that unite west Baghdad with east Baghdad. They are:
Tigris River bridges
1. Aimma Bridge
2. Adhimiya Bridge
3. Sarafiya Bridge
4. Tamuz Bridge
5. Shuhada Bridge
6. Ahar Bridge
7. Sinak Bridge
8. Jumhuriya Bridge
9. 14th of July Bridge
10. Jadriya Bridge
11. Dora Bridge
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Consult the following map to orient yourself:
Moving around Baghdad already is a logistical nightmare. The loss
of a bridge in north central Baghdad will reduce commercial activity
and increase traffic jams. This will damage, at least for the short
term, economic recovery in Baghdad.
It also creates new and dangerous challenges for moving U.S. troops
within the city. U.S. forces have one less route available. They
cannot quickly move reinforcements across the river in that sector.
The destruction of the bridge is a significant technical
accomplishment for the group that planned and carried out the attack.
I do not buy the explanation that this was a mere "truck" bomb. I am
not familiar with any truck bomb in the world that takes out two ends
of a bridge simultaneously. In fact, if it was the result of a truck
bomb you would expect a hole in the pavement,i.e. a crater. While it
is difficult to tell from the picture it sure looks like the bridge was
sheared at two separate points and an entire section of the bridge fell
intact into the water. That is not what one would expect from a blast
from a truck bomb.
Can't wait to hear John McCain and Lindsey Graham describe the bombing of this bridge as just another sign of success with the Petraeus surge. I'm not sure how much more success like this we can endure.
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